This Lemon Blueberry Cake is unlike any other cake you've ever tasted. That's a bold statement, but you'll soon realize how true it is. We use fresh blueberries and a combination of zest and fresh lemon juice. Lemon lovers will swoon for this cake and it's a total showstopper for Spring and Summer entertaining.
The flavor and texture of this thing are unparalleled. It almost reads like a pound cake, with a dense, fine crumb and rich flavors. The lemon cake layers are perfectly speckled with fresh, juicy blueberries but there are plenty of major lemon vibes as well. The decadent cream cheese frosting is amped up with lemony goodness and gorgeously swirled in decadent, thick layers across every inch of the cake. No better way to ring in the warm weather.
AVOIDING A CAKE-TASTROPHY
Before we can get into making the most decadent, delicious Lemon Blueberry Cake on the planet earth, we first have to cover a few cake basics.
One of the most important things when it comes to baking a cake is that your ingredients are at room temperature. This is extremely important when it comes to ingredients like butter, eggs, buttermilk, and even lemon juice.
Cold ingredients negatively affect cakes in multiple ways. The first of which is that your ingredients will not properly mix. The second way cold ingredients will put a buzz kill on pretty much any cake recipe is in the baking process itself. Don't expect any cake mixed with cold ingredients to properly rise
A couple more noteworthy items are preheating and pan size.
You want to be sure your oven is at the right temperature well before the cakes go in. Have your oven preheating to 350°F about 3o minutes in advance.
For this recipe, you'll also want to have ready two greased, 9-inch baking pans, lined with parchment paper on the bottom. Note, the size of your pans matters! If you use a larger cake pan, your cake layers will bake up thinner and require less time in the oven. On the flip side, if you use a smaller cake pan, your cake will take longer to bake in the oven and your layers will be taller!
OK, now that we got all that grumpy cake-baking business out of the way, let's get into the good stuff and mix up this Lemon Blueberry Cake!
HOW TO MAKE LEMON BLUEBERRY CAKE
The first thing you do to begin whipping up your Lemon Blueberry Cake batter is sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sifting the ingredients both combines and aerates them, making for a pleasing, fine texture when it comes to the crumb of the cake.
Once you have your dry ingredients all mixed up, you'll switch it over to the wet ingredients. You will combine room temperature, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar in a large bowl. To mix it up you can use either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for about 3 to 5 minutes, until pale yellow in color and fluffy in appearance.
Once your butter and sugar are properly creamed, add in three large eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add a third of the flour mixture and mix on low until combined.
Time to address the remaining wet ingredients! The last of the wet ingredients consist of buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pure vanilla extract. Remember, it is extremely important that both the buttermilk and the lemon juice are at room temperature, and not at all cold.
Another noteworthy ingredient is the lemon. Fresh lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice make a huge difference when it comes to the vibrant flavor of this Lemon Blueberry Cake. Be sure not to skimp out on the zest, you want 2 lemons worth of zest for this recipe! And, as far as the lemon juice goes, you definitely don't want to use store-bought, fake lemon juice. We stand by these rules for our Lemon Muffins as well. You just can't beat the flavor of the real deal.
Mix all of these ingredients together in a measuring pitcher, and pour half of it into the cake batter. Next, add another third of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining buttermilk mixture.
Now, you're going to add the remaining dry mix to the cake, but before you do any more mixing, go ahead and add in those washed and dried fresh blueberries (dry is a keyword, here) to the bowl as well. A flour coating on the blueberries will keep them from sinking to the bottom of your cake pans, and rather, result in beautiful blueberries swirled throughout every square inch of your cake. If you love blueberries as much as we do, you need to check out our Blueberry Cocktail!
Be sure you use fresh and not frozen blueberries for this recipe! Frozen blueberries will water down your cake. The same goes for our Blueberry Waffles!
Once you've got your blueberries in the bowl, gently fold them in along with the dry ingredients, taking care to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl, until the flour appears to be completely incorporated.
Divide the Lemon Blueberry Cake batter into two prepared cake pans and transfer them to the center of the oven to bake at 350° for about 30-35 minutes. Rotate the pans about halfway through the bake time, and test for doneness at the 30-minute mark. If the cakes or not quite ready, continue baking for another five minutes.
Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely. In the meantime, you can whip up your lemony cream cheese frosting!
HOW TO MAKE LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
The cream cheese frosting comes together quickly and easily. To make it you'll need a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
At this point, it should come as no surprise to you to know that both the cream cheese and the butter should be at room temperature. Room temperature ingredients are just as important when it comes to frosting cakes as they are to making the cake itself!
Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl and mix on medium-high speed for a few minutes. As soon as the mixture is looking perfectly smooth, you'll add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Begin mixing on low; once the sugar is mostly combined, you can increase the speed to medium-high. Continue mixing for another few minutes, and as soon as your Lemon Blueberry Cakes have completely cold, it's time to decorate!
ICING AND DECORATING LEMON BLUEBERRY CAKE
In order to achieve that perfect layered cake look, you'll want to first level off the tops of your cakes before doing any icing.
To level your Lemon Blueberry Cake, simply place one hand gently on top and, using a bread knife, saw the dome off the top. Do this with both layers and then you should be ready to start the frosting process.
First things first, you'll want to add a small smear of icing to the cake plate to ensure your bottom layer doesn't go sliding around. Place the first cake on top of it and add a generous dollop of icing. This will become your center layer of icing, so you want it nice and thick. Spread it to the edges, and then you can go ahead and set the second layer on top.
Now add another blob of icing and this time you'll spread it across the top as well as over the sides. For a super clean and smooth end product, you can transfer the cake to the fridge for about 30 minutes at this point to allow that crumb coat to set.
Once your crumb coat has chilled, you can bring the cake back out and finish it off with the remaining frosting.
HOW TO STORE BLUEBERRY LEMON CAKE
The somewhat unfortunate truth is that, due to the cream cheese icing, this Lemon Blueberry Cake will need to be stored in the refrigerator.
The FDA recommends refrigerating foods made using cream cheese after 2 hours to maintain freshness. We feel that we can be a little more lenient about this since a large percentage of the frosting is sugar, which can act as a preservative, but we try to be aware of not leaving it out at room temperature for extended periods of time.
We know, nobody wants to eat cold cake. But, safety first, and if you remove only the slices you plan to serve it will warm to room temperature and taste just as good as the first day in no time.
6 MORE CAKE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Cherry Cheesecake
- Caramel Cake
- Vanilla Cupcake
- Key Lime Cake
- Peach Cobbler Pound Cake
Made with only-the-best, real, and fresh ingredients this Lemon Blueberry Cake is definitely one for the books.
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ⅛ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk, room temperature
- Zest of 2 lemons
- ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried (plus extra for decorating, if desired)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
- 5 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F and have ready 2 greased 9" baking pans, lined with parchment paper on the bottom.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and using a handheld mixer, mix until fluffy and pale yellow in color (about 3-5 minutes). You could also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this task.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl using a silicone spatula and mix once more.
In a large measuring pitcher, combine the buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
With the mixer on low, add a third of the dry ingredients to the sugar-egg mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk mixture. Add another third of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining half of the buttermilk mixture.
Add the remaining dry ingredients, along with the blueberries to the bowl. Fold the berries and the dry mix into the batter using a silicone spatula, scraping the sides and the bottom of the bowl as you fold.
Divide the batter amongst the prepared pans and smooth over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Set the cake aside to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
For the frosting, you will need a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl and mix on medium-high speed for 2-4 minutes, until very smooth.
Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and mix on low. Once the sugar is mostly incorporated, you can begin mixing on medium-high. Mix for 2 minutes more, until light and fluffy.
Level out any uneven cake layers using a long, serrated knife. Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand or serving dish and top with a large dollop of frosting. Spread the frosting to the edges and repeat with the second layer. Use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate the top with blueberries and lemon wheels, if desired.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE CAKE IS DONE:
The cake is ready when the center of it springs back ever so slightly after a gentle poke or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it.