Celebrate spring with this simple, delicious Strawberry Lemon cake with Spring Flowers!
I made this cake for no other reason than I was inspired by a cake that jennycookies made for Easter. Jenny made a “naked” carrot cake and topped the cake with frosting and a pile of fresh flowers. The look was unique and stunning. I had to recreate it!
Since I wasn’t making this cake for any particular reason or occasion, I decided I’d make a small 6-in cake so I wouldn’t have tons of cake to give away or waste. I know my family can’t eat an entire cake by ourselves!
For the cake, I used a German recipe I had just used to make an Osterlamm and kicked it up a bit adding fresh lemon zest and lemon extract and coloring the cake pink. I filled the cake with a simple strawberry filling and frosted it in my usual buttercream but added vanilla bean and lemon extra to bring out even more lemon flavor in the cake.
The weekend before I made this cake, I went to the Nuremberg Easter Market where the fresh flowers are abundant! I had in mind the kind of flowers I wanted to use and hoped I could find some. I knew these large Gerbera Daisy’s would be perfect to top my cake!
Cutting into the cake, you’ll see the beautiful pink cake and strawberry filling. That next to the white frosting and bright flowers, this cake is a simply gorgeous! I mean seriously… isn’t this cake stunning?
The flowers on top really bring it to the next level! You could easily use this cake for Easter, a baby shower, a birthday or a weekend BBQ!
I almost didn’t want to cut into it! I just wanted to look at it because it was so pretty!
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 500g strawberries, cleaned and quartered
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 240g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 220g sugar
- zest of one lemon
- 4 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 320g all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 Tbsp whole milk
- pink gel food coloring
Lemon Vanilla Bean Buttercream
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp lemon extract
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- Fresh flowers
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the strawberries and stir to coat.
- Mix in the sugar, lemon juice, salt and vanilla extract. Cook on medium high for 3-5 minutes or until the berries begin to break down, the sugar has melted and the berries begin to juice. Do not boil the berries, just simmer.
- Remove a few tablespoons of the juice and mix with the flour until smooth. Add this back into the pan and stir to combine. Cook 1-3 more minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
- Transfer the filling to another bowl and refrigerate until cool.
- Grease and flour 2 6in round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
- Zest the lemon into a medium bowl. Add the sugar. Using the back of your spatula, press the sugar into the zest until it becomes fluffy and fragrant.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and lemon sugar for 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Mix in the sour cream, vanilla and lemon extracts.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl first. Mix on medium-low speed until combined. Add the milk and food coloring then mix again until combined. Give the batter a few mixes by hand with a spatula.
- Divide batter evenly between the two pans and level with an offset spatula.
- Bake on the center rack for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden.
- Cool in the pans for 10 minutes until removing to a wire rack to cool completely. When you remove them to the rack, place them top side down to encourage the top to level out flat.
- Once the cakes have cooled, trim the tops so they are the same height. Measure the height then cut them horizontally down the center, creating two halves for each cake.
Lemon Vanilla Bean Buttercream
- In the bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat on high until incorporated.
- Add the heavy cream, salt, extract and vanilla bean seeds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for 3-4 minutes. Scrape the bowl again and beat another 2-3 minutes.
- Place one layer of cake, cut side up, on a cake board or plate. Spread an even layer of strawberry over the top coming almost to the edge. Don't put so much on that when you put the next layer on it will all squeeze out. Place a second layer cut side down and repeat. Do this until all four layers are on the cake.
- Spread a very thin "crumb coat" of frosting on the top and sides of the cake. This will help trap in the crumbs and frosting before you actually frost the cake. Chill the cake in the freezer 20-30 minutes or until the cakes are firm and the crumb coat is set.
- Spread a 1/4 inch layer of frosting on the top of the cake and level flat with a spatula.
- Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, use the petal technique to frost the sides of the cake.
- Cut the stems of the flowers almost completely off. Leave about 1/4-1/2 inch to help stabilize the flower on the cake. Place the flowers on the top of the cake. There is no rule or right way to do this. Arrange the flowers however you think looks the most beautiful.
- Chill the cake until an hour before you want to serve it. Serve it the day you make it.