If you're in the mood to doctor up a box of cake mix, this Lemon Streusel Cake is a lot of fun. It's relatively quick and easy and not terribly expensive if you can catch a sale on cake mix and cream cheese. For this post I took pictures of it in a metal pan, but for a prettier serve-out-of-the-pan cake you could use a glass dish.
Doctored Lemon Streusel Cake
The recipe is based on one submitted to The Cake Mix Doctor newsletter years ago. You take a box of lemon cake mix, cut in some butter to make streusel, then reserve a cup for the top. Next you mix eggs and milk into the crumbs to make cake batter, spread on a layer of sweetened cream cheese and sprinkle with the streusel.
The reason I call this one fun is because there's very little measuring and a low margin of error. It's mindless to throw together and practically impossible to mess up.
Here's the finished product!
And when I served it, it got rave reviews! I'd definitely make it for a group.
Cake Mix Lemon Streusel Cake
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 15.25 oz box of lemon cake mix
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into teaspoon size squares (114 grams)
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons melted butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice plus water (or possibly milk) as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Scrape mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.
- In the same mixing bowl you used for the cream cheese mixture, combine the cake mix and butter. With a pastry cutter or two forks, mix until crumbly. Measure out 1 cup of this mixture and set side.
- Add the milk and eggs to the mixing bowl mixture, and beat on low speed of mixer until mixture comes together. Increase speed and beat for 1 minute.
- Spread mixture in the prepared baking dish.
- Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture over the cake batter then use a knife to drag the puddles of cream cheese together to make one layer.
- Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over the cream cheese layer.
- Bake until the edges of the cake are golden brown, and the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 30 to 33 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool completely, then prepare the icing. Mix the confectioners' sugar and melted butter, then add lemon juice and just enough warm water so that the icing is about the consistency of glue. Drizzle it across top of the cake.