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Strawberry Lemonade Cake
We use fresh strawberry puree and honey for a light, fresh birthday cake that will please a crowd!Yield: Serves 20
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (pastry or regular)
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 cup honey
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil (sub up to half with applesauce)
- 1 1/4 cup strawberry puree*
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
- 16 ounces (2 8-ounce blocks) light cream cheese
- 1/3 cup honey
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of half a large lemon
(Optional: powdered sugar or all purpose flour for thickening)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and butter and flour two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients: Flours, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients: Honey, eggs, oil, strawberry puree, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk well to combine.
Add the wet to the dry and stir until well combined.
Pour evenly into the two 8-inch round pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let rest in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool (lay them on a towel to protect fridge shelves).
In the meantime prepare your frosting by beating cream cheese, honey, lemon juice and zest. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. Add more honey for extra sweetness, more zest and juice for more lemon flavor, and a touch of all purpose flour OR powdered sugar to thicken it up (optional). Alternatively, to thicken you could refrigerate it for an hour or more.
Once cakes are cooled remove from fridge and loosen the edges with a knife.
Line the edges of a cake stand or serving plate with parchment paper so they can be removed once the cake is frosted to reveal a clean edge. A dot of frosting underneath toward the center of the plate will help them stick.
Loosen the first cake from the pan and drop it face up onto the stand or plate and lightly carve off the middle if it's raised.
Frost the first layer trying to avoid too many crumbs in the frosting. Top with a few sliced strawberries in a single layer (optional).
If the second cake is arched on top, lightly shave off the top with a serrated knifed until it's mostly flat. Then gently flip it upside down and place it on top of the first cake (face down).
Frost generously, first adding about 1 cup of frosting on the top of the cake and working your way out. I found using the back of a spoon to nestle frosting in between the two layers was helpful. Use a butter knife or frosting knife to smooth the edges.
Garnish with a circle of fresh strawberries (tops removed) and lemon zest. Chill until serving.
Recipe and photos by Dana Shultz