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Lemon Strawberry Cake


5 from 3 votes
  Prep Time: 25 mins

This lemon strawberry cake is a showstopper. It’s bright and colorful. The tangy and sweet strawberry lemon flavors shine through beautifully in the cake, filling, and frosting.

Lemons and strawberries are truly a match made in heaven.

A lemon and strawberry cake on a cake stand.
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Main Ingredients

You need fewer than 15 ingredients to make this dessert, and most of them are probably already in your pantry! Here are some of the key ingredients that you'll need:

  • Lemons: Both the juice and the zest go into this dessert for a citrusy flavor throughout.
  • Fresh strawberries: For balanced sweetness and berry flavors.
  • Sour cream: Results in a moist cake.
  • Vanilla extract: Enhances the flavors.
  • Butter: Makes for a fluffy frosting and tender cake.
  • Eggs: Contributes air and lightness.
  • Heavy cream: For a velvety smooth frosting.
The ingredients to make lemon strawberry cake.

Instructions Overview

Baking lemon strawberry cake is so fun because the end result is not only delicious but beautiful. You need three simple components to make it: the cake, filling, and frosting.

First up is the strawberry filling. You’ll blend lemon juice, fresh strawberries, and white sugar until it’s nice and smooth. Then, let the mixture simmer in a saucepan until reduced by half.

Let that go while you prep your cake batter ingredients. Whisk all the dry ingredients together and set them aside. Then, cream your sugar and unsalted butter. Pay special attention to how we add the eggs one by one, and alternate the lemon juice, sour cream, and flour mixture for the perfect consistency! Mix in the vanilla and lemon zest for that zippy citrusy flavor.

By now, your strawberry reduction will be ready and cooled! You’ll incorporate this ingredient into the cake, filling, and frosting for fresh and jammy strawberry flavor in every bite.

Fold some of the strawberry reduction into one half of the batter for a beautiful pink color. Place dollops of both the strawberry-lemon and lemon batters into your prepared pans. Swirl with a knife for stunning marbling. Bake!

Once your cakes are cooled, it’s time for the most exciting part: decorating!

To create the frosting, beat all the ingredients together until fluffy and smooth.

Now, all that’s left is assembly. You’ll use the last of the strawberry reduction as a filling, protected by a nice piping of the frosting around the edges. Top with the second cake layer and decorate as desired!

Refrigerate until you’re ready to enjoy.

A slice of lemon strawberry cake.

Common Questions

How do you store this cake?

Store it in the refrigerator. Once you’ve cut it into your cake, store it in an airtight container and enjoy it within 3 to 4 days.

Is this recipe freezer-friendly?

Yes! All the components of this dessert are freezer-friendly. To freeze the cake layers, wrap them in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw them on the counter when you’re ready to assemble your cake. They will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.

To freeze your buttercream frosting, pour it into a plastic bag or airtight container. Thaw in the fridge when you’re ready to decorate your cake! Buttercream frosting keeps for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Lastly, freeze your strawberry reduction in a plastic bag or a jar, leaving space at the top for expansion. Thaw in the fridge and be sure to use it within 6 months.

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. You could bake and decorate it a day ahead and keep it in the fridge. Just make sure your fridge is free from any foods that emit odors, like chopped onions. You could also make and freeze the components. Thaw and assemble as needed!

What do I serve with this dessert?

Serve your cake with some fresh berries and a cup of coffee or tea for a gloriously indulgent afternoon!

Lemon strawberry cake from the top.

Chopnotch Tips

  • When making your strawberry reduction, ensure it reduces by half. If there’s too much water remaining in the strawberries, it can impact the texture of the other components, particularly the frosting.
  • Avoid overmixing the batter. Overmixing causes too much gluten development which gives you a dry, tough cake.
  • Grease your pans well and do not skip the parchment as it plays a significant role in preventing your cakes from sticking to the pan.
  • If your frosting is too thin, add a bit more sugar.
  • If your frosting is too thick, pour in a little extra heavy cream.
A bite of lemon strawberry cake up close.

Treat yourself to an extraordinary slice of lemon strawberry cake!

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Recipe

How to Make

Lemon Strawberry Cake

This showstopping dessert is bright and colorful. The tangy and sweet strawberry lemon flavors come through in every bite of this moist cake.

SCALE THIS RECIPE

Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 16 slices

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 5 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar

For the frosting:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
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Instructions

  • Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to an electric blender along with 5 cups fresh sliced strawberries and ¼ cup white sugar. Blitz to combine, until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a saucepan and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, until reduced by half, stirring frequently.
  • Once done, turn off the heat and let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Reserve ½ cup plus 5 tablespoons for frosting and remainder for cake filling.
  • Take two cake pans (9-inch), grease, and line with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3 cups all-purpose flour, and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Keep aside.
  • Beat together 2 cups white sugar and 1 cup unsalted butter using an electric mixer until creamy.
  • Start beating in eggs, one by one, missing after each addition. Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest. Stir in ½ of the lemon juice, ½ of the sour cream, and ⅓ of the flour mixture until well combined.
  • Repeat alternating additions of lemon juice, sour cream, and flour until just combined. (Avoid over mixing)
  • Transfer half of the batter in a separate bowl and fold in ½ cup strawberry reduction. Now start placing dollops of both strawberry-lemon and lemon batters into the prepared cake pans alternately. Swirl the batters with a knife together.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean from the center. Once done, take them out and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Then cool for another 30 minutes on a wire rack.
  • Meantime, beat 1 ½ cups unsalted butter in a bowl by using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Start beating in sugar, one cup at a time, until well combined.
  • Mix in 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 5 tablespoons strawberry reduction until well combined. Beat in 4 tablespoons heavy cream until fluffy and smooth, for a few minutes. If it is too thin, add additional sugar, or if it is too thick, add more heavy cream.
  • Place one cake on a serving platter and top with a thin frosting layer.
  • Fill the piping bag with frosting pipe a border around the cake edge, leaving the center open.
  • Pour strawberry reduction in the center. Top with second cake and continue frosting as desired.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Notes

  • When making your strawberry reduction, ensure it reduces by half. If there’s too much water remaining in the strawberries, it can impact the texture of the other components of the dish, particularly the frosting.
  • Avoid overmixing your cake batter. Overmixing causes too much gluten development which gives you a dry, tough cake.
  • Grease your cake pans well and do not skip the parchment as it plays a significant role in preventing your cakes from sticking to the pan.
  • If your frosting is too thin, add a bit more sugar.
  • If your frosting is too thick, pour in a little extra heavy cream.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 661kcal (33%), Carbohydrates: 88g (29%), Protein: 5g (10%), Fat: 34g (52%), Saturated Fat: 21g (131%), Cholesterol: 128mg (43%), Sodium: 209mg (9%), Potassium: 165mg (5%), Fiber: 2g (8%), Sugar: 68g (76%), Vitamin A: 1073IU (21%), Vitamin C: 30mg (36%), Calcium: 51mg (5%), Iron: 2mg (11%)
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course:
Dessert
cuisine:
American
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