Thursday, 16 June 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

With summer on the not-so-far-off horizon, I get the urge to make refreshing, fruity desserts. When I saw this recipe on another blog I knew that the combination of strawberry and lemonade was exactly what I was looking for.

Now, just because this recipe has lemonade in it don't assume that the lemonade decreases the sweetness in any way, shape or form. It ... doesn't. If you have a sweet tooth this is the cake for YOU! It's not a light and fluffy cake due to the lemonade that you drizzle over the cake but it is definitely moist and very flavourful. Top it with my very berry frosting and it is sublime!

I've posted the frosting that I devised as a separate blog post to make searching for it easier. As a mom who has a child with a severe peanut allergy, finding safe peanut-free frosting tints is really hard, if not nearly impossible. This frosting doesn't use any Wilton tints or the liquid food colouring (I just don't like it) but it is very flavourful and was a huge hit with my kids. I can't wait to try different variations as our family heads into "Birthday Season".


Yield: 9x13-inch cake (OR 24 cupcakes - see Note below)
Recipe Inspired By: Pure and Yummy (Originally from Annie Eats)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon zest (approximately the zest of one medium lemon)
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 cups fresh strawberries, finely chopped

Lemonade Syrup
1 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan OR line muffin tin with liners. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl), beat the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add the milk and carefully mix (you may want to do this by hand because the milk splatters a bit). Add remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Fold in the fresh strawberries.

Pour batter into a the prepared 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely.

Meanwhile, whisk together the lemonade concentrate and the icing sugar in a medium bowl. Poke many holes (every inch or so) all over the top of the cake with a skewer. Pour lemonade mixture over cake, allowing it to soak in.

Frost with my delicious Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing and store in refrigerator.

NOTE: I chose to make a cake instead of cupcakes because I could just imagine the mess of pouring the lemonade over 24 little cupcakes. If you choose to go the cupcake route, place paper liners in two trays of muffin tins. Fill each muffin paper 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Continue with the directions pouring the lemonade mixture over top of each cupcake (put some parchment paper underneath your cupcakes to make clean up easier) and frost each cupcake. Store in refrigerator.

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