Julia Child once said, “A party without a cake, is just a meeting”. Now, you would never want your guests to think your Easter party was “just a meeting”, so let’s make a cake for this Sunday. Southern Living Magazine makes the most glorious Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake. The sweet-tart cake is simply to die for. I decided to serve it on my absolute favorite cake plate from Williams Sonoma, and I think the rabbit holding the plate gives it the most perfect seasonal touch.
This cake is ideal to serve at Easter brunch tomorrow, not only because of its perfect shade of pastel pink, but because the flavors are so light and reminiscent of Spring.
Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake
 Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Shortening
Strawberry-Lemonade Jam (Recipe below)
Strawberry Frosting (Recipe below)
         
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  2. Stir together flour and next 2 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in zest and juice.
  3. Beat egg whites in a large bowl at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-third of egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites. Spoon batter into 4 greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  4. Bake at 350° for 16 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
  5. Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter, and spread with about 1/2 cup Strawberry-Lemonade Jam, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Spoon 1 cup Strawberry Frosting into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe a ring of frosting around cake layer just inside the top edge. Top with second and third cake layers, repeating procedure with filling and frosting between each layer. Top with last cake layer, and spread remaining Strawberry Frosting on top and sides of cake.

*Recipe from Southern Living Magazine, April 2014.

Strawberry-Lemonade Jam
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries $
3/4 cup sugar $
1/4 cupfresh lemon juice$Click to see savings


3 tablespoons cornstarch
         
Directions:
  1. Process strawberries in a blender until smooth; press through a wire-mesh strainer into a 3-qt. saucepan, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice; discard pulp. Stir in sugar.
  2. Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch; gradually whisk into strawberry mixture. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place plastic wrap directly on warm jam; chill 2 hours or until cold. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.

*Recipe from Southern Living Magazine, April 2014.

Strawberry Frosting
Ingredients:
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 drop pink food coloring gel (optional)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Directions:
  1. Beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until smooth; add strawberries and food coloring (if desired); beat until blended.
  2. Beat cream and juice at medium speed until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and slowly add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold half of cream mixture into cheese mixture; fold in remaining cream mixture. Use immediately.

*Recipe from Southern Living Magazine, April 2014.