Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lemon Cake Like Olive Garden

My sister-in-law-to-be, Alayna, introduced this treasure to me. While she was staying with us a few weeks ago she made it and I think I died! This cake is dreamy!! It's so light, fluffy and delicious. Don't be deceived by the "lemon" in the cake. It's such a small amount and the first time I had it I couldn't even tell there was lemon in it. You can add more or less depending on your taste for lemon. I can't describe to you how amazing it is. Supposedly there is a cake at the Olive Garden that it's supposed to be like, although I've never had dessert there before. Either way it's out of this world!

For the Cake:
1 box French Vanilla cake
1 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

For the Lemon Cream Filling:
1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
4 t lemon juice
1 cup heaving whipping cream

For the Crumb Coating:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1/4 cup cold butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark nonstick pan). Grease 10 inch round cake pan (or 2 8-inch rounds). Make the cake according to box directions. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 40 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Make lemon cream filling: with an electric mixer mix whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in lemon juice. Fold in whipped cream.

Make crumb topping by combining flour and powdered sugar in a bowl. Add butter and dribble in the vanilla (you can use more lemon juice here if you want a more "lemony" flavor.) Use your hands to mix the cold butter into the 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. (If you have trouble making small crumbs, pop the bowl into your fridge for a few minutes.) Chill the crumb topping until you're ready to use it.

When the cake is cool, slice it in half through the middle and remove the top. Spread all but 1/2 cup of the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom half of the cake. Then carefully replace the top half of the cake.

Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of cream 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 3 hours before you serve it. I didn't do this because we were all too excited to eat it and it was still divine! It is really good though when it's been in the fridge because the filling sets up and is just out of this world delicious!

When you cut it you can garnish with some powdered sugar for some added wow...especially if you're making it for a party.

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