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Strawberry Lemonade Chiffon Layer Cake

Strawberry Lemonade Chiffon Layer Cake
Strawberry lemonade is one of my favorite summertime drinks and this is that drink in cake form – or at least, as close as you’re going to come to the lemony drink and still be able to eat it with a fork! The base of this cake is a lemon chiffon cake, with a bright and zesty lemon flavor that goes well with layers of strawberry filling. The cake is light and moist, making it a good choice for the summertime when you don’t want a very dense or heavy cake to weigh you down. The fact that it is so moist also means that it actually leaves you feeling a little bit refreshed after eating a slice – just like you would after sipping a glass of cold lemonade!

The cake is a typical chiffon cake, a foam cake that gets most of its leavening from beaten egg whites, much like an angel food cake. It gets some extra moisture from the inclusion of egg whites and a small amount of vegetable oil, and ends up being much less cottony than an angel food cake and much lighter than your average butter cake. Chiffon cakes are usually baked in tube pans, as are angel food cakes, but this recipe is baked in 9-inch round cake pans. The light foam cakes may sink slightly as they cool, but that just serves to even out the cake layers and makes them easier to slice when you’re ready to stack them up. Most of the lemon flavor in this cake comes from freshly squeezed lemon juice, so don’t be tempted to use bottled juice if you want the best finished product.

The strawberry portion of this cake comes in the form of strawberry jam, which is spread between the layers of the cake. The jam is sweet enough that even just a thin layer will give the cake a nice strawberry flavor and a very pretty finished look. Choose a good quality strawberry preserve for making this cake, as that will give you the best finished product. I garnished the top of my cake with lots of fresh, sliced strawberries. If you would rather use raspberry jam or some other berry preserve, garnish your cake with berries to match.
yum! very moist, tender and very light.

I frosted this cake with a light cream cheese frosting, which adds some sweetness and a nice creamy finish to the cake. I only flavored mine with vanilla extract, though you can easily beat in a little extra lemon zest to add another lemon element to the cake.

Strawberry Lemonade Chiffon Layer Cake, finished

Strawberry Lemonade Chiffon Layer Cake
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
6 large egg yolks
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolks until smooth. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
In another large bowl, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Beat in cream of tartar, then turn the mixer up to high speed and beat to soft peaks. Fold into lemon mixture, working in 3 or 4 batches. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake for 24-28 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups strawberry preserves
3-oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest (optional)
fresh strawberries, for garnish.

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until well combined. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar until frosting has a smooth, spreadable consistency. Beat in vanilla extract and lemon zest, if using.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup strawberry preserves with 1/2 cup of the cream cheese frosting. Set aside.
Reserve remaining strawberry preserves for assembly.

To assemble the cake, slice cooled cakes in half horizontally. Place one layer of cake on a serving platter or cake stand. Top with approximately 1/2 cup strawberry preserves, then place another cake layer on top of that. Top second cake layer with mixture of frosting and strawberry preserves. Place another cake layer on top and top that with remaining strawberry preserves. Place final cake layer on top.
Lightly frost the whole cake with a very thin layer of frosting to create a crumb coat. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow frosting to set.
Frost cake evenly with remaining frosting and decorate the top with fresh strawberries.

Serves 10-12

Strawberry Lemonade Chiffon Layer Cake, sliced

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  • What a gorgeous cake!

  • Danny Boy
    May 4, 2011

    Do I put the finished cake in the refrigerator or not

  • Pattypro
    May 4, 2011

    Nicole, that cake looks and sounds wonderful!

  • Baking and Mistaking
    May 4, 2011

    I also made a strawberry lemon chiffon cake recently – but it couldn’t be more different…as different as another strawberry lemon chiffon cake could be really!


  • Kelly
    May 4, 2011

    This cake looks very pretty & delicious!

  • Inna
    May 5, 2011

    What a beautiful cake! It looks like it would be so refreshing with the flavors of strawberry and lemon!

  • Love the idea of using strawberry jam between the lemon cake layers. Sounds delicious.

  • Veils by M
    August 12, 2011

    My Mom’s birthday is this month and I think she will love this cake. Looks yummy and pretty. Can’t wait to make it. Thanks for the recipes!

  • Celia
    August 22, 2011

    I made this cake yesterday. It has great lemon flavor, and the cream cheese frosting is a really nice balance. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tanu
    August 27, 2011

    I followed this recipe exactly, and it turned out AMAZING! I was afraid of getting an overly lemony taste, but it was mild and perfectly balanced with the strawberry preserves. I made this for a small get together, and there wasn’t a person there who didn’t compliment me on the cake. The only thing I forgot was to thoroughly dry the sliced strawberries before placing on the cake. Mine still had a little extra water, which started to leak on the iced cake – no biggie though, i just dabbed the water off with a paper towel and it looked like perfect again.

    Thanks for yet another great recipe.

    June 10, 2012

    Hey, I have made this twice now for two separate birthdays, absolutely love it the flavours balance so well.

    My only question is this; when I make it, the cream cheese frosting is a yellowy colour (presumably due to the butter but I’m not sure) how can I get it as white as the pic?

  • karn
    January 20, 2013


  • Laura
    September 29, 2013

    Okay so I made this cake this morning for the 1st time and failed miserably. The flavors were good but the cake didn’t not rise AT ALL. Thankfully it’s my day off and I had time to go back to the store and get more lemons and CAKE flour. I thought cake and pastry flour were the same thing, but they are NOT. I had organic pastry flour on hand and used that, I think it contributed to the failure. Second, I used organic cane sugar, which is not as finely ground as regular sugar. So use REGULAR sugar. Third, i didnt beat the egg whites long enough. You have to beat them for about 3-5 minutes til stiff, and fold lemon mix INTO the beaten egg whites and DO NOT stir, fold til they are just combined (no streaks). After that you have to have the pans ready to go into the oven as fast as possible so the mix doesn’t lose air. Also, you don’t want to put grease or parchment paper on the sides of the pan as the cake won’t be able to “climb” up the pan. A good way to get air pockets out of the pan is to lift the pan a couple incles off the counter and drop it, repeatedly. Lastly, 350 was a bit high the first time for my oven and the top was browned in the middle. Decent recipe though.

  • Laura
    September 29, 2013

    I might add though that parchement paper is a must for the bottom of the pans. Trace a circle around the pans on parchment paper and cut out. This makes for easy removal of the cake. But like I said, don’t grease sides of pan or the cake could have a hard time rising.

  • Evans
    June 19, 2015

    Looks so tasty!!! Will try it

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