This Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake marries together a lemon cake, lemon curd filling, fresh strawberries and jam buttercream to make one seriously delicious layer cake!
Hi guys, how are you? It’s been a tough few days here. This Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake was meant to be for my Dad’s socially distant birthday BBQ over the weekend, but it was cancelled as he isn’t very well.
It’s not *THE* virus… he thinks it’s food poisoning, but we all think it’s his hernia. We’re trying to convince him to get checked out, but my Dad hates going to the doctor. He already had an operation on it a few years back and has a mesh, but it’s been failing for a while. I’m super worried, however, I’m trying to focus on work.
Today I’m sharing with you this simple to make Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake. Two layers of soft, lemon sponge with lemon curd buttercream and fresh strrawberries between the layers… Covered in strawberry jam frosting and topped with white chocolate dipped strawberries.
I used my favourite lemon sponge cake, which I have shared before in my Lemon Meringue Cake recipe. It’s such a beautiful lemon sponge. It’s got just the right amount of lemon zest and sweetness. The cake is soft, tender and is easy to work with.
For the filling and frosting, I made one big batch of buttercream and then separated it into two bowls. In one, I mixed in 1tbsp of lemon curd, the other 3tbsp of strawberry jam. This part of the cake was an experiment, as is most of recipe developing, but it worked perfectly!
Because I love strawberries so much, I also placed a layer of fresh strawberries in between the layers. But, you could use strawberry jam if you’d prefer. You know me, I love a versatile recipe where it’s easy to change things up. I’ll add notes to the recipe card below to give ideas for how to switch things up.
So, how do you make this Srawberry Lemon Layer Cake?
Although it may seem like there’s lots of steps to make this Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake, it’s actually simple to make and assemble!
To start things off, I baked my easy lemon sponge cake. Super easy, fool proof and with no fancy ingredients.
After cooling the cakes, I whipped up a batch and a half of my buttercream recipe and placed around 4tbsp of it into small bowl. Mix 1tbsp of lemon curd into that bowl and leave to one side.
With the big bowl of remaining frosting, I put 3tbsp of strawberry jam into it and mixed. Then it’s time to assemble.
I levelled both cakes with a bread knife, placed one of a cake plate and spooned the lemon curd frosting onto it. Once you’ve spread the buttercream into an even layer, you can spread strawberry jam onto it… Or you can do what I did which is to add a layer of fresh sliced strawberries. A note though: with fresh strawberries inside, this cake won’t last as long. With jam, you’ll get a good 4/5 days to eat the cake. With fresh strawberries, the cake should be eaten within 2 days.
I placed the second cake on top of the strawberries and then started to spoon the strawberry jam frosting onto it. I’m not one for smooth, highly polished finishes, so I used my spatula to create lines around the edge. You can frost this cake however you want. Smooth, rough, add a pattern, it’s completely up to you!
I finished everything off by dipping some more strawberries into melted white chocolate and placing them on top of the cake. Although the finished Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake looks impressive, it really is simple to put together!
I’m all for satisfying bakes that are easy to make, I hope you get to make this cake and enjoy it!
Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake
- FOR THE LEMON SPONGE:
- 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
- Zest of 1 large or 2 small lemons
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (350g) plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt ONLY if using unsalted butter
- 1 cup (240ml) milk, dairy or non dairy, I used oat.
- FOR THE FROSTING AND FILLING:
- 3 sticks (340g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 3/4 cups (450g) icing/powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1-2 tbsp milk, dairy or non dairy, I used oat
- 1 tbsp lemon curd
- 3 tbsp strawberry jam
- 1/2 cup (75g) halved strawberries, for filling*
- 10-12 extra strawberries, for the top, optional
- 3 oz (85g) white chocolate, melted; optional (for dipping strawberries)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line two 8 inch cake tins with grease proof paper. I like to spray my cake tins with cooking spray and then lay the grease proof over it. You can also use kitchen paper with butter on to grease the pans.
- MAKE THE CAKE: Place the butter or margarine, sugar and lemon zest into a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides as necessary, and mix until well incorporated, around 1 minute on medium-high speed.
- Add in the flour, baking powder and salt, if using and mix on low until the mixture starts to coem together. Then gradually add the milk, while continuing to mix. Once all the milk is added, turn the speed up to medium and mix for 30 seconds to make sure everything is well mixed.
- Divide the cake batter between your prepared cake tins, I use a 1/2 cup measure to divide the batter to make sure it's even.
- Place the cakes into the oven for 25-30 minutes, until risen, golden and an inserted skewer into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans completely.
- MAKE THE FROSTING: Place the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and salt into a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low until the sugar starts to incorporate. This will avoid an icing sugar cloud! When the mixture comes together, turn the mixer up to medium.
- Continue mixing for about 1 minute on medium-high speed before stopping to add the milk, 1tbsp at a time. I only needed 1tbsp of milk in this recipe. After you've added 1tbsp of milk mix on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes. Check the consistency before deciding to add more milk or not. I mix my frosting for so long because it becomes super light and fluffy. You'll be able to tell because the colour gets paler too. You want your frosting to hold its shape, but to be easy to spread. I would say it should be like stiff peak whipped cream.
- Place 4tbsp of the frosting into a small bowl and add in 1tbsp of lemon curd. Mix by hand until all the lemon curd is mixed in properly.
- Add 3tbsp of strawberry jam to the remaining large bowl of frosting and mix until well combined and your frosting is evenly pink.
- TO ASSEMBLE: Remove the cakes from the cake tins. Place them on a cutting board and use a bread knife or cake leveller to level the cakes. Trim any domed top off so the cakes as level as possible.
- Take your 1/2 cup of halved strawberries (if using) and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Get as much moisture off of them as you can. Leave to one side.
- *It is much easier to do the next steps with an icing turntable* Place a cake board/plate onto the turntable, then place a small dot of the strawberry frosting onto the centre of the board/plate. Place one of your cake layers bottom side down onto the plate/board. Spoon the lemon curd buttercream into the centre of the cake and spread into an even layer.
- Either place one layer of halved strawberries on top of the lemon curd buttercream, or spread 3tbsp of strawberry jam onto it.
- Take your next cake layer and place it bottom side up. So the flat base is at the top.
- This is the way I ice my cakes. Some people place all the frosting on top and then push it down the sides. I don't find that the easiest. You can do it whichever way you want. Spoon around 1/3 cup of the strawberry buttercream into the centre of your cake. Take a small offset spatula and spread the frosting all over the top of the cake and slightly over the edges. No need to be too neat yet, I come back to the top last.
- I then take my small spatula and pick up frosting to place on the side. I first go around just filling the gap between the two cakes, then I start adding more frosting to cover the sides entirely. I prefer to add small amounts of frosting many times, than one large lump spread about.
- Once you've placed all the frosting and covered the sides of the cake, you can either place the spatula tip down and turn the turntable as you hold the spatula in one place, this will smooth the frosting out. You can also do this step with a cake smoother tool. Or you can swirl the frosting to create a ripple effect. I took my spatula tip side down and did straight lines up to meet the top. It's totally up to you. Once I had gone all around the cake from bottom to top to create my lines. I went back to the top to finish.
- I smoothed the top as much as I could, then went around the edge with my spatula at a slight downwards angle to create a smooth, almost bevelled edge. I held the spatula at the edge, at a 5 degree angle downwards and then moved the icing turntable. This will smooth all the frosting from where you've brought the spatula up the sides.
- To finish off, melt the white chocolate in a small, shallow bowl. Dry off 10-12 whole strawberries with kitchen paper. Dip/roll each strawberry in the melted chocolate and then place them in the centre of the cake. I did a circle of 6 strawberries in the centre to create a circle and placed one larger strawberry in the middle of my circle. For the next layer, I brought the strawberries in a bit and angled them inwards, I used 4 strawberries for this next layer. To finish I placed one more strawberry in the centre of the layer of 4 to create a "mountain" of strawberries.
- Let the chocolate set up for 10-20 minutes before serving. Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake will keep covered, in the fridge for 2 days with fresh strawberries inside, or 4-5 days with jam inside. The strawberries on the top are best eaten within 2 days. If you're doing a jam fililng and need the cake to last, either leave the chocolate strawberries off, or add them just before you need the cake.