You can make this cake ahead and just freeze the layers until you're ready to assemble. 

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Strawberry and lemon: We just can’t get enough of this seasonal dessert pairing.

And this Strawberry-Lemonade Layer Cake is the ultimate testament to how these two fruits bring out the best in each other.

With alternating layers of sweet and tart flavors, and cheerful colors, this springtime cake can function as both your dessert and centerpiece.

Our Secret to Making a Standout Strawberry-Lemon Layer Cake

Think beyond the basics. Rather than making a simple lemon cake with strawberry frosting, we start with a lemon-infused cake, and then add homemade Strawberry-Lemonade Jam to create a more complex balance between sweet and tangy. Spread a layer of our rich and creamy Strawberry Frosting over the top and sides, and garnish it with sliced strawberries for a final, refreshing bite.

Use fresh strawberries from your local farmer's' market. Strawberries that are ripe, in-season, and freshly picked pack a vibrant flavor that the grocery store variety never will. Conventional supermarket strawberries, which are shipped from Mexico or California, are picked before their prime so they don’t spoil before they arrive. In a recipe, like this one, just-picked, local strawberries will create a sweeter jam and frosting that requires less sugar.

Do the hard work in advance. You know we’re big fans of make-ahead recipes. This cake can be made up to two days in advance, so you won’t be bound to the kitchen timer while hosting. If you are planning to do this, just be sure to store the layers at room temperature so that they don't dry out.

WATCH: Strawberry-Lemonade Layer Cake

Alternatively, you can freeze the cooled cake layers for up to a month in advance if you cover them well in plastic wrap and foil. On the day of your event, simply pipe the filling between the thawed layers and spread a thick layer of frosting onto the cake.

The total hands-on preparation only takes 45 minutes. See the full recipe here.