Strawberries, 'sparkle' Variety
Wally Eberhart
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Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Strawberries



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Fresh Strawberries in Sieve Surrounded by Sloe Blossom
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Lemon Buttermilk Cake
with Strawberries

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1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
3 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups cake flour [such as Swansdown]
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

A 16-ounce package frozen sliced
strawberries, thawed

12 ounces cream cheese,
at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
5 tablespoons frozen lemonade
concentrate, thawed

Two 1-pint baskets strawberries, hulled

For the cake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350
degrees F.
Butter and flour three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high
sides. Beat the sugar, butter and lemon peel in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in
lemon juice. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into the butter mixture
alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center
of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pans to racks and
cool 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely. (Can
be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic and store at
room temperature.)
Boil sweetened strawberries with juices in heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup and begins to
thicken, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

For frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioner's sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in lemonade concentrate and lemon zest.
Divide strawberry mixture between 2 cake layers and spread over tops, leaving  1/2-inch border around edges. Let stand until slightly set, about
5 minutes. Place one strawberry-topped layer on platter. Drop 3/4 cup frosting by spoonfuls atop cake; gently spread over top. Top with the remaining cake layer. Using spatula, spread remaining frosting in decor-
ative swirls over sides and top of cake. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.
Cover with cake dome and chill. Let cake stand at room temperature 1
hour before continuing.) Decoratively arrange strawberries, pointed side
up, atop cake. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves 12.

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