This Lemon + Strawberry Layer Spring Cake isn’t your traditional version of a lemon cake. Not only is it completely moist, + fluffy, but it’s also loaded with a nice balance between tart and sweet as the bursting of lemon flavor paired with the strawberry buttercream work amazingly together. A definite crowd-pleasing treat for the Easter season or any special occasion.
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease OR line with parchment paper the following cake pans: THREE 8-inch round cake pans or TWO 9-inch cake pans. **NOTE: You can also use parchment paper in addition to greasing pans for even greater ease.**
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a paddle), beat together the butter and sugar on high speed, until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl if needed.
Beat in the eggs (one at a time), vanilla, and lemon zest, for about 2 minutes or so. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl if needed, again.
Reduce the mixer to low speed and slowly add in the dry ingredients, until well combined. Now, add in the buttermilk, and lemon juice, until well incorporated. **NOTE: The batter will look a little on the thicker side---that's fine!**
Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, spreading everything around for a perfect roundness.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick.
Once done, remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a paddle), beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the powered sugar (1/2 the amount), lemon juice, vanilla, and strawberry compote, mixing them together until well combined. Add the remaining powered sugar and mix until well combined. **NOTE: If the frosting is too thick, add additional lemon juice (1 Tbsp at a time); if it's too thin, add additional powered sugar (1 Tbsp at a time). Lastly, add a pinch of sea salt to balance sweetness and Wallah!
Using a large knife (or cake slicer), slice a thin layer of cake off the tops of each cake to create a flat surface. Place first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Now, top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with buttercream. **NOTE: Repeat another step if using 3-layers.** Once full layered, add remaining buttercream atop cake and spread it over the tops and sides of cake. **NOTE: Adding a thin layer of buttercream around cake and chilling it for 30 minutes before adding remaining buttercream does the trick for an easier frosting of cake!**
Once fully frosted, add bits of cake crumble from any discarded cake, flowers, nuts, etc. as desired. Slice and enjoy!
STORAGE: Keep cake tightly wrapped using plastic wrap and refrigerated for about 1 week.
LEMON CUPCAKES: This recipe yields about 30 cupcakes. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean.
BUTTERMILK: Add 1 cup of organic heavy cream + 1 Tbsp lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes, until it thickens.
STRAWBERRY COMPOTE: Combine 3 cups diced strawberries, 1 cup pure cane sugar, 2 Tbsps lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer until the strawberries are soft. Now mix 1 Tbsp corn starch in a small bowl with 2 Tbsps warm water until well combined and lump-free. Add mixture to saucepan with strawberries and stir until syrup thickens and reduced slightly, approximately 8-10 minutes, Continue to stir occasionally.