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Top front angle view of strawberry lemon cream layer cake on a platter with a slice cut out to show inside of cake.

Strawberry Lemon Cream Cake

This Strawberry Lemon Cream Cake is bursting with bright summer flavors, refreshing, and absolutely delicious! Layers of lemon sponge cake, lemon curd, luscious whipped cream, and juicy and fresh sweet strawberries are sure to please any crowd!

Scale

Ingredients

For the Lemon Sponge Cake:

For the Whipped Cream Frosting:

To Assemble the Cake:

Instructions

For the Lemon Sponge Cakes:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease two 9-inch round baking pans (or two 8-inch round baking pans) and line the bottom with parchment paper (nonstick cooking paper) and set them aside.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer (or use a stand mixer) until foamy – about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Gradually start adding the sugar while continuing to beat for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture is light in color, thick, and forms a ribbon like pattern in the bowl when you pull out the metal beaters attached to the electric hand mixer.
  4. Combine all the dry ingredients – the cake flour, baking powder, and fine sea salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until everything is evenly incorporated. Then sift the flour mixture using a fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the batter. Mix on low speed to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula periodically to make sure everything gets incorporated, until there are no longer lumps of flour visible and the batter is smooth. 
  5. Combine the whole milk and unsalted butter in a microwave safe measuring cup or bowl. Heat in the microwave in 30 second bursts, mixing with a spoon in between, until the butter has fully melted and the milk is hot. Add the milk and butter mixture to the bowl with the batter, along with the vanilla extract, lemon extract, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix with the rubber spatula until everything is evenly combined.
  6. Divide the batter into the prepared baking pans. Firmly tap the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles that may have formed. Place in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes at 350°F/175°C. Then reduce the temperature to 325°F/165°C and bake for a further 5 minutes. The cakes will be done when they are lightly brown at the top and spring back immediately when gently touched. You can also use a toothpick to check doneness by inserting it into the center of the cake. It should come out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. (Note: If your oven isn’t wide enough to fit two cake pans on the same rack, you can bake one after the first one is done.)
  7. Transfer the cake pans to cooling racks and allow to rest for 10 minutes. The cakes will start to pull away from the edges of the pans. Run a thin bladed knife around the edges of the pans to loosen the cakes, then invert onto the cooling rack(s). Remove and discard the parchment paper, then carefully set the cakes upright and allow to cool completely (or for at least one hour) before assembling.

For the Whipped Cream Frosting:

  1. While the cakes are baking, make the whipped cream frosting. Add the whipping cream to a medium sized mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed with an electric hand mixer (or you can use a stand mixer or beat by hand using a whisk). It will become foamy at first.
  2. Once it starts to thicken, add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until medium peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Note: You may need to beat again just before using as refrigerating may alter the texture and slightly loosen up the whipped cream.

To Assemble the Cake:

  1. Hull the strawberries then give them a good rinse. Pat-dry with paper towels, then cut them in half and set aside.
  2. Place one layer of cake on a revolving cake stand or serving platter and make sure it is centered. Then spread about three tablespoons of lemon curd evenly on top using a small flat spatula.
  3. Next, spread about a cup of the whipped cream evenly on top using a large flat spatula. Line strawberry halves in a ring pattern, stem side facing outward, around the perimeter of the whipped cream layer. Continue lining up the strawberry halves in the same fashion until you reach the center of the cake.
  4. Spread about another cup of whipped cream on top of the strawberries layer. Then carefully place the second cake layer on top and gently press down.
  5. Repeat the whipped cream layer on top of the second cake layer and spread evenly on top and around the sides to cover the cake. Turn the cake stand and use the flat side of the large spatula (or an offset spatula or a cake scraper) to smooth out the whipped cream and remove any excess cream around the edges. Then top with a final strawberries layer, lining them up in the same fashion as the first strawberries layer. Use a wet paper towel to wipe up any crumbs or excess cream around the bottom of the cake for better presentation.
  6. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow the frosting to set (this will make it easier to cut into slices).
  7. Then slice, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

Cook’s Tips and FAQs:

  1. To make cake flour: If you don’t have cake flour on hand, you can easily make some. Simply measure out two cups of all-purpose flour, then remove four tablespoons of it and replace with four tablespoons of corn starch.
  2. Don’t allow any outdoor drafts to get in. Outdoor drafts can make freshly baked warm cakes taste eggy if they hit it. Make sure your windows are closed while the cakes are cooling.
  3. Chill the mixing bowl and metal beaters of the electric hand mixer before making the whipped cream. Stick them in the fridge (or freezer) for 20 minutes to make sure they are nice and cold before you start beating the whipping cream. Also, make sure that your whipping cream is as cold as possible and take it out of the fridge just when you’re ready to make the whipped cream.
  4. Tips for frosting the cakes: 1. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting. If your cakes are still warm and you attempt to frost the cakes, the frosting will slide off the sides and weep! You can chill the cakes in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process. 2. Avoid touching the cake directly with a spatula while frosting. This will prevent your whipped cream from getting crumbs into it and spreading them all over the cake as you frost. 3. Apply a crumb coat. A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that is applied on top and around the cake. Then the cakes are refrigerated for 10-15 minutes to allow the frosting to set. This will make it easier to apply the final thick coat of frosting without having crumbs spread all around the cake. You can apply the crumb coat right after applying the second layer of frosting on top and around the sides of the cake layers. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. Then take the cake out from the fridge and apply the final whipped cream and strawberry layers.
  5. Storing leftover cake slices: This cake tastes best on the day of making and assembling the layers. However, you can refrigerate any leftover slices in sealed airtight containers for 3-4 days. Keep in mind there’s fresh fruit in the cake, so it’s best consumed sooner than later.
  6. Leftover whipped cream: If you have some extra leftover whipped cream, you can freeze it in a freezer safe sealed container for up to 2-3 months. Alternatively, store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can enjoy any leftover whipped cream by adding a dollop to your morning coffee, topping your pancakes or waffles with it for breakfast, or dipping fresh berries in it.
  7. Best temperature for serving: Cakes with whipped cream taste great cold or at room temperature. If refrigerating any leftover slices in sealed airtight containers, I suggest removing them from the fridge and letting them sit on the counter for anywhere between 5-20 minutes before serving.
  8. Make ahead: You can bake the sponge cakes 4-5 days in advance. Wrap them (individually) tightly in cling wrap after they have cooled for at least an hour on a cooling rack. Then refrigerate and assemble the frosting and strawberry layers on the day of serving.
  9. Freezing the sponge cakes: If you’d like to freeze the cakes and frost them at a later date, wrap each cake individually and tightly in cling wrap. Then wrap again in aluminum foil and freeze for up to three months. Thaw on the counter for 2-3 hours before assembling.

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Nutrition

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.