A great summertime layer cake full of strawberry lemonade flavor!


Recipe Summary

40 mins
50 mins
20 mins
1 hr 50 mins
1 9-inch layer cake


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Strawberry Reduction:


Instructions Checklist
  • Place strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice for the reduction into an electric blender and puree until smooth.

  • Pour strawberry mixture into a large saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reduced by 1/2, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup plus 5 tablespoons for cake and frosting; remainder will be used as cake filling.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.

  • Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  • Beat sugar and butter using an electric mixer in a large bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Mix in lemon zest and vanilla extract. Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in 1/2 of the sour cream, and 1/2 of the lemon juice. Repeat alternating additions of flour mixture and sour cream plus lemon juice until just combined, making sure not to overmix.

  • Place 1/2 of the batter into a separate bowl. Fold in 1/2 cup strawberry reduction. Place dollops of both lemon and strawberry-lemon batters alternately into the prepared cake pans. Swirl batters together with a butter knife.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pans before removing and transferring cakes to a wire rack to cool completely, 15 to 30 minutes.

  • While cakes are cooling, beat butter for frosting with an electric mixer in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until incorporated. Mix in 5 tablespoons strawberry reduction, lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and salt until combined. Pour in heavy cream and beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add additional powdered sugar if too thin, or additional heavy cream if too thick, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

  • Place 1 cooled cake layer on a serving platter and cover top with a thin layer of frosting. Pipe a border around the edge of the cake layer using a piping bag filled with frosting, leaving the center open. Pour remaining strawberry reduction into the center of the border, making sure it doesn't overflow over the sides. Place second cake layer on top and continue to frost as desired. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Cook's Note:

If a stronger colored strawberry swirl is desired, feel free to add red food coloring alongside the strawberry reduction to 1/2 of the cake batter before swirling.

Nutrition Facts

671 calories; protein 4.9g 10% DV; carbohydrates 90g 29% DV; fat 33.9g 52% DV; cholesterol 127mg 42% DV; sodium 246mg 10% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (8)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
Awesome! I have waited a very long time to take on this challenge, as it seemed quite daunting to a novice like me, but it was well worth the wait. My family loved it and the recipe was pretty easy to follow. Thank you for sharing it! Read More
9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
I bake often and am not afraid of tackling a complicated recipe, but I won’t be making this one again. Although the frosting and the strawberry filling are fantastic, I wasn’t happy with the cake itself...it was just so incredibly heavy and dense. Not only that, but the appearance of the cake layers was disappointing, not at all like the photo posted by the person who shared this recipe. The strawberry batter bakes into an unappetizing brown and the lemon batter wasn’t really yellow either. It was far too much work for an incredibly average result. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
No changes. Awesome! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
My husband liked it! And he doesn't usually like anything. Got rave reviews at work too. Needed more confectioner's sugar in the frosting. It was a little too soft and slid off part of the cake. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
This cake looked so gorgeous in the photo, but it was disappointing when I made it. The colors in the batter cook to a weird brownish color - it's marbled, just not in a pretty way. I guess you could add food coloring to fix that. The texture is really nice, but the lemon flavor dissipates completely while baking. The strawberry filling tasted delicious, but never got to a consistency that worked for the interior filling . . . using a roux or thickening with cornstarch or another thickener would help. The frosting is really pretty and tasty - just thickened it up with a bit more 10x. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Awesome! I have waited a very long time to take on this challenge, as it seemed quite daunting to a novice like me, but it was well worth the wait. My family loved it and the recipe was pretty easy to follow. Thank you for sharing it! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Cake was delicious and moist, I just added extra milk to the cake mix and extra strawberry reduction for flavor. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Followed recipe! Came out great Read More
Rating: 2 stars
I do not know what went wrong but i did the cake so it was Dairy-free so I used oat milk for the frosting and I did Vegan sour cream for the cake and it was gross.The frosting the family loved if you could maybe find a dairy free thing that works it would be delicious.I also the strawberry cake turns brown and into a play-dough mush.I have no clue how it would taste regular but oh well I cant win them all.?? Read More