Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Cake with creamy lemon cream cheese frosting. Our favorite cake for summer!
Say hello to my birthday cake.
Fresh, zingy, berry-packed and oh so moist and tender. My birthday is just a few weeks away, and I’m so excited to make this cake… Again.
Some might say it’s a travesty to bake your own birthday cake. There are years I agree. Those years Lt. Dan picks up a chocolate fudge cake I love from a local bakery.
However some years, I feel like there is no one in the world that understands my cakey desires better than I do. So I set off to bake exactly what I’m craving.
This is that year. This is that cake.
Introducing Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Cake. A blend of light buttery cake, fresh lemon zest, bright strawberry essence, and blushing berries hiding between the layers.
The entire cake is slathered with silky smooth lemon cream cheese frosting. Then I spread on a fun hombre frosting effect with a little pink frosting.
Viola! The perfect cake for a summer birthday.
My Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Cake recipe offers the appeal of an ultra moist southern strawberry cake, with a little extra punch from the lemon. The fresh strawberries between the cake layers are a sweet surprise when you cut it open.
I like to make the cake the day before my birthday, then wrap and freeze the cake layers. The next day, I frost the cake in the morning and let it sit out all day to thaw and soften.
This technique helps ward off broken cake layers, slanted cakes, and crumbs in the frosting. Frozen cake layers are extremely easy to work with.
The cake looks prefect every time and no one can tell it’s been frozen.
If you’ve got a special summer birthday to celebrate, give my Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Cake a try!
Or you may just want to make one for yourself. *wink*
Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Cake
For the Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Cake:
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened
- 2 3/4 cups cake flour or 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon strawberry extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Zest of two lemons
- 3-9 drops red food coloring, optional
- 40 small fresh ripe strawberries, trimmed
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 5-7 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
For the Cake:
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter on high until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula. Turn the mixer on low and add in the baking powder, salt, eggs, strawberry and vanilla extracts, and lemon zest. Scrape the bowl again and slowly beat in the flour and milk. Mix in food coloring if desired.
- Once smooth, pour the batter into the two cake pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Then flip the cakes out onto a cooling rack, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- In a clean mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and beat in the butter. (Do this separately to avoid clumps.) Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the lemon juice. One cup at a time, beat in the powdered sugar, until you reach your desired consistency. Scrape the bowl and beat again until very smooth.
- Place one cake layer on a cake stand. Spread frosting over the cake in a thin layer. Press the strawberries, trimmed side down, over the surface of the cake Then slather more frosting over the berries, filling the spaces in between. Set the top cake layer over the strawberries and press to level. Dollop frosting over the top and spread in out and down over the sides.
For the Ombré Frosting Effect:
- Leave 1/2+ cup frosting in the mixing bowl. Add 1-3 drop red food coloring into the frosting and beat until the color is consistent. Starting at the bottom, spread the frosting around the edges. Then move upward in sweeping motions. Spread a little pink over the top if desired.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
This sounds amazing! I was hoping to try this out as an 8 inch 3 layer cake and make a lemon curd for the other filling. Do you know how I would need to adjust the batter and baking time in that case? Thanks so much!
Divide the batter into 3 8-inch pans and bake for 15-20 minutes.
My daughter loves this cake and requests it every year for her birthday! So much flavor. I do have a question though. Do you have any tips on how to avoid the strawberry juices from seeping out of the frosting and onto the cake platter? Thank you for your help!
This cake is fine to sit out at room temperature for 2-3 days, yet refrigerating it will help with berry juice drippage.
This is one of my favorite cakes! I’m going to make it for the third time today and it is always a hit!
I love this cake and your instructions are perfect. I’m thinking of making it with blueberry instead of strawberry. Would you alter the recipe to do that? Thanks!!
Great advice on freezing the layers! Great recipe! I added some extra lemon juice to the icing because the juice that I bought wasn’t flavorful enough. But wow! What a hit!
I made this cake today for a relative. The layers are in the freezer. My cake is very dense. I was afraid to flop it over, because I thought it would fall apart. Anyway, the flavor is good. I feel like the cake fell tho. I almost threw it away, but I made a tester and the flavor was there. I dont think I would make it again, but I think she will like it
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This was a delicious cake! I made it last year for my 11th birthday, and I am definitely gonna make it again this year! I might us less lemon zest, and add a strawberry puree to the cake, and for the ombre effect, I might use pink and yellow frosting. Cant wait to see how it turns out!😁😁
I am not able to find strawberry extract in my area- any ideas for substitutions, like lemon or vanilla? Or maybe adding diced strawberries to the batter?
Honestly, I would order it instead of using something else. It really does create the best strawberry flavor. Hope this helps!
Girl! You are my hero. I make cake for our monthly birthday party at work. They ate this thing in less than 15 minutes and someone grabbed the cake platter to get the leftover icing!
I decided to add a touch of lemon extract to the batter, but otherwise the props are all yours!
We hardly find any person who doesn’t love a cake. We can make a Strawberry Lemonade Cake to a dinner party and everyone will surely love it. It will be the perfect ending to our dinner.
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This sounded so good that I made it for my son’s birthday yesterday. Oh my!! He declared it the best birthday cake ever! The cake itself is incredible with plenty of tang from the fresh lemons complemented by the layer of sweet strawberries inside. I couldn’t find small strawberries so I just sliced the big ones I had and layered them in the middle. The frosting was incredible too! So easy and there was plenty of it. Thank you!
Gorgeous!! Happy Birthday!
What a great summer cake!
HI, it doesn’t say what to do with the strawberries , do you cut them small or crush them?
The strawberries just go in the cake whole, in a single layer. That’s why there are no directions for slicing them. Please take a look at the post images for clarification. :)
This cake looks like summer. I cannot wait to make it. My birthday was this month and so was my husbands. I think I will make one even though the dates have pasted. It will be happy birthday to us.
So perfect for summer! Love!!
It’s hot today, so this looks good.