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Lemon Cream Cake


White or vanilla cake mix gets the most scrumptious makeover with a homemade lemon cream frosting and crunchy crumb topping. Inspired by Olive Garden's famous cake.

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (63 Votes)


  • CAKE:
  • 1 (16 1/4 ounce) box Betty Crocker Super Moist White cake mix or Golden Vanilla cake mix (plus ingredients to prepare)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon True Lemon crystallized lemon powder*
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 cup very cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes


Servings 10


Step 1

Prepare the cake batter as directed on package. Bake in two round cake pans for time recommended on package. I used 1 1/2 boxes cake mix (one box white and half box yellow) and baked in a tube pan, then sliced in two layers after removing the dome. Cool layers completely before beginning the frosting. Leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, put a large mixing bowl and mixer beaters in the freezer until ready to make the frosting.

In a medium bowl, combine all the topping ingredients with a pastry blender, fork, or knife until butter is reduced to small pea-size crumbs and most of the flour is incorporated. Spread mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Place in oven and bake until lightly browned. This will only take a few minutes so watch closely so it doesn't burn. Immediately remove it from baking sheet into a mixing bowl to cool a little then chop it up into small crumbs. (I used a pasty blender.) Set aside to cool completely.

When cake layers are completely cool, place one layer on a serving plate. Set aside.

Add the whipping cream to the mixing bowl from the freezer and beat on high speed of mixer until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate for now.

In a separate mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, True Lemon powder, and lemon juice together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add this to the bowl of whipped cream and gently fold the two together using a rubber spatula.

Spread half the frosting on the bottom cake layer; then top with the other cake layer and remaining frosting. Sprinkle top with the cooled crumb mixture. (I didn't need all of it). Garnish top with a sprinkling of confectioners sugar, if desired. Place cake in the freezer for at least 2 hours then slice and serve.

*I buy True Lemon crystallized lemon powder from Amazon for $3.99. It's wonderful for bumping up lemon flavor in recipes, or in iced tea. Can be purchased here if you can't find it retail:


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