When I received my Southern Living magazine (if you live in the south, you are required to subscribe to Southern Living – it’s actually young, hip, cool, chic – well, you get the picture) last week, the cover photo of their Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake captured my attention immediately! Duh! That’s why it’s on the cover!
Lemon is one of my favorite flavors and strawberries are always a big hit with my taste buds, so imagine the two flavors married together in a cake.
This past Sunday evening (after a day of speaking at our church’s morning service and preparing lunch for company) found me in the kitchen celebrating girls’ night in with my 25 year old daughter. My husband was out of town, so it was just the baby girl and me!
I have to pause at this point in the story to let you know that Sunday is the only day that my youngest daughter and I allow ourselves to eat dessert. It just works for us.
Back to the story
My daughter suddenly had a light bulb moment and exclaimed, “I know, why don’t you make that cake on the cover of Southern Living? I’ll run to the store to grab the ingredients that you don’t have on hand.”
She did. I did. And let the baking begin!
First of all, this cake is totally from scratch. That suits me because I seldom use a cake mix.
Secondly, it’s very time consuming. The egg yokes are separated from the whites and the whites are whipped into stiff peaks and folded into the batter. It makes for a very light, airy, moist cake. But it does take a little extra time.
The filling (strawberry jam) is homemade and has to cool in the fridge for two hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Well, we didn’t have time for that on Sunday night. So I bought Smuckers strawberry jam and added two tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice and mixed well. “With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good,” right?
Hint: Never, ever use bottled lemon juice! It just tastes fake. Fresh is always better! I also left out the drop of pink food coloring. I just didn’t think the frosting needed it.
The cake turned out perfectly! It was tender and moist, with just the right combination of lemon and strawberry flavors. And the frosting was light, sweet (but not cloyingly sweet) and a big hit!
It does take a little time, but it’s well worth it. I sent a big hunk of cake to work with my daughter on Monday morning to share with her coworkers. I just don’t need it sitting in the fridge calling my name. That cake knows that I don’t eat sweets on a week day!
Need to wow someone? This cake does, indeed, have the wow factor and would be the perfect ending to a special meal.
Oh, yeah, here’s the recipe! The cake was a big “fat” hit!
Any hits or misses for you this week?