Lemon Buttermilk Cake With Strawberry Jam-Cream Cheese Icing is a dense, moist cake you can make without a mixer. Frosting the cake with fluffy cream cheese icing, with an added dollop of strawberry jam, takes it to the next level! It’s a tasty and pretty little dessert to take along to a dockside picnic or potluck.
Aimée Bourque The Picnic Queen
Meeting and working with like-minded food creatives fuels my soul! Aimée Bourque from Simple Bites moved to my home province of Nova Scotia last winter, and we’ve become fast food friends. Her blog focuses on whole, seasonal foods with family and friends. She also shares fantastic picnic and camping-inspired food posts. We recently collaborated on a romantic lakeside picnic for two, including my newly tested recipe for lemon buttermilk cake.
Testing My Lemon Buttermilk Cake Recipe
I’ve become obsessed with buttermilk this summer! I love the smell and taste of it, and I make any excuse to use it in my cooking and baking. When I was developing the recipe I started with a healthy-ish version including spelt flour, coconut sugar, and coconut oil. In the end I decided this version with all-purpose flour, white sugar, and butter, looks and tastes the best.
Reducing The Amount Of Sugar In A Cake Recipe
I recently visited a dietitian and have been eating mindfully since. My meal plans are based on the balance of whole grains and protein, with fruit and vegetables, but sometimes I just want a slice of cake! This lemon buttermilk cake recipe is loosely based on a Cranberry Clementine Loaf recipe I shared on Baked The Blog. I used the clementine loaf recipe as a starting point and reduced the sugar by half. Because the cream cheese icing is sweet, you won’t even notice the reduced sweetness in the buttermilk cake.
Lemon Buttermilk Cake Ingredients
I tested this lemon cake recipe with stone ground spelt flour and it worked great, however I prefer the softer texture, and lighter colour, of all-purpose flour.
For health and weight-management reasons, I’m on a mission to reduce my sugar intake. I would normally use a full cup of sugar in a cake recipe like this, however, I reduced the sugar by half and it works fine. I also tested the recipe with coconut sugar which also worked.
I am so used to using baking powder in cake recipes I hardly ever think to use baking soda. The rise and flavour of baking powder is familiar to me which means I tend to use it as a default.
Buttermilk is my new favourite ingredient! I’ve been using buttermilk in my lime yogurt dressing in place of the yogurt, and as a substitute for the milk in my prosciutto fontina quiche. My rule of thumb is to use buttermilk anywhere I’d use yogurt, milk, or sour cream.
You could try beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy if you want. Because the lemon buttermilk cake is quite moist and dense, I haven’t found a noticeable difference. Melted butter is so fast and easy!
The recipe as written is baked in two 6-inch cake tins, which equals one egg per tin. Eggs help create a smooth cake batter and add lift, texture, and a hint of yellow to the cake crumb.
I love to double and sometimes triple the amount of vanilla in my recipes. I held back here because I wanted the lemon to shine through. I’ve been using clear vanilla extract for all of my summer baking. I love how it keeps the colour of the lemon cake light and pristine.
Lemon Zest And Juice
Lemons come in different sizes, it’s true, but don’t sweat it. If you have super tiny lemons, consider using two! My lemons yielded about 1/4 cup of juice each. Combined with lemon zest it’s the perfect amount for a small cake.
Strawberry Jam-Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients
You could make a simple buttercream for this cake, but I love the tang cream cheese adds to this cake!
Also called powdered sugar or confectioners sugar.
Aimée suggested adding strawberry jam to my cream cheese icing as fresh, mashed strawberries are too liquidy. If the jam doesn’t make your icing pink enough, you could also add one drop of red food colouring.
Looking For More Lemon Recipes? Try:
Looking For More Strawberry Recipes? Try:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Bread Pudding
- Strawberry Shortcake With Chai-Spiced Biscuits
- Vegan Strawberry Streusel Loaf
Lemon Buttermilk Cake With Strawberry Jam-Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 1/4 cup butter soft
- 1/4 cup cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup icing sugar sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease two 6-inch cake tins and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to mix.
- In another bowl whisk buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined. Divide batter between prepared cake tins and bake 30-35 minutes, or until internal temperature of cake is 200º to 205ºF. Cool cake on rack and remove from tins.
- For the Strawberry Jam-Cream Cheese Icing - Combine butter, cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla, salt, and strawberry jam. Mix by hand or with a mixer until smooth.
- Place half of strawberry jam-cream cheese icing on top of one of the lemon buttermilk cakes. Spread icing to edges of cake. Place second cake, upside down, on top of the first cake. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.
Did you make this recipe? I would love to see how you made out! Let me know on Instagram by tagging me @baconandbaileys and hashtag it #baconandbaileys so I can take a peek and re-share it in my Instagram stories! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
All images created in partnership with my friend Aimée of Simple Bites. Recipe & Photography by myself; Food Styling by Aimée.