Easy decadence meets springtime in this Orange Curd Cheesecake Coffee Crumb Cake. Indulgent with a tangy twist, this dessert features a feather-light coffee cake and a creamy cheesecake layer topped with bright notes of citrus and softly-spiced brown sugar crumbs.
I posted a Wanted ad in my imagination last week: “Zesty candidate with a tangy twist needed. Looking for dessert with serious seasonal a-peel. The crummier, the better. Lemons need not apply.”
I waited. And I waited. Then one day, this cake suddenly showed up on my oven-step with all the lusty luster of the Old Spice Guy–I took a bite–and the rest, as they say, is history.
And by history, I mean that I nearly polished off an entire 9-inch coffee crumb cake by myself in the span of three days–but who’s counting, really?
Orange curd is often treated (unfairly!) like the redheaded stepchild of lemon curd: overlooked, doubted, and sometimes forgotten altogether. While I love a great Lemon Curd Coffee Cake recipe, I had a round dozen sweet Navel oranges crammed in my fridge this month and decided to give this easy 4-ingredient orange curd recipe from A Baker’s House a whirl.
It’s creamier and smoother than its lemon counterpart, with a much more subtle tangy touch that adds a nice little zing! to every spoonful.
And since our home has become a strictly sweatpants-only zone for the past year, I have zero regrets about making a full batch and inhaling half of it in a single sitting. Zerooooo.
Of course, I also wanted to give this hassle-free orange curd the perfect backdrop, so I added it to my favorite crumb cake recipe, which is a (very slight!) variation on Sally’s unbelievably fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth Super Crumb Coffee Cake.
And because the week has been extra stressful, and because cheesecake makes everything better, I threw in a creamy layer of cheesecake underneath the orange curd for good measure. And then I pressed in a layer of highly addictive brown sugar crumbs on top–you know, the ones that you pick off the tops of the blueberry muffins when you think nobody’s looking.
And then I ate this in the mornings (add coffee and it’s breakfast!) and afternoons (a side dish to complement your salad!) and the evenings (haven’t you heard of dessert?), and everybody wondered how this little baker girl is still managing to type with all this sugar overload in her system.
But there you are: the fabulous origin story of this Orange Curd Cheesecake Coffee Crumb Cake. You know, just in case Marvel Studios ever comes a-knockin’ at my door asking for rights to make a Disney+ original series out of it or something.
I clearly need to write Wanted ads to myself more often.
Anyway, grab your cutest sweatpants and GO. TRY. THIS. CAKE!
For the orange curd:
- 2 large Navel oranges
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter
- Additional lemon juice, to taste
For the cheesecake layer:
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt OR 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the coffee crumb cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
To make orange curd:
- Zest oranges (you should have ~2 tablespoons of orange zest) and then juice them (~2/3 cup fresh orange juice). To make things easier, you can also microwave your oranges for 15 seconds before zesting and juicing.
- In a large, heat-safe mixing bowl, combine zest, juice, sugar, and eggs.
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium-low heat, then place bowl on top. (It should fit snugly--this will serve as your double-boiler.) Whisk mixture constantly for 3-5 minutes; it should begin to thicken very slightly.
- Add butter, then continue cooking and whisking constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without dripping off. Turn off heat and allow curd to cool to room temperature.
- Set aside 1/2 cup curd for this cake recipe. Store any unused curd in a clean jar and refrigerate for up to 7-10 days.
To make the cheesecake layer:
- In a medium bowl, beat together all ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
To make and assemble coffee crumb cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Use a fork to cut in butter cubes until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of mixture.
- Add baking powder and baking soda to remaining flour mixture, then beat in buttermilk, egg, and vanilla until mixture is thick but smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
- Layer cheesecake mixture (instructions above) as well as you can across cake batter. Don't worry if your layer isn't completely even--just spoon it around as best as you can. Spoon 1/2 cup orange curd (instructions above) on top.
- Add brown sugar and cinnamon to reserved 1 cup flour mixture. Sprinkle these crumbs on top of orange curd layer, pressing in gently so that they stick.
- Bake cake in preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean with crumbs sticking to it. (You'll notice some orange curd and/or cheesecake sticking to the toothpick; this is completely fine! You just want to make sure your cake is done baking.)
- Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife gently around sides to loosen cake. Remove sides of springform pan and allow cake to cool completely before serving. Store any remaining cake in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.