Lemon Layer Coffee Cake

27 Jan

Well here’s the bad news: it’s still winter. But the good news is that This storm brought a snow day our way. I’m pretty sure I love snow days even more than my students–teachers like to sleep in too! And on a Friday? It couldn’t get any better. I guess winter does come with a few perks.

I continue to be obsessed with lemon. I’m taking any chance I get to double or even triple up on the flavor–in hopes of chasing away the grimness of a rainy winter day with bright citrus.

This coffee cake affords just that sort of opportunity: fresh zest in the dough, filling, and frosting. It is a beautiful and unique pastry, perfect for a special occasion–even if your occasion is just an unexpected three day weekend.

Lemon Layer Coffee Cake

Adapted from Radishes and Rhubarb

Printable Recipe

Dough

2 3/4 cups flour, divided

1/4 cup sugar

1 package yeast

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup water

zest of 1 lemon

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. In a small saucepan combine milk and butter, heating on low until butter is just melted. Remove from heat and add water. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then add lemon zest and vanilla. Once the mixture has cooled, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is moistened evenly. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until just combined. Add the remaining flour and mix until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.

Generously flour a work surface and turn the dough out. Knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, about one minute. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and allow to rise 45-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Lemon Filling

3/4 cups sugar

zest of 2 lemons

zest of an orange

1/4 cup butter, melted

While the dough is rising, mix together the sugar and the zests. Set aside until ready for use.

Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 12″ x 20″ rectangle. Brush liberally with the melted butter. Cut the large rectangle into five 4″ x 12″ strips. Top each strip with about 2 tablespoons of the sugar and zest mixture and cut them lengthwise into five smaller rectangles, each about 2 1/2″ x 4″. Stack the small rectangles on top of each other and layer them into the prepared pan. Repeat until all the dough has been cut and stacked into the pan. Cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise 30-50 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350.

Once the dough has risen a second time, bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Glaze

4 ounces cream cheese

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice into a glaze. Carefully remove the cake from the loaf pan and place on a wire rack. Pour on glaze, allowing it to run over the sides. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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