Nothing says summer like an EASY lemon strawberry shortcake to show off fresh sweet berries. Try adding them to the cake itself and top with a fabulous honey flavored cream.
If you’re trying to find something different to do with the abundant strawberries that are showing up at the famers market, lemon strawberry shortcake is a nice twist on a traditional shortcake.
When your strawberries are fresh, you just want a little cake to compliment them and a lemony flavored cake is even better. The lemon flavor comes from both lemon zest and juice mixed into the batter.
However, it’s just not strawberry shortcake without whipped cream. For this lemon strawberry shortcake add some honey to some whipped cream and create a perfect topping whether it’s just a dollop or spread over the entire cake. The honey flavor compliments the fruit without making it too sweet.
If you’ll be serving this outside and you want the whipped topping to keep its shape add a little cream cheese to it like we did in our strawberry icebox pie.
Why you’ll love it
- You can make this in advance and freeze or refrigerate until ready to serve and it won’t break down like a traditional strawberry shortcake dessert will.
- The cake is light with fresh strawberries and lemon zest.
- It’s topped with a honey whipped cream and not a heavy frosting.
- It has all the things you love about strawberry shortcake but easier to transport and store.
- You can prep this in less than 20 minutes.
What you’ll need
- Fresh strawberries – you just need a cup, so if it’s not strawberry season you won’t break the bank buying a small container.
- Lemon zest and juice – this really brightens the flavor.
- Buttermilk – if you don’t have any on hand, just add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of whole milk.
- Pantry staples – sugar, flour, baking soda and powder, an egg, butter and vanilla.
- For the topping you’ll need heavy cream, honey, powdered sugar and vanilla.
Step by step guidance
Step 1: First mix the lemon zest with the sugar so that you get a uniform lemon flavor. Then add the dry ingredients.
Step 2: Combine the liquid ingredients and slowly add it to the flour mixture, stirring just until combined.
Step 3: Fold in the fresh strawberries.
Pour into a 9 inch round cake pan and bake for about 20 minutes.
Step 4: When ready to serve, beat heavy cream with honey, powdered sugar and vanilla.
You can’t have strawberry shortcake without whipped cream but I didn’t want to frost the whole cake with it and then have soggy cake if we didn’t eat it all in one sitting. I chose to just slice the cake and dollop the whipped cream on top of each slice, problem solved. If you’re going to serve a larger group, then covering the entire cake is easier.
If you’re going to add extra strawberries to the top, add a little sugar to the cut strawberries before adding them. Otherwise they will taste a little sour when eaten with the sweeter cake.
You’ll find that this is a heavenly dessert that takes no time at all to put together.
This is one of my favorite desserts to serve when friends are coming over. You can make it in advance and it’s great after a rich meal. If you’re bringing dessert, it transports easily and can withstand the heat if you’re serving it outdoors.
FAQs and tips
If you are making a traditional strawberry shortcake with biscuits, strawberries and whipped cream you cannot freeze, but you an easily freeze this cake before adding the whipped cream topping.
If you can’t use fresh strawberries in a day or two, simply rinse them in a vinegar wash and refrigerate them in a paper towel lined container.
To freeze this lemon strawberry cake, let it cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.
Frozen strawberries will add too much liquid to this case, you will need to use fresh.
What else can you make with fresh strawberries
Lemon Strawberry Shortcake
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 lemon lemon zest
- 1 ⅓ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup fresh strawberries sliced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- fresh strawberries sliced
- Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour a 9 inch round cake pan.
- Mix together the sugar and lemon zest, pinching it together with your fingers until combined. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together egg, buttermilk, butter, lemon juice and vanilla. Slowly add to flour mixture mixing just until moistened. Gently fold in strawberries.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
- For topping: Whip the cream and add honey, sugar and vanilla. Spoon on to top of cake or dollop on individual slices. Top with strawberries. If strawberries are not very sweet, add a teaspoon or two of sugar. Drain juice before topping.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can freeze this until ready to serve. Just let it cool on a rack and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
- If you want a more substantial topping, add cream cheese to the whipped cream like I did for my strawberry pie.
- Add a little sugar to cut strawberries before adding them to the top, otherwise they will taste sour next to the cake.
Adapted from Bake or Break