A double dose of blueberries and lemon in this amazing Lemon Blueberry cake! A moist and delicious lemon cake with fresh blueberries and a blueberry buttercream.
Blueberries are my favorite berries. Their flavor is delicious, they don’t have any pesky seeds to deal with, and the color is just SO pretty.
This Lemon Blueberry Cake is another one that’s been a long time in the making — I just never got around to it. But I wanted something pretty, light, and delicious for spring, so I thought it would be perfect.
How to Make this Lemon Blueberry Cake
For the cake layers I slightly modified my favorite lemon cake and added blueberries to it.
In true Olivia fashion, my first go at this cake was a fail of epic proportions. Not only did every single one of my blueberries sink to the bottom (even though they were coated in flour), the cakes totally collapsed on me because I took them out of the oven too early. AGAIN.
I used to be so good at multi-tasking. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m getting older or that I haven’t been utilizing my project management skills so they’re going stale. I literally can’t do more than one thing at a time. I try, but I totally fail every time.
This time I decided that prepping and making dinner while the cakes were baking was a good idea. Needless to say, the timer was going off on the oven as I was frying stuff on the stove, among other things.
Usually, when I check my cakes I do a few tests to make sure they’re ready:
- First I nudge the pans a bit to make sure the cakes are set.
- Then I gently poke the top to see if the cake springs back.
- Finally, I insert a toothpick into the center to make sure it comes out mostly clean.
This time I literally only did step #1. I don’t know what I was thinking. Clearly I wasn’t.
I am easily frazzled in the kitchen — with baking, but even more so with cooking. I am just not a good cook and I don’t enjoy it, so I think the extra panic of worrying about burning dinner led me to just yank the cakes out of the oven when they looked done.
Honestly, though, I do wonder if it was a form of self-sabotage. I knew the blueberries had sunk to the bottom already. I could tell when the cakes were still in the oven. That probably added to my frazzled-ness too.
Round two at the cakes was much better. I switched up the recipe a tad (just a bit less liquid) and baked them in three 8″ pans rather than the three 6″ pans I had originally.
This would mean thinner layers, but the 6″ ones were way too tall anyhow.
This blueberry buttercream is a new favorite and I LOVE how the color turned out. Lemon Blueberry Cake is often paired with a cream cheese frosting, but I wanted something a little different.
I used freeze-dried blueberries to color and flavor the buttercream. This is the BEST way to get berry flavor into your buttercreams without having to worry about affecting the texture.
I pulverized them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder, but if you can buy the freeze-dried berry powder instead, that would be easier.
I’ve used freeze-dried berries before in this Strawberry Cake and the result was amazing — both in flavor and color!
This Lemon Blueberry Cake is the perfect dessert for spring and summer.
Whether you’re looking for something for Easter, or Mother’s Day, or just a random weekday, you can’t go wrong with this delicious flavor combo!
Frequently Asked QuestionsHow can I convert this recipe?
- The recipe as-is will also work in two 8″ pans or three 6″ pans. The layers will be thicker (2″ tall) so baking time will need to be adjusted.
- To make cupcakes, all you need to do is reduce the baking time — start checking at 15mins or so. The recipe will make 18-24 cupcakes depending on size.
- For other conversions go here.
- The cooled cake layers can be baked ahead of time, double wrapped in plastic wrap, and frozen for up to 3 months. Take out 2-3 hours before assembly.
- The frosting can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for 1 week for frozen for 3 months. Bring to room temperature and rewhip before using.
- The finished cake (whole or sliced, stored airtight) can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Tips for making this Lemon Blueberry Cake Recipe:
- The cake batter will be very thick. Be very gentle when you fold in the blueberries so that they don’t break.
- You can use frozen (not thawed) blueberries instead of fresh ones. Be sure to still coat them in flour.
- The lemon syrup is optional, but adds an additional delicious hit of lemon flavour, so I recommend adding it!
- If you like, you can use lemon curd as a filling instead of frosting. Check out my How to Make Lemon Curd post for details.
- You can leave the blueberries out of the cake batter if you just want a plain lemon cake or use raspberries instead.
- Be sure to check my Swiss Meringue Buttercream post for tips and troubleshooting.
- Learn how to keep your cakes moist using Simple Syrup.
- To help ensure your cake layers bake up nice and flat, see my Flat Top Cakes post.
Lemon Blueberry Cake
Lemon Blueberry Cake:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest from one large lemon
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk room temperature
- 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed, from one large lemon
- 1 cup blueberries heaping, coated in 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Blueberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- lemon sliced
Lemon Blueberry Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 8″ cake rounds and line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and lemon zest until smooth. Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and l (approx 3mins).
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Alternate adding flour mixture with milk & lemon juice, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk & lemon juice). Fully incorporating after each addition.
- Toss blueberries in 1 Tbsp of flour. Gently fold blueberries into cake batter.*
- Spread batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Sprinkle with a few additional blueberries if desired.
- Bake for approx. 30mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10mins then turn out onto wire rack.
- Place lemon juice and sugar into a small pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1min. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Blueberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.**
- Place bowl over a double boiler on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins). Or registers 160F on a candy thermometer.
- Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
- Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.***
- Add vanilla and blueberry powder. Whip until smooth.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Poke holes into the cake using a bamboo skewer. Brush with lemon syrup.
- Top with approximately 1 cup of buttercream. Repeat with remaining layers and crumb coat the cake. Chill for 20mins.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake with remaining frosting. Do dollops on the top of the cake using an Ateco 867 piping tip.
- Top with fresh blueberries, lemon slices, and chopped freeze-dried blueberries if desired.
** Ensure there is NO trace of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk is completely grease free or your meringue won’t stiffen.
*** The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.