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Last month I ordered a strawberry lemonade flavored cake for my mom’s retirement party.  In short, it’s the only thing I’ve thought of since then.  Okay, maybe not the only thing, but let’s just say it’s been on my mind.  A lot.  It was so ridiculously good, I couldn’t get over it.  When I asked the bakery (or cakery?) for the recipe, they told me that they couldn’t give it to me and instead gave me a few random hints, all of which insinuated that this was a very labor intensive cake that required unique ingredients.  Oh well, so much for that.  But I couldn’t give up.  The cake was just too good.  So with the advice of a few savvy bakers from my office I set out to find an easy way to make a strawberry lemonade cake and our 4th of July neighborhood block party was a great time to try it out.

You Will Need:

1 Strawberry Cake Mix (Duncan Hines*)

3 Eggs

1 Cup water

1/3 Cup lemonade

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Package of instant lemon pudding

Frosting:  (from

1 Container of Cool Whip (8 oz)

1 Package of instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz size)

1 Cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Fresh strawberries and blueberries for topping

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remember to grease or spray your pans.  I forgot and…well, you’ll see.

Step 2 – Combine all ingredients for the cake in a bowl.  Beat on low for 30 seconds and then on high for 2 minutes.

Step 3 – Bake for 30 minutes. (My pans are 9 inch pans, so you may need to adjust if you’re using a different size).

Step 4 – Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before removing them from the pans.  This was the point where I realized I didn’t grease my pans.  Oops.  I was able to get them out with minimal breakage though.  Allow them to sit until completely cool.  The Cool Whip Frosting doesn’t handle heat well, so this is a critical step.

Step 5 – While the cakes are cooling, make your frosting by combining the milk, pudding mix, and vanilla in a bowl.  Mix well.

Step 6 – Slowly, and in parts, fold in the Cool Whip and mix until there are no yellow streaks.  I expected this frosting to be white because I was using Cool Whip, but it’s more of an off-white/light yellow because of the pudding.  Continue to fold in the Cool Whip until you have used the entire container.

Step 7 – Frost your cake and add fresh fruit for decoration.  Mine was a layer cake so I made sure to add a generous layer of frosting filling in the middle.

Step 8 – Refrigerate until the time of your event.  The original directions for this recipe did not say that you had to refrigerate the cake, but I would highly recommend it.  The frosting is so soft, and refrigerating it for about an hour before our event gave it time to solidify a little so it would handle the South Florida heat.

You know a cake is good when you hear people across the room (or in our case, across the parking lot) saying, “Who made this cake?” and “I need the recipe for this cake!”.  And when people go back for second pieces that are bigger than their first piece, you know you have a winner.  This cake was the only desert that was gone by the end of the night.  I was lucky to get a piece myself.  People raved about how light and summery the flavor was.  In fact, I had wanted to take a picture of what it looked like when you sliced it, but by the time I made it over to the table, this was all that was left (and this piece was snapped up about 30 seconds after I took the picture).

A true testament to how good it was.

But Strawberry Lemonade Cake?  Um, not really.  I really wanted the tangy, tart taste that you get when you have that perfect glass of lemonade, but this cake didn’t capture that.  It was strawberry.  It was lemon.  But it wasn’t strawberry lemonade.  It lacked that bite.  So I’m back to the drawing board on that, but for now, this is probably the best Strawberry Lemon cake I’ve tasted, and for that reason I’m sharing it here on my blog.  It’s so light and, despite using Cool Whip, not overly sweet.  It’s perfect for summer.  There will be another attempt at the Strawberry Lemonade Cake though – so stay tuned!

*I used a Duncan Hines cake mix and therefore the amount of eggs, water, lemonade, and oil are all based off the amounts suggested on the box.  If you want to use another type of cake mix, adjust to their recommended amounts and when it comes to the water, substitute some lemonade.  For example, the Duncan Hines box recommended I use 1 1/3 cup water, so I used 1 cup water and 1/3 cup lemonade.