2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
6 large egg yolks
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolks until smooth. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
In another large bowl, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Beat in cream of tartar, then turn the mixer up to high speed and beat to soft peaks. Fold into lemon mixture, working in 3 or 4 batches. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake for 24-28 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Strawberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups strawberry preserves
3-oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest (optional)
fresh strawberries, for garnish.
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until well combined. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar until frosting has a smooth, spreadable consistency. Beat in vanilla extract and lemon zest, if using.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup strawberry preserves with 1/2 cup of the cream cheese frosting. Set aside.
Reserve remaining strawberry preserves for assembly.
To assemble the cake, slice cooled cakes in half horizontally. Place one layer of cake on a serving platter or cake stand. Top with approximately 1/2 cup strawberry preserves, then place another cake layer on top of that. Top second cake layer with mixture of frosting and strawberry preserves. Place another cake layer on top and top that with remaining strawberry preserves. Place final cake layer on top.
Lightly frost the whole cake with a very thin layer of frosting to create a crumb coat. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow frosting to set.
Frost cake evenly with remaining frosting and decorate the top with fresh strawberries.