This lemon-lovely finale delivers a sun-kissed message: Winter’s departing, and springtime is on its way! The dressed-up strawberry shortcake has tender consistency and is topped with a lemony glaze that adds a sweet, delicate crunch. Best of all, it’s a cinch to make.

CAKE
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup whole milk

GLAZE
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

STRAWBERRIES
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup water
3/4 cup fresh mint sprigs, plus additional sprigs for garnish
1 lb. strawberries, coarsely chopped

CREAM
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 8x2-inch round baking pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Spray paper; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.

2. Beat 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl at medium speed 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons lemon peel. At low speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spread in pan.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice until smooth, adding additional lemon juice for desired glaze consistency. Stir in 2 teaspoons lemon peel.

4. Run small metal spatula around edge of cake to loosen; invert onto wire rack. Remove parchment paper. Carefully turn cake top-side up; place on platter. Pour glaze over top of cake, spreading to cover top and sides. Cool completely. (Cake can be made 1 day ahead; cover and store at room temperature.)

5. Bring 1 cup of the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in 3/4 cup mint sprigs. Reduce heat to medium; boil gently 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly thickened to the consistency of maple syrup. Let stand until cool. Strain through fine strainer into small bowl; discard mint. Meanwhile, combine strawberries and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Pour syrup over strawberries. (Strawberries can be made 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.)

6. Beat cream in large bowl at high speed until slightly thickened. Add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. (Cream can be made 2 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.) Serve sliced cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream; garnish with mint. Refrigerate leftovers.

8 servings

PER SERVING: 610 calories, 25 g total fat (15 g saturated fat), 5.5 g protein, 94.5 g carbohydrate, 120 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 2 g fiber