I love Olive Garden! I also love making Copy Cat Olive Garden recipes at home. Sometimes, I do not want to head into town for dinner or only want a specific treat, so I make them in my home kitchen. I love this Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cake Recipe!
Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake Recipe
This Copy Cat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake Recipe tastes terrific! I am one happy gal between this recipe and the Copy Cat Olive Garden Breadsticks!
The Lemon Cake at Olive Garden is John's favorite! He would happily have it any day he can.
What are your favorite Copy Cat Recipes? Do you enjoy making your favorite restaurant meals at home?
Here is a quick overview of the simple ingredients needed to make an epic Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake! The printable recipe card at the bottom of the post includes specific measurements and step-by-step instructions.
- Boxed White Cake: Prepare according to the box instructions.
Lemon Cream Filling
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Lemon Juice
- Heavy Whipping Cream
Vanilla Crumb Topping
- All-Purpose Flour
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Large Bowl: We are big fans of this glass batter bowl with a handle. It makes it easy to mix ingredients and keeps the mixing bowl steady on the counter.
- Hand Mixer/Stand Mixer: You can mix this with either a manual hand mixer or your electric mixer.
- Small Bowl - To make the crumb coating
- 9-Inch Round Cake Pans or a springform pan
- Heat-Resistant Potholders: A couple of years ago, we had a fire scare when we didn't realize we had turned a burner on, and a cloth potholder caught fire. Thankfully, we walked by the kitchen, saw the smoke, and got it out ourselves. Since then, we have only used these heat-resistant potholders.
How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake
I've included complete instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, but here's a quick version.
- Bake white cake mix according to box instructions, and allow the cake to cool completely.
- Prepare lemon cream filling, mix cream cheese powdered sugar until smooth, and mix in lemon juice.
- Whip cream until stiff peaks form, and combine in cream cheese mixture by hand until well blended.
- Make crumb topping. Combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and dribble in the vanilla.
- Use your hands to mix the butter into the flour/sugar mix until it is crumbly.
- Chill the buttery crumb mixture in the fridge, and keep the topping cold until ready to use.
- When the cake is cool, slice it through the middle and remove the top.
- Spread ½ of the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom layer of cake and then replace it with the top of the cake.
- Spread the remaining lemon cream mixture over the whole cake and sides.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping on the top of the cake and press crumbs it into the sides of cake until you have entirely covered the outside of the cake.
- Chill the Italian Lemon Cream Cake in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.
Preparation and Storage
Make Ahead: You can pre-make the vanilla crumb topping the day before and refrigerate it in an airtight container until it’s time to decorate your cake.
Storage: This cake tastes fantastic the next day! If you have any leftovers, refrigerate them in an airtight container and enjoy them within three days.
Freezing/How to Freeze: Check out Food Network’s guide on freezing cake for expert guidance. You can freeze leftover cake in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to three months.
How to Reheat: We like enjoying this cake cold. Let frozen leftover Lemon Cream Cake thaw on your kitchen counter or overnight in the fridge, depending on when you’re serving it.
Substitutions: Whether you use a boxed white cake mix or make a homemade white cake, we recommend sticking to white cake to let the flavor of the lemon cream filling and vanilla crumb topping shine. You can try French vanilla if you want to use another cake mix flavor.
Optional - Add in lemon zest for more lemon flavor or as a garnish on top of the cake.
Vegetarian Option: This dessert recipe is naturally vegetarian.
Vegan Option: Replace the white cake mix, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, and butter with plant-based substitutes to make this recipe vegan.
Gluten-Free: Gluten-free bakers should use gluten-free white cake mix and all-purpose flour to make this recipe safe for a gluten-free diet.
Smaller Serving Size: You can cut one round cake in half once it cools or make two 9-inch cakes. You can divide the mixture into smaller cake pans for mini Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cakes.
Larger Group/More Servings: The written recipe makes one 9-inch, two-layered cake. You can double it for every extra cake you want to make.
Sugar-Free: The written recipe contains 38 grams of sugar per serving. Swap the powdered sugar with a sugar-free alternative and the lemon juice with a no-sugar-added variety to make it sugar-free.
Tips for the Best Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake
- Letting your cream cheese soften to at least room temperature makes mixing with the confectioner’s sugar easier.
- We recommend chilling the cake in the fridge for at least three hours before serving so the icing and filling meld into the cake and the flavors reach their fullness.
What to Serve with Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake
Enjoy this delicious cake alongside our other copycat favorites from the Italian chain for a complete takeout dinner at home. Here are some menu planning suggestions.
When to Serve
- Date Night
- Italian Night
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Copy Cat Olive Garden Lemon Cake Recipe
- White Cake -Prepare with box instructions
Lemon Cream Filling
- Prepare white cake mix according to box instructions, allow cake to cool completely
- Prepare lemon cream filling, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar until smooth, mix in lemon juice
- Whip cream until stiff peaks form, combine in cream cheese mixture by hand until well blended
- Make crumb topping, combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and dribble in the vanilla.
- Use your hands to mix the butter into the flour/sugar mix until it is crumbly
- Chill the mixture in the fridge, keep topping cold until you are ready to use it
- When the cake is cool, slice it through the middle and remove the top
- Spread ½ of the lemon cream mixture onto the cake and then replace with top of cake
- Spread remaining lemon cream mixture over the top of the cake and sides
- Sprinkle the crumb topping on the top of the cake and press it into the sides all the way around the cake
- Chill the cake in the fridge for at least 3 hours
- KitchenAid Mixer
Recipe originally shared on May 28, 2013. Updated on April 18, 2020.