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Strawberry Lemonade Cake (doctored cake mix)

Light, fluffy, strawberry lemonade cake

The tartness of the lemon cake. The sweetness of the strawberry. The tang of the lemon curd. The delicious balance of strawberry preserves and fresh strawberries. And, on top of it all–homemade whipped cream, stabilized with lemon pudding. Yes, please! This Strawberry Lemonade cake is visually stunning and (truly) one of the best cakes you’ll ever put in your mouth.

Light, fluffy. . .chiffon.

egg whites

Let’s start by talking about how to turn any boxed cake mix into a chiffon cake. It’s really very simple. Most mixes call for three eggs, 1/2 cup oil (or butter) and 1 cup water. To “chiffon” a cake, hold off on the eggs until you’ve already added the water and oil. Then, instead of adding three eggs, whip the whites of FOUR eggs separately and then fold them into the batter. Don’t over-beat or you will knock the air out of the cake. Bake as normal.

What You’ll End Up With

A light, fluffy cake, airy and billowy. And, as we discovered in an earlier post (How to Tier a Cake) this is a layered cake, not a tiered cake.

Yummy strawberry lemonade cake

You’re going to end up with an icing that’s light, fluffy, airy, and billowy.

And Lemony.

It’s hard to express the love that most of us have for lemons. Sure, they make us pucker, but when you sweeten them up in cake form, they taste like a delicacy. And let’s face it–most everyone loves the combination of lemon and strawberry. (Makes you want to reach for a big glass of strawberry lemonade, doesn’t it?!)

Here’s what you’ll need to make Strawberry Lemonade Cake

INGREDIENTS:

ingredients for strawberry lemonade cake

FOR THE STRAWBERRY CAKE:

  • 1 strawberry cake mix
  • 4 egg whites 
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup water

FOR THE LEMON CAKE:

  • 4 egg whites 
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 1?2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 box lemon pudding (instant)
  • 1-2 drops yellow gel food coloring

FILLINGS:

  • Jar lemon curd
  • Jar strawberry preserves
  • Sliced strawberries

Basically, you’re making two separate chiffon cakes and alternating the layers. So, let’s break it down.

Here’s how you make my Strawberry Lemonade Cake.

MAKE THE STRAWBERRY CAKE:

Add strawberry cake mix, oil, and water to your mixing bowl and beat until incorporated. In a separate bowl whip egg whites until light and fluffy. Fold into batter and split between two 8″ pans that have been greased and floured.

MAKE THE LEMON CAKE:

Follow the same process! Add cake mix, oil, and water to your mixing bowl and beat until incorporated. In a separate bowl whip egg whites until light and fluffy. Fold into batter and split between two 8″ pans that have been greased and floured.

lemon and strawberry cake batter in mixers
I’m blessed to have two mixers so I did my cake mixes at the same time!
lemon and strawberry cake batter in pans
Cakes have gone into the 8″ pans!

Bake all four cakes in a 350 oven for approximately 30 minutes or until they pull away from the edges of the pan and spring back to the touch. Remove from oven and cool, then turn out onto cooling racks.

MAKE THE ICING:

stabilized whipped cream
  • Pour the whipping cream into a clean, cold mixing bowl.
  • Whip cream until soft peaks form
  • Add powdered sugar, lemon pudding mix and food coloring.
  • Combine until incorporated.
  • Place in piping bag(s) with 1M tip.
  • Refrigerate until use.

TIME TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE!

You’ll see from the pictures that I’ve done this cake multiple times. It doesn’t really matter which flavor you start with on bottom, but for the sake of this tutorial let’s say we’ll put the lemon cake down first.

layered strawberry lemonade cake

Start by leveling all four cakes with a cake leveler. This will be very important.

  • Place a lemon cake on the board.
  • Spread a thin layer of lemon curd on top of the leveled cake.
  • Pipe stabilized whipped cream over the lemon curd.
  • Place a strawberry cake on next.
  • Pipe a ring of whipped cream around the edge. (I do rosettes or other pretty design.)
  • Fill the center with strawberry preserves and fresh strawberries.
  • Add lemon cake, lemon curd, lemon whipped cream
  • Top with strawberry cake, preserves, berries, and whipped cream.

TO DECORATE THE CAKE: 

I usually frost only the top of this cake, leaving the sides mostly “naked” so that their variation in colors can be seen.

strawberry lemonade cake
Those berries are floating in lemon curd, y’all!

The Inside is Lovely, Y’all!

Check it out!

Variations on the Strawberry Lemonade Cake

  • Sometimes the lemon cake goes down first, sometimes the strawberry.
  • Sometimes I use all lemon cake with strawberries and strawberry preserves between every layer.
  • Sometimes I marble the strawberry and lemon cake together. (I feel like the flavors merge a bit too much in this variation and you lose the distinction of lemon and berry.)
  • I’ve even covered this cake in lemon buttercream instead of whipped cream!
  • Strawberry lemonade cupcakes are divine but don’t “chiffon” them first. I’ve learned that they turn out so light and fluffy that they are hard to get out of the cupcake wrappers. (NOTE: Did you know that cupcake batter should be slightly thicker/more dense than cake batter? It’s true!)

I’ve Done Many Strawberry Lemonade Cakes and Cupcakes

Check out three different variations of this strawberry-lemonade cake below. See if you can notice the differences.

HINT: It’s ALL lemon cake with strawberries and strawberry preserves in-between every layer.
Strawberry Lemonade cake with lemon whipped cream
HINT: This time I started with strawberry on bottom.
Strawberry Lemonade Cake
This yummy version started with lemon on bottom.
Raspberry Lemonade Cake
This variation is a lemon cake with lemon curd and fresh raspberries, covered in raspberry buttercream.

Other Things to Try

If you love strawberries and lemons together, you might enjoy my DIY Cupcake Trifles. It would be fun to use both flavors of cake in a large trifle bowl or even individual trifle cups.

And why not try my Strawberry Lemon Creme Scones? They’re easy and yummy.

Learn more about cheesecake mousse fillings here. They’re similar to stabilized whipped cream, but with the addition of softened cream cheese.

This strawberry-lemonade pie from Southern Living looks yummy.

So does this Easy Lemonade Smoothie Recipe from Southern Home Express!

And y’all! Check out this video I stumbled across on YouTube for a puff pastry cake. I’d like to try a lemon-strawberry version. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

If you love fruity cakes, you’ll go crazy for my Pineapple Upside Down Cake! My recipe is so easy to make and starts with a boxed mix!

It’s a Contest, Y’all!

I’m dying to hear about your favorite strawberry lemonade recipes. Feel free to leave them in the comments below! Whoever leaves the recipe that sounds the most tantalizing to me will win a free copy of my “Just Roll With It” baking devotional! (Winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day, 2022.) I’ll make that recipe for Valentine’s Day and post my thoughts!

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Yield: 24 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Tart, sweet, lemony, loaded with strawberry preserves and fresh berries. . .no one will ever know this fluffy chiffon cake starts with a couple of boxed mixes!

Ingredients

  • STRAWBERRY CAKE:
  • 1 strawberry cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1?2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • LEMON CAKE:
  • 1 lemon cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1?2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • FROSTING
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 1?2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 box lemon pudding (instant) Yellow gel food coloring
  • FILLINGS:
  • Jar lemon curd
  • Jar strawberry preserves
  • Sliced strawberries (2 cups)

Instructions

    Here's how you make my Strawberry Lemonade Cake.

    MAKE THE STRAWBERRY CAKE:
    Add strawberry cake mix, oil, and water to your mixing bowl and beat until incorporated. In a separate bowl whip egg whites until light and fluffy. Fold into batter and split between two 8" pans that have been greased and floured.

    MAKE THE LEMON CAKE:
    Follow the same process! Add cake mix, oil, and water to your mixing bowl and beat until incorporated. In a separate bowl whip egg whites until light and fluffy. Fold into batter and split between two 8" pans that have been greased and floured.
    Bake all four cakes in a 350 oven for approximately 30 minutes or until they pull away from the edges of the pan and spring back to the touch. Remove from oven and cool, then turn out onto cooling racks.

    MAKE THE ICING:
    * Pour the whipping cream into a clean, cold mixing bowl.
    * Whip cream until soft peaks form
    * Add powdered sugar, lemon pudding mix and food coloring.
    * Combine until incorporated.
    * Place in piping bag(s) with 1M tip.
    * Refrigerate until use.

    TIME TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE!
    You'll see from the pictures that I've done this cake multiple times. It doesn't really matter which flavor you start with on bottom, but for the sake of this tutorial let's say we'll put the lemon cake down first.
    Start by leveling all four cakes with a cake leveler. This will be very important.


    * Place a lemon cake on the board.
    * Spread a thin layer of lemon curd on top of the leveled cake.
    * Pipe stabilized whipped cream over the lemon curd.
    * Place a strawberry cake on next.
    * Pipe a ring of whipped cream around the edge. (I do rosettes or other pretty design.)
    * Fill the center with strawberry preserves and fresh strawberries.
    * Add lemon cake, lemon curd, lemon whipped cream
    * Top with strawberry cake, preserves, berries, and whipped cream.

    TO DECORATE THE CAKE: 
    I usually frost only the top of this cake, leaving the sides mostly “naked” so that their variation in colors can be seen. Check out three different variations of this strawberry-lemonade cake below. See if you can notice the differences.

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