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.
Note: This post contains affiliate links to which I earn a small commission, but don’t worry there’s no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting CAKED by Katie.
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.
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.
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?!
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!
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:
Pink lemonade cake bursting with sweet lemon flavor and filled with zingy raspberry curd. A fresh and fun summer drink-inspired cake perfect for a sunny day celebration.
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
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 ¾ cup cake flour, sifted
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. fine sea salt
⅛ tsp. baking soda
⅔ cup dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
pink food color *
Raspberry Curd Filling
3 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1 tbsp. dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
1 cup all-vegetable shortening
6 cups icing sugar
2 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. fine sea salt
yellow food color *
lemon cookies for decor
Pink Lemonade Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray and parchment line four 6-inch round cake pans.
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the pink lemonade concentrate, milk, vegetable oil, eggs, lemon extract, and pink food color. Set aside. *
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.
In small pieces, slowly add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low until it looks like coarse sand.
Slowly pour in approximately half of the liquid mixture and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
Pour the remaining liquid mixture in and mix on medium for another 2 minutes. Clean the sides of the bowl when necessary.
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.
Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.
In a blender or food processor, puree the raspberries until smooth. Set aside ½ cup of the raspberry puree.
Add the remaining raspberry puree (approximately 1 cup) to a medium pot with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
Heat the mixture over medium heat, continually stirring. It will begin to slowly thicken. Approximately 3-5 minutes.
Add in the egg yolks and whisk together vigorously until the raspberry curd is thick enough the coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove the curd from the heat and add in the butter and salt. Whisk until fully melted and combined.
Add in the remaining raspberry puree that was set aside in step 1. Whisk together to combine.
With a fine-mesh sieve, strain the raspberry curd to remove any cooked egg bits or large raspberry seeds.
Cover with a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd and allow to chill for 3 hours or overnight before using.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and shortening on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 10 minutes.
Add the icing sugar, lemon extract, and salt and mix on low until combined.
Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.
See the note section regarding the yellow food color **
Level each fully cooled pink lemonade cake layer with a cake leveler or knife.
Place one leveled layer of cake on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately 1 cup of lemon buttercream.
Pipe a buttercream border around the edge and fill with approximately ¼ cup of the raspberry curd.
Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother.
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!
** 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.