Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake presents moist lemony cake layers that are dotted with fresh blueberries and slathered with a creamy lemon cream cheese buttercream. A great mouthwatering cake to welcome Spring!
Yep, I just can’t stop making lemon desserts right now. They are getting me through until Spring pops its sunshiny head. Lemon desserts just seem to bring a ray of sunshine into my kitchen and they’re also delicious. This Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake is no exception!
My super moist Lemon Layer Cake is a very popular recipe here on MCT. Therefore, I decided to adapt it into a lemon/blueberry version, dotting it with fresh juicy blueberries. Oh my, the rest is history!
Here’s what makes this cake perfect!
CAKE FLOUR: I tested all-purpose flour in this cake first. I sifted it, then measured it. It just wasn’t giving me the fluffy or soft texture I was looking for. For the second test, I used cake flour that I sifted before measuring. Big difference in the softness and fluffiness! This recipe calls for “sifted” cake flour. This means to sift the flour before measuring it. Alternately, if the word “sifted” follows the word flour, it means to measure the flour, then sift it. This is important to know. If you were to measure the flour first, then sift it in this recipe, you would end up using too much flour, thus resulting in a drier cake. I used all-purpose flour in my Moist & Tangy Lemon Loaf Cake because I wanted a more dense texture.
BUTTER: I used butter for the pure buttery flavor, and it helps to aerate and tenderize the cake.
BUTTERMILK: I used buttermilk in this cake for several reasons. Using buttermilk results in cakes that have a lighter texture and a finer crumb. It also adds a bit of tanginess.
OIL: I used part oil, versus all butter. Butter adds structure and flavor, but too much butter lends a more dense texture, sort of like pound cake. The oil adds moisture and creates less density.
EGGS: I used 4 eggs in this cake. The protein & water in eggs helps the cake hold its shape. The eggs are a binding agent that holds everything together. Think structure! But that’s not all. They offer moisture too.
BAKING POWDER: I used 2 teaspoons of baking powder for leavening to make the layers rise up tall and fluffy. I didn’t want a dense cake such as poundcake here, I wanted tall and fluffy!
BAKING SODA: I used baking soda as a leavening agent also. However, I only used 1/2 teaspoon, since I was using buttermilk. A general rule of thumb is for every 1 cup of buttermilk, only use 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
LEMON JUICE & ZEST: Baked lemon desserts seem to lose some of their lemon flavor once baked. In this recipe, I used the zest of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup of pure freshly squeezed lemon juice and I added 1 teaspoon of pure lemon extract, the second time I tested the recipe and finally got the perfect lemony tangy flavor I wanted.
Tips for making this cake
- Reserve a small amount of the flour and toss the blueberies in the flour. This helps to keep the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
- Make sure to sift the cake flour first, then measure it and whisk it together with the other dry ingredients. Gently fold the floured blueberries into the batter at the end.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Mix only long enough to incorporate the flour and stop!
- This cake batter is thick. Once you transfer it to the pans, use an offset spatula to smooth it out and gently shake the cake pans back and forth to level it out.
- Don’t over bake the cake layers. The cake layers should barely begin to brown around the edges when they’re done. Do a toothpick test. If the toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cakes are done.
- If you use frozen blueberries, do not thaw them!
Can I freeze this cake
Yes! You can freeze the cake layers for up to 2 months ahead of time. Wrap them securely in plastic wrap, then a layer of heavy foil. I don’t recommend freezing the frosting for this cake. Thaw the cake layers overnight in a refrigerator, then frost.
Can you tell I love LEMON desserts? Below are just a few more of my lemon desserts!
Lemon Blueberry Bread with Lemon Glaze
Lemon Butter Shortbread Cookies with Lemon GlazePrint
Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: Cake
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
This Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake has a light texture and tangy lemon flavor and it’s loaded with fresh blueberries. It’s finished with a lemon cream cheese buttercream that totally complements the cake. It is absolutely delicious!
- 3 cups sifted cake flour, spooned & leveled (sift first, then measure)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup full-fat buttermilk
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, (not from a bottle)
- 1 teaspoon pure lemon-extract
- 1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries (you can use frozen but don’t thaw them)
LEMON CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- 1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, (not fat-free), room temperature
- 2 sticks of real butter, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour three 8-inch round cake pans. Tap out any excess flour. Set aside.
- Mix the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sifted cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
- Add the butter to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, (or use a hand mixer). Mix on medium-high speed until it becomes very light and smooth. Add the sugar and mix on medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is very light and smooth. It should be paler in color and there should be no grainy granules of sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just to incorporate each time, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the oil, lemon juice, and lemon extract and mix to incorporate.
- Add about 1/3 cup of the dry ingredients to a medium bowl, and toss the blueberries and flour together.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture in three additions on medium-low speed, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix only to incorporate. Do not overmix!
- Fold in the blueberries with a spatula or spoon.
- Divide the batter equally between the 3 prepared cake pans.
- Bake the cake: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out with slightly moist crumbs on it. Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and gently shake each pan to ensure the cake is loose from the pan. Invert cake layers onto a wire rack to completely cool.
LEMON CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- Make the frosting: Make sure the cream cheese is very soft. Add the cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. I prefer to use the whisk attachment for cream cheese, but you don’t have to. Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it’s very smooth and there are no lumps. Add the butter and beat until the mixture is very smooth and light about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest, and salt and mix to incorporate.
- Add the powdered sugar on low speed, 2 cups at a time, mixing the sugar in thoroughly before adding more. If the frosting seems a little too thin for spreading, add a bit more sugar. If it seems a little too thick for spreading, add a tiny bit of milk or lemon juice, adding only 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Assemble & frost: If you want perfect flat layers, use a serrated knife and slice the dome top off of each cake layer. I did not. Place one cake layer on a cake plate or a turntable. Spread about 1 1/4 cups of frosting over the layer. Add the second layer and spread 1 1/4 cups of frosting. Add the top layer and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. it.
- To serve: For nice neat slices, chill the cake for about 1 hour before slicing. Use a long sharp knife to slice the cake. Dip the knife in a tall glass of hot water before each cut and wipe the knife dry, then wipe the knife clean after each cut. This way the frosting will not stick to the knife and will look perfect on each slice of cake.
- Cover tightly and refrigerate the leftover cake for no more than 4 days for best freshness.
- Measuring the flour: This recipe calls for sifted cake flour. This means to sift the flour first, then measure it.
- Freezing the cake: The cake layers can be baked and frozen up to 3 months in advance. Bake the cake layers and allow them to cool completely. Wrap each layer tightly with plastic wrap. Do this twice. Then wrap each layer with a layer of heavy-duty foil. If you’re not sure when you’re going to use the layers, use a marker and write the date on the foil of when you froze it. When ready to use, thaw the cake layers overnight in the refrigerator.
- Freezing the frosting: I don’t recommend freezing the frosting. You can make the frosting a day or two in advance and bring it to room temperature before spreading it on the cake.
- Cake pans: This cake can also be made in two 9-inch round cake pans. The bake time will be a few minutes longer. I don’t advise using three 9-inch pans or the cake layers will be rather thin. I also don’t recommend using a 9 x 13 pan for this cake. There’s quite a bit of batter, and the cake may not be done in the center when the rest of the cake is done.
- Cupcakes: I have not made cupcakes with this recipe, but it should easily make 24 cupcakes, maybe more with plenty of frosting.
Keywords: lemon, lemon cake, lemon blueberry cake, blueberry, lemon layer cake, cake recipes, cakes, desserts,
A little labor intensive, it took much longer than the time on the recipe. However, I did learn many new baking tips such as rolling the blueberries in flour, the reason for using cake flour, and using oil in a batter instead of all butter! Good knowledge to have, so thank you.
The cake will be eaten for Father’s Day tomorrow, so I will keep you posted on Instagram ❤️
Can this recipe be made into a rectangle pan instead? I am on vacation and don’t have round pans.
Hi Cindy, Yes it certainly can.
Made this for a 4th of July Party…it was a big hit! thank you
Hi Renee, I’m so glad it was a big hit. Thanks for the feedback!:)
My batter was not thick like you said it should be, and the cakes came out very dense… I followed the recipe and instructions precisely and can’t figure out where I went wrong. Maybe my flour was over sifted? MY 3 cups unsifted became about 5 cups sifted. Any idea or pointers? I want to try again! The batter tasted soooo yummy!
Hi Jen, Once you sift the flour you should measure out 3 cups of flour. Did you perhaps use 5 cups? Also, use the spoon and level method to measure. Spoon the flour into the cup then level off with a knife edge, once you’ve sifted the flour. It sounds like the issue might have been the flour.
Thanks for your response! I think the issue was flour… but I actually didn’t have enough! I checked the bag of flour I bought and it said pre-sifted…so I re-made the cake without re-sifting the flour and it turned out much better! The batter was nice and thick and it looks to be light and fluffy once baked. I’m freezing it for a few days as I made it for a dinner I’m hosting on Wednesday so fingers crossed its as delicious as it looks!
I made this cake and the cake was a little dry and dense–I followed the sift first then measure method but the cake was a little dry and dense. Im going to try again tomorrow–any suggestions?
also, i bought two 6 x 3 round pans. Can I use these and how long is the cooking time in these pans?
thank you so much for this recipe–my family loved it.
Hi Rita, I don’t recommend using 2 six-inch pans. There is two much batter. I don’t recommend 2 eight-inch either. The cake will come out more dense. You can use 2 nine-inch pans versus the 3 eight-inch pans. If the flour is correctly measured, and all the wet ingredients are added, I’m not sure why your cake would be dry. Make sure to not over-flour the cake pans…only a light dusting. The eggs should be large. With the amount of buttermilk, plus butter, oil, and lemon juice, it should be moist. Please let me know how it turns out the second time. Good luck! 🙂
Made this for a bridal shower. Froze the layers because they were made ahead of time. Had to use reduced fat buttermilk because full fat was not available. Still, it was a huge hit! Iwas asked by two other women for the recipe. The beautifully decorated bakery cake was, surprisingly, not requested nearly as often.