Strawberry Lemonade Cake


Strawberry Lemonade Cake


Strawberry Cake:

·         2 cups diced strawberries

·         ½ cup granulated sugar

·         1 tablespoon lemon juice

·         1 box white cake mix

·         ¼ cup flour

·         ½ cup oil

·         3 eggs

·         2 teaspoons vanilla

·         Pink or red food coloring, if desired


Lemon Buttercream:

·         2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

·         4 cups powdered sugar

·         2 tablespoons meringue powder

·         Zest of 2 small lemons

·         4-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 small lemons)


Filling:

·         1 cup strawberry jam or lemon curd, whichever is preferred (I used my own homemade strawberry rhubarb jam)



Bake the Cake:

In a saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.  Let stand for 15 minutes until juicy.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until very liquidy.  Carefully pour the hot mixture into your blender and puree until smooth.  Pour through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  Return the strawberry juice to the saucepan and simmer over medium low heat for a few more minutes until reduced to 1 ¼ cups.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms of three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper also.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake mix, oil, eggs, vanilla and strawberry juice on low to combine, then beat for 3 minutes until smooth.  Without food coloring, the resulting color of the cakes will be a dusky brownish pink from the strawberry juice; add food coloring if you want a more distinctive pink or red color for the cake.  Divide batter between the pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the centers spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean.  Set pans on wire racks, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and cool completely.


Make the Buttercream:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for one minute.  Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder, and with the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar a spoonful at a time.  Add the lemon zest and juice, and beat on medium high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.


Assemble and Decorate:

Remove the cakes from the pans and level the tops, if needed.  Place one of the cakes on a pedestal or cake board and top with half the filling (I always pipe a thin “dam” of buttercream around the edge first, to make sure the filling doesn’t leak out).  Add another cake and top with the rest of the filling.  Add the last cake.  Frost all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream, and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator before frosting with a final layer of buttercream.

To decorate my cake, I scooped some of the lemon buttercream into a piping bag fitted with the large drop flower tip.  Starting at the bottom edge, I piped from the bottom to the top to create the ruffled vertical rows of buttercream flowers.

Then I tinted small amounts of buttercream red and green and used a small round tip to pipe the strawberries.


Recipe and Design from Curly Girl Kitchen

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