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Wednesday
Jul272011

lemony cream butter cake

This tastes just like an Entenmann's.

It's light lemony cream cheese filling and soft butter cake bottom kept me coming back to the refrigerator with a fork.

This breakfast cake is my lemon butter cake experiment gone good.

Unexpectedly better than good.

It started with an episode of "Kid in a Candy Store" that featured a yummy-looking St. Louis gooey butter cake.

I wanted some.

However, I didn't want to use a cake mix. Plus, I didn't want to skip the cream cheese, as required by the homemade version that kept popping up online.

So I rewound the episode several times to narrow down what they used to build their gooey butter cake.

I wanted something lemon, too.

And...voila -- I got an Entenmann's cheese danish. Except sans danish and all butter cake.

A darned addictive Entenmann's.

It's has a lightly sweet-light lemony filling that made it an all-day cake -- breakfast, snack-time, way-after-dinner time.

And there's two layers:

There's the thin buttery cake on the bottom with its golden-crusted edge.

And then there's the luscious lemony cream cheese topping.

You bake it for a while and a perfect sugary crisp crust forms over the top.

So, really, I guess there's three layers.

I want more.

Lemony Cream Butter Cake

cake layer adapted from the Ricotta Blintz Casserole  recipe in Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes: A Backyard Garden-to-Table Cookbook, by Jeanne Kelley

For the cake --

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (heaping)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (which was about 1 lemon for me)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of two lemons

For the cream cheese filling --

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease or spray a 9" springform pan with vegetable spray.

Make the filling -- In a large bowl or bowl of a standmixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high to high speed for about 5 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

Add confectioners' sugar and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg and beat until completely combined, about 1 minute. Add butter, both extracts and lemon zest. Beat until completely combined, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Make the cake -- In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in melted butter, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest until combined. Do not overmix.

Pour batter evenly into springform pan. Carefully pour filling mixture evenly over the cake batter to within about 1/2 inch of the edge of the pan. (The filling should cover all but the outer 1/2 inch, at which point the cake batter will be visible.)

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake has puffed up and toothpick inserted near edge of cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove springform sides and allow to cool on rack for 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator and chill completely before serving.

Serve chilled, with a little sprinkling of confectioners' sugar.

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Reader Comments (95)

Yes, although lemon extract imparts a slightly different lemon flavor. Also, if you use the juice, I'd add more lemon zest to the filling to make up for the lack of extract, which is stronger in flavor than juice. In this case, I'd probably zest the whole lemon for the filling, rather than only half. Hope that helps!

February 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblackjackbakehouse

Made this cake today. It was fantastically delicious. We managed to finish it in one sitting. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.

March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaryjo

Your site is amazing!!! I am getting hungry just looking at it!
Well done!

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer

This cake was really good and not overly sweet. I wonder if you have the nutrition information for the dessert.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda

Is it okay to use regular salt or sea salt in place of the kosher? Or is there a specific reason to use the kosher salt? I've never cooked with it before, so I don't know much about it! Thank you :)

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKory

Kory - Sure, you can use regular salt or sea salt. However, I'd cut the regular salt measurement down by about half (instead of 1/4 teaspoon kosher I'd use 1/8 teaspoon regular salt). Regular salt is finer than kosher salt, which is larger/more coarse, so you don't need to use as much. The same thing goes for sea salt, depending on whether you're using coarse sea salt or fine sea salt.

March 24, 2012 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

Can I use lemon juice for the lemon extract?

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlenlivet

Glenlivet -- Yes, although lemon extract imparts a slightly different lemon flavor. Also, if you use the juice, I'd add more lemon zest to the filling to make up for the lack of extract, which is stronger in flavor than juice. In this case, I'd probably zest the whole lemon for the filling, rather than only half. Hope that helps!

March 29, 2012 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

This cake looks amazing!! I'm a big fan of lemon, and was wondering if you could tell me what I would need to do to give this cake an almond flavor instead of lemon. Or even just a plain vanilla, I think would be great too. Thanks.

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I just put this cake in the oven and it is completely overflowing! It's only been cooking for 10 minutes and it's already dripping onto the bottom of the over. I used a 9 inch spring form tart pan and I already double checked my measurements. I don't know what went wrong!

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelp!

It sounds like you used a tart pan, rather than a regular springform pan. I used a 9" springform pan that has 3" sides. Tart pans are typically much more shallow, with about 1" sides. I'm sorry to hear yours overflowed! If you try it with the deeper pan, you should have no issues.

March 30, 2012 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

I haven't had Entemenns in years!!! What a treat this one would be! And come to think of it, I don't think my kids have ever had it.
I also wanted to make sure that you knew your post, photos and recipe have been posted on a site called cake recipes with pictures - they have a pin it button also to pin your photo but driving traffic to their site.
They had stolen one of my posts as well and I've been trying to notify as many people as I can. I contacted Google Adsense with a complaint and was finally able to get them to remove my stolen content.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim - Liv Life

Kim -- Thank you so much for letting me know about the site that stole my content and photos. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it! I've told the site to remove my work immediately and will also contact Google Adsense if needed. Again, thank you!

April 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

made this today for Easter. was a big hit with the family and in-laws. thanks for sharing the recipe. for some reason, I was left with a pool of the filling in the middle of the surface, but it was delicious anyway!

April 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaoko

I love lemon stuff and with very little sugar it is the best! Since going through Chemo last year, everything tastes extra sweet to me, so this recipe was perfect. I have to say I almost ate the whole thing. Thanks!

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJan C

Would you want to do a water bath under neath in the oven while cooking this like a cheese cake?

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlanna

Alanna - a water bath isn't necessary, as the cream filling comes out nice and smooth without it. Also, I'd be concerned about the texture of the cake if it was placed in a water bath, which may not allow the cake to set properly. Baked only in the springform pan, you get that great contrast between the golden-crisp edges of the cake, the thin sugar crust on top and the creamy center.

May 10, 2012 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

Hi.....this cake looks amazing!!!! I was just wondering if it could be made in a regular cake pan instead of a 9" springform pan? I have to be honest....I love to bake, but I am intimidated by springform pans. I usually make my cakes into muffins or make them in mini pound cake foils so that some are eaten now and the rest are wrapped and frozen to enjoy later or when unexpected company comes over. Thank you for sharing!!

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlaadli

Hi Laadi - I love the idea of making little cakes out of these. I haven't tried making them in a cupcake pan, but if I did, I'd definitely line them with paper liners.
The problem with making this cake in a regular 9" cake pan is the removal of the cake. If you were to invert the lemony cream cake as you normally would from a regular cake pan, it would probably fall apart, as the cream center is heavier than the cake bottom. You might be able to line a square pan with foil that overhangs the edges and use the foil as a way to lift the cake from the pan. However, I haven't tried that, so I'm not sure the cake would remain in one piece.
Don't shy away from the springform pan, though. It's so easy and fun to use! I've shaped entire recipes around the pan because I love using it.

May 16, 2012 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

Am i the only one who's filling kind of sunk into the cake batter and now only a few inches in the middle is showing? not sure what i did wrong but it is in the oven now anyway. fingers crossed!

May 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

Update.
So mine is upside down but it tastes so good! Thanks for the recipe :)

May 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhannah

This is so good. I just made it again last night when some friends came over, and served it with raspberries in creme fraiche and brown sugar. Thank you for this recipe; it's excellent.

May 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissaJane

This is in the oven right now and I'm looking forward to it (and so are my very happy flatmates & boyfriend). I used lemon juice instead of lemon extract (as I don't like the taste of lemon extract) but didn't add in any extra zest or anything so I'm not sure how it will go. Smells delicious though!

June 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Could you use an aluminum 8" or 10" cake pan instead of a springform? A speedy response would be appreciated as I would love to make this for my lemon loving husband for fathers day tomorrow :)

June 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Hi Amy -- Although it could be done, my biggest concern would be removal of the cake from the regular pan. If you were to invert the lemony cream cake from a regular cake pan, it may fall apart, as the cream center is heavier than the cake bottom. You might be able to line a square pan with foil that overhangs the edges and use the foil as a way to lift the cake from the pan. However, I haven't tried that, so I'm not sure the cake would remain in one piece.
If you do give it a go, please let us know how it came out!

June 16, 2012 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

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