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  • Strawberry Lemon Cake

    It finally feels like spring in New York, which calls for bright flavors and a celebratory cake. I had been eyeing this Strawberry Thyme Cake from The Cake Blog for awhile, but wanted to focus on the strawberry-lemon flavor combo. So after some slight alterations to their recipe I came up with this flavorful cake that's just begging to be eaten outdoors on a warm spring day.

    Lemon Ricotta Cake

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 6-inch cake pans and set aside.
    2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
    3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth.
    4. Add in the sugar and lemon zest. Beat on medium for 3 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
    5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
    6. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
    7. Mix in the ricotta on medium-low.
    8. With the mixer on low, add in half of the flour mixture. Stream in the buttermilk.
    9. Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined.
    10. Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared cake pans.
    11. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
    12. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

    Lemon Syrup

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup sugar

    Instructions

    1. Place the water, lemon juice, and sugar in a saucepan over high heat.  
    2. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.  
    3. Let cool. 

    Strawberry Cheesecake Frosting

    Ingredients

    • 3 egg whites
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves

    Instructions

    1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk to combine.
    2. Place a few inches of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
    3. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler.
    4. Heat the egg mixture until hot to the touch and you no longer feel sugar granules between your fingers.
    5. Carefully return the mixing bowl back to the mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture until the bowl returns to room temperature and you have medium-soft peaks, about 8 minutes.
    6. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.
    7. With the mixer on low, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time.
    8. Once added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until silky smooth.
    9. Add in the cream cheese and mix until combined.
    10. Add in the strawberry preserves and mix until combined.

    To Assemble + Decorate

    Generously brush each cake layer with the lemon syrup. Place one layer of cake on a cake board or serving dish. Spread on about 3/4 cup of the frosting with an offset spatula. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Take small honeycomb cocktail picks (I got mine at a nearby 99 Cent store) and arrange them in a crescent shape on top of the cake. To decorate the sides, take a small amount of hot pink gel food coloring and mix in a few drops of water. Dip a pastry brush in the food coloring and lightly paint the sides of the cake.