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Strawberry Lemonade Cake. A tender layer cake recipe brightened with lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh strawberries, frosted with a tangy sweet fresh strawberry buttercream frosting.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake - tender lemon cake paired with fresh strawberry buttercream | by Carrie Sellman for TheCakeBlog.com

Last summer I shared my favorite Lemon Blueberry Cake and while it’s always been a hit in our house, it quickly became a reader favorite too. So many of you have given it a try and left your feedback. Thank you! Turns out, one of the most commonly asked questions on this recipe is about subbing strawberries, as in, can I substitute the blueberries with strawberries? And while I completely understand the desire for a lemon and strawberry combo, the truth is that swapping these berries is not as easy as making a straight substitution. So after our strawberry picking adventure (read about that here) I decided to make a strawberry version of the lemon blueberry cake!

Strawberry Lemonade Cake - tender lemon cake paired with fresh strawberry buttercream | by Carrie Sellman for TheCakeBlog.com

Tart and sweet, tangy and fresh, this cake is summer at its best. The lemon cake is tender with a boost of lemon that’s pronounced but not too sour, with visible flecks of zest and extra lemon notes from a dash of extract. Then comes the strawberry frosting, the real star of this show. Fresh strawberries are simmered with a splash of lemon juice and some sugar, removing all of the excess liquid and creating the most intense strawberry reduction. When it’s added to our buttercream, the result is all the strawberry flavor you want without all the excess moisture that will ruin a frosting in no time flat. While I also love using freeze dried berries for an intense berry frosting (like in this recipe), today’s frosting is all about using the fresh berry bounty that summer brings. The tartness of the fresh strawberries tones down the sweetness of a classic crusting buttercream, creating the perfect balance that’s neither too sugary nor too sour. Plus, its natural color is pretty easy on the eyes.