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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 (99)

This recipe sounds perfect for a lite summer dish.

July 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa Blair

omg im drooooooooling!

January 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteriteachkids81

This looks really good and am going to make it here in a few minutes. I thought I should let you know that your directions call for lemon zest in the filling, but there is no lemon zest listed for the filling in the ingredient list. I'll wing it and guess how much, but thought you might want to fix that. :)

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Great! Thanks for the pointer -- just updated the post. Happy baking!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblackjackbakehouse

2 teaspoons baking powder
This was way too much baking powder, my fault for fallowing this when I knew it was too much however maybe an adjustment is needed. The filling was delicious and I am sure I will try this again with way less baking powder.

January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJasmine

I just checked the cookbook and that's the amount she lists. I've used this recipe for this cake and the ricotta blintz casserole and loved it both times -- no problems at all. You could probably decrease the powder, but I haven't tried it. Feel free to change it up -- I love to experiment in the kitchen, too!

January 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblackjackbakehouse

I made this cake for some teenagers and they loved it! I'm surprised the cake batter doesn't call for any sugar, however. It is delicious, but I think I'll throw in a 1/2 cup next time I make it.

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarma

Made this last week. Loved it. Best friend and hubby loved it. I did make one alternation because the lack of any sugar in the cake batter made me nervous. I tasted the batter without the sugar and it was pretty salty/sour and I was so excited for this that I didn't want to risk it and so I kind of eye-balled a 2/3 cup of the powdered sugar that was already sitting out into the cake batter. It took the salty tang edge off without smothering the lemony goodness. I did everything else the same, and it was DAMN good. So thanks for the recipe! It was much enjoyed by all.

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranindifferentuniverse

Thanks to Karma and Indifferent Universe -- the original recipe calls for 1/3 cup sugar. Bummed I missed that! I copied the cake recipe from my ricotta blintz casserole where I sprinkled sugar over the top of the cake, instead of mixing in batter. Updated the post.

Glad to hear the cake tasted great! :)

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblackjackbakehouse

I tried this recipe but didn't have the salt-free butter. The salt came thro and ruined the cake. I don't know if there is not enough sugar in this to cover the salt but whatever it has to be salt-free butter for this particular cake.

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanis Duvall

I like complete control over the salt in my baking, so I always use unsalted butter. I've heard it can be difficult to tell just how much salt is in the varying brands of salted butter.

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblackjackbakehouse

I wish there was an easier way to copy the recipe only. This looks amazing and I can't wait to try it!!!

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Nolen

You can highlight the recipe areas you want with your mouse. Then click file and print. You should get a print cue that comes up then click on Selection. This will print only what you have highlighted with your mouse.

January 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

Hello there! Saw this on Pinterest and came to visit to say thanks for sharing! I am looking forward to trying this one day!

February 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

Thank you -- happy baking!

February 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblackjackbakehouse

Wow that look so good. I also found it on Pinterest. I have a raspberry cheese crumb cake recipe that is just like the Entenmann’s one.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArlene @ Flour On My Face

I really enjoyed this recipe, however I poured the filling evenly over the entire cake and it was much better like that, rather than leaving a border. Thanks for sharing :)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLien4424

Oh. My. This cake is DANGEROUS! I made it this evening for valentines (the hubby loves anything lemon - which is unusual because he hates desserts). I am now regretting making it because, as you say, every time I pass through the kitchen, I cut myself "just another LITTLE slice". It is HEAVENLY. I very well might end up eating the whole thing - if he doesn't beat me to it. Dangerous, just dangerous! (But oh-so-delicious).

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAleks

Hello, I saw this on Pinterest and love lemon so I will be trying this very soon. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

February 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRea Jewell

I have this in the oven now.. looks and smells incredible! I will be posting about it soon, and linking back to your site to let you know how it turns out :) The batter tasted just like Entenmann's.. My mom and I were in heaven!

February 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterspinach&spice

Awesome -- I hope you enjoy the baked version!

February 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblackjackbakehouse

INCREDIBLE! I received a text from my mom about five minutes ago that said "Oh my, that dessert is the best!"
Unfortunately I returned back to school today and left my camera with the pictures of the cake at home. I should have a post up when I get the pictures uploaded.. maybe next week!
Thanks again Blackjack Bakehouse, and I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

February 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterspinach&spice

Great! I'm glad to hear it! I look forward to checking out your post.

February 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblackjackbakehouse

making this today!! Lemon is a favorite in our household and I have all the ingredients on hand and was just wondering how to use my fresh lemons!! THANK YOU

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Brooks Guadalupe

Can you use lemon juice in place of the lemon extract in the filling?

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

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