This was the first recipe I tried out of my new cookbook. My friend, Nicole, told me that Olive Garden's Cream Cake is to die for and she isn't even a big lemon fan! I have no idea if this cake tastes like the real Olive Garden cake, because I have never had it. I should have given a piece to Nicole to try, but I didn't think about that until now and this cake is long gone!! However, the Top Secret Restaurant Recipes website has really good reviews for this cake.
The recipe said to combine the vanilla crumb topping ingredients and press it into the sides of the finished cake, but that sounded so strange to me, because I would feel like I was eating straight butter? So, I decided to add my crumb topping to one of the cakes before I baked it. That way, while it baked, it would create a nice, cooked, crispy topping, kinda like a streusel. Honestly, I don't think the crumb topping did much for this cake and I wouldn't add it next time. It tasted great with just the white cake mixed with the lemon cream filling. Yum! If you have had the original Lemon Cream Cake and happen to try this recipe. Let me know if it compares to the real deal!!
Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake
adapted from: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2
1 Betty Crocker white cake mix
1 1/4 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 egg whites
Note: These measurements are based on a Betty Crocker cake mix. If you chose to use a different brand, the ingredients and measurements might be different.
Lemon Cream Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbl. lemon juice
1 c. heavy whipping cream
Vanilla Crumb Topping
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. cold butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Make white cake according to the directions on the box. Divide batter between two 9'' cake pans. Bake according to box directions. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes. Then, invert cakes to cooling rack and cool completely.
Make the lemon cream filling by mixing cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in lemon juice. Whip the cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Fold cream cheese mixture with whipped cream. Stir gently by hand until blended.
Make crumb topping by combining flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter and dribble in the vanilla extract. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to mix cold butter into flour and sugar. Break butter into smaller and smaller pieces as you incorporate it into the dry ingredients. Be sure not to press the mixture together. You want to end up with a very crumbly consistency with pieces no bigger than a pea.
When the cake is cool, spread all but 1/2 cup of the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully place the top half of the cake over the filling. Spread remaining filling over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the cake and press it onto the sides all the way around the cake. Now chill the cake for at least three hours before you serve it. When you are ready to dig in, slice cake into 12 slices. Serve each slice topped with powdered sugar tapped through a strainer. Serves: 12. Keep refrigerated.
Jenn's Notes: I added a little lemon extract to my filling to give it a little stronger lemon flavor. I also sprinkled the vanilla crumb topping onto one of my cakes before I baked it, so it would create a nice crispy topping. After letting the cakes cool completely. I spread the entire amount of filling onto the bottom cake layer and then refrigerated it for a while, so it would harden slightly and it wouldn't run out the sides when I put the top cake layer on. It worked beautifully and tasted great.