For the first time last weekend, I got to look up at a dark sky and see the stars. I mean, see the stars. I could see the milky way, thousands of countless speckles in the sky, and was in awe. It was dark and there was no one around. And everything seemed perfect. During our trip home, as the sun set I found myself looking up over and over again watching just how quickly the stars fade because of the lights around us and how few we could see as we drove. It made me want to see more.
That’s the problem with ‘vacationing’. Once you get a taste, it’s really hard to go back to that 9 to 5 and not have a curiosity pecking at you somewhere deep inside about what those stars would like like in other parts of the world where it’s pitch black too. Bucket list time. Time to start squirreling money away like crazy. Time to start taking time. Making time.
And when you are busy being busy, a quick and easy dessert (breakfast?) like this one goes a long way! It comes together in 5 minutes, looks impressive and is one of those sneaky desserts that you will start with a small slice, then come back for three or four more… you’ve been warned.
Lemon Cheesecake Coffee Cake
- 1 17.5 oz package refrigerated cinnamon rolls, icing set aside (I found that the ‘store’ brand worked well for this recipe – unrolling easily)
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 tbs sour cream
- 2 tbs light brown sugar
- 2 teas fresh lemon zest
- 1-2 teas fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teas vanilla
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ round cake pan.
On a clean work surface, unroll the cinnamon rolls. Starting in the center, cinnamon side in, re-roll loosely connecting each at the ends like a big spiral. The dough may not touch the edges of the cake pan perfectly. As long as it’s a big circle, you’re good.
Cream the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar in a bowl at medium speed. Scrape down the edges, add the lemon zest, juice, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Beat again until combined. Spoon the filling into a pastry bag, or a ziplock bag with one edge snipped fitted with a small round piping tip.
Poke the tip halfway into your cinnamon roll, starting at the center and pipe filling into the seams. Use all of the filling. Trust me. It seems like a lot, but we’re not on a diet right?
Place the cake in the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown and everything is puffed and cooked through. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate. Top with the packaged icing if desired.