This lemon cake with fresh strawberries will have everyone asking for the recipe!
I very rarely will make a whole layer cake anymore. Christmas seems to call for lots of little finger food for desserts. Birthdays for the last couple years, my husband and kids have been asking for apple pies, sticky buns and peanut butter sheet cake.
But for some reason, Easter seems to call for a cake. And not just any cake… but an impressive, 4-layer, decadent beauty.
Of course, a red polka dot cake stand never hurt either, but I’ll make that an optional part of this recipe. ; )
Don’t be intimidated by this recipe. The first time I saw it was probably about 10 years ago when I cut it out of our Sunday newspaper. I’m always drawn to anything with lemon, so this pulled me in immediately. And then it was about another 8 years until I actually made it, because it didn’t look like the traditional way to make a cake. But I held onto that recipe all that time! Oh yes, you never need to worry about me throwing anything away!
The recipe was just for the lemon cake to be made in a loaf pan and cut into slices. I later decided to try it as a layer cake and have since also made it as a bundt cake and cupcakes! Such a versatile recipe!
For Easter, though, it was screaming to be filled with this creamy lemon filling and garnished with fresh strawberries!
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbs lemon zest
- 2 tbs plus 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 10 tablespoons butter, cubed
- Lemon Cream Filling:
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2½ c. powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 quart fresh strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Grease and lightly flour 2 8" round cake pans. Set aside
- Stir together flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside. Beat eggs on low until they are thickened and pale yellow in color. Keep mixer on low and slowly add sugar to running mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Slowly pour in dry ingredients on low speed until combined.
- In a small saucepan, heat milk until very hot and butter is just melted. Do not boil and stir to help butter melt faster. Pour into batter and mix until smooth. Batter will be very thin. Pour into prepared baking pans and bake for 23-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Once done, remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in pans. Remove from pans and allow to cool completely.
- For Lemon Cream Filling: Use a stand mixer to beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl. Using the same stand mixer bowl, whip the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon juice until well combined, Then gently fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow it to firm up.
- To Assemble Cake: Once cake layers are completely cool, use a serrated knife to cut each layer in half. Reserve a few strawberries for garnish. Roughly cut the rest of the strawberries into small pieces and fold into lemon cream filling.
- On a cake stand, place the bottom cake layer and cover with the filling. Repeat layers. Place a dollop of lemon cream on top of cake and garnish with whole strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.