April 5, 2010

Italian lemon cream cake

It was not too long ago when the Italian restaurant we like added this to the dessert menu. Much as I would like to stay away from desserts when we eat out, I find it very difficult to say no to this one. Lately, I've been ordering it to go so that I could savor and enjoy it better at home. I found the recipe for this sometime ago but I keep hesitating to make it. I know I couldn't limit myself to just one slice if I have the whole cake. Finally, on my 50th birthday I decided to make it as a gift to myself :) Since it was on Holy Week, we just had a quiet day. The highlights of the simple celebration were my husband's special birthday treat at one of my favorite restaurants and this unforgettable sweet creamy cake.

For the white cake, I used Doris Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake recipe and adjusted it using my available ingredients:
2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups 2% milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar
4 large eggwhites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon lemon extract
*For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 stick butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
**For the crumble finish:
1/2 cup all purpose flour, lightly toasted in a skillet
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Grease and line 2 9" cake pans with wax paper. Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together cake flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. Whisk together eggwhites and milk mixture. Rub in the lemon zest into the sugar. With mixer at medium speed, cream butter and sugar. Add the lemon extract. Stir in half of the eggwhites/milk mix then 1/3 of the flour mix. Continue alternately adding milk & flour then mix very well until batter is smooth. Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done. Cool the cakes. Spread frosting in between layers and on the side. Sprinkle top and sides with the crumble mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with lemon slices or lemon zest.
*For the frosting, mix together cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and powdered sugar. Fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to use.
**For the crumble mix, combine powdered sugar and toasted flour. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut in butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. Keep cool until ready to use.


  1. Thank you so very much for posting this recipe. I've been searching for this recipe for weeks and all I could find were the ones that used a box cake mix and that just wasn't an option for me. Yours look divine and I betcha it's just as tasty.

  2. hope you like it! thanks.

  3. Yes! Finally a recipe worth baking! Thank you for posting this one. All the others with the boxed cake in the recipe just can not take the time to bake it right. No wonder they thought it tastes weird! Once again bravo!

  4. Thanks for your appreciation :-)

  5. This had great flavor, but the cake was very dense. I need to find out how to make it more airy. Got rave reviews at our Thanksgiving dinner.

  6. You may try to cream the butter and sugar longer ~ about 5-8 minutes until very light and fluffy. I think this is one way to make the cake lighter. Glad to hear about the positive reviews. I appreciate the feedback. Thanks :-)

  7. I agree my family loves the LG version. All Ive found are recipes with cake mix. Thank you I cant wait to try this one.

  8. Maybe the middle at olive garden used mascarpone cheese. One day I'll try this one and the other one. Yours look amazing!!!