Up summer with strawberry-lemonade cake
Perhaps the only good thing to come out of all this cursed rain is that my berry patch is booming.
I’m going to have a huge crop this year – especially raspberries and strawberries. I can’t wait to taste their sun-kissed sweetness.
Wrap your lips around this amazing cake that I discovered in a Southern Living Magazine a couple of summers ago. Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients and steps. You can easily swap a store-bought all-fruit strawberry jam for the strawberry jam here and save time.
It looks as impressive as it tastes – like summer on a fork. Strawberry-Lemonade Layer Cake
Serves 12 1 cup butter, softened 2 cups granulated sugar 4 large eggs, separated 3 cups cake flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon table salt 1 cup milk 1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Strawberr y- Lemonade Jam (recipe below)
Strawberry Frosting (recipe below)
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Then gradually add in sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until blended.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in zest and juice.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-third of egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. Spoon batter into greased (with shortening) and floured round cake pans. I usually make it in two high 9-inch pans, but four could also be used.
Bake at 350 F for 16 to 20 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely. Strawberry-Lemonade
Jam Yields 1 2/3 cups 1/2 cups coarsely
2 chopped fresh strawberries 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons cornstarch You will want to make this ahead of time. However, it can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to a week.
First, process the strawberries in a blender until smooth. Press the berries through a wire-mesh strainer into a 3-quart saucepan, using the back of a spoon to squeeze out juice. Discard pulp and then stir in the sugar.
Whisk the lemon juice and cornstarch together before gradually whisking that into the strawberry mixture. In the saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, a minute. Remove from heat. Place plastic wrap directly on warm jam; chill two hours or until cold. Strawberry Frosting
Yields 5 cups 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 2/3 cup sugar, divided 2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 drop pink food coloring gel (optional) 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add strawberries and food coloring (if desired) and beat until blended.
In a separate bowl, beat cream and juice at medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high, and slowly add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold half of cream mixture into cheese mixture, then fold in remaining cream mixture. Use im- mediately.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving platter, and spread with about 1/2 cup strawberry-lemonade jam, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges.
Spoon 1 cup strawberry frosting into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip a corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe a ring of frosting around cake layer just inside the top edge.
Top with second and third cake layers, repeating procedure with filling and frosting between each layer. Top with last cake layer, and spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake.
Jill Cluff is a sometimes librarian who is married to one giant and mom to two boys. She loves all things book- and food-related – often at the same time.
Counterweights allowed the 1925 Chesapeake City lift bridge to move up and down.