My wife and I recently took a trip to the Olive Garden for a weekend lunch, and while I was flipping through the dessert menu waiting for our food, I got the idea to turn a favorite dessert of mine into a cupcake. For those of you who haven’t tried it, the Lemon Cream Cake at the Olive Garden is absolutely incredible. It deserves to be mimicked lol.
That being said, it seemed like such a simple idea to turn into a cupcake; make a white cake, create some kind of similar filling, and top it with the vanilla crumbs. From eating the cake, you can instantly tell it’s not a buttercream filling – it doesn’t have that greasy texture. It’s very smooth, velvety, and sturdy like a cream cheese frosting, but light and fluffy like a buttercream. So I decided that I could just make a lemon cream cheese frosting, then fold in some whipped cream – absolutely spot on! Perfect texture, and a wonderful balance of sweet and tart. The lemon is subtle enough to not overpower, but is present enough to establish itself as lemon cream. I’m very happy with the results. (In regards to color, my cupcake looks very similar to the Olive Garden version – I just don’t have a professionally-lit studio for my baked goods :-P)
I baked up a dozen of our vanilla cupcakes, scooped out a large cavity in each one (much larger than previous filled cupcakes), piped in the lemon cream, then smoothed the excess over the top so I had something for the vanilla crumb to stick to.
The vanilla crumb is just flour, powdered sugar, vanilla, and butter. Temperature control is absolutely critical for this stuff to crumble correctly. It took me a couple tries to get it right. Even the warmth of your hands will undo it.
I sprinkled the crumbs over the cupcakes, then dusted them with powdered sugar, and threw them in the refrigerator for a few hours to chill them (these are FAR better when they’re cold. Cold and Lemon go really well together.) I gave a couple to some folks at work, and one lady about died trying to tell me how amazing they were lol. So I’ll mark these under the “success” column 😉 On to the next one!