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,” 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.