Strawberry & Lemon Summer Layer Cake with Lemon Frosting

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This beautiful Summer Layer Cake is perfect for summertime entertaining or birthday celebrations. It is a 3-layered cake, made up of strawberry cake, strawberry cheesecake, and lemon cake finished with a tangy lemon frosting. For a special flourish, you could top it with fresh strawberries and lemon slices.

A slice of the layered cake with a pink strawberry layer on the bottom, a strawberry cheesecake layer, and a yellow lemon cake layer on top, covered with lemon frosting, on a white plate. Surrounded by some fresh strawberries and lemons in the background and the whole cake with a slice taken out. Text overlay says"Strawberry + Lemon Layer Cake". Similar photos of the recipe from various angles are used throughout but with different text overlays unless otherwise described.

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Summer Layer Cake

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading all the way through for any tips or substitute suggestions, to ensure that you have any specialized ingredients and equipment required and that you understand the steps and timings involved.

This summer layer cake is a real showstopper dessert. It’s actually really easy to make, but it does take a little time. Let me explain why.

The cake is made up of three layers, two are simple sponge cakes, made using boxes of cake mix. Easy!

The middle layer is strawberry cheesecake, which is made from scratch and needs time to cook (1 hour) plus cooling time in the oven (45 mins) and then left to chill and set completely overnight in the fridge (12 hours).





When the cheesecake layer is made, you can work on the cake layers, and they too need to be popped in the fridge overnight to help them firm up a bit, which makes the cake easier to assemble and frost.

All that is left to do is to frost the cake which should take no time at all, but you’ll need about an hour back in the fridge before serving.

So if you need to make this yummy cake (and believe me, it is SO yummy!) then you need to make it at least a day in advance.

Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake with Cheesecake Filling

Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe

While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.

It does not include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, and pepper, sugar, etc., as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen already. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.

Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. Please note, you can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).

Summer Layer Cake with Strawberry & Lemon

More Recipes Using Cake Mix

One of the hero ingredients in this dish is a box of cake mix, so here are some more recipes using the same:

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Dessert Recipe - Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake

How Do I Make a Summer Layer Cake?

Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

How to Make Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake

Strawberry & Lemon Summer Layer Cake

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Resting & Setting Time: 14 hours
Total Time: 17 hours 20 minutes

This beautiful Summer Layer Cake is perfect for summertime entertaining or birthday celebrations.

Ingredients

For the Strawberry Cheesecake Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

For the Cheesecake

  • 3 (8oz/225g) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs

For the Strawberry Cake

  • 1 (15.25oz) box of strawberry cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup oil

For the Lemon Cake

  • 1 (15.25oz) box of lemon cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup oil

For the Lemon Frosting

  • 2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4-6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (double cream)

Instructions

  1. To make the strawberry cheesecake sauce, combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan and cook over medium to high heat. Stir the sauce occasionally for about 10-15 minutes until it begins to thicken.
    Reduce the heat and stir for 1 minute before removing it from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and spray the 9-inch round springform pan with non-stick baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set pan aside.
  3. To make the cheesecake, place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour into a bowl and beat together until combined and smooth.
  4. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla until combined.
  5. Beat the eggs into the mixture, one at a time, until combined.
  6. Pour half of the cheesecake batter into the prepared cake pan, then swirl half the strawberry sauce into the batter.
  7. Add the remaining cheesecake batter, followed by swirling in the remaining strawberry sauce.
  8. Fill a 9x13-inch baking dish halfway with hot water and place it onto the bottom rack of your oven.
  9. Place the cheesecake on the top rack, above the center of the baking dish and bake for 1 hour.
  10. When the time is up, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for another 45 minutes.
  11. When the time is up, remove the cheesecake from the oven and leave it to cool completely at room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to set overnight.
  12. Increase the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4 spray two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray. Set them aside.
  13. To make the strawberry cake layer, place the strawberry cake mix, water, eggs, and oil into a mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Pour the cake batter into one of the prepared cake pans. Set aside.
  14. To make the lemon cake layer, place the lemon cake mix, water, eggs, and oil into a mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Pour the cake batter into the other prepared cake pan.
  15. Place both cake pans into the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  16. Leave the cakes to cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  17. When cool, use a knife or cake leveler to remove the dome from the cakes to create even layers.
  18. Place the cakes into a cake tin or container and leave to rest overnight. This will allow the cakes to be more sturdy when you build the cake with the cheesecake layer.
  19. When ready to decorate, make the frosting use an electric handheld or stand mixer and beat all the ingredients until combined and smooth, and it holds a peak.
  20. To build the cake, place the strawberry cake layer onto a 10-inch round cake board or cake platter.

    Strawberry Cake Layer
  21. Scoop 1 cup of frosting onto the top of the strawberry cake layer and spread evenly.

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  22. Carefully remove the strawberry cheesecake from the cake pan and place it on top of the frosted strawberry cake layer.

    Cheesecake Layer
  23. Scoop 1 cup of frosting onto the top of the cheesecake layer and spread evenly.
  24. Place the lemon cake layer on top of the frosted cheesecake layer.
  25. Spread a thin layer of frosting around the top and sides of the cake to crumb coat it. Place the cake into the fridge for about an hour to firm up.
  26. Scoop the remaining frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
  27. Pipe swirls all around the sides and top of the cake to cover completely.
  28. Place the completely frosted cake back into the fridge for 1 hour to firm up before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

    How to Make Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1563Total Fat: 99gSaturated Fat: 48gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 44gCholesterol: 438mgSodium: 649mgCarbohydrates: 160gFiber: 2gSugar: 126gProtein: 14g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Make It A Full Meal

You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?

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