Lemon Cream Icing

I get rave reviews every time I make this.  I always hear the same compliments, it has really good lemon flavor without being overly sweet.  I usually pair it with white cake (America’s Test Kitchen has a great recipe) in the form of cupcakes.  If I’m feeling ambitious then I’ll make it as a layer cake with lemon curd in the middle, again America’s test kitchen for the lemon curd recipe.

This icing recipe, however, is not from America’s Test Kitchen.  I found this in a book of recipes that are supposed to mimic chain restaurant menu items.  This was supposedly from a cake at Olive Garden.  I’ve never had lemon cake at Olive Garden, and when I made this recipe it sucked.  It was way too sweet, and believe me, I have a sweet tooth.  So I cut out half the sugar, tried again, and loved it.  


8 oz cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

4 tsp FRESH lemon juice

zest of one lemon

1/2 tsp lemon extract

1 cup heavy cream

* one packet of gelatin if weather is hot 

Using a paddle mixer, mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Mix in lemon juice, zest, and lemon extract.

In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream (stabilize with gelatin if the weather is hot)

Using a spatula fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese.

This is perfect!  We were looking for a lemon flavor icing for a cake we want to bake this weekend.  Is the sugar amount in the recipe you typed in here the amount you use, or is it the original (too sweet) amount?

One cup is the alternate, the original called for two cups of powdered sugar  question

About the gelatin, I only use it when it’s going to be very hot out and air conditioning is questionable or non-existing.  At our old house we had central and didn’t use the gelatin.  When making cup cakes for an event at the train club that was going to be outdoors mid summer, I did.  And at our new house we only have a few window units so for August birthdays I’ll use the gelatin.  Use your own discretion to decide if you need it or not.  It doesn’t add any flavor, but makes it a bit stiffer and does add a step. 

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