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Pink Lemonade Cake

What says summer more than a glass of ice-cold pink lemonade. Perhaps it’s the color, or maybe it’s the sweet lemon flavor, all I know is that it’s not pool season until you are sipping on a frosty pink lemonade. I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate the sunshine than baking up this fun, fruity, and flavorful Pink Lemonade Cake. Inspired by the classic summer drink, this cake will have you packing a beach bag and grabbing some sunscreen.


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A yellow cake with yellow frosting swirls on top and a golden cookie between each swirl.

Soft and fluffy pink lemonade cake layers filled with sweet raspberry curd and covered in refreshingly zingy lemon buttercream, this pink lemonade cake is a fun flavor profile that will have you craving summer. Using pink lemonade juice concentrate, yep the stuff in the freezer aisle, will have your sweet and tart flavor buds bouncing in excitement.

Pink Lemonade Cake From Scratch

Don’t get intimidated, this from-scratch cake recipe is really straightforward. Using my go-to Vanilla Cake recipe as a base, I swapped out most of the milk and replaced it with thawed pink lemonade concentrate. Seeing as the juice concentrate is sweet on its own, I reduced the sugar and added in a teaspoon of lemon extract. To get those bright fun pink cake layers, I used 3 drops of ChefMaster Rose Pink gel food color in the batter. You can definitely make this recipe without the added color though.

A yellow cake topped with frosting swirls and cookies. A slice is taken out and showing a bit of the pink cake layers inside.

Pink Lemonade Cake Filling

It’s sweet, it’s smooth, and it has a little bit of zestiness making it the most irresistible raspberry curd filling. I pondered between filling this cake with a raspberry curd or a lemon curd but ended up going with the former as I already have a lemon curd filling here in my Lemon Cake recipe. And I’m sure glad I did because let me tell you, this raspberry curd filling was divine

How To Make Raspberry Curd Filling

Grab your fresh or frozen raspberries, and in a blender or food processor blend them up until they resemble applesauce. You should end up with approximately 1 ½ cups of raspberry puree. Set aside ½ cup of the raspberry puree and combine the rest (should be approximately 1 cup) into a medium pot with the sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Whisk together until fully combined and begin to heat over medium.

As this mixture heats up the sugar will dissolve and it will very slowly start to thicken a bit as the juices cook down. At this point add in the egg yolks and continue to vigorously whisk together until it is combined and thickens. The general rule is the mixture has thickened enough when it can coat the back of a wooden spoon.

When that happens, remove the raspberry curd and add in the salt and butter. Again, whisk this together until it is fully melted and combined, and then add in the remaining raspberry puree. I think this final step of adding the raspberry puree really gives that fresh tangy burst of raspberry to the smooth sweet curd.

Give this filling a final mix and a strain through a sieve to take out any cooked egg bits or large raspberry seeds. Cover the curd with a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and allow to chill for at least several hours or overnight before filling the cake.

A yellow cake with a large slice taken out and showing a little peek of the inside cake layers which are bright pink.

How To Make Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Again, I hummed and hawed over what frosting to pair with this pink lemonade cake and despite my love of unique contrasting flavor palettes, I decided on a traditional lemon buttercream. It’s sweet, smooth, zesty, and really packs the final punch of lemonade flavor. Using my go-to Vanilla Buttercream recipe as a base, I traded the vanilla extract for lemon extract. Easy as that, folks!

A few drops of ChefMaster lemon yellow gel food color for the final coat of buttercream helped give this cake a final aesthetic punch of pink lemonade. Who can resist a beautiful sunshine yellow cake?!

A slice of pink lemonade cake filled with raspberry curd filling and frosted in a yellow lemon buttercream.

Pink Lemonade Cake Decorating

A final decor of a textured cake comb, mile-high Wilton 1M buttercream swirls, and some ridiculously yummy lemon cookies rounded out this summer Pink Lemonade cake. I’m so happy with this burst of summer drink flavor profile and I think you’ll really enjoy it too. Let me know what you think!

A yellow cake with a slice taken out of it. You can see the inside cake layers which are pink and have a bright pink raspberry filling in between each layer.

Lemon Sweet Treat Recipes

Are you a lover of all things lemon? Me too! I highly recommend taking a peek at these summer citrus inspired sweet treats:

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A yellow frosted cake with fluffy buttercream swirls on top and a golden cookie between each swirl.

Pink Lemonade Cake


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4.8 from 13 reviews

  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 42 Minutes
  • Yield: 10 Slices 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Easy and delicious, this fluffy pink lemonade cake is bursting with fun lemon and raspberry flavors. Bright pink cake layers and raspberry curd filling are the most perfect combination for this summer-inspired sweet treat!


Ingredients

Scale

Pink Lemonade Cake

  • ½ cup pink lemonade concentrate, room temperature
  • ¼ cup dairy-free milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature *can sub liquid egg replacer for vegan
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 ¾ cup cake flour, sifted *can sub gluten-free 1:1 baking blend
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅔ cup dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • optional: pink food color

Raspberry Curd Filling

  • 3 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature *can sub liquid egg replacer for vegan
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Lemon Buttercream

  • 2 cups dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • optional: yellow food color
  • optional: lemon cookies for decor

Instructions

Pink Lemonade Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray and parchment line four 6-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the pink lemonade concentrate, milk, vegetable oil, eggs, lemon extract, and pink food color. Set aside. *
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer and with the flat beater attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and give it a quick mix together for approximately 1 minute.
  4. In small pieces, slowly add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low until it looks like coarse sand.
  5. Slowly pour in approximately half of the liquid mixture and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour the remaining liquid mixture in and mix on medium for another 2 minutes. Clean the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  7. Divide the cake batter into the four prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.

Raspberry Curd

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the raspberries until smooth. Set aside ½ cup of the raspberry puree.
  2. Add the remaining raspberry puree (approximately 1 cup) to a medium pot with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
  3. Heat the mixture over medium heat, continually stirring. It will begin to slowly thicken. Approximately 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add in the egg yolks and whisk together vigorously until the raspberry curd is thick enough the coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Remove the curd from the heat and add in the butter and salt. Whisk until fully melted and combined.
  6. Add in the remaining raspberry puree that was set aside in step 1. Whisk together to combine.
  7. With a fine-mesh sieve, strain the raspberry curd to remove any cooked egg bits or large raspberry seeds.
  8. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd and allow to chill for 3 hours or overnight before using.

Lemon Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 10 minutes.

  2. Add the icing sugar, lemon extract, and salt and mix on low until combined.

  3. Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.

  4. See the note section regarding the yellow food color **

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each fully cooled pink lemonade cake layer with a cake leveler or knife.

  2. Place one leveled layer of cake on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately 1 cup of lemon buttercream.

  3. Pipe a buttercream border around the edge and fill with approximately ¼ cup of the raspberry curd.
  4. Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  5. Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother.

  6. Decorate the cake as you please. I used a Wilton cake comb to create rough textured horizontal lines around the cake. With a Wilton 1m piping tip, I piped swirls around the top border and placed a lemon cookie between each swirl. Enjoy!

Notes

* I crumb-coated my cake first and then added the yellow food color to the remaining lemon buttercream. This is purely a personal preference and you can easily go without food color or color the entire batch of buttercream.

  • Prep Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 Minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 972
  • Sugar: 105 Grams
  • Sodium: 345 Miligrams
  • Fat: 42 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 24 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 2 Grams
  • Carbohydrates: 138 Grams
  • Fiber: 2 Grams
  • Protein: 6 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 201 Miligrams

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31 Comments

    1. I’ve made this cake twice now and both times it was a huge hit!! The recipe is easy to follow and the cake layers are so fluffy and delicious. The combination of flavors is perfectly matched…this recipe is now in the books as a go to favorite!!






      1. Aw that makes my heart smile Melissa! I am so very pleased to hear you have made it not just once but twice! Thank you for sharing.

  1. Wowza….saw your IG and had to look at the recipe…had no idea that it could look even more epic…so so tall and enticing.

    Beautiful…I’m sure it tastes insanely good too.

    Talented! Thank you






  2. I made this for my daughter’s birthday. She loved the pink cake layers when we cut into it. Thanks for sharing this recipe.






    1. I love that you made it for your daughter’s birthday. Shared cakes are the best kind!

  3. I made this for my daughter’s birthday and everyone was delighted with the pink surprise cake layers inside.






    1. Yay, thanks for trying this recipe out for such a special occasion. Happy birthday to your daughter.

    1. Hi Kim. The recipe as-is will bake great in two 8 inch round cake pans. Note that the baking time will increase though.

  4. I’ve made this recipe 3 different times now. Once as a cake and two times as cupcakes. Fabulous every single time.






  5. And another query is there a substitute for lemon extract? I’m from New Zealand and I am not sure what that is exactly. Lemon essence? Or can you use lemon juice?

    1. Yes, blending the raspberry seeds turned out fine. You can always strain them if you don’t like them though. Lemon essence is similar. I recommend starting with half the amount and going from there.

  6. Amazing!! This tiered cake was so fun to make especially with the added filling! Such great flavor combinations! I’m excited to try another one!






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