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This bright & summery dessert has three layers of moist lemonade cake, strawberry buttercream and fresh strawberry slices! It’s like a sip of strawberry lemonade, but in cake form!

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strawberry lemonade cake on a plate.

One of my favorite things about summer is all of the fresh berries in season! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries…..I love them all! And as much as I love enjoying the fruit on its own, I can’t help but get in the kitchen and bake with them, too!!

This cake uses a full pound of fresh strawberries and is a summery, vibrant show-stopping dessert! It starts with a cake mix (I love simple, too!) and is doctored up to become this gorgeous, moist and flavorful layer cake. Don’t have three round cake pans? No worries – keep reading to see what you can use instead!

strawberry lemonade cake slice on a white plate.

Ingredients Needed

  • Lemon Cake Mix – I used the Duncan Hines “Lemon Supreme”; if you can’t find a lemon cake mix, you can use white cake mix (simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 1/4 cup of lemon juice and reduce milk to 3/4 cup)
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Lemonade Mix – Like this one
  • Sour Cream – I recommend using full-fat, rather than a low-fat or “light” version
  • Salted Butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Fresh Strawberries – You’ll use some strawberries in between the layers and also make a strawberry puree for the frosting

What size cake pan should I use for the Strawberry Lemonade Cake?

This recipe calls for three 8-9″ round cake pans. I realize that most of you don’t have three of these pans (neither do I). The good news is there’s lots of options!!

If you have one or two round pans – Bake one to two layers at a time. Once the first batch is done and the pan is empty, quickly wash the pan, line it with parchment and give it a spray before cooking the next layer(s).

If you don’t have any round pans – You can make this in a 9×13 pan, too. It will make a pretty thick cake and will take longer to bake. I’d start with 30 minutes and go from there. You probably won’t need all of the frosting for a 9×13 pan. (If you don’t want it super thick, you could do 8 cupcakes + a 9×13 pan with the rest of the batter)

If you want cupcakes – That works too! Just fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full of batter and bake. It won’t take as long as a large pan, so start with 12-15 minutes and go from there. This recipe will make at least 36 cupcakes.

How do you make a Layer Cake?

If you’ve never made a layer cake, don’t fret! It’s not as difficult as you may think and doesn’t require any fancy decorating tools….unless you call a butter knife “fancy.” 😉

The first thing to do is make the cake layers as they’ll need to cool completely on wire racks before the cake is assembled. You can get the full recipe below, but the most important step for success? Lining the pans with parchment paper. This will allow the cake to easily be removed from the pan. (Cake stuck in the pan is not a good way to start, my friends!) 🙂

When the cake layers are cool, it’s time to make the strawberry buttercream. Then, choose the platter you want to use and place one cake layer in the center. Scoop some frosting over that layer and spread it out to an even layer. Add a few strawberry slices and repeat twice until you have all three layers stacked up.

Next, frost the sides of the cake and the top with a thin layer of buttercream. It’s fine if you have some crumbs mixed into the frosting at this point….that’s why it’s called the “crumb coat!” Place the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up the crumb coat.

Finally, frost the cake with the remainder of the strawberry frosting, doing your best to create a smooth outside layer. You can do this with a piping bag, a butter knife or offset spatula. Top with additional strawberries, sprinkles, slices of fresh lemons, candied lemon peel….whatever your heart desires!  

Bite of strawberry lemonade cake on a fork

How to Store this Layer Cake

I like to store the cake in the fridge until about 30 minute before serving. Then bring it to room temperature and enjoy!

Helpful Tips

  • Serve this beautiful cake for any special occasion in the spring and summer including Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, bridal showers and everything in between!
  • Store the cake in an airtight container in a cooler if enjoying outdoors on a hot summer day
  • Use a food processor, blender or immersion blender to quickly puree the strawberries
  • Press a wooden toothpick into the top of the cake (around the outer edge) before covering the cake with plastic wrap to keep it from messing up the frosting

Other Recipes with Fresh Summer Berries

Berry Trifle – With layers and layers of angel food cake, berries, pudding and whipped topping, it’s a pretty, simple and irresistible dessert!

Easy Lemon Fruit DipJust four ingredients come together to make this creamy & easy fruit dip, perfect for dipping those fresh berries!

Strawberry Sherbet – If there’s anything more refreshing than a fresh summer berry, it’s a bowl of fruity sherbet!!

Connect with Dance Around the Kitchen!

Follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook so you never miss a recipe!! And as always, thank you for following along with my blog, making my recipes, liking and sharing on social media and any other way you support Dance Around the Kitchen!  -Kelsey

Strawberry Lemonade Cake
5 from 2 votes

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cool Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
20
This bright & summery dessert has three layers of moist lemonade cake, strawberry buttercream and fresh strawberry slices!

Ingredients
 

Cake

  • One 15.25 ounce package lemon cake mix
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemonade mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs

Strawberry Buttercream

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries pureed
  • 1-2 tablespoon milk if needed
  • additional sliced strawberries to go between layers and on top for garnish

Instructions

For the Cake Layers

  • Preheat oven to 325°F and line 3 round cake pans (8 or 9") with parchment paper rounds. Spray the edges of the pan with cooking spray.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cake mix, flour, sugar, lemonade mix and stir to combine.
  • Add the sour cream, butter, milk, and eggs. Beat for 1 minute, scrapping the sides down half-way through.
  • Divide batter evenly between the three prepared pans (about 2 cups of batter each).*
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool for a few minutes, then go around the edges with a butter knife to help release the cake. Then, flip the pans over to release the cake onto a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely.

To make the Strawberry Buttercream

  • When the cakes are cool, it's time to make the buttercream and assemble. To make the buttercream, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar and pureed strawberries. Mix slowly until combined.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of milk, if needed, mixing well between each addition.

Assemble the Cake

  • Place one cake layer on the bottom of a platter. Spread frosting over the cake in a smooth, even layer and add fresh strawberry slices over the frosting.
  • Repeat with the second layer.
  • Add the third and final cake layer and frost the edges and top of the cake, making a think layer of frosting called the crumb coat (don't worry if there are some crumbs in there – it'll be covered later). Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Once the crumb coat is firm, you'll put the final coat of buttercream on!
  • Top with additional strawberries, if desired and enjoy!

Notes

*Cake Pans – See notes above in the blog post about different options if you don’t have three round cake pans.

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 2.9g | Fat: 16.6g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 0.25g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 0.2mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe originally published in June 2021. Added more detail in 2023.

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I made it for Mothers Day and got so many compliments. I bake a lot of treats and was told this is the best cake I’ve ever made. Thank you for always sharing the best recipes.

  2. This recipe looks delicious. Can you please tell me if the flour is suppose to be ap flour, cake flour, or self rising flour?

    Thanks.

  3. 5 stars
    These cakes didn’t rise a whole lot, is that normal?

    1. Hmm….I’ve never had that issue! I’d double-check that the date on your cake mix is good (to make sure the leavening agents in the mix would still be in their prime!). Hope that helps! 🙂
      ~Kelsey

  4. Ria Bilawchuk says:

    If I don’t have lemonade mix, can I just use lemon extract?

    1. Hi Ria – You can either skip the lemonade mix altogether or add a little lemon extract (1 teaspoon would be plenty). ~Kelsey