I have had many strawberry cakes in my life. Many lemon ones as well. However, none seemed to satisfy my need for the perfect punch of Strawberry AND Lemon. I had a feeling that I could create something even better. Here is what I came up with. Are you ready for this? Strawberry Lemon Cake, brushed with lemon syrup and Lemon Cream Cheese Icing. Wait!! That’s not all!! I finished it with Sugared Lemon Zest! Yum!
First of all, let me tell you. I have a serious sweet tooth. Candy bars and such aren’t my thing exactly. I can turn those things down easily. Baked, from scratch goods though? Well, that’s a game changer. Pies, cakes and cookies. Give me alllll the baked goodies! 🙂
Typically, boxed cakes just don’t do it for me. As I said, I’m more of a from scratch kinda girl. Sometimes though, a boxed cake mix can make an excellent base. That was the case for this creation of mine. For nearly 40 years my Mother has made the most moist and delicious strawberry cake with strawberry icing. It starts with a strawberry cake mix, fresh strawberries simply added to the mix. This is where I came up with the idea of my version.
For the Cake
1 Box Strawberry Cake Mix
1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and pureed
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 tsp fresh lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the Lemon Syrup
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 butter (at room temperature)
4 1/2-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tsp pure lemon extract ( I can not express to you enough, the importance of good quality extracts in baking)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Sugared Lemon Zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
Combine finely grated lemon zest and sugar in a small food processor or chopper until well combined. If you don’t have either of these, simply combine in a Mason jar or other container with lid and shake vigorously.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
*This cake can certainly be made in a 9×13 pan, just halve the Lemon Cream Cheese Icing Recipe.
Combine all cake ingredients and mix using electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. About 2 minutes. Fold in strawberry puree. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 29-33 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Allow to cool, in pans, on wire rack for 10 minutes.
While your cakes are cooling, prepare your lemon syrup. To do this simply simmer the lemon juice and sugar over low to medium heat, stirring continuously until sugar is completely dissolved. Once sugar has dissolved, allow to simmer over low heat 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
Remove cakes onto wax paper.
Poke holes in the cake. I used a wooden skewer but a fork will do just as well. start from the outside and work your way in until the entire cake is covered in small holes. Like this:
Now, using a pastry brush, brush half the syrup onto each cake. I love this silicone one:
Once cakes are covered in the syrup, allow to cool. At least 45 minutes.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare your icing. Beat butter, cream cheese, lemon and vanilla extracts until light and fluffy. Add in, a cup at a time, the sifted powdered sugar until you have a spreadable icing. It will form stiff peaks when you have enough sugar. Start checking for these peaks around 4 cups of powdered sugar.
Place a dab of icing on your cake stand. ( This serves as a “glue” for the cake and stand. ) Gently remove first cake from the wax paper and place on the stand. Using approximately 1/3 cup of the icing, spread a layer onto the top of this. Place second layer on top and frost remainder.
**Note! If you are headed out to say, meet for a consult with a new client and are icing your cake directly before said meeting…. Be sure you don’t have icing on your face! Yes, that happened to yours truly. I didn’t even know it until AFTER the consult. Mortifying but oh so hilarious at the same time!! Dear, sweet Mrs. Client, if you’re reading this I do apologize for my appearance. **
Sprinkle with Sugared Lemon Zest and a Lemon Slice for garnish if desired.
Please, feel free to leave comments/questions here or message me!