Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Goodbye Summer {Strawberry Lemonade Cake}

Lemonade Cake 4

I spent the last week of summer in my hometown. I so needed a vacation! I missed all my family and desperately wanted to see my Mom and my new niece. I was also craving some fall like weather. 

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The leaves were just beginning to change color and the weather was certainly cooler than Florida! It rained a couple times and really didn't get autumny till our last couple days there. 

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While there, my husband's cousin Melissa celebrated a birthday. I immediately volunteered to make a cake. Peter's sister didn't want chocolate and I really don't care for vanilla so I made lemon and hoped that Melissa didn't despise that flavor.

Lemonade Cake 6

It was still a bit warm out and officially still summer so I decided on making strawberry butter cream icing to top the lemon cake. I didn't have the time (or inclination) to make homemade butter cream, especially after I saw the butter cream icing by the cake mixes. I was doctoring up a cake mix so why not doctor up the icing as well?

Lemonade Cake 3
Happy Birthday Melissa!
 To make it extra special I colored each layer a different shade of pink (or peach depending on who you ask) and topped it with an impromptu pink and green bunting. Peter's Mom had a cabinet full of arts and crafts supplies to raid, some yarn and some extra fast food straws. Not ideal but it worked!

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Part of me misses summer but I'm not going to get sad. I'm going to make this cake instead. Besides it still feels hot and humid down here. Bleh! 

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Strawberry Lemonade Cake
adapted from Lady with the Red Rocker blog

 For Cake:
1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
1 (3 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
4 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup pink lemonade concentrate
red food coloring

For Icing:
2 cans of Pillsbury Buttercream Icing
1/2 pint of strawberries finely diced
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Bake Cakes:

Preheat oven to 325°.  Grease and flour bottom and sides of 4 8-inch cake pans.

Combine the cake mix, lemon pudding mix, eggs, vegetable oil, 2/3
cup lemon concentrate and the milk. Mix until smooth.

To make ombre style layers add food coloring to batter till light pink. Pour 1/4 of the batter into a prepared pan. Add a little more food coloring to batter.  Pour 1/4 into cake pan.  Repeat 2 more times getting progressively darker.

Bake at 325° for 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. These are thin layers so be sure to check early!

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Turn out cake on to cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

Prepare Icing:

Dice strawberries.  Combine with icing and powdered sugar in bowl.  Stir gently so as to not smash berries.

Assemble Cake:

Place a small dollop of icing in cake plate or board.  Add lightest colored layer (top side down this layer only), ice middle of layer then stack next darker color, ice, etc.  If your layers are very uneven you may want to level them before stacking!

After all layers have been stacked, ice sides and top of cake as desired.   I just decoratively swirled it=)

Lemonade Cake

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