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Strawberry Lemonade Cake (Vegan & GF friendly)

Photo from Allergylicious Website

Ah, it has been a hot minute since I've had the time to bake anything. I was a little bit busy and had my hands quite full since I was... opening up my first brick-and-mortar store, YAY!!! The store has become such a special place for me, and I hope anyone out there reading this has a chance to visit someday!


It is also now a goal of mine to start bringing my baked goods into the store for folks to enjoy (insert me visualizing one day expanding the store to have a cafe attached, hehe). Until then, I'll keep baking at home and dreaming up cafe thoughts!


I finally was able to get back to baking last weekend. My cousin was in town visiting and I wanted to make something for her. She has a dairy allergy, so my search began for a yummy recipe that she could enjoy.


I wanted something light for the warmer early days of summer. I had picked up strawberries from a local farm a day before, so decided I wanted to use them (and they're the perfect ingredient for the Summer Solstice!).


I came across this lovely Strawberry Lemonade Cake from a website perfectly named Allergylicious. This is certainly a website I'll be using whenever I need to bake something that's allergy-friendly.


It may be an understatement to say this recipe was a huge hit. So much so, I had to make it twice in the same week by popular demand! I made it once dairy free, then the second time dairy free AND gluten free, and both were perfection. You also know it's a good recipe when you see folks eating two, three....four slices (*cough* my husband).



This recipe is also super easy to whip up, I was actually surprised at how fast it comes together. Each time I baked this, the results were the same - a lusciously light, and probably the moistest, cake I've ever made (even when it was gluten free!).


It features the perfect balance of strawberries and lemon (but not too much lemon!), creating a great combination of sweetness and tart that's not over-powering. The pink lemonade frosting is creamy and tastes JUST like it's name. It's remarkable!


I adapted the recipe slightly just to my preferred taste, but have linked the original recipe below if you prefer to give that a go. It can also easily be made into cupcakes too.


Magickal Ingredient Featured:

Strawberries: A great fruit to celebrate the summer solstice. It is known as a fruit for love, romance, and fertility. Other properties include joy, luck, peace, and prosperity.


The Recipe

Yield: 12-15 slices

Prep time: 5 minutes

Bake time: 25 minutes

Assembly time: 5 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes


Here's What You Need:


Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

  • 1 3/4 cup flour (AP or 1:1 GF flour Blend)

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/2 cup regular milk OR dairy-free milk (almond or oat milk work just fine)

  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/3 cup neutral oil (vegetable, safflower)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (can sub with lemon extract)

  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries (fresh, not frozen)


Pink Lemonade Frosting

  • 1/2 cup regular OR dairy free cream cheese (or you can use vegetable shortening)

  • 1/4 cup room temp regular OR dairy-free butter (I used Earth Balance)

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup strawberries jam (or fresh strawberries blended into a puree)

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla OR lemon extract


Here's What To Do:


Cake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat 9x13" pan with non-stick spray and dusting of flour. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together sugar and lemon zest.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk the wet ingredients: dairy-free milk, lemon juice, water, oil and extract.

  4. Sift remaining dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) directly into the bowl with sugar/zest. Whisk then pour liquids into it. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until it's all incorporated.

  5. Fold in diced strawberries then pour into prepared sheet pan.

  6. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until center of cake comes out clean when a toothpick is inserted in the middle. Allow to cool and make frosting.


Frosting Instructions:

  1. Place cream cheese (or shortening) and butter in a bowl with a stand-up mixer. Use paddle attachment and whip 1-2 minutes until smooth. Sift in powdered sugar then add lemon zest and extract. Whip until nice and fluffy then blend in 3-4 tablespoons of strawberry jam (or puree), or until spreadable for your cake. * If frosting cupcakes, use only 2 tablespoons puree so it is easier to pipe.*


Assembly:

Spread layer of frosting, as much or as little as you'd like, on cake while in pan and decorate with slices of fresh strawberries or sprinkles.


Notes

*If making cupcakes, line 14 muffin cups and fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20-22 minutes at 350°. Let cool then decorate with a piping of frosting.

*If the frosting is too watery, add more powdered sugar, if it's too thick, add more jam or puree.




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