Bake or Break

Lemon-Strawberry Shortcake

Before we moved to New York, we had visited countless times. It had been our favorite city for many years. So, of course, we were amazingly excited when we were able to move here in 2010. I did wonder a bit if the day-to-day of living here would be a bit tough. Fortunately, it’s everything we wanted it to be and more.

A fine example of “more” is our neighborhood’s CSA. I had never really thought about the possibility, but I found out about it just before the sign-up deadline. Quinn and I excitedly jumped on board and started pondering all the beautiful, fresh possibilities for summer and fall.

Last week was our first pick-up of the season, and I was excited to see strawberries on the list. Sure, there were amazing things like red romaine and fascinating things like baby bok choy. But, strawberries! I can bake with those!

Lemon-Strawberry Shortcake is a simple, delicious cake with plenty of fresh strawberries and a splash of lemon. - Bake or Break

I made far too big a deal out of trying to choose just the right recipe for my beautiful strawberries. It’s not like I won’t get more. But, they seemed so special that I wanted to make something fabulous.

The recipe for this cake appealed to me in a few ways. First of all, there are lots of strawberries, and that was kinda the point here. Secondly, I do love a simple one-layer cake. And, I am a sucker for homemade whipped cream. No brainer, right? Had to be made.

Lemon-Strawberry Shortcake is a simple, delicious cake with plenty of fresh strawberries and a splash of lemon. - Bake or Break

This cake is everything I want a summer cake to be. It’s light and fresh and just sweet enough. You get plenty of strawberries, both baked into the cake and on top. Plus, there’s just the hint of lemon to push it over the summer edge. The lemon won’t knock over your taste buds, but you know it’s there. This cake would definitely miss it if it weren’t there.

While this isn’t a shortcake in the traditional sense, it is reminiscent of strawberry shortcake with its flavors. It’s an utterly gorgeous dessert that’s equally as delicious. This is the kind of cake you’ll happily come back to every strawberry season.

Find more strawberry recipes in the Recipe Index!

Lemon-Strawberry Shortcake

Yield 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes

Lemon-Strawberry Shortcake is a simple, delicious cake with plenty of fresh strawberries and a splash of lemon.

Lemon-Strawberry Shortcake


For the cake:

  • 1 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

For the topping:

  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the egg, buttermilk, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly add to the flour mixture, mixing just until moistened. Gently fold in the strawberries.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove the cake from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the topping:

  1. Combine the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Place the cream and confectioners' sugar in a large bowl. Whisk by hand or with an electric mixer with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
  3. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake.
  4. Drain the strawberries and garnish the top of the cake.
  5. Keep the cake refrigerated.

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    26 Comments on “Lemon-Strawberry Shortcake”

  1. I love strawberry shortcake, and lemon can only make it better. The cake looks just delicious!

  2. It’s funny how I do the same thing when I get a coveted ingredient, trying to find the “best” way to use them. I think you chose well.

  3. Sounds wonderful!!! So fresh and summery!

  4. Strawberry shortcake is my husband’s favorite. This has summer written all over it!

  5. What a great idea to add the berries to the cake as well as topping it off! I also have never thought of adding lemon juice to a s’berry mix. The Taste of Home hinted this could take on a patriotic flare with some blueberries added into to the mix. A 4th of July dessert for sure!

  6. The layer of whipped cream is so nice and thick. This cake look luscious. I love the simplicity of a single layer shortcake, perfect for summer gatherings!

  7. I do the same thing, searching for recipes ‘worthy’ of my ingredients. And I’m always looking for a play on strawberries and cream around Wimbledon. This sounds like a delicious contender…

  8. Mmmmm, I could take a big O’ fat slice of that right now! Delish!

  9. This is what summer looks like to me too. Pour me a coffee and cut me a slice.

  10. This year would have been a great year for me to do a CSA because it got so warm so early! It’s definitely fun to hear about your haul though…this cake sounds like the perfect use for those strawberries!

    • At the risk of showing my lack of knowledge…..what’s a CSA?

      • It’s Community Supported Agriculture. A local farm sells shares of their vegetables, fruits, dairy, etc. to local residents. The community supports the farm and gets to enjoy farm fresh ingredients throughout the harvest season.

  11. Looks yum! Did you mix the cake batter by hand or use stand mixer?

  12. Love this, and it’s so pretty. Looks like summer!

  13. I like one layer cakes because I don’t usually have a big crowd to feed and you have less to frost and decorate 😀 I’ve always thought about getting a CSA, but seeing as I live by myself, that sure is a lot of produce to eat myself…

  14. Oh, yummy. And it is strawberry season!

  15. Thanks for sharing this! Never would’ve thought to mix lemon with strawberry, but it really brightened the flavor of an already delicious, sweet and savory strawberry shortcake. Btw thanks also for the deeeeelish lemon chess tartlets. Ermahgerd!! Sooo good!

  16. Looks delicious! This is the best time of year for strawberry recipes. They’re even better if you use fresh strawberries from a local farm.

  17. I baked this cake last weekend and everyone raved on how delicious it was. I will be saving this recipe!


  19. Jennifer, how long would you say this would last in the fridge after topping with the cream? Thanks!

    • NRS, I would guess it would last about 3 days. If you’re going to be serving it to anyone you’re trying to impress, I’d leave off the garnish of strawberries until you’re ready to serve.

  20. Because I like my cakes light, I made this cake the traditional way … Creamed butter and sugar, beat in egg, then mixed in the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. I spread half the batter in the pan, layered some sliced strawberries, spread the remaining batter and layered some more slices strawberries, spreading the batter over that top layer as much as I could. The cake came out great. Would like the batter just a tad sweeter. Will definitely make again adding maybe just an 1/8 cup more sugar.

    Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  21. This looks great! I think the addition of lemon with brighten the whole flavor of the cake. I think I will add a little instant vanilla pudding to the whipped cream to stabilize.

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