Strawberry Lemonade Cake
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 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
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 (8-oz.) 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
How to Make It
Prepare Cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir together flour and next 2 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with 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 4 greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350° for 16 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
For Strawberry-Lemonade Jam: Process strawberries in a blender until smooth; press through a wire-mesh strainer into a 3-qt. saucepan, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice; discard pulp. Stir in sugar.
Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch; gradually whisk into strawberry mixture. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place plastic wrap directly on warm jam; chill 2 hours or until cold. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.
For Frosting: Beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until smooth; add strawberries and food coloring (if desired); beat until blended.
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; fold in remaining cream mixture. Use immediately.
Layer Cake: Place 1 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 1 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 Strawberry Frosting on top and sides of cake.