A lemon-scented low carb, grain-free layer cake with the most delicious strawberry cream cheese frosting. This sugar-free creation will win over your harshest critics.
Strawberry season is drawing closer and closer and I am so excited I can taste it. I can taste those sweet berries in my mind, freshly picked out of a sun-warmed New England field. I can smell the straw they put down around the beds, and hear the high-pitched lisping of little ones clamouring “I found one, Mummy. I found a big one!”. My own children come out of those fields weighing significantly more than they went into them, and I probably do too. Those pick-your-own strawberry farms must add a premium to the price per pound, knowing that people will eat their weight in berries before they ever fill up their green quart baskets. It’s hard to resist, there is nothing like a strawberry freshly picked and popped into one’s mouth.
But we still have a few months to go and until then, I suffer through the big, less flavourful store bought berries. I don’t actually buy fresh berries in the off-season much, because they just don’t live up to that dreamy berry flavour in my mind. We do usually keep a big wholesale-club sized bag of frozen strawberries in the freezer because my husband is a smoothie man. The man loves his smoothies and his “strawbs”, as we call them. So if I am inclined to make a strawberry recipe in the middle of winter, I am likely to skip the fresh and grab a few of the frozen kind. And I was very much inclined to make this recipe. In fact, from the moment I saw it, I knew I had to make it.
This, my friends, is my healthy low carb take on a gorgeous Strawberry Lemonade Cake I saw on the cover of Southern Living while visiting my parents in Florida. I hadn’t even opened the magazine to look at the details, I just held it up to my husband and said “I am going to make this”. His response: “No arguments from me!”. And I knew just exactly how I would make it too. I did actually refer to the article to see how the frosting was made. As I had hoped, it was cream cheese-based so I knew I could easily replicate it in low carb form. And let me tell you, it’s the frosting that made the cake, without question. The cake itself was good, but the frosting was absolutely divine. It wasn’t overly sweet and the lemon juice and zest gave it the perfect tang. I could have easily eaten a bowl of the frosting all by itself.
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 2/3 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener divided
- 1 cup frozen strawberries thawed and chopped, juices reserved
- OR 1 & 1/2 cups fresh strawberries chopped fine
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Preheat oven to 325F and grease three 9-inch cake pans well (line bottoms with parchment if you are worried about it sticking). You can also use 8-inch pans but your cakes will need to bake longer.
In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, whey protein, and baking powder.
In another large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Beat in granulated sweetener, lemon zest, and lemon extract until well combined.
Beat in eggs, then half of almond flour mixture. Then beat in almond milk. Finally beat in remaining almond flour mixture.
Divide batter between prepared baking pans and smooth the top with a knife or offset spatula. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan at least 10 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/3 cup of the powdered sweetener until smooth. Beat in strawberries, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined.
In another large bowl, beat whipping cream with remaining sweetener until stiff peaks form. Fold carefully into cream cheese until combined.
To assemble the cake, place one layer on a serving platter and spread top with about 1/4 of the frosting. Repeat with second and third layers, and then spread remaining frosting over sides of cake.
Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
Cook’s Notes: Now, I will say that I recently bought some beautiful new round baking pans from USA Pans. They are amazingly non-stick but they are also 9 inches, instead of the old 8-inch pans I used to have. So my layers turned out lower and wider than I originally anticipated. In fact, I first only made enough batter for 2 layers and since I was bringing this to Easter brunch at some friends’ house, I felt it wouldn’t be enough. So I quickly whipped up batter for a 3rd layer. You could do this in 8-inch pans as well, but expect taller layers and longer baking time.