Lighter Lemon Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake

Lemon Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake - Life made Sweeter.jpg

A coffee cake that’s topped with toasted coconuts and a lemony cream cheese glaze.  Packed with a nice punch of lemon which is balanced out by the brown sugar streusel filling.  Made with coconut oil and only 2 tablespoons of butter, this coffee cake is lighter than your typical coffee cake.


The temperatures have finally warmed up a little bit today and that means I can take my lil guy outside to play in the snow.

Something we haven’t done in – oh boy – I can’t even remember but let’s just say it’s been way too long!

We have definitely been suffering from a little cabin fever and I can’t wait to take the lil guy out to enjoy some sun.

One thing that has kept me from going stir crazy has been the abundance of fresh lemons in our house.  Sadly, we don’t have a lemon tree but we do buy them by the bagfuls.

I just love lemons and can eat eat them like oranges.  Most people cringe at that thought, including my husband who calls it one of my stranger food cravings.

It seems I passed on that lemon love to my lil guy as well since he’ll run over every time he sees me eating one and ask for some.

So naturally, whenever I make lemon treats, they have to pack a big punch of lemony flavor.




I made this Lighter Lemon Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake for our Valentine’s Day dessert and it was polished off by the three of us that very night.  I had to make it again the next day since Ty and my lil guy asked for some more.


Lemon Streusel Coffee Cake 5.jpg


This coffee cake crams a whole lot of lemony goodness without being too sour.

The lemon gets amplified by the lemon cream cheese glaze poured over toasted coconuts and a crumbly streusel filling hidden inside to balance out the flavors and gives this the perfect amount of sweet to balance out the tart.

Toasted coconuts were tossed on at the end for that added light crunchy texture.  If you are not a coconut fan, you can certainly leave it out and add more streusel to the top :)



Since we are still trying incorporate some kind of healthy balance, I used my go to combination of cake flour and white whole wheat flour in here as well as coconut oil like I did for these donuts.

To ensure that the coffee cake was moist and fluffy, I used my favorite combination of non-fat plain Greek yogurt and low-fat buttermilk like my other coffee cakes.


Lemon Streusel Coffee Cake 6.jpg


I had some extra batter left so I tossed that into my mini bundt cake pan and baked it up for my breakfast the next morning :)  This is the sunshine I would love to wake up to with it’s bright lemon flavor!

Lemon Streusel Coffee Cake 8.jpg


This lemon beauty will  surely cheer up any drabby winter’s day and transform your thoughts to warmth and happiness.


Lemon Streusel Coffee Cake 3.jpg


Enjoy and hope you are all staying warm!


Lighter Lemon Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: One 8 inch round cake or one 8 x 8 square cake

Coffee cake that's topped with toasted coconuts and a lemony cream cheese glaze. Packed with a nice punch of lemon which is balanced out by the brown sugar streusel filling.


  • * 1 cup white whole wheat flour (can substitute and use all purpose flour)
  • * 3/4 cup cake flour
  • * 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid
  • * 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • * 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • * 1 large egg, room temperature
  • * 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • * 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • * 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • * 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • * 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (I used non-fat)
  • * 3/4 brown sugar
  • * 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • * 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (I used 3 large lemons)
  • * zest from 3 large lemons
  • Streusel filling
  • * 1 cup all purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
  • * 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • * 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • * pinch of salt
  • * 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
  • Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
  • * 3 tablespoons of low fat cream cheese, softened
  • * 1/2 - 3/4 cup powdered sugar (depending on consistency desired)
  • * juice from half a lemon
  • * 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • * splash of cream or milk (depending on consistency desired)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8 inch round pan or an 8x8 inch square pan.
  2. Prepare the Streusel filling
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or fork until clumps form. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the batter.
  4. Cake
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  6. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and greek yogurt. Set aside.
  7. In the bowl of stand mixer or using your hand mixer, cream the solid coconut oil and butter together until combined and light, around 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and continue beating for another 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  8. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  9. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  10. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture until everything is combined. Use a rubber spatula at the end to ensure batter is mixed through.
  11. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter. Pour remaining batter on top.
  12. Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. When the cake is almost done, sprinkle on coconuts and bake for another 5 minutes until toasted and slightly golden.
  13. Remove from oven and cool in pan for at least 20 minutes. Move cake to a wire rack to cool completely before adding lemon glaze.
  14. Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
  15. Whisk softened cream cheese together with lemon juice and vanilla extract until incorporated. Slowly add powdered sugar whisking until combined. Add in milk or cream to thin out glaze if desired. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
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Heavily dapted from: King Arthur Flour


  1. Marion - Make This Dish says

    This looks scrumptious Kelly! I like my lemon desserts to be extra lemony too so I know I would love this!

  2. says

    Your craving is one sure way you and your lil guy will get enough vitamin C! Though you would have to pay me boatloads of money to eat a whole lemon…and I mean boatloads! But, I might pay you back those boatloads for this Lemon Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake! Love the cross section photo – those layers look good enough to sink my teeth into! I think I could eat a whole cake in one night – without any help! :)
    Shashi @ recently posted…Hummus Sauce!

  3. Sarah @ Bread & Batters says

    Man I love anything with lemons too and could polish this cake off in a day too – it looks insanely good!

    • says

      I am definitely looking forward to spring early this year but I know there’s no chance of that since the forecast shows more snow headed our way this weekend – eeks :S. Thanks Natalie, happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend!

    • says

      Thanks Eva :) We had a gloomy and rainy day yesterday too so bright cheerful colors definitely help lift up our spirits:) Happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend!

    • says

      Hehe, no worries, my husband is grossed out that I eat lemons that way too hehe :) Thanks Cindy, hope you are feeling better and have a great weekend!

  4. says

    I love a good pucker, myself, though I’m not sure I could eat lemons straight up. : ) I can see how this was such a huge hit. I’m always afraid of baking with fat free or low fat yogurt but it really sounds like it works great. I love the sweetness of the streusel and such a great idea to balance it with the zing of lemon. I want to inhale this, in more ways than one!

    • says

      Haha, no worries not many people like it and even my husband gets grossed out every time I do hehe. Thanks so much Monica, you’re always so sweet! Happy Friday and hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  5. says

    Kelly I just love everything about this cake! The flavour is fantastic on it’s own, but I love that you mixed white and whole wheat, and the greek yogurt for tang, everything just sounds awesome. So glad you’ve been able to enjoy some nicer weather, it’s starting to warm up here too. :) Have a great week!
    Katy recently posted…Chocolate Almond Tart + 1 Year!

    • says

      Thanks so much Katy, so glad you like it :) Hope it stays warm, I think the colder temps are supposed to come back next week for us boo :( Happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend!

    • says

      Thanks so much Chrisin :) That’s awesome, I can’t wait until the weather is warm enough here so that we can wear flip flops :) Happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend!

    • says

      Thanks Ashley! Haha, it’s on its way to you ;) Aaw, that sounds awesome, it’s so nice to get a break from all this whacky weather – I’m sure Emma enjoyed it so much :) Happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend!

    • says

      I absolutely adore all of your lemon treats you make too since I know they must taste amazing using the lemons from your tree :) Thanks so much Ashley – happy Friday and hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  6. says

    Ok, this looks awesome Kelly. My husband and I LOVE coffee cake in the mornings for a little treat every once in a while. This coconut lemon coffee cake sounds to die for and love the freshness from the citrus that you added to this. :) Pinned!

    • says

      Thanks so much Pamela :) I can imagine how incredible your mom’s coffee cake must be since you are such an incredible baker too :) Happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend :)

  7. says

    I am loving this coffee cake, Kelly! Just what we need…a citrusy and coconutty pick-me-up! I’m drooling right now looking at your streusel and glaze. Mmm. :) Don’t you wish we could all have a lemon tree in our back yards? Full lemon bowls will just have to do! ;) Thanks for sharing, girl!

    • says

      Thanks so much Stacy, so glad you like this :) Hehe, totally wish we could all have a lemon tree :) Hope you feel better soon and have a great weekend girl:)xo

    • says

      Aaw thanks so much Kelly, you are so sweet! So glad you like this – wish I could ship some to you :) Happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend!

  8. says

    I love citrusy baked goods, so I’m bound to adore this cake! It looks gorgeous and I like how you made it much healthier with greek yogurt and ww flour. I need to try this for tea time soon. I’m sure it’ll be a lovely addition to the table :)

  9. says

    Hi Kelly,
    The cake is looking so good with all the lovely pictures and write up as well. I have been here after a while but enjoyed scrolling through your rest of the wonderful recipes. I’ve bookmarked this special recipe of yours and would love to give it a shot. Thanks for sharing awesome posts and shall look forward to your next post. Have a wonderful week ahead.
    Best Regards, Sonia !!!

    • says

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment Sonia, so glad you stopped by and enjoyed this. So glad you are here and hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend :)

    • says

      Thanks Amy – lemon desserts are my favorite too :) Hehe a kiddo play-date would be so awesome – I would love to live somewhere warmer too – maybe someday :)

  10. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says

    I love streusel cakes and this one looks deeeelicious! Lemon and coconut flavors are so refreshing. :)

    • says

      Thanks so much Chastity :) The weather did warm up this weekend with sunshine so it was nice to take our lil guy out to enjoy it :) Hope you and your family are enjoying the weekend so far too :)

    • says

      Thanks so much sweetie :) Hehe, I am so looking forward to winter being over soon this year – it’s been a tough one for everyone. Hope you and your family enjoy the rest of the weekend Gloria:)

  11. says

    This looks so good like you I adore lemon and use it all the time in cooking. I love coffee cake and I love the coconut oil you have used in this and buttermilk is amazing in cakes and bakes. I shall definitely have to give this one a go. Hope you have a great weekend :D

    • says

      Hehe, totally understand – it’s one of my weirder food obsessions ;) Thanks so much Jessica and hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend *hugs*

  12. says

    I love eating lemons, too when I need something sour and citrusy, and you can use it in both sweet and savory dishes. I love coffee cakes – esp with something icy and crusty on the top – I wish I can make coffee cakes like you!

  13. says

    Yum! This looks delicious! If you’re going to throw lemon into a baked good, make it a good punch of lemon! I love a fresh lemony treat. I can’t eat lemons like oranges and didn’t even know it was possible. That’s pretty amazing you can do that. lol
    Miranda @ Cookie Dough & Oven Mitt recently posted…Banana Rum Bread

  14. Lisa Lawton says

    I don’t usually comment on recipes, but I have to for this one! I just got finished making this to take to my Bible study tomorrow morning. I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9×13 pan. I too had some extra batter so I made a mini cake. I just polished that off-still warm from the oven because I could not wait for it to cool off! Oh my goodness-it was excellent!!!!! The flavors go so nicely together, and the glaze is a great addition. I had a lot of streusel, so I mixed some unsweetened shredded coconut with it and sprinkled that on top for about the final 10 minutes of baking time. I will definitely be making this again!! This is my first visit to your site-came across this on Pinterest-and I will be checking out more of your recipes! Thank you so much!

    • says

      I’m so glad to hear you that Lisa, thank you so much for stopping by to let me know :) So happy that you loved this and adding the extra shredded coconut sounds like an excellent idea! Thanks again for stopping by and hope you have a great rest of the week!

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