One of the very first recipes I shared was my Strawberry Lemonade Cake. It’s a pretty layer cake that I make every spring and summer – especially when I can buy my favorite super ripe, freshly picked strawberries from the strawberry stand about a mile from our house. I was thinking about the cake last week and it occurred to me that it should really be a poke cake. The layered cake is beautiful, but a poke cake is so easy to store in the refrigerator and take to parties. So here is my Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake. It started with a yellow cake mix I have altered just a bit to give a little lemonade flavor. I layer it with fresh strawberry juice, lemon curd, and sliced strawberries. Then it’s topped with a layer of freshly whipped cream. Strawberry Lemonade Poke cake is delciously fresh with the tart and sweet taste of strawberry lemonade. It is a great make ahead dessert!
Start by preparing the strawberries. Mix sliced strawberries with lemon juice and sugar, and set aside. If your strawberries are a little underripe, try adding a little more sugar to the mixture. Let the strawberries macerate in the lemon juice and sugar while preparing the cake and letting it cool. This step can be done several hours ahead of time, or even the night before.
Prepare a yellow cake mix according to package directions. Substitute lemonade for the water, and add the zest of two lemons to the batter. Since you are adding some extra sugar to the recipe by substituting lemonade for water, the cake will start to brown quicker than usual. My cake was done at the lowest recommended baking time of 23 minutes. Once the cake has cooled, use a straw or the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes .
Strain the strawberries in a medium sized bowl. Combine the strawberry juice with the lemon curd, and pour over cake. If the mixture is not pourable, try adding a tablespoon of lemonade to the bowl. You want the strawberry lemon mixture to be able to sink into the holes in the cake. Next, layer the strawberries onto the cake.
Smooth freshly whipped cream over the top of the cake. Refrigerate for several hours until cake is chilled through, and serve cold. This cake just keeps getting better, so it can even be prepared a day ahead.
- 1 box of Duncan Hines Yellow Cake mix
- 1/2 cup of oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of lemonade
- Zest of two lemons
- 1 10.5 oz jar of lemon curd
- 1 pound of fresh strawberries, sliced
- Juice from one lemon
- 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar, divided
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, juice of one lemon, and 1/4 cup of sugar.
- Cover bowl and set aside to marinate. This step can be done several hours ahead of time, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease just the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish.
- Prepare cake according to package directions, substituting lemonade for water and adding lemon zest to batter.
- Use shortest recommended baking time on package as cake will brown a little quicker with the addition of the sugar in the lemonade to the batter.
- Remove cake from oven and let cool.
- Once cake is cooled, use a large straw or the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over cake.
- Strain juice from strawberries into a small bowl and combine with lemon curd.
- Pour lemon curd and strawberry mixture over cake and smooth down into holes.
- Layer strawberries on top.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine very cold heavy cream, 1/4 cup of sugar and vanilla extract.
- Whip until soft peaks form.
- Layer whipped cream over top of strawberries.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
The egg, oil and lemonade amounts may vary if you are using a different yellow cake mix. Follow ingredient amounts on cake mix box to prepare cake, substituting lemonade for water.