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.
Be sure to toss the blueberries in some flour before folding into the cake batter. This will help prevent them from sinking.
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 Questions
How 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.
Can I make it in advance?
- 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 temp and rewhip before using.
- The finished cake (whole or sliced, stored airtight) can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Can I get the measurements by weight/grams?
- There is a Metric option in the recipe card. If you click it it will convert everything to grams.
- This conversion is done automatically and I cannot guarantee the accuracy but many readers have had success using the metric option for this recipe.
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.
- I like to prepare my cake pans using Homemade Cake Release then line with parchment.
- 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:
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup freeze-dried blueberry powder one package (1.2oz) ground up
- 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.
Hello thank you for the recipe..My question is can I use dried blueberries instead of fresh or frozen blueberries to get great results?
Hi Hanna! I have never made this with dried blueberries so I can’t say for sure. I dont think it would be as good though as you get a lot of moisture from the fresh/frozen blueberries.
I followed the recipe precisely, but ended up with batter to barely cover two 8″ pans, which resulted in two finished cakes about 1 1/2 inches tall when finished. What happened?
Hi Pam! That sounds about right. I wanted thinner layers for a better frosting to cake ratio here so my three layers are about 1″ tall each. You can see in the slice photo that they are not very tall. In two pans they would be 1.5″ tall.
lindsay d says
made this for friends’ birthday and they loved it (so did i) ☺️
Hi Lindsay! So happy you both loved it 🙂
Sally Lam says
Hey Liv! Thank you so much for this recipe. I made this cake over the weekend for a friend’s birthday celebration and decorated it exactly like yours. It was such a hit and received so many compliments. People asked for seconds and that makes me the happiest! I’m going to make this for a baby shower too in May!
I did three 6″ pans and no adjustment to bake time and it was fine (worth noting my oven is strong). I decreased sugar by 10% and used the lemon syrup. Absolutely delicious! Also worth noting the flavours develop overnight too. Thank you so much!
Hi Sally! I am so happy to hear that everyone loved it 🙂 Thanks for your tips!
Hi! Would your ermine frosting also go well with this cake?
Hi Allie! Yes, I think it would be delicious!
Did I read something wrong? Making the icing, everything was going as planned. My merengue made beautiful peaks, looking great, so I start adding butter. 4 and a half sticks, right? 2 and a half cups? By the time I tasted it, 4 sticks in, I thought I must’ve made a mistake. It takes like butter. Very little sweetness just a savory profile. I didn’t add the last stick. It looks gorgeous but doesn’t taste like icing at all. Am I missing something? Will it be better once chilled?
Hi Liz! Yes, that’s the correct amount of butter. Swiss meringue buttercream is more buttery than something like an American buttercream. It should not taste like you’re eating a stick of butter though! And it should be sweet still. I have a detailed tutorial here with tips and troubleshooting: https://livforcake.com/swiss-meringue-buttercream-recipe/
Liz– interesting, you actually read the recipe correctly and I did not. However my frosting turned out perfectly. I used TWO and a half sticks, not four and a half. I just made this cake/frosting yesterday.
Love your recipes. Was wondering if u would recommend using this recipe with your enhanced cake box mix as the base? Would it work and any special steps?
Hi Aya! You would need to make modifications in order to add the lemon juice. Also I worry that the batter would be too thin in that one and the blueberries would all sink to the bottom.
Could you freeze this cake before icing it as a make-a-head time saver?
Hi Nicki! For sure, just double wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
I have been looking at all of your buttercream recipes that use freeze dried fruit, and I am so excited to try them. I live in a humid area and have to be careful about adding anything that would soften the frosting, so these recipes are perfect for me since they don’t make it softer. I noticed that for about the same about of Pineapple frosting buttercream (in a different post), you use 1/2 cup of freeze dried pineapple powder, but in this blueberry frosting, you use 1/4 cup of freeze dried powder. How do you determine how much to use in a recipe? For instance, if I wanted to make banana buttercream using freeze dried bananas, how would I know how much to use? Thanks.
Hi Rachel! I honestly just go by taste. I didn’t find the FD pineapple to be very potent so I kept adding till I was satisfied 🙂 Always be sure to add it just 1 Tbsp at a time or so to ensure the frosting doesn’t split.
Thank you so much! I felt like that was what I needed to do.
I am so excited to have found your freeze dried frosting recipes. I live in a very humid part of the United States, and this is so helpful to know how to add fruit flavor without changing the consistency. Could you tell me how many cups of frosting this blueberry buttercream recipe makes? Thanks.
Hi Rachel! Freeze dried fruits are so great for adding flavour without impacting the texture. I’ve never measured the buttercream specifically but my guess is it would be about 5 cups or so.
Just found your website. All your cakes look so amazing. My children are all lactose intolerant. I was wondering if I can use oatmilk instead of regular milk in your cake recipes. I’m planing to make the Lemon Blueberry Cake.
Hi Christie! For the most part that should be fine. If a recipe calls for buttermilk though it wont work as well.
I couldn’t find freeze-dried blueberries ANYWHERE in the UK, but I risked it and added regular frozen blueberries, that I’d partially defrosted and pulverised in the food processor, to the buttercream – this worked! The buttercream stayed stable, and the juice allowed it to take on the beautiful lilac colour with the texture added by the skins. I just added it a teaspoon at a time to the buttercream and kept a keen eye on the consistency. It probably lacked as much flavour as the freeze-dried alternative, but to be honest I was glad to have the visual effect there without having to stress too much. Plenty of blueberry flavour from the cake itself and the decoration.
This cake was such a hit and looked sooo beautiful!! I made it for Easter.
Hi Lyds! So glad that the buttercream worked out 😀 Thanks for your tips! So happy you loved it 🙂
The cake was So delicious.. Tried it and was really different..
Love from mauritius..
Hi Esha! Thank you! I’m so happy you liked it 🙂
Love your recipe.
Can the cake be used with fondant?
Thanks and Kind Regards,
Hi Caroline! Yes, for sure. It should work fine.
Hi Olivia, I can’t wait to try this recipe! It’s one of my favorite flavors. I’ve seen some other recipes use buttermilk instead of milk. Is there going to be big difference in the moisture or density of the cake if I use one or the other? Thanks!
Hi Nicole! Using buttermilk in this recipe could make the cake a bit more dense (it’s already on the denser side) and it already has some tang in it from the lemon juice so I think buttermilk would be overkill. I don’t think it would be a disaster, but just things to keep in mind 🙂
Love your cake recipes. Just wondering why you often use all purpose flour and not cake flour in your cakes. Thanks!
Hi Carol! Cake flour will work fine for most of my recipes. I use AP because that’s what most people tend to have in their kitchens 🙂
Hi, I’m making this delicious looking cake tomorrow for a special occasion but the freeze dried blueberry powder I ordered hasn’t arrived in time. I’ve scrolled through the comments to see what others have done without the powder but 1) I would prefer to have the berry flavoured frosting, not just plain vanilla and 2) I don’t have any blueberry jam. All I have is frozen blueberries, is there anything I could do with them which would work in the frosting? Would just pulverising them in the blender work?
Hi Zara! I would cook the blueberries down and food process them to make a jam of sorts. Cool completely and add to the buttercream.
Hey Olivia! I absolutely love this recipe and my friends thought it was a complete hit! I however made them into cupcakes for a little easier serving. I portioned it into about 25 cupcakes and for about 26 minutes and had plenty icing left over which I will definitely be reusing soon. I also cut the buttercream in half after making it and made one half blueberry flavored by putting some oven dried blueberries in a food processor and combining it with the icing to give it that blue / purple speckle color perfect for decorating along side the white icing. It came out perfectly. Thank you so much!!
Hi McKenzie! So happy you loved this one. Thanks so much for all your tips!