Lemon Zucchini Coffee Cake

Lemon Zucchini Coffee Cake - featured on The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends
Look, I know it's almost fall, but I can see that your garden is still overrun with zucchini. I'm here to help.

Lemon Zucchini Coffee Cake is a stunner of a recipe for using that garden zucchini - or a great excuse to eat your veggies.

*I first developed this recipe for The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends

Lemon Zucchini Coffee Cake | bakeat350.net for The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends
Zippy, zingy, bright, sunny, and sweet, this showstopper breakfast treat takes the cake (ha.) because you do ALL of the work the day before serving it. Overnight, the zucchini fairies work their magic, and you wake up to absolute scrumptiousness. (And, ohmygosh...that crumb!!!)

Lemon Zucchini Coffee Cake recipe, featured on The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends

Besides being moist, lemony, bright, sunny, and all-around delicious, this coffee cake is my new favorite because it’s best if you make it a day ahead. Imagine, waking up in the morning to a leisurely breakfast – all of the dishes are clean and put away, you didn’t have to wake up two hours before everyone else – with all of the work part finished. You get to start the day with the “enjoying” part.

lemon zucchini coffee cake recipe

Keys to keeping this coffee cake moist...

With the cake wrapped in foil, the zucchini works its magic. The coffee cake becomes perfectly moist, and the lemon flavor shines.

Another key to keeping this coffee cake moist is the combination of butter and oil. The butter adds flavor while the oil locks in moisture. Use any neutral-tasting vegetable oil – vegetable, sunflower, canola, etc.

how to make lemon zucchini coffeecake

No coffee cake is complete without a crumb topping. You’ll make that first with butter, brown sugar, flour, a bit of salt, and lemon zest.


I like to work the butter through with my fingers, pressing the butter into the dry ingredients.


how to make lemon zucchini coffee cake

The cake part comes together by whisking the dry ingredients, then the wet in separate bowls.


Combine, then fold in the grated zucchini.


Top with the crumb topping and bake.


lemon zucchini coffee cake

Did I mention there’s a glaze? There’s a glaze – a simple lemon-sugar glaze that is the chef’s kiss to the recipe.


When the cake is completely cool, wrap in foil and let it rest at room temperature overnight.


The next day, slice and enjoy. With its bright, tangy flavor, this is a scrumptious start to a steamy summer day! 

Lemon Zucchini Coffee Cake

For the crumb topping:

3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks

For the cake:

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup grated zucchini (do not squeeze dry)

For the glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the sides and bottom of an 8-9” springform pan.

Make the topping: Stir together the flour, sugar, zest, and salt. Add the butter, pressing into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the butter pieces are small and distributed throughout. Set aside. 

For the cake, whisk the flour, zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In another bowl, whisk the melted butter, oil, sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the eggs. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in the zucchini.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing evenly. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes until set in the center. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife along the edge of the pan, then remove the springform side. 

Make the glaze. Whisk the powdered sugar with lemon juice and milk. Adjust consistency with more sugar or milk/juice as needed. Spoon over the warm cake. 

Once completely cooled, wrap tightly in foil and let rest at room temperature overnight. 

lemon zucchini coffee cake recipe

Let's face it...this is the BEST way to eat your veggies!

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