• Lauren Humphreys

Lemon Cake with Strawberries & Lemon White Chocolate Buttercream

What was on your Easter table for dessert? Personally, I can’t stop thinking about the cake we had!

Rob and I hosted Easter this year for family, so our desserts (yes, that is plural) needed to be something extraordinary. All of the ladies in my family are incredible bakers, so I was delighted when Jolene volunteered to help AND share her amazing recipe! We had 2 desserts, but the first I wanted to share was our showstopper lemon strawberry layer cake. The second recipe—which involves chocolate and real whipped cream—will be posted soon! My sister Olivia helped out with that recipe.

Back to this cake…it was simply blissful. The cake is comprised of four soft white cake layers and filled with layers of fresh strawberries and whipped lemon white chocolate buttercream.  The subtle lemon flavor in the delicate white cake comes solely from lemon zest, so it pairs beautifully with the lemony buttercream. Jolene was the master decorator for this cake, and I think it was a brilliant decision to make the cake a “naked cake.” The layers were too pretty to bury under excessive frosting!  

I highly recommend this cake—it is equally delicious as it is stunning! Check out the gallery below the recipes for the process. Lastly, I want to give Jolene a special thanks for graciously sharing this recipe and her talents! Isn't she lovely! 

White Lemon Cake

Recipe from Jolene Messerly

2 ¼ cups cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

¼ cup shortening

¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened

1 ¾ cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla

4 egg whites

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch, round cake pans with parchment paper circles. Apply shortening under the parchment paper to hold it in place. Grease the top of the parchment paper and sides of the pan with shortening for easy removal.

Combine cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  Stir together and set aside. Cream together shortening, butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, and mix thoroughly after each addition. Once all egg whites have been added and the batter is completely smooth, add lemon zest and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately to the batter, mixing just until combined on low speed. Do not overmix or your cake will be tough and dry.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until cake is a light golden brown and cooked though. Cool cakes completely on wire racks. Once cool, remove carefully from pans and peel off parchment paper circles.

To assemble the cake, you will require 1 batch of lemon white chocolate buttercream (recipe below) and 1 pound of fresh strawberries, cut into thin slices. Place sliced strawberries on paper towels to absorb excess moisture. To create 4 layers, slice each cake horizontally with a large serrated knife. On the first layer, pipe a frosting rim around the outside of the cake and apply buttercream throughout. Without touching the rim, spread the buttercream so it is smooth on the interior. Top with sliced strawberries. Repeat this process for the next two layers. For the top layer, pipe rosettes until the entire top layer is covered. For some shimmer, sprinkle coarse clear sugar crystals over the top of the cake.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator, carefully wrapped with plastic wrap. Enjoy!  

Lemon White Chocolate Buttercream

Recipe from Jolene Messerly

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

4 oz (half block) cream cheese, softened

½ cup white chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp lemon zest

2 tsp vanilla

4-5 cups powdered sugar

Cream together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed  until whipped and shiny. While mixer is running, pour in the melted white chocolate and mix until fully incorporated.  Add lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt, and mix until combined. Add 4 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Continue beating until fluffy. Add additional powdered sugar, if necessary.

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