Sweet & Simple Lemonade Cake Recipes

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

If summer had a mascot, lemonade would be it. After all, the beverage is delicious, refreshing and perfect for cooling down on hot days! So, why not use the iconic drink in your summer desserts too? You can do just that with these three easy lemonade cake recipes, which call for your favorite cake mix (including boxed, homemade and gluten-free mixes) and a splash of sweet lemonade.

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On that note, keep in mind that these recipes are simply guides, meaning they can be customized to your heart's (and stomach's) desire. For example, you can use homemade or store-bought lemonade, including pink lemonade, depending on your preference. Another option is to use lemonade powder or frozen lemonade concentrate. Making lemonade from scratch might be ideal if you want to control the sugar content of the drink or if you simply have too many lemons. Similarly, homemade and store-bought frosting are both fair game. But if you're looking for a lighter lemon cake recipe, other ideas include lemon or strawberry glaze, whipped cream or a layer of fresh fruit.

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The size and form of the cake is up to you as well. For example, for these three recipes, we created a two-layer, 9-inch classic lemonade cake; a three-layer, 6-inch lavender lemonade cake and a large strawberry lemonade cake in a Bundt pan. You can "mix and match" the recipes and forms depending on the look you're going for.

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Are you ready to have your cake and eat it too? Ahead, learn how to make three types of cakes with lemonade just in time for summer.

Classic Lemonade Cake Recipe

Things You'll Need

  • 1 box lemon or yellow cake mix

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup lemonade

  • Cream cheese or buttercream frosting

  • Lemon extract (optional)

  • Lemon zest and slices for garnish

Tip

If you don’t like cream cheese or buttercream frosting, try a light dusting of powdered sugar. The cake also tastes great without any frosting at all.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Alternatively, you can line them with parchment paper.

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In a large bowl, combine the lemon cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil and lemonade.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 2

Whisk until fully combined and smooth. If you're using an electric hand mixer, whisk on low speed, taking care to avoid overmixing.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

If you're using yellow cake mix, add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract to the batter to amplify the lemonade-inspired flavor.

Step 3

Divide the batter between the two cake pans.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 4

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or according to the directions on the box or in the recipe. Let it cool completely.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

The frosting will melt if you add it to a warm cake. So, it’s important to let the cake cool before adding the buttercream or cream cheese frosting.

Step 5

Remove the cakes from the pans. Stack the two cakes, adding a layer of frosting in between.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

For even more lemon flavor, mix in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.

Step 6

Coat the cake with the remaining frosting. Add lemon zest and fresh lemon slices to the top of the cake before serving.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Things You'll Need

  • 1 box strawberry or white cake mix

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup lemonade

  • Lemon extract

  • Red food coloring (optional)

  • 2 cups chopped strawberries

  • Strawberry glaze or confectioners’ sugar

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

To make strawberry glaze, add to a saucepan 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Whisk together and add 3 1/2 cups chopped strawberries. Boil the mixture for about 10 minutes while mashing the strawberries. The glaze is ready once it’s thick and coats the back of the spoon. Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Flour and grease a Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, combine the strawberry cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, lemonade and lemon extract.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

If you're using white cake mix or if you want a deeper pink color, add red food coloring to the batter.

Step 2

Whisk until fully combined and smooth.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 3

Fold in the strawberries.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 4

Pour the batter into the greased Bundt pan.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 5

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or according to the directions on the box or in the recipe. Let it cool and then run a butter knife around the perimeter to help loosen the cake.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 6

Place a wire rack on top of the Bundt pan. Turn it over to remove the cake. Drizzle it with strawberry glaze or top with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Lavender Lemonade Cake

Things You'll Need

  • 1 box lemon or yellow cake mix

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup lemonade

  • 10 drops lavender extract

  • Lemon extract (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons whole or crushed dried lavender

  • Cream cheese or buttercream frosting

  • Vanilla extract (optional)

  • Lemon slices and dried lavender buds for garnish

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Be sure to use food-grade lavender extract and dried lavender buds.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 6-inch cake pans. Alternatively, you can line them with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the lemon cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, lemonade and 10 drops of lavender extract.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

If you're using yellow cake mix, add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract to the batter.

Step 2

Whisk until combined and smooth and then fold in the dried lavender buds.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 3

Divide the batter evenly between three prepared pans.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 4

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or according to the directions on the box or in the recipe. Let it cool completely.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 5

Remove the cakes from the pans. Stack the cakes, adding frosting between each layer.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 6

Spread a light layer of frosting around the cake. Top it with lemon slices and dried lavender buds before serving.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

For a stronger lavender flavor, add five to 10 drops of lavender extract to the frosting. You can also add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to enhance the vanilla flavor.

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