Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Strawberry Lemonade Cake 1

Strawberries and lemons are a perfect pairing for a sweet summer dessert. This cake has three layers of lemon cake filled with a strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream and garnished with candied lemon peels and whole strawberries.

Candied lemons are easy to make; just be sure to slice the lemons very thinly and remove any seeds. The leftover syrup can be used to sweeten a pitcher of fresh lemonade!

Candied Lemon Peel

Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a light and airy frosting that is not too sweet. The addition of strawberry puree makes it extra delicious!

Strawberry Lemonade Cake 2


Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Strawberry Lemonade Cake 2

Lemon Cake:
1 box lemon cake mix
1 box lemon pudding
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup sour cream
zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbs)
juice from 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
½ cup lemon-lime soda or water
2 tsp vanilla extract
Candied Lemon Peel
Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Whole strawberries (8-10), for garnish

Prepare Lemon Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cake pans with parchment paper and spray with baking cooking spray. (I use three 9” layers for the Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake.) For cupcakes, line cupcake tins with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake and pudding mixes, flour, sugar, and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake as directed below.

Baking Instructions:
For 2 (8-9”) Layer Cakes:
Bake for 26-30 minutes (place about 29 oz batter in each pan)
For 3 (8-9”) Layer Cakes: Bake for 20-22 minutes (place about 19 oz batter in each pan)
For Cupcakes: Bake for 14-16 minutes (fill 2/3 full; don’t overfill; makes 36-40)


· Prepare Candied Lemon Peels (these need to be made at least several hours ahead, preferably at least one day ahead. If desired, dip candied lemon peels in additional granulated sugar.
· Prepare Cake Layers and set aside to cool. Cake layers may also be frozen. See note below.
· Prepare Strawberry Swiss Meringue Frosting.
· Place about one cup of frosting in a pastry bag fit with a large star tip (1M). Set aside.
· Place a cake layer on a serving tray. Use strips of waxed paper placed under edges of cake to keep the serving tray clean. Frost top of first cake layer with a thick layer of frosting. Repeat with remaining two layers of cake.
· Frost sides of the entire cake with a thin “crumb coat”, and then frost entire cake with the remaining frosting.
· Using the piping bag, pipe large swirled mounds around the top of the cake.
· Place quartered lemon slices in swirls on top of cake. Arrange halved lemon slices around the bottom edge of the cake.
· Garnish top of cake and cake platter with whole strawberries.
· Refrigerate cake until ready to serve

· Cake layers can be made ahead and frozen. Wrap each layer individually in plastic wrap and freeze in a single layer on a flat surface. Cake layers do not need to be thawed before assembling and decorating cake. It is actually much easier to frost the cake when the layers are still frozen.

Candied Lemon Peel

  • Servings: Makes 10-12 slices
  • Print

Candied Lemon Peel

1 lemon, thinly sliced into about 12 slices
1 cup water
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
Additional granulated sugar for dipping

Thinly slice lemon and remove seeds. Discard end slices. Mix water and 1 ½ cups sugar in a saucepan; stir to dissolve sugar. Add lemon slices and bring to boiling point. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for one hour. Remove from heat.

Place lemon slices in a single layer on parchment paper. Allow to dry for up to 24 hours. Turn lemon slices over occasionally.

To dry more quickly: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer on the tray. Bake at 175°F for 2-3 hours.

OPTIONAL: Dip dried lemon peels in additional granulated sugar just before serving.

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Strawberry Lemonade Cake 4

1 ½ cups egg whites (about 12 large egg whites, or use pasteurized egg whites that come in a carton)
2 ½ cups sugar
pinch of salt
3 cups unsalted butter (6 sticks), at room temperature**
1 Tbs vanilla extract
Strawberry Puree (see recipe below)

Prepare Strawberry Puree (see recipe below) and set aside to cool.

In the top of a double boiler, stir together egg whites, sugar, and salt. Bring water in bottom of double boiler to a low simmer; cook until the temperature of the egg whites reaches 160°F and sugar is completely dissolved (rub mixture between fingertips-it should not feel gritty). Mixture will be foamy and not a uniform consistency.

Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip until meringue is completely cooled and glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. DO NOT ADD BUTTER UNTIL BOTH THE BOWL AND FROSTING ARE COMPLETELY COOL. Switch mixer attachment from the whisk to paddles. Add butter 1-2 Tablespoons at a time until incorporated. Mixture may appear curdled at times. Continue beating until butter is fully incorporated and frosting is fluffy and smooth.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Add vanilla and beat smooth. Add strawberry puree and beat until frosting is a uniform color.

**BUTTER NOTE: butter should be room temperature soft, but not overly soft. If the butter is too cold, it will not incorporate well into the meringue, and you will have butter chunks. If the butter is over-soft, it will cause the icing to curdle while beating-this is okay, it isn’t ruined: it will just take longer (more beating) for the frosting to become smooth. If icing still won’t set, place in the fridge for 20 minutes, and then beat again.

Strawberry Puree:
2 cups whole fresh strawberries (about half a quart), washed and hulled
½ cup sugar
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
¼ cup water

Process strawberries in a food processor until smooth. Combine strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling point and then remove from heat.

Place water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water; let soften for 5 minutes. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, or until gelatin has dissolved. Stir gelatin mixture into strawberries. Chill until mixtures just barely begins to gel. Beat into frosting.

Strawberry Puree substitute: Use about ¾ – 1 cup strawberry jam in place of strawberry puree.


1 Comment

Filed under Desserts

One response to “Strawberry Lemonade Cake

  1. Pingback: Strawberry Lemonade Cake — No Empty Chairs | homethoughtsfromabroad626

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s