Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake

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This Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake is entirely homemade and is every bit as good as the original—and dare I say, even better!

Slicing a piece of Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake

My little family has been living in Japan for a little over three months now. While we love Japanese food, sometimes you miss the comforts of “home.”

I’ve been making many Olive Garden copycat recipes lately, like my Chicken and Gnocchi Soup, Zuppa Toscana, and Tuscan Garlic Chicken.

Lemon Cream Cake
With Easter coming up, I wanted to make a cake that just screamed spring but was still something you can make all year-round. Olive Garden’s Lemon Cream Cake is just that!

When I set out to find a good copycat recipe for this lemon cake, I noticed that ALL of them use a white cake mix. Now there’s nothing wrong with using a cake mix; I prefer homemade cakes better.

I adapted the white cake layer from my favorite white layer cake from Cook’s Country (you can never go wrong with one of their recipes!).

Slicing a piece of Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake Copycat

A close-up of a piece of Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake.

I noticed in all of the recipes online that they all used cream cheese, or a mixture of cream cheese and pudding, or cream cheese and cool whip for the filling. I knew I could do better than that, so I used an authentic Italian ingredient, Mascarpone!

Slicing a piece of cake from the Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake

Lastly, while I love Olive Garden’s cake, I know I prefer it with a little extra lemon punch. Not too much now, because the beauty of this cake is its soft cake layers and subtle lemon flavor. I

If you’re going for a more authentic taste, reduce the lemon zest to 1 teaspoon in the filling recipe below.

A close-up of a piece of Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake on a plate

A close-up of a slice of Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cake on a cake

Now, I wouldn’t call this a replica of Olive Garden’s Lemon Cream Cake because, in all honesty, I think it tastes better than theirs!

Cook’s Note – Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake:
This lemon cake will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If you want the authentic look of Olive Garden’s cake, then using a springform pan like the recipe indicates will help give you the cake’s signature domed shape. If you do not have a spring-form pan, then two 9-inch cake pans can be used instead. Just reduce the cooking time to 20-25 minutes.
If you make this cake ahead of time. Wait to dust it with powdered sugar until right before serving.
I used mascarpone cheese for the filling of this lemon cream cake. However, if you’re unable to find it or don’t like the taste of it, then you can use cream cheese instead.

A top view of a slice of Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cake on a wooden serving plate

Cook’s Tools:
springform pan
mixing bowls
hand mixer
wire rack
cake board
icing spatula
fine mesh strainer

This Italian Lemon Cream Cake is a bit labor-intensive but SO worth it. Especially for special occasions, birthdays, or holidays like Easter!

While this cake is a bit labor-intensive, the baking skills needed to make it are pretty standard.

Continue to see and PRINT the ingredients



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