Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Lemon Filling

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     This month I hosted the What’s Baking? challenge.  The challenge was to make a layer cake.  For as many cakes, cupcakes, pies, etc., that I have made, I have never made a layer cake and it was high time I tried.  I was going to Pittsburgh for Father’s Day so I figured this was the perfect time to make the cake.  I figured my dad would love whatever I made.

     I’ve recently gotten into canning and have made several types of jams and wanted to use one of those as the filling.  I finally settled for the strawberry lemon marmalade as the filling.  Next, I decided on a delicious looking vanilla buttermilk cake.  I then decided to cover the entire thing with my lemon buttercream to bring the flavors together.

     I think baking the cake was the easiest part of making this Father’s Day Cake.  The recipe was easy and I had three 9 inch pans and was able to cook all three layers at the same time.  I love this cake.  It is firm but moist and has a delicious buttery vanilla flavor.  After doing some research I put a light crumb coating layer of buttercream on the top of both layer before putting the jam on so that it wouldn’t seep into the cake.  I layered the three layers and then let it set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
    The toughest part was frosting the cake.  It was hot and humid out and my buttercream was melting all over the place, causing the filling to run as well.  At one point the layers were slipping everywhere and I thought the cake was ruined.  However, after a few trips in the refrigerator and finally some buttercream modified with Crisco, I got the frosting to stay and got the cake decorated.
    This cake is delicious!  The vanilla in the cake paired with the strawberry lemon filling and topped with lemon buttercream was outstanding.  The whole cake tasted light and summery.  Everyone at the party seemed to enjoy it and my dad loved it.  I’d like to try this flavor combination as a filled cupcake next time.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Lemon Filling (cake recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
For the cake:
3 3/4 c. cake flour
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 T. plus 2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1/4 c. applesauce
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 c. low fat sour cream
1 T. vanilla

1 jar of Strawberry Lemon Marmalade (recipe HERE)

For the Lemon Buttercream:
5 c. powdered sugar
10 T. butter
5-6 T. lemon juice
2 t. grated lemon peel

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Butter three 9 inch round cake pans then line the bottoms with parchment paper.  Butter the paper and top lightly with flour.  Set aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 

3.  In a smaller bowl combine the butter, buttermilk, and applesauce.  Mix well.  Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and mix on low with a hand mixer for 30 seconds.  Adjust the speed to high and mix an additional 2-3 minutes or until the batter becomes light and fluffy.

4.  In a small bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and sour cream.  Stir well to combine.  Slowly add the egg mixture to the batter mixing well.

5.  Divide the batter between the 3 cake pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.  Turn pans onto a wire rack and remove the parchment paper.  Let cool completely.
6.  Set the bottom layer of the cake on a cake board and put enough buttercream on top to make a crumb coating.  Spread the top with the strawberry lemon marmalade and top with the second layer.  Repeat this with the second and third layers.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the marmalade.
7.  Make the buttercream icing while the cakes are setting.  With an electric mixer beat together the butter, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until it is well combined and the icing is smooth. This may take several minutes.

8.  Frost the entire cake with the lemon buttercream.  Decorate using additional buttercream. 
**If not eating the cake right away it can be refrigerated**

This post linked to:
Friday Potluck, Fat Camp Friday
Foodie Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday, Fresh Food Friday


  1. The marmalade filling really is a great idea-especially since it has both strawberry and lemon in it.This cake looks to have wonderfully tall layers. Good job on the decorating!

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