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Making Lemonade (Cake) out of Lemons

pink lemonade cake CUWhen I was faced with having to resign from my namesake company (Jules Gluten Free), start a new gluten-free company, move all of my blog content over to a new website (oh, and build a brand new site), and put into place all the production pieces required to have my gluten-free flour and baking mix formulas available again right away, I truly felt like I had been dealt a lot of lemons.

The gluten-free community rallied though, and with it, so went my spirits. Amidst hundreds of heart-felt letters, facebook, twitter and google+ postings from friends and strangers, I found the courage and energy to persevere and do what I knew in my heart was right for me and for our community.

Since baking a cake has always been something we do in my family whenever celebrating a milestone, making a lemonade cake just seemed like the natural thing to do. And since this is my first post on my new website, I’m giving you FOUR recipes in one: Cake, Lemon Garnish, Strawberry Jam and Lemon Buttercream Frosting!

Thank you to everyone who has supported me with a kind word, a share, a virtual hug or a donation to the cause. You are the reason this site is here (and growing every day!) and the reason I am starting over. I look forward to great things, starting with cake!

Jules’ Pink Lemonade Cake


  • 3 cups gfJules™ All Purpose Gluten Free Flourpink lemonade cake CU2
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk (dairy or non-dairy alternative like Vance’s DariFree™  Powder)
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or non-dairy alternative (like Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (white sugar; unrefined sugar; coconut palm sugar; etc.)
  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup puréed strawberries (wash, hull and process in a blender or food processor)
  • 2 Tbs. lemon zest
  • red food coloring, if desired – not pictured (Color Garden™ or India Tree natural food colors)


Preheat oven to 350° F (static) or 325° F (convection).

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.

In another mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and yolk, one at a time, mixing to integrate. Stir in lemon juice. Slowly stir in dry ingredients, alternating with strawberry purée, mixing until combined and batter is smooth. Fold in lemon zest.

Oil two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. Pour in cake batter and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake until cake pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan, approximately 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake – if it is clean or has very few crumbs, the cake is done.lemon cake squares

Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, if necessary to release the cakes, and invert onto a wire rack to completely cool.

If making a 4 layer cake (as pictured), evenly slice each round cake in half, horizontally., using a long serrated knife or cake leveler.
Lemon Garnish

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lemon, sliced thinly and seeded

Bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add lemon slices and reduce to simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the lemon slices, drain, then refrigerate to chill for use as garnish for the frosted cake.

Strawberry Jam

Wash, hull and process strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in sugar and add to a small saucepan over low-medium heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice into the gfJules™ Flour until lumps are gone. Gradually stir mixture in with the strawberries.

Increase temperature to medium and bring jam to a boil. Once boiling, whisk constantly for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing the wrap to rest on top of the jam itself, so no skin is formed. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

To use between layers of cake, spread a thin layer of jam on the top of each layer, leaving 1/2 – 1 inch border around the edges. Scoop a small amount of Lemon Buttercream Frosting into a zip-top bag with a small corner cut out, then pipe the frosting into the border left around each layer. Spread remaining frosting on the tops and sides of the cake.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

ingredients:pink lemonade buttercream frosting

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy butter, softened (Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks or Earth Balance® Soy-Free Coconut Spread) OR butter
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used So Delicious® Coconut Milk Beverage)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. lemon zest (plus extra to sprinkle on top)

Cream the butter and the sifted confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl, adding the sugar, one half cup at a time, beating in between to incorporate it. Slowly add the milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Whip 1-2 minutes until fluffy, then stir in the zest.  (Note: if the frosting is too thick, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time; if it is too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.)

gfJules™ Tip: Frostings like this work best if you have a whisk attachment on a stand-mixer like a KitchenAid® or Cuisinart®. However, a handmixer will do, just be sure to add extra time for whipping at the end of the recipe.

Makes approximately 4 cups of frosting.

(This recipe shared on Gluten-Free Wednesdays)

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