Strawberry Lemonade Cake with Sweet and Tart Lemon Curd Filling

Strawberry Lemonade Cake – strawberry lemon cake layers, filled with homemade lemon curd and topped with a strawberry cream cheese buttercream – the perfect spring or summer cake.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake - strawberry Jell-O cake layers with Lemond curd and strawberry buttercream - the perfect summer cake! #summercake #strawberrylemonadecake #strawberrycake #summercakerecipe #easysummercakerecipe #cakesforsummer #cakebycourtney

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

My mom just moved into a new home in Los Angeles. One of the best things about her new place are the lemon trees in her backyard. She also has a herb garden and a few other fruit trees. (I’m so jealous! It’s making me want to get started on my garden boxes stat!). Well, being the fabulous mom that she is, she didn’t just bring me fresh lemons during her recent visit to Utah, she also brought me homemade lemon curd! There’s not a lot of things better in this life than homemade fruit curd. You can literally put it on or in anything – toast, croissants, tarts, cupcakes, and of course, cake! I love the punch of flavor it provides without being overwhelming. I also love a curd because once you have the basic recipe down, switching between flavors is so easy.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

For this cake, I decided to pair the lemon curd with my strawberry cake. I had heard from a couple readers that my original strawberry cake recipe sank a little during baking. Though I haven’t had the problem, I didn’t want this to be an issue for anyone else! So, I made a few tweaks to the strawberrycake layers and am now confident they’ll rise perfectly for anyone.

There’s also some lemon zest in the cake layers, accentuating the flavor of the curd just a tad. The frosting is a strawberry cream cheese frosting, made with only a small amount of cream cheese and strawberry emulsion, neither of which are too strong but pair beautifully together.
I think one bite of this cake will get your taste buds dancing and make you think of summer!

More Summer-Inspired Cakes You’ll Love

Strawberry Lemonade Cake - strawberry Jell-O cake layers with Lemond curd and strawberry buttercream - the perfect summer cake! #summercake #strawberrylemonadecake #strawberrycake #summercakerecipe #easysummercakerecipe #cakesforsummer #cakebycourtney

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

4.74 from 50 votes
Strawberry lemon cake layers, filled with lemon curd and topped with strawberry cream cheese buttercream.



  • 3 cups (339g) cake flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (18g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/3  cups (266g) granulated sugar
  • 1 3 oz. package of strawberry flavored Jell-O
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 5 large or extra large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240g) buttermilk at room temperature


  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115g) lemon juice about 3 large lemons
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp (56.5g) cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces


  • 2 cups (452g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 6 oz. (170g) cream cheese slightly cold
  • 6 cups (750g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry emulsion
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • *If you want to pipe swirls around the cake like I did, add an extra half batch of buttercream.



  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, Jell-O and zest. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the egg whites, in a few additions, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on low, just until flour is combined.
  • 5. Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • 6. Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes and then invert onto wire cooling wraps to cool completely. Cakes can be individually wrapped in plastic wrapped and frozen for a week. If you’d like to freeze them longer than one week, wrap each cake layer in tin foil as well.


  • 1. Whisk the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the whole eggs and yolks in a small bowl and then whisk them into the lemon mixture.
  • 2. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it’s thick like pudding, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time until incorporated.
  • 3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pushing it through with a rubber spatula. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely set, at least 4 hours and up to 5 days.


  • 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  • 2. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the strawberry emulsion, cream and salt.
  • 3. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat the frosting for about 5 minutes.
  • 4. Before frosting your cake, mix the frosting by hand with a wooden spoon to push out any air pockets. If the frosting feels too soft to frost or pipe, cover it and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes.


  • 1. Spread a dollop of frosting on a cake board or cake plate to hold the first cake layer in place.
  • 2. Place the first cake layer, top side up, on the cake board and pipe a rim of strawberry frosting around the edges to act as a barrier to the lemon curd. Spread half of the lemon curd (about ¾ cup) on the cake layer.
  • 3. Top with the next cake layer and repeat step 2.
  • 4. Place the third cake layer, top side down, on the second layer of filling. Apply a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for about 10-15 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  • 5. If your frosting feels soft at this point, refrigerate it while the crumb coat sets.
  • 6. Continue frosting your cake, making sure to stir the frosting with a wooden spoon to push out any air pockets.
  • 7. If you’re not serving within the day, you can freeze the cake in a cake box or container for up to a week – just make sure to remove the cake from the freezer about 6 hours before you plan to serve it.
Cuisine Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword Intermediate, strawberry cake, Strawberry lemonade cake

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

Get my free cake decorating guide
Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 3 stars
    So I was making this for a party celebrating my brother Jason during the winter for him getting a raise and there was a shortage of strawberry emulation and extract. What should I have done to substitute it?

    1. You can use a little strawberry jam but the flavor won’t be as strong. You also can’t use too much to increase the flavor because it will seperate the buttercream.

  2. 3 stars
    I did love this cake and i wanna make it again. I do have a question about the lemon curd. When I made the curd, I followed every step to the “t”. At the end, my curd ended up tasting “eggy”. Do you have any suggestions on what might have caused that? I hope to hear back from you soon thank you!😊

  3. 5 stars
    Another winner! Made this for a colleague’s birthday and it was a huge hit. Perfect tangy fruity combination.

  4. 4 stars
    I just made this cake, beautiful flavors but have a question…. How much should the cake layers rise? Mine did not rise much at all!!! With 3 layers I was expecting a nice height on my cake but didn’t get it.
    Would appreciate feedback.

    1. My layers are generally 1.25-1.5″ tall. If they are shorter than that, make sure you’re using room temp ingredients and beating the eggs, sugar and butter really well. If you want even taller layers, you can 1.5 x the recipe.

  5. 4 stars
    Curious about the amount of baking powder used…. I’ve never used so much before. Have you tried this recipe using both baking powder and baking soda?

  6. 5 stars
    Update from previous post – let me start by saying this cake ended up truly one of the best I’ve ever made!
    First attempt I used baking strips for the first time and maybe I wet them too much? But the cake didn’t rise and one edge of just one layer was actually raw…. So anyway, 2nd attempt, I bought fresh baking powder and the cake turned out beautifully!
    2 small changes: I added sliced strawberries with the lemon curd filling and I used my standard vanilla buttercream icing vs the cream cheese.
    I WILL be making this cake again!! Thanks so much!

    1. So sorry it didn’t turn out how you’d hoped. Usually, if the cake is dry, we’ve overbaked (even a few minutes can make a difference). Try reducing the time a little from what I recommend in my recipes and see if that helps. xx

  7. 3 stars
    I made this cake for Easter. For me the cake did not have a very pronounced strawberry flavor, just a hint of a strawberry aftertaste. I also felt that the cake was a little dry. I don’t feel like I overmixed the batter; I hand-mixed the batter after adding the remaining half of the buttermilk & last 1/3 of flour mixture. Could the flavor profile be increased by substituting a strawberry reduction for the Jello (or in addition to the Jello)? Might that increase the moisture level as well? Or could the moisture be increased by substituting some of the butter for vegetable oil?

    1. You can definitely use some strawberry reduction in addition or in place of the jello. I also like strawberry emulsion. For the texture, I’d consider reducing the bake time a little too.

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