Strawberry Lemonade Cake is the perfect fruit inspired dessert that should be at the top of your summer baking list!
Layers of moist lemon cake with pink strawberry buttercream frosting, topped with sliced strawberries should be the centerpiece at every summer gathering. Real strawberry puree in the frosting and freshly squeezed lemon juice in the cake layers. The soft flavors pair so nicely with each other and everyone who has tried it tells me the frosting tastes like a strawberry milkshake. Um, yes please!!
Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Yes, I prefer to make my cake frosting with real strawberry puree!! Fresh fruit tastes way better anyways, right?!
The trick to using fruit in a buttercream is to blend it into a liquid consistency first. Add it to the beaten softened butter and then slowly scoop in the powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency. No artificial coloring or flavors for this beautiful cake!
Rather try a different berry flavor like raspberries or blackberries? Just follow the same steps in the recipe but substitute the chopped strawberries for your favorite berry flavor.
How to Make a Layer Cake
First, make sure your cake layers are cold. I like to wrap my cooled layers in plastic wrap and set them in freezer for about 30 minutes. This really helps when I go to spread the frosting and prevents tearing the outer crumb layer of the cake.
Once my cake layers are ready, I add a dollup of frosting onto my cake stand to help secure the first layer. Then I begin to build my cake. The bottom layer is covered with a generous layer of strawberry buttercream, followed by sliced strawberries.
Next, I gently place the top cake layer down and repeat with frosting and slices strawberries again. Feel free to cover the sides of your cake layers with buttercream if you like. I just feel like the naked layers give a lovely appearance and is a nice ratio for this sweet dessert.
Finally, for the show stopping topper of fresh spring flowers! use whichever flowers your heart desires to add a little height and interest to your beautiful Strawberry Lemonade Cake at your next cookout or party!
Tips for Strawberry Lemonade Cake
- This recipe will make a three layer 6 inch cake or a two layer 8 inch cake.
- Use room temp, slightly softened butter.
- Fresh strawberries and fresh lemons will give you the best flavor!
- For level cake tops, prep you pans with a thin coating of butter, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Next, butter the parchment paper, sprinkle with flour and roll the pan for an even coating. Knock out any excess flour.
- Weigh your pans as you add the batter to make sure all layers are even.
- Bake on the middle rack.
- Check with a toothpick to make sure they are baked.
- Let cake layers cool in pan on rack before flipping out.
- Carefully set layers on rack and allow to completely cool.
- Once cooled, leave parchment paper on bottom, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 25 minutes to slightly firm.
- Cold cake layers make assembly easy. When spreading on the strawberry buttercream the cake won’t break apart.
More Fruit Inspired Cake Recipes
Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake
- 1 ¾ Cups (219 g) All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup (125 g) Cake Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter softened, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (300 g) Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Zest
- 4 Large Eggs room temperature
- ⅓ Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 Cup (250 ml) Whole Milk
- 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature
- 5-6 Cups Powdered Sugar more as needed
- ⅔ Cups Pureed Fresh Strawberries 4-5 fresh strawberries pureed into a liquid
- Sliced Fresh Strawberries topped and sliced
- Preheat Oven to 350 F (176 C) and prepare two 8-inch round baking pans with non-stick baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, hand whisk together sifted flours, salt, and baking agents. Set aside.
- Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium with paddle attachment until fluffy. Scrape around the edges and across the bottom once or twice to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Add lemon zest and eggs one at a time while continuing to mix on medium low speed.
- Slowly spoon half the flour into mixture at low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Continue on medium speed alternating between spooning in flour and pouring in almond milk and lemon juice. Mix until a smooth cake batter is formed.
- Divide the batter between the three pans. ( or two if using 8 inch pans.)
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean after being inserted down the center.
- Let each cake completely cool on rack. Then invert and remove layers from pans. Set on rack to cool longer. *see post for more tips!!
- Now make your frosting!
- Clean and dry your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment.
- Place room temperature butter in bowl and whisk until fluffy.
- Add strawberry puree (strawberries blended into a liquid) and 2 cups powdered sugar. Mix on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed while making frosting.
- Continue to add remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar slowly until frosting is thick but still spreadable. If you want a stiffer frosting add more powdered sugar, a cup at a time. To thin the frosting add a tablespoon of whole milk.
- Place one cake layer onto cake stand.
- Using an offset spatula cover with frosting. Layer with sliced strawberries. Repeat with second layer.
- Add top and cover with frosting. Then layer with more sliced strawberries.
- Slice and serve!