Lemon Pudding Cake is rich and delicious, and a batch of my favorite whipped cream cheese frosting makes both strawberry filling and lemon icing to complement it perfectly. Easy enough for kids to make with a bit of help, mom will be delighted with this extra special dessert!

Lemon Pudding Cake Recipe

1 package lemon cake mix
1 – 3.4 oz box instant lemon pudding
½ pint sour cream (full fat)
½ C light vegetable oil
½ C warm water
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9” cake pans with non-stick baking spray. Using a hand mixer, combine all the ingredients on medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops. Bake 24-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on racks for 10 minutes; turn out of the pans and cool completely.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

2 packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 – 16 oz box confectioner’s sugar
¼ C heavy whipping cream
Zest of 1 large lemon
½ C strawberry jam
Fresh whole and sliced strawberries
Fresh mint

With a mixer, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed until light and smooth. Add vanilla extract. Gradually add powdered sugar, starting on low speed and increasing to medium-high after each addition. Pour in whipping cream. Start on low speed and increase to high, whipping until the frosting becomes light and fluffy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove 1/3 of the frosting to a bowl and add the lemon zest. Fold in gently, transfer to an airtight container. Fold the strawberry jam into the remaining 2/3 frosting and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate filling and frosting for at least two hours.

To assemble the cake, place one layer onto a serving plate, flat side down, and slide pieces of wax paper underneath the cake (to keep the plate clean).

Spread the strawberry filling onto the layer to desired thickness; place a layer of sliced strawberries on top. Place the second layer on top of the filling, flat side up. Spoon some of the lemon frosting onto the top of the cake and spread it over the entire cake and down the sides. Use a metal spatula to smoothly spread the frosting around the top and sides of the cake. Spread it thinly for the trendy “naked cake” look; use more to create a thick layer with pretty dips and swirls. Remove the
wax paper.

Store the cake, covered, in the refrigerator. Take it out 30 minutes before slicing. Garnish the top and individual slices with the fresh strawberries and mint.

For the printable recipe, Sue’s flavor variations, and step-by-step tips, visit: www.itsokaytoeatthecupcake.com