In the realm of delightful desserts, there exists a harmonious union of flavors that captures the essence of summer in every luscious bite—the Strawberry Lemonade Cake. This delectable creation is a celebration of all things bright, refreshing, and indulgent, drawing inspiration from the classic thirst-quencher, lemonade, and the delightful sweetness of ripe, juicy strawberries. With its vibrant colors and mouthwatering taste, the Strawberry Lemonade Cake has rightfully claimed its spot as a beloved centerpiece on dessert tables for a variety of occasions.
- The Harmony of Summer’s Best: As the temperature rises, so does our craving for desserts that embody the spirit of the season. The Strawberry Lemonade Cake, with its perfect balance of sweet strawberries and zesty lemons, is a delightful symphony of flavors that captures the essence of summer. Each slice brings a burst of sunshine and a sense of joy that transports taste buds to picnics in the park and lazy afternoons by the beach.
- A Refreshing Twist on Tradition: While the classic lemon cake has long been adored, the addition of strawberries elevates this confection to a whole new level of bliss. The combination of tangy lemon and succulent strawberries creates a refreshing, palate-pleasing experience that makes the Strawberry Lemonade Cake stand out among its peers. The marriage of tartness and sweetness invites a delightful contrast that keeps taste buds tantalized with each bite.
- Nostalgia and New Memories: There’s something innately nostalgic about savoring the flavors of childhood favorites, and lemonade undoubtedly holds a special place in our hearts. By infusing those cherished memories into a cake, the Strawberry Lemonade Cake becomes more than just a dessert—it becomes a catalyst for nostalgia and new memories alike. It evokes the warmth of simpler times, reminding us of lemonade stands, family barbecues, and carefree summer days.
- A Feast for the Eyes: As much as the Strawberry Lemonade Cake delights the taste buds, it also captivates the eyes with its visual splendor. The vibrant pink hue of the strawberry-infused cake layers, adorned with luscious swirls of lemony frosting, makes for a picture-perfect dessert that beckons guests to indulge. Its sheer beauty makes it an ideal centerpiece for celebratory occasions, from birthdays to bridal showers, adding an extra dose of charm to any gathering.
- Versatility and Creativity: While the classic Strawberry Lemonade Cake recipe is undeniably divine, its versatility allows for a myriad of creative adaptations. Bakers can experiment with various cake textures, fillings, and frostings to suit their personal preferences or match specific event themes. From adding a hint of basil to the strawberry compote or incorporating lemon zest into the frosting, the possibilities for culinary exploration are endless.
- Prep:40 mins
- Cook:30 mins
- 225g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 75g natural yogurt
- 2 unwaxed lemons
- 500g strawberries
- 1 tbsp popping candy (optional)
- For the candied lemon peel
- 1 unwaxed lemon
- 75g caster sugar
- For the icing
- 250g butter, softened
- 600g icing sugar
- 180g full-fat soft cheese
- 10g freeze-dried strawberry or raspberry powder (see tip, below)
Butter and line the base and sides of two 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/160 degrees Celsius fan/gas 4. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Alternatively, use an electric whisk. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.
Mix in the flour, baking powder, and a bit of salt, then the yogurt. Zest the two lemons, then add them to the bowl and stir until everything is well incorporated. You may need to scrape the bowl’s sides as you proceed.
Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared pans and level the tops with a spatula. 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the tins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, cover the cakes in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months. Allow to defrost overnight before frosting.
Remove the peel from the remaining lemon in long, thin strips with a vegetable peeler to make candied lemon peel. Cut the white pith away from the peel with a small, sharp knife, then cut it into thinner strips. In a small saucepan, combine 50g caster sugar and 100ml water. Pour the juice from all three lemons into the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a low heat and continue to cook for a few minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Return to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until the lemon peel is tender. Fill a bowl halfway with the remaining 25g sugar. Using a fork, remove the lemon peel from the syrup and place it in the basin with the sugar. Shake the basin gently to coat the strips of peel, then shake off the excess and spread the candied peel in a single layer on a plate or baking pan to dry, about 30 minutes. Once set, the candied peel will keep for six months in an airtight container in a cool environment.
Pour 3 tablespoons lemon syrup over each cooled sponge. To make the icing, cream the butter in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk until smooth and creamy. Beat in half of the icing sugar and half of the soft cheese. Beat in the remaining icing sugar, soft cheese, and most of the freeze-dried strawberry powder (reserving 1 tsp for later decoration) until completely blended.
Scrub and finely cut 200g strawberries. Place one of the sponges on a cake stand or plate and generously cover with frosting. Sprinkle with part of the chopped strawberries and top with the second sponge. Spoon the remaining icing over the top and spread it with a palette knife all over the top and sides, smoothing and swirling it as you go. Five or six strawberries of equal size, thinly sliced, should be arranged around the base of the cake, pointy ends facing up. Half of the remaining strawberries should be cut in half, leaving the remainder whole with their stalks intact, and piled on top of the cake. Sprinkle with the candied lemon peel, freeze-dried strawberry powder, and popping candy, if using. It is best consumed within a day, although it can be kept cold for up to two days.
Why is lemon used in cake?
When baking soda combines with an acid, such as lemon juice or buttermilk, a byproduct of the neutralizing process is carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide aids in the leavening of baked items.