Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake

by Alli

Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake is so good! A tender lemon layer cake is filled with strawberry-lemon jam and topped with cream-cheese strawberry frosting.  

I love 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. One month, the cover photo of a Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake captured my attention immediately! I knew I had to make it. 

Lemon is one of my favorite flavors and strawberries are always a big hit with my taste buds, so just imagine the two flavors married together in a cake.

Of course, I have to change a few things up when I try a new cake recipe.  

Strawberry Lemonade Cake Ingredients At A Glance

  •  eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • fresh lemon juice
  • strawberry jam

Strawberry Frosting

  • granulated sugar
  • heavy cream
  • fresh lemon juice

Making The Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake

The first time I made this cake, my then 20-something-year-old daughter helped me. She even offered to run to the store to grab the ingredients that I didn’t have on hand.

First of all, This cake is totally from scratch. That suits me because I seldom use a cake mix. Well, it was from scratch until I replaced the homemade jam with store-bought. Shhh. No one has to know. 

Secondly, it’s a tad bit more time-consuming. The egg yolks 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.

Trust me, it’s well worth the extra effort. 

Since I have a stand mixer and a hand-held mixer, I get them both out for this recipe. 

Filling That Goes Between The Layers of Strawberry Lemonade Cake

The original filling for this layer cake (strawberry jam) is homemade and you have to strain and cool in the fridge for two hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that! 

So I bought Smucker’s Seedless 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? Perfect.

Helpful Hint: Never, ever use bottled lemon juice! It just tastes fake. Fresh is always better!  This cake calls for a drop of pink food coloring. I just didn’t think the frosting needed it.

This cake turns out perfectly every single time I bake it!  It is tender and moist, with just the right combination of lemon and strawberry flavors.  And the frosting is light, sweet (but not cloyingly sweet), and is always a big hit with family and friends. 

How To Store Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake

Store this cake in an airtight container at room temperature for two days. You can also store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before serving. 

The layers can be cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, and frozen for up to a month. 

Need to wow someone?  This cake does, indeed, have the wow factor and is the perfect ending to a special meal.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake with strawberries on the side

This cake is always a big hit!

Yield: 12 Servings

Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake

Strawberry Lemonade Cake with strawberries on the side

Strawberry Lemonade Cake is tender, delicious, and filled with a strawberry-lemon jam and topped with a cream cheese strawberry frosting.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon regular table salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Strawberry Lemonade Jam

  • 1 cup seedless strawberry jam
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Strawberry Frosting

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour (or use cooking spray with flour) four 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating at low speed until just blended. Stir in lemon zest and juice.
  3. Beat egg whites in a large bowl, at high speed, until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/3 of egg whites into the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into the greased and floured cake pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing from pans and cooling completely on racks.
  5. In a small bowl, stir the strawberry jam and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until smooth. Add the chopped strawberries and beat on low until combined.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream and lemon juice until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream mixture into the strawberry cream cheese mixture and fold until combined.
  8. To assemble the cake, place one layer on a cake plate and spread the layer with the strawberry-lemonade jam. Repeat with the second and third layers. Top with the 4th layer and frost with strawberry frosting.

Did you make this recipe?

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You May Also Like These Delicious Strawberry/Lemon Desserts!

Just click on the links below to go straight to the recipe.





Shirley Wood March 26, 2014 - 9:44 am

Alli, it is a hoot that you and I both used Southern Living as our inspiration for today’s post! Mine is from the Feb. issue though. My husband makes a fantastic Strawberry cake, he is famous for it. He told me when the new issue of SL came in last week that his is also going to make that cake! He does more cake baking than I do around here. I will have to show him your post from today! Good advice, looking forward to sampling that cake!

Alli March 26, 2014 - 9:56 am

Next time (and there will be a next time) I make it, I will actually make the jam from scratch. I just didn’t have the time that night because the daughter and I was craving something sweet! I love my Southern Living! It’s great that your husband does most of the baking. So does my dad! I usually do the baking around here and last night I made Sandra Lee’s strawberry shortcake with splenda instead of sugar. That made it more healthier, right? I had to use up those strawberries left over from Sunday’s hit or miss. 🙂

Kristen from The Road to Domestication March 26, 2014 - 10:24 am

I’ve made a cake like this one before, but yours is prettier! I missed on my exercise routine this week, but that’s about all I have to report LOL

Alli March 26, 2014 - 12:09 pm

I haven’t exercised consistently this week, either. We are leaving for Disney with the grands on Saturday and I think I’m already in vacation mode.

Kelly @ The Moon and Me March 26, 2014 - 11:50 am

Ooooh….I was drooling over that very same cake the other day. I told my mom we needed to make it. Good to know it’s worth the trouble. I think Easter just found its dessert. 🙂

Alli March 26, 2014 - 12:07 pm

I’m thinking the same about it being my Easter dessert. 🙂

Laura @ The Rookie Cook March 26, 2014 - 12:08 pm

I saw this cake on Southern Living this month and thought it looked sooooo good too. Now you’ve convinced me that I need to try it!

Alli March 26, 2014 - 3:10 pm

Go for it, Laura! It’s soooo good! 🙂

Laura @ The Rookie Cook March 31, 2014 - 11:59 am

Question for you: when I made this, the cake batter was really thick (I ended up adding a little more milk). Also, the cake was fairly heavy and not light and fluffy. Was yours a heavier cake or did I just get too much flour in it?

Alli March 31, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Mine was very light, almost like a sponge cake. Did you beat the egg whites separately until stiff peaks formed and gently folded them in?Hmm, I don’t know, but I hate that it was heavy.

Laura @ The Rookie Cook April 3, 2014 - 12:23 am

Yeah, I did, but I think the problem was when I sifted the flour to make my own cake flour and then didn’t re-measure it. I think I just had too much flour. Oh well! It was still good frosting and the cake was fine, just a little dry!

Alli April 3, 2014 - 7:25 am

I bet that was it. I used regular cake flour. I’ve never tried to make my own. You’ll have to show me how!

Kim March 26, 2014 - 1:00 pm

That looks so good!! I’m not much of a baker but every once in awhile one of my boys wants to help me make something – this would be a perfect choice!

Anna @ Northern Homestead March 26, 2014 - 1:29 pm

This looks yummy. I am so not good in baking this kind of things :(. Bread yes, cake no. Can I come over and just have a a piece?

Alli March 26, 2014 - 1:37 pm

Come on over!

Meegan March 26, 2014 - 5:39 pm

How fun!! What a great evening with your daughter. The cake looks delish. I can never resist anything lemon 🙂

Alli March 27, 2014 - 5:37 am

There’s just something about the taste of lemon and spring time . . . 🙂

Thea March 26, 2014 - 6:00 pm

What a divine looking cake! Perfect for Spring. Southern Living is a fabulous magazine even though I live in the North. Interesting that they don’t make a Northern Living magazine. It was nice to stop by your lovely blog!

Alli March 27, 2014 - 5:36 am

Thanks, Thea! I just love Southern Living! I remember making the “white cake” on their December issue. It took two days, but was totally worth it! I made it for an event and it was a big hit.

By the way, I love your daughter’s bedroom redo! I redid my daughter’s bedroom a few months ago and I have yet to post it. I seriously need to get on that! 🙂

Cindy Eikenberg March 26, 2014 - 7:32 pm

Alli, it sounds like such a fun evening and I love having time like that with my daughter, too. The cake looks beautiful and sounds perfect – I totally love lemon. You are SO right, bottled lemon juice – no, there are no words, it just has to be fresh! Love the Smucker’s line! 🙂 Thanks for sharing and hope you’re having a happy week!

Alli March 27, 2014 - 5:34 am

Cindy, I just visited your latest post and I am smitten with your milkshake shooters! How adorable!

And I’m glad someone got the Smucker’s quote! 🙂

Crystal March 26, 2014 - 11:41 pm

What a fun time with your daughter. I love those moments!! The cake looks amazing. I made a lemonade cake last year that I found on Pinterest and it has been a hit, but it doesn’t have jam. Also, it is super easy and made from scratch.

Alli March 27, 2014 - 5:20 am

We did have fun! Your cake sounds fabulous, too!

Becka March 27, 2014 - 11:25 am

That looks great. I bet you and your daughter had a great time together making it! 🙂 Some great ideas on the substitutions as well. 🙂

Tenns @ New Mama Diaries March 28, 2014 - 11:59 am

That cake looks delicious! My hit for the week as a chicken tettrazini that I made. It was delicious and everyone loved it!

Paula@SweetPea March 28, 2014 - 8:09 pm

I’m glad you tested this cake because I have been thinking about it since I saw it on SL’s cover. I’m going to hint heavily for my mom to make it for Easter.

Alexis April 1, 2014 - 9:33 pm

YUM!!! OMG! I want to make this now!! Thank you for sharing atWhat We Eat Wednesday. I pinned you to our board. Thanks for linking up! 🙂

Alexis at Laugh. Eat. Learn.

Alli April 1, 2014 - 10:26 pm

Thanks for hosting!


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