Strawberry Lemonade Cake is a delicious and refreshing cake that is perfect for any occasion. It is made with fresh strawberries and lemons, and it is frosted with a delicious strawberry buttercream frosting. The cake is moist and fluffy, and the frosting is light and airy. The combination of strawberries and lemons is simply irresistible.
Here is a comprehensive guide to making Strawberry Lemonade Cake:
The ingredients in this recipe offer a delightful blend of flavors and textures, contributing to the overall appeal of the cake.
All-Purpose Flour: The primary structure of the cake comes from the flour. It provides the necessary gluten for texture and volume.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda: These leavening agents work with the flour to make the cake rise. Baking powder reacts to moisture and heat, while baking soda requires an acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice in this case, to activate and create bubbles that lighten the cake.
Salt: Enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness in the cake.
Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and tenderness to the cake batter. Creaming it with sugar creates air pockets that contribute to a light and fluffy texture.
Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the cake and, when creamed with the butter, helps aerate the mixture for a tender crumb.
Eggs: Act as a binding agent and add moisture and richness to the cake.
Vanilla Extract: Enhances the overall flavor profile with its sweet, floral, and aromatic notes.
Milk: Provides moisture to the batter and contributes to the cake’s tenderness.
Lemon Juice: Adds a bright, tangy flavor that complements the sweetness of the cake and strawberries. It also reacts with baking soda to help with leavening.
Fresh Strawberries: Offer natural sweetness and a burst of fruity flavor. They add moisture and colorful specks throughout the cake.
Strawberry Puree: Used in the buttercream frosting, it imparts a concentrated strawberry flavor and a lovely pink hue. Its natural sweetness balances the richness of the buttercream.
Powdered Sugar: Sweetens the frosting while also contributing to its texture and stability.
Fresh Strawberries (for garnish): Decorate the cake and provide a fresh, juicy burst of flavor.
Lemon Zest (optional): Adds a pop of citrus aroma and complements the lemon juice in the cake, enhancing its overall citrusy profile.
Combining these ingredients creates a cake with a tender crumb, a delightful balance of sweet and tangy flavors from the strawberries and lemon, and a creamy, fruity frosting that ties all the elements together.
Strawberry Lemonade Cake Recipe
For the Strawberry Reduction:
- 3 cups chopped fresh strawberries 500g
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100g
- 1/4 cup lemon juice about 2 lemons
For the Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour 360g
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (227g)
- 2 cups granulated sugar 400g
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest about 2 lemons
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk at room temperature (240ml)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice about 2 lemons
For the Buttercream:
- 2 cups unsalted butter softened (454g)
- 8 cups powdered sugar about 2 pounds/ 900g
- 6 tablespoons strawberry reduction 80ml
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- In a small saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened and jammy, 20-30 minutes.
- For a smoother reduction, blend the mixture or press it through a sieve.
- Transfer to a bowl, loosely cover, and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- On low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Beat in the lemon juice until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans before assembling.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until combined.
- Beat in the strawberry reduction until smooth.
- Add the lemon juice and heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy.
- Place a cake layer on a serving plate.
- Spread with a layer of buttercream.
- Repeat with the remaining cake layers.
- Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining buttercream.
- Decorate with fresh strawberries and lemon zest, if desired.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.
- For a smoother strawberry reduction, blend the mixture or press it through a sieve.
- If the tops of the cake layers are domed, use a serrated knife to cut off the top of the domes so you can stack them evenly.
- If the ingredients are refrigerated, such as the eggs, milk, and butter, bring them to room temperature before using them to prevent having to overmix the batter.
- Give the cake pans a few gentle taps on the counter to burst any air bubbles in the batter.
- When zesting a lemon, be careful not to zest the white parts. The white layer is the pith and tastes bitter.
Tips for Making the Perfect Strawberry Lemonade Cake:
Use fresh, ripe strawberries for the best flavor and texture.
Make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature before starting. This will help to ensure a smooth and fluffy cake batter.
Do not overmix the batter, as this can make the cake tough and rubbery.
Be careful not to overbake the cake, or it will be dry and crumbly.
To make the strawberry puree, simply blend fresh strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.
If you want to make a larger batch of frosting, simply double the recipe.
To store the cake, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil and place it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
For a fun twist, try adding a layer of lemon curd to the cake before frosting.
You can also add other berries to the cake, such as raspberries or blueberries.
For a more tart frosting, add a bit more lemon juice.
To make a chocolate strawberry lemonade cake, simply add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the cake batter.
No matter how you choose to make it, Strawberry Lemonade Cake is a delicious and refreshing dessert that is perfect for any occasion.
Try another of our refreshing recipes to make your day, like this incredible frozen cranberry yogurt recipe.