This bright & summery dessert has three layers of moist lemonade cake, strawberry buttercream and fresh strawberry slices!Jump to Recipe
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!
- Lemon Cake Mix – I used the Duncan Hines “Lemon Supreme”
- Lemonade Mix – Like this one
- Sour Cream – I recommend using full-fat, rather than a low-fat or “light” version
- Salted Butter
- Powdered Sugar
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 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 and top of the cake 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 buttercream, doing your best to create a smooth outside layer. Top with additional strawberries, sprinkles, candied lemon peel….whatever your heart desires!
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 Dip – Just 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!!
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Strawberry Lemonade Cake
- 1 15.25 oz pkg lemon cake mix
- 1 c flour
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c lemonade mix
- 1 c sour cream
- 1/2 c butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1 c milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 c salted butter
- 4 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 c finely chopped strawberries pureed
- 1-2 tbsp milk if needed
- additional sliced strawberries to go between layers and on top for garnish
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 the 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!