Note: The Lemon-Cream Cheese Filling should be very soft before spooning over the batter. If it is not easily spreadable, warm gently in microwave on high power at 5-second intervals until soft and smooth. Be careful not to warm the filling too much or it will melt.
Lemon-Sugar Almond Topping
1/3 cup ( granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon
2/3 cup sliced almonds
Lemon-Cream Cheese Filling
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon juice from one lemon
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing pan
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pan
1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated zest from one lemon
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
1. For the Topping: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined. Stir in almonds; set aside.
2. For the Filling: In medium bowl, stir softened cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and lemon juice until smooth; set aside.
3. For the Cake: Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl twice with rubber spatula. Reduce to medium-low speed and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down beater and sides of bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Reduce low speed; add one-third flour mixture, followed by half of sour cream, mixing until just incorporated after each addition, about 10 seconds. Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining sour cream. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.
4. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Evenly spoon cheese filling mixture over center of batter. With knife or offset spatula, gently swirl filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon-sugar almond topping evenly over batter.
5. Bake until top is golden and just firm, and long skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rimmed baking sheet (cake will be sugar-side down); remove tube pan, place wire rack on top of cake, and reinvert cake sugar-side up. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve