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Strawberry Lemonade Cake Recipe

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make this amazingly delicious Strawberry-Lemonade Cake. Perfect for strawberry season. Printable recipe included.

Some folks might call this a Strawberry Jam cake. It does have a Strawberry Jam filling between the layers that goes perfect with the Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting on the outside. With a touch of lemon flavors in the layers, it’s a super delicious cake perfect for any occasion.

Need a special cake for a special occasion? You’ve come to the right place.

Although this cake may seem a bit complicated, its actually not. The main difference is that you’re going to make a Strawberry Jam that is used between the layers instead of just placing frosting between the layers. But, it really takes the cake up a notch or two.

Fresh strawberries are just coming in here in the heart of North Carolina and it’s the perfect time of the year to make such a special cake. Mother’s Day is right around the corner too.

The sweetness of the cream cheese frosting and the strawberries, is offset slightly by the tartness of the fresh lemon zest and juice in the cake batter. We’ve also got a small amount of lemon juice in the frosting. So good. Smile.

That next church social, or family get together, will be the perfect time to showcase your talents with this eye pleasing cake with a hint of pink and red. It’s sure to catch everyone’s attention.

Don’t be upset if there isn’t any leftover to bring back home though. It’s sure to disappear quickly.

Ready to give our cake a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, jam filling ingredients.

Strawberry Jam Filling – You’ll need these ingredients.

We’re doing this cake in four parts. All the steps for each are listed below. I’d suggest you make this jam filling first as it needs a couple of hours to cool. I make mine a day or two ahead of time as it will keep in the refrigerator for a week or longer.

Part One – Strawberry Jam Filling
Part Two – Bake the layers
Part Three – Make the cream cheese frosting
Part Four – Assemble your cake

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, remove hulls and wash.

Prepare the fresh strawberries. Remove the stems and hulls from your strawberries. I cut these out with a paring knife. Then, gently rinse the berries under some cool running water.

Place a little over 2 cups of fresh strawberries in a medium size bowl and chop them up into very small pieces. You will need 2 cups of chopped berries when you finish.

You could also use a food processor for this if you prefer.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add sugar.

Place the chopped berries in a medium sized sauce pot and add 3/4 cups of granulated sugar on top.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add lemon juice.

Place 1/4 cup of Lemon Juice in a measuring cup.

I didn’t realize I had my cup backwards when I took this photo. It was suppose to be showing the 1/4 measuring increments which are on the opposite side. Sorry for the confusion.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add the cornstatch.

Add 3 Tablespoons of Corn Starch to the lemon juice.

Use a fork or small whisk to mix this together until the corn starch has dissolved.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add the slurry.

Add the lemon juice and corn starch slurry to the pot.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, stir the berries.

Stir everything together until the sugar has pretty much dissolved.

Place the pot over Medium heat on your stove top.

Stirring continuously, let the mixture come to a low boil. Continue to stir and let the mixture cook for one minute. You will probably be able to feel it thicken about now. Keep stirring it the whole time.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, cook.

After boiling for one minute, remove the pot from the heat.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, cover.

You can let it cool a few minutes in the pot, or place it in another container like I did.

Place a piece of clear plastic wrap on top of the jam and press it right down on top of the berries so that it’s touching the berries. This will keep it from crusting on top.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, refrigerate.

Place the jam in your refrigerator for at least 2 hours to cool and set.

I just placed the plastic lid on my container and left mine in the refrigerator for about two days before I had the chance to make the layers. The jam should keep for a good week or more, so you can prepare it in advance to help save some time when you are ready to make the actual cake.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, ingredients for the cake layers.

Strawberry-Lemonade Cake Layers – You’ll need these ingredients.

Your eggs and butter should be at room temperature when you make your cake.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add butter.

Place 1 cup of Butter in a large mixing bowl.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, beat until creamy.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on Medium speed until it’s light and creamy.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add sugar.

Gradually add the 2 cups of Granulated Sugar, continuing to beat until light and fluffy.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add eggs.

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.

Add egg YOLKS, one at a time, beat until blended after each addition.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, measure flour.

Sift the cake flour into another bowl.

Use a spoon and place flour in a measuring cup. Use the back of a butter knife to level out the flour in the measuring cup and place 3 LEVEL cups of sifted cake flour in another small mixing bowl.

You should always use level measures of flour when making cakes.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add baking powder.

Add 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add salt.

Add 1/8 teaspoon of Salt.

Whisk all these dry ingredients together.

Now, we’re going to alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk into the creamed butter and sugar mixture. You’ll start with flour and end with flour, adding a portion of each at a time, then mixing it together just until blended.

So, add about 1 cup of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix just until blended.

Add half of the milk. Mix just until blended.

Repeat the process again.
Add 1 cup flour. Mix just until blended.
Add the other half of the milk. Mix just until blended.
Add 1 cup flour. Mix just until blended.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed while adding the flour and milk.

Add 1 Tablespoon of Lemon zest.

You’ll need a micro plane to remove the zest from the lemon. If you don’t have one, you might be able to use the serrated edge of a knife.

Add 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice.

Give this another 10 seconds or so with your mixer to mix the juice and zest into the batter.

Prepare the Egg Whites

I’m totally baffled that I didn’t take any photos of preparing the egg whites. But, have no fear, it’s really very simple.

You do need a clean bowl, metal is best, and your beaters on your mixer need to be clean as well.

Place the egg whites in the bowl. Be sure you don’t have any parts of egg yolks mixed in or it isn’t going to work.

Start out on low speed, increasing speed as you go with your electric mixer. This will take several minutes so you have to just keep at it.

Beat the egg whites until they get frothy and form fairly stiff peaks. Again, this will take a few minutes so be patient.

Place about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter mixture.

Use a spatula to work the egg whites into the batter until you don’t see any parts of the whites.

Add the remaining egg whites to the batter.

Gently fold the whites into the batter using a large spatula. Fold them in completely until you don’t see any large lumps of whites in the batter.

You’ll need 3 of the 8 inch sized cake pans.

Prepare the pans by spraying the inside with a baking spray that contains flour. Or, you could rub butter all around the inside, then add a small amount of cake flour and twirl the pans around until the flour is coating the inside of the pan. You need a thin coat of the flour on the bottom of the pan and the side of the pan on the inside.

I also like to use parchment paper circles. Once I’ve sprayed the inside of the pan, I place a parchment paper circle that is cut to fit in the bottom of the pan. Then, I lightly spray the paper before adding the batter. This will assure you that your cakes do not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Carefully divide the batter as evenly as you can between the 3 pans.

Place the pans in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350F degrees.

Bake the layers for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are done. You can insert a wooden toothpick into the center of each layer. If the toothpick pulls out clean, your layer is done. If you see some crumbs, the layers probably need to bake for a minute or two longer.

You will also see the layers starting to pull away from the inside of the pans when the layers are done. Just watch them closely and don’t let them burn. Smile.

Remove the layers when they’re done and place them on a wire rack or folded towel to cool for 10 minutes.

After the layers have cooled for 10 to 15 minutes, you need to turn them out of the pans.

Run a butter knife around the inside edge of the pan to be sure the layer is not sticking to the pan around the sides. Place another wire rack or plate on top of the pan and squeezing the two together, quickly flip the pan over. The cake should fall from the pan onto the rack without any problems.

Should you find it sticking somewhere, use a knife to gently tap the pan and the layer should release and fall free.

Let the layers stay on the racks until they are completely cool before assembling your cake.

Now, let’s make that frosting.

Strawberry-Lemonade Cream Cheese Frosting – You’ll need these ingredients.

Butter and Cream Cheese should be softened to room temperature.

You will need 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries that have been well drained to remove as much juice as possible.

I placed my strawberries in my colander and chopped them up. Then, I just left them there to drain while I worked with the other ingredients. Too much liquid will quickly ruin your frosting. It will be too thin to spread on the cake, so be sure you drain the berries well. You can thank me later. Smile.

Place the softened butter and cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer.

You need 2 packages of Cream Cheese – 8 ounces EACH.

You need 1 cup of softened Salted Butter (2 sticks)

Start out on Low speed and cream the cheese and butter together until nice and smooth. This will take several minutes. I used the paddle attachment with my Kitchen Aid mixer.

Gradually add the 2 pounds of Confectioners Sugar. Start on low speed or it can get real messy real quick. Trust me on that one. I might be speaking from experience. Just saying.

Once you’ve added most of the sugar, go ahead and add the strawberries to the frosting. That’s 1/2 cup of chopped and drained berries.

Add 1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice.

It’s optional, but I also added ONE drop of red food coloring. Just pretend it’s on the strawberries and not showing up very well. It really is in there.

Mix everything together until combined.

You may need to add some more Confectioners Sugar. Even though I had drained the berries, the frosting was looking a bit too thin. I added almost another pound to the bowl in order to get it thick enough for the spatula to stand up in the middle.

It was a hot and humid day when I made this, so that probably had some effect on the consistency of the frosting. Just be prepared with more sugar if you need it.

Likewise, if your frosting is too thick, you could add a few more drops of lemon juice, or even water to get it to the consistency you would like. You have to be ready to adapt. Smile.

So far – so good.

Assemble your cake.

I’m using a small Wilton brand turntable to decorate my cake on. It’s not visible in the photo, but it’s there. I placed a cardboard cake circle on the turntable then placed a dab of frosting in the center of the cake board.

The strips of parchment paper help keep the board clean around the edges and are removed when the cake is decorated.

Center the first layer, top side down, on top of the dab of frosting on the cake board.

Next, I used a piping bag filled with frosting and the tip cut off, to pipe a border of frosting around the outside edge of the first cake layer.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, add the jam.

Spoon some of the jam into the middle of the cake. Use a spoon to gently spread the jam out to the border of frosting. The layer of jam needs to be just about as thick as your border.

You’ll probably need to stir your jam when you take it out of the refrigerator to mix it all up. I used mine while it was still cold from the fridge.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, repeat the process.

Place the second layer, top side down, on top of the layer of jam and frosting. Be sure you get it centered on top of the first layer as best you can.

Pipe another border of frosting around the second layer and fill it in with jam.

Place the third or top layer on top of the cake. Place this layer top side down so that you have a smooth flat surface for the top of your cake.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, decorate.

Decorate as desired.

Spread a good layer of frosting around the outside edge of the cake and on the top of the cake.

You can decorate it any way you like. I just added a couple of fresh strawberries and a twisted slice of lemon to the top for the photos.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, enjoy.


Stand back and congratulate yourself on a job well done. You’ve just made one more delicious cake that everyone will enjoy. I’m proud of you. Smile.

It takes a lot of photos and instruction to show you how we made it, but I think you’ll agree that it’s well worth the effort once you bite into this cake.

Since it has cream cheese in the frosting, you will need to store any leftover cake in your refrigerator. It’s good cold, but it really needs to come back up to room temperature before serving more slices. It makes the frosting better in my opinion. Just saying.

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