The cake that brings back good memories
It started snowing again which brings a peaceful and quite feeling. But as Easter approaches I am really craving warm weather and sunny days. To make things feel bright and airy I created this Strawberry Lemonade Cake.
Growing up in small town in New Mexico, my friends and I would often make Sonic runs (seeing as popular drink shops were not a thing back then) my drink of choice was always a Strawberry Lemonade. It makes me feel happy to think back on the memories of riding in my friends car with the windows down, blaring music and living without a single care in the world; strawberry lemonade in hand. So, of course as I'm trying to recreate these summer time feelings a strawberry lemonade cake only seemed fitting.
" Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about." -John Mayer
This cake starts off with a lemon pound cake type batter. There is tons of lemon juice and zest to give it that right amount of pucker. Then you layer in a strawberry lemon curd and top with more batter. The strawberry lemon curd not only adds a little sweetness but also give the cake a fun textural surprise. Anyone else get board of one texture cakes?
The cake is made with granulated sugar which gives it this beautiful crust and again adds texture and then its all topped (after baking of course) with a strawberry glaze. I'm telling you now, this cake is happiness in a Bundt pan
My tricks for making sure your cake never sticks is two fold: first coat your pan in Crisco. I know this is controversial but Crisco has a higher heat tolerance and doesn't burn as easily as butter does. Which we love browned butter when its in our cookies but not if its going to make our cakes stick to the pan. use Crisco next time and watch the magic happen. And Second, after the cake comes out of the oven set your timer for 10 minutes. this allows the cake to cool enough to release from the pan. After 10 minutes turn cake over to a cake stand and watch as it slides right out. These two tricks in combination work EVERY TIME!
The two cake pans that I personally use and love, but any similar will work great, too.
Strawberry Lemonade Cake:
1 c butter room temp butter
2 c granulated sugar
3 large eggs room temp
3 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/2 c lemon curd (recipe follows) can also use store bought.
Strawberry Lemon Curd:
1/4 c Simply Strawberry Lemonade
juice and zest from 1 lemon
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 TBSP butter
In a small saucepan bring strawberry lemonade, lemon juice and zest to a simmer. While that comes to a soft bubble, whisk together 1/2 c sugar, 1 egg and egg yolk in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt to the sugar. Once lemon and strawberry juice starts to simmer slowly pour juice into the sugar mixture tempering the eggs. Once eggs are tempered transfer that mixture back to the saucepan. Stir until it starts to thicken. Add 2 TBSP butter and take off heat stirring constantly till nice and thick. Once curd has thickened press through a fine strainer to make smooth and get rid of the lemon zest. Allow to cool completely before adding to the cake.
1/2 c powdered sugar
2-3 tsp strawberry syrup or simply lemonade
a pinch of salt
mix all ingredients well and pour over cake after it is done baking and cooling
**Lemon curd store bought is fine but here is the recipe I used when making this cake
In a small saucepan boil juice and zest of 1 lemon. While that is coming to a boil combine 3/4 c sugar and 1 egg to a small bowl. add a pinch of salt to the sugar once lemon juice starts to boil slowly pour into the sugar mixture tempering the eggs once eggs are tempered transfer that mixture back to the saucepan. Add 2 TBSP butter and cook on medium low till it starts to thicken. Take off heat and set aside till ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a Bundt pan with Crisco and set aside.
To a large bowl cream together the sugar and butter lemon juice and zest. Add in eggs one at a time. In a medium bowl add all the dry ingredients. When ready, add dry ingredients into wet ingredients a third at a time alternating with your buttermilk. Once fully combined, spoon a third of the batter into batter into your well greased pan dollop in about a third of your strawberry lemon curd. Continue this till the cake batter is all in the pan. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or till a toothpick comes out with soft crumbs. When cake comes out of the oven let the cake cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a cake stand or plate. Allow the cake cool completely before adding strawberry glaze. Slice and enjoy.