I enjoyed a lemon cream cake at a popular Italian restaurant so much that I wanted to recreate it at home. It is a white cake topped with vanilla crumbs and filled with rich lemon cream. After a few attempts, this is the version that I like best. It uses a white cake mix to cut preparation time. Store cake in the refrigerator.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
30 mins
additional:
4 hrs
total:
4 hrs 50 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
12 servings
Advertisement

Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Cake:
Crumb Topping:
Filling:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

    Advertisement
  • Measure 1 cup cake mix; set aside for crumb topping. Place the remaining cake mix in a large bowl; add 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk, eggs, and oil. Beat cake mix mixture using an electric mixer until batter is thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

  • Mix melted butter and vanilla extract together in a bowl; stir in reserved 1 cup cake mix until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle crumbs over top of cake batter.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool cake to room temperature in the pan.

  • Beat cream cheese, 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Beat cream and remaining 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar together in a separate bowl using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream.

  • Remove cake from springform pan. Cut cake horizontally into 2 layers using a serrated knife; remove top layer. Spread filling onto the bottom cake layer; place top cake over filling. Refrigerate cake for at least 4 hours. Dust cake with more confectioners' sugar before serving.

Nutrition Facts

435 calories; protein 4.9g 10% DV; carbohydrates 39.5g 13% DV; fat 29.2g 45% DV; cholesterol 102.1mg 34% DV; sodium 330.2mg 13% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (92)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
07/28/2014
I should preface this by saying that I've never had the restaurant version the submitter talks about. I wanted to like this more than I did, but most of my feelings about it have to do with wanting more lemon flavor (perhaps it isn't supposed to). Also, it was hard to cut to look good. It could be that the day I made this we had high humidity and even a few raindrops---unusual for a warm July day in SoCal. One mistake I made was to use parchment on the bottom of my springform pan---totally unnecessary and burdensome. I would maybe use half milk and half lemon juice in the cake itself, or at least use lemon flavoring in the cake topping. Another thought would be to spritz the top of the bottom layer of cake with a simple syrup made with lemon juice and sugar. I would use a little more lemon zest in the cream layer. I will try this again on another day! Thanks, CindyAnn! Read More
(37)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
08/02/2019
I m sorry but I seriously can t take any cake recipe seriously when it lists boxed cake mix as an ingredient. This was a flat and incredibly sad version of the restaurant cake mentioned. That cake happens to be my very favorite by the way. I tried this just hoping that it would be a cost effective way to enjoy my favorite treat. I should have known better. I think the restaurants cake has lemon in more than just the center it is so flavorful and creamy. Read More
109 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 94
  • 4 star values: 12
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 4 stars
07/28/2014
I should preface this by saying that I've never had the restaurant version the submitter talks about. I wanted to like this more than I did, but most of my feelings about it have to do with wanting more lemon flavor (perhaps it isn't supposed to). Also, it was hard to cut to look good. It could be that the day I made this we had high humidity and even a few raindrops---unusual for a warm July day in SoCal. One mistake I made was to use parchment on the bottom of my springform pan---totally unnecessary and burdensome. I would maybe use half milk and half lemon juice in the cake itself, or at least use lemon flavoring in the cake topping. Another thought would be to spritz the top of the bottom layer of cake with a simple syrup made with lemon juice and sugar. I would use a little more lemon zest in the cream layer. I will try this again on another day! Thanks, CindyAnn! Read More
(37)
Rating: 5 stars
02/14/2015
I love this, it's like my Italian gramma used to make, but easier because of the cake mix, I used 3tlbs lemon juice and one tlb lemon zest as her cake called for in the cake and it was perfect, I followed the filling as it was. Thanks for making this wonderful family favorite so easy. Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
05/17/2017
I knew I'd want a more robust lemon flavor after reading the ingredients. I used a yellow cake mix and added a box of lemon pudding to the cake batter. My mother used to add instant pudding to her cakes because it makes them lighter. I also added the juice of one small lemon to the cake. I had about 6 ounces of cream cheese left from a box, so I used it all. So, I added slightly more of he other ingredients for the filling as well (cream and sugar), but the biggest change I made was adding the juice of two small lemons to the filling rather than the small amount it called for. The cake baked up beautifully, although I have to say that taking part of the mix out to make the topping made it thinner. I think in the future I might use two mixes and 1.5 times the filling. All of the components taste good separately and the lemon is not overpowering in either the cake or the filling. We're excited to try the cake tomorrow. Read More
(16)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2015
While I still prefer the restaurant version this was delicious. I've made it twice. The first time I used a lemon cake mix because I didn't have white. I also baked it in a 9 x 13 pan because I was feeding a group of people and needed to be able to serve 18 pieces. I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to slice the 9 x 13 cake in half and reassemble the top layer without it breaking but surprisingly I had no problem at all. The group I made it for really enjoyed the cake and I received requests for the recipe. The second time I followed the directions exactly including using the springform pan. Both times delicious. I'd like to try using 8 oz. of cream cheese next time as I think I want a little more cream cheese flavor in the whipped cream filling. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2015
I made this for an Italian family's Christmas dinner and they loved it! Even Nana gave me a compliment. I don't have a spring pan so I used two 8" cake pans. I also wrapped waxpaper around it before chilling to help it hold its shape until it is thoroughly chilled. I will definitely be making this again. Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
06/07/2014
This was great! Easy to make, light, tasty, and flavorful. I made the recipe as directed. I can't wait to make it for a family event. Read More
(10)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
04/10/2015
LOVE THIS RECIPE! I have now made it twice in the last few weeks. It's the perfect spring/summer cake. I have done what others have suggested and added a few tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon or so of lemon zest to the cake. So many compliments and it looks lovely! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
02/05/2015
I loved this recipe, though I did make one change. I added the juice and zest of a whole lemon to the cake batter. It turned out like a giant lemon bar. It was amazing. Read More
(8)
Rating: 4 stars
05/10/2016
I made this cake recipe exactly as it is written. It was much easier than I anticipated. I actually made it late one evening when I arrived home after working a 12 hour shift. It was the centerpiece dessert for an Italian night with a group of friends and it was a big hit! The cake looks impressive and people assume you put a lot of time and effort into whipping it up. The truth is with the use of a boxed cake mix as the base it was no more effort than baking a cake and making icing. As far as adding additional lemon zest and juice. I guess if what you're looking for is a LEMON cake, then by all means go ahead. We all thought the cake tasted perfect just the way it is. There is just a nice lemon flavor to the cream. Everyone thought it was the perfect "light" ending to a pasta laden meal. One thing I do need to add is that I've never had the restaurant version of this cake nor did I ever have an Italian Nonni serve it up for me. That being said, I'm certain we will be having this exact version of Italian Lemon Cream cake at this house again....and again! Read More
(7)
Rating: 1 stars
08/02/2019
I m sorry but I seriously can t take any cake recipe seriously when it lists boxed cake mix as an ingredient. This was a flat and incredibly sad version of the restaurant cake mentioned. That cake happens to be my very favorite by the way. I tried this just hoping that it would be a cost effective way to enjoy my favorite treat. I should have known better. I think the restaurants cake has lemon in more than just the center it is so flavorful and creamy. Read More