This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Plugrá® Butter. All opinions and text are all mine.
Bring out the spring in springtime with this pastel colored Strawberry Lemon Cake. Moist and tender lemon cake is bursting with fresh strawberries and filled with lemon cream then covered with a real strawberry-flavored buttercream. It’s sure to be the centerpiece of any Easter table.
Easter Strawberry Lemon Cake with Strawberry Buttercream
I love when spring is in the air! My thoughts immediately turn to Easter and all the gorgeous pastel colors that are associated with the season. This Easter Strawberry Lemon Cake fits the holiday perfectly and uses the abundance of fresh seasonal strawberries to make it even more delicious.
Usually I make recipes that tend to be on the quicker and easier side, but Easter calls for something a little more special. Plus, it lets me have a little fun and show a bit of my creative side. So, you can imagine, when Plugrá® asked if I would make a recipe using their premium butter, I just had to say yes!
Finding Plugrá butter was easy! My favorite grocery store, Publix, carried it in their dairy case next to the other butters. And, if you’ve been wanting to try this premium butter, now is a great time. Check out all the savings going on at your local Publix here for your spring baking.
I challenged myself to make this cake a lighter, more moist and more flavorful cake that would align perfectly with the warm spring weather. To do this I had to change up a few ingredients such as using a premium butter, like Plugrá, and using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Below I’ve described how and why I made the changes.
It took me three tries before I was happy with the result. Now, you can make it right the first time and get all the oohs and ahhs that you deserve. Believe me, the difference the ingredients I used made and methods followed was apparent the minute everyone had their first bite. This Strawberry Lemon Cake will be the centerpiece of your Easter table.
The best cakes begin with quality butter
Why should you use Plugrá butter? Premium butter, like Plugrá, contain less water and more butterfat. This butterfat helps hold a cake together. And Plugrá slow churns theirs for a creamier flavor, resulting in a more moist cake. You also have the added security that it’s made with real milk from American dairy farms, has no artificial ingredients and contains no added growth hormones.
Why use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour
Cake flour is finer, lighter and softer than all-purpose flour. It is made of soft winter wheat and is usually bleached, which results in a lighter color and less dense grain. It has an overall lower protein content than all-purpose flour, which in turn produces less gluten. And less gluten means a less chewy cake. Yay! The results will be a noticeably tender, lighter cake with a finer crumb.
Now that you know how important the ingredients are to a delicious cake, let me tell you the importance of how you mix them together.
A few important notes for making the best lemon cake.
- To make the cake lighter and fluffier, cream the butter and sugar together for at least 5 minutes. This incorporates air into the mixture to give the cake more structure.
- When mixing dry ingredients into creamed mixture, always start and end with the dry ingredients. The addition of the dry ingredients first will help prevent the batter from curdling. This might happen if the colder wet ingredients are added first. It also coats the flour with fat preventing gluten from developing. This will make the resulting cake more tender.
- When alternating dry and wet ingredients, whisk or fold them into the creamed mixture. This will prevent overmixing which would incorporate more air into the batter. If your cakes tend to collapse in the center, overmixing is often the culprit.
These tips are not hard to do but they are important. And they can help any cake you make in the future come out deliciously moist and tender. And now on to the cake!
Steps to the best Strawberry Lemon Cake ever
- Cream butter and sugar together for 5 minutes. It will be lighter in color and fluffier.
- Add eggs, one at a time, while continuing to beat.
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Using a whisk to combine, add 1/4 of dry ingredients first.
- Alternate with 1/3 of wet ingredients. Continue until all dry and wet ingredients have been added, ending with dry ingredients.
- DO NOT OVERMIX. Just until ingredients are combined.
- Fold in lemon zest and strawberries.
- Pour into 2 prepared 8″ cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes, then carefully turn out of pans, set on wire racks, and let cool completely.
Lemon Cream – smooth, creamy and a little tart is the perfect foil for a lemon cake bursting with sweet strawberries.
- Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form then fold in lemon curd.
Top it all with an easy strawberry buttercream with vibrant fresh strawberry flavor from a secret ingredient!
- Pulverize freeze-dried strawberries.
- Cream butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes.
- Add powdered strawberries, heavy cream and powdered sugar to creamed mixture.
- Beat well. Just look at that gorgeous color!
How to put it all together to show off this bright Easter cake
Place bottom layer on a cake stand or plate.
Spread a layer of lemon cream on top of the layer. Make sure to keep it about 1/2″ away from edges to make it easier to frost.
Stack another layer on top. In my case, I had made an extra layer so mine was 3 layers tall.
First ice the sides of the cake then the top. Now it’s ready to decorate with fruit slices, Easter candy and sprinkles.
Tada! A beautiful creation fit for a holiday meal or any special occasion.
Take a bite! It’s light, lemony and oh so moist. You won’t believe how well you can bake! And remember to keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Enjoy!
This moist Strawberry Lemon Cake is the perfect springtime & Easter dessert! A tart lemon cake, sweet strawberries, lemon filling all covered with a flavorful strawberry buttercream.
- 3/4 cup Unsalted Plugrá Butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh strawberries diced
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Garnishes: sprinkles lemon slices, strawberry halves, Easter candy
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup prepared lemon curd
- 3/4 cup Unsalted Plugrá Butter room temperature
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries pulverized
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 2 8” cake pans. Line bottom of each with parchment paper. Butter parchment paper and then dust entire pan with flour.
Cream Plugrá butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, for 5 minutes.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- In a large bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large measuring cup, combine buttermilk, lemon juice and extracts. Stir.
- Using a whisk to mix, add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just blended.
- Toss diced strawberries with 1 tablespoon flour.
- Fold strawberries and lemon zest into batter.
- Divide batter between cake pans and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
Let cool in cake pans for 10 minutes then gently turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Make just before assembling cake.
- In a clean bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form.
- Fold in lemon curd.
- Beat butter for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Place freeze-dried strawberries in a chopper or blender and pulverize to a powder. You should have about ½ cup.
- Add freeze-dried strawberries, heavy cream and powdered sugar to butter and beat another 3-4 minutes.
- Place one of the cooled cake rounds on a platter or cake stand.
- Smooth some of the lemon cream over top. Make sure to leave about ½” around outside edge clean so as not to interfere when frosting the cake.
- Place second cake round on top of lemon cream.
- Smooth frosting around outside then cover top.
- Decorate as desired for Easter or spring. I used sprinkles around sides and lemon slices, strawberry halves and candy Easter eggs on top.
More delicious and springy desserts for the season.