Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) shortening
- 2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 5 large eggs, separated with no yolk traces in egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Few drops red or pink food color
- 2 tablespoons (1oz) strawberry extract
- 1 cup buttermilk, must be at room temperature
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, not bottled
- 1 1/3 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 2 1/4 sticks (18 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
- 2 pints strawberries
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- Basic Butter Cream Frosting
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) strawberry extract
- Few drops red or pink food color
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 3, 8-inch cake pans and fit a round sheet of parchment on bottom to ensure a flawless removal from pans.
- Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside.
- Using a stand or handheld mixer, mix soft butter, shortening, and sugar. Add one egg yolk at a time waiting for previously added yolk to be fully incorporated.
- Scrape bowl well, add vanilla and enough food color to obtain a pretty pink color. Add strawberry extract.
- This mixture needs to be very fluffy and creamy. If not, run a hair dryer on sides of bowl while mixing.
- Add one fourth of dry ingredients and once combined add a third of buttermilk. Add another fourth of dry ingredients and once combined add another third of buttermilk. Repeat steps until all incorporated.
- In a separate bowl whip egg whites until medium stiff. As soon as they are whipped, fold them gently until combined.
- Scrape batter evenly into pans and spread the surface evenly.
- Place in oven and bake until center of cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with a finger and until you see cake retracting from sides in a few areas. About 25-28 minutes.
- Turn baked cake upside down onto plastic food film. Do not remove parchment paper from cakes yet.
- Prepare lemon curd: In a non-reactive saucepan bring lemon juice and approximately half of sugar to a boil.
- In a separate bowl whisk eggs for 2 minutes until well combined and then quickly whisk in remaining sugar. Pour about half of boiled lemon juice mixture into beaten eggs and whisk rapidly.
- Pour egg mixture into saucepan and whisk vigorously to a boil. Keep whisking constantly until thick bubbles form. Remove from heat and set aside. Do not add soft butter yet.
- Once mixture feels barely lukewarm (130°F) add half of soft butter using a rubber spatula. Stir until dissolved. Add remaining butter and mix until butter is dissolved. If butter was a touch too cold, it will not properly dissolve. If so, place bowl about 5 seconds in a microwave oven and then stir for several minutes. (Only if absolutely needed return it to the microwave oven. Do not overheat mixture as butter would melt and actually clarify and consequently loose its ability to thicken curd properly.)
- Set bowl into another bowl filled with ice cubes and do not stir it any longer until it is completely cold.
- Meanwhile wash and dry strawberries. Slice 1 pint of strawberries crosswise in 1/4-inch-thick slices. Essentially you will have round slices.
- Using a serrated knife, trim away golden brown top surface of cake layers. Place one cake layer on a serving platter.
- Spread cake layer with one third of lemon curd ensuring that curd stays 1/2 inch away from edges of cake.
- Place half of strawberry slices onto curd.
- Cover with another cake layer and repeat with 1/3 of curd and remaining sliced strawberries. Cover with remaining cake layer.
- Place cake in refrigerator
- Meanwhile prepare buttercream frosting and add strawberry extract and pink or red food color near end of mixing.
- Frost sides and top of cake.
- Using a medium star pastry tip, pipe a border of buttercream rosettes on edge of cake.
- Spread remaining lemon curd inside rosettes.
- Decorate with strawberries.
NOTE: Select flour with 3 grams/protein on nutrition facts label.