This delicious Lemon Cream Cake is cool and refreshing and full of bright citrus flavor.
Every Friday evening the boys have piano lessons. Afterwards, we all go out to dinner. Majority rules where we go and so we never go to the Olive Garden because no one likes Italian but me. This week it wasn’t pasta that I was craving though, it was their Lemon Cream Cake. I decided that I might not get to go to the restaurant, but I can still have the cake.
I set out on a mission to make it myself.
Turns out, there are others out there like me. And many, many copycat versions of this delicious cake. All of the recipes I found made the filling with cream cheese, except one which brilliantly began with “a package of mascarpone cheese”. Mascarpone = Italian, right? The recipe was badly written though and the reviews were mixed. One reviewer in fact accused the author of purposefully being incorrect. Urgh! I read through all the reviews and hints and came up with my own version. It is pretty darn close to the original OG Lemon Cream Cake!
I started out with an “enhanced” vanilla cake mix. I substituted some of ingredients for a few better ones to make the cake tastier and sturdier. Do a Google search for “enhanced cake mix” and you’ll see what I mean. Substitute milk for the water, melted butter for the oil, add flour and sugar, maybe even a little sour cream and/or heavy cream. Boxed cake mix tricked out! I then made a filling with mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, powdered sugar and a lemon.
That all done, the hardiest part was figuring out the crumbs. This is what MAKES the Lemon Cream Cake. Mixing a little dry lemon cake mix with butter and baking the “crumbs” to crunch them up a bit did the trick. I spread a thin coating of the filling over the entire cake and stuck the crumbs on with my hands. A little overnight rest in the refrigerator to firm things up, a generous dusting of powdered sugar, and I had my OG Lemon Cream Cake.
- 1 package vanilla cake mix
- 1 package lemon cake mix
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 T butter, softened
- Prepare the yellow cake mix according to instructions on the box, substituting butter for the oil and milk for the water. Bake in 2 8-inch round cake pans. Cool completely.
- In a medium bowl beat together the mascarpone cheese, cream, powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest. Beat on high speed with an electric mixer until thick.
- Spread ¾ of the filling on one layer of the baked cake and top with the second cake layer - topside up.
- Thinly frost the cake with the remaining ¼ of the filling.
- In a small bowl, mix together ¾ cup of dry lemon cake mix and the softened butter to make crumbles.
- Sprinkle the crumbs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees F for about 5-7 minutes. Cool and crumble.
- Lightly press the crumbles all over the frosted cake.
- Refrigerate the cake overnight, then dust generously with powdered sugar and serve.
- Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.
If you love lemon like I do, this Classic Lemon Tart is also a delicious winner!