Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Sunshine-sweet lemon blueberry layer cake dotted with juicy berries and topped with lush cream cheese frosting. One of the most popular cake recipes on this website!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

What on earth is a lusciously fruit-filled recipe like this doing on my kitchen table in February? I love the snow, but someone pass me a fork. I’m diving headfirst into this sunshine-sweet, springtime layer cake and not coming out until it’s April.

How to Make Lemon Blueberry Cake

  • Fresh lemons. Use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest in the cake batter. None of that lemon extract stuff! How to choose lemons at the store? Make sure the lemons you choose are smooth-skinned and heavy for their size. That way you know they are extra juicy.
  • Buttermilk. Known for providing exceptional moisture to baked goods, buttermilk leaves each bite tender and lush. See my recipe note about a DIY sour milk substitution.
  • Brown sugar & 4 eggs: I’ve found that lemon cakes can easily be dry and gritty, so add some moist-making ingredients like brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk. Buttermilk, a little brown sugar, and 4 eggs assure the final product is as moist as it could possibly be without being wet.
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries: Fresh or frozen blueberries are OK. If using frozen, do not thaw.

I love this lemon blueberry cake because the blueberries DO NOT sink to the bottom of the cake. Why not? The batter is thick. When you have a thin batter, heavy fruit or add-ins will sink to the bottom. I also recommend tossing the blueberries in a little flour too– this is extra insurance they don’t sink!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!_-8

Sally's Baking Addiction | Delicious Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake!

Sally's Baking Addiction | Delicious Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake!

Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is moist and soft, somewhere between a vanilla layer cake and pound cake. Silky cream cheese frosting is the perfect finishing touch– it literally tastes like spreadable cheesecake. The cream cheese frosting goes onto the cake so easily, so it’s a really simple cake to decorate. Doesn’t need to be neat– its haphazardness adds to its charm, don’t you think?

Decorate with blueberries, lemon zest, lemon slices, whatever you like!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

More Lemon Recipes For You

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Lemon blueberry cake

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 21 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: serves 10-12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Sunshine-sweet lemon layer cake dotted with juicy blueberries and topped with lush cream cheese frosting. You can use either fresh or frozen blueberries in this cake. If using frozen, no need to thaw.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (345g) sifted all-purpose flour, (spoon & leveled)*
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk*
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest*
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 medium lemons)*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or frozen (do not thaw– 275g)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour three 9×2 inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy – about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is completely combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
  3. In a large sized bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined. Toss the blueberries in 1 Tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. Do not overmix at any point. Overmixing will lend a tough, dense textured crumb.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans. If only using 2 cake pans, your bake time will be longer. Bake the three layers for about 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took 21 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
  6. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. The recipe doesn’t make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.
  7. Make ahead tip: Prepare cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cakes at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cakes may be frozen up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature if desired before serving.


Notes

  1. Sheet cake: The batter makes a perfect sheet cake! Simply spread into a 12×17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. It also fits nicely into a 9×13 inch cake pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Cupcakes: Here is my lemon cupcakes recipe. You can add 1 cup of blueberries to the batter and top with cream cheese frosting.
  3. Room temperature eggs are recommended because they mix easily and quickly into the cake batter, reducing the risk of over-mixing (and an overly dense cake!). Place eggs into a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes before using or set the eggs out when you set out your cream cheese/butter for the recipe.
  4. Be very careful not to overmeasure your flour. This will result in a heavy cake. For a lighter crumb, you can use 3 + 1/4 cups (about 325g) sifted cake flour instead.
  5. Buttermilk creates a supremely moist lemon cake. If you do not have buttermilk, make a DIY sour milk. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Fill the rest with whole milk to yield 1 cup. Give it a stir, then let it sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.
  6. Lemons: You’ll need about 2 Tablespoons of lemon zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice.
  7. Use brick-style cream cheese. Not cream cheese spread.
  8. Heavy cream with 30% or more milk fat preferred in frosting for the most delicious and creamiest texture. Milk works in a pinch!

Keywords: lemon blueberry cake, lemon cake, cake, lemon

Here’s my recipe for lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting – a reader favorite!

Lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

675 Comments

  1. Wow Sally…a stunner! Bet it’s as delicious as it is beautiful! Does make one long for springtime just looking at it. To think that I literally have your cinnamon swirl banana bread baking on this wintry day! Will have to try this one sooner than later.

  2. This looks so delicious! I too am so looking forward to spring time! But until then, this recipe will have to do 🙂
    Love your photos Sally, you really inspire me! I have just bought a new camera and hope to improve my food photography skills over the next few years!

  3. I am definitely craving some sunshine! And now I will not accept sunshine without blueberries after seeing this! 🙂 This cake is gorgeous! And makes my day brighter for sure!

  4. Hi Sally!
    i’m going to be making this delicious cake soon! i can’t wait

    i just want to ask you a question, i have both type of blueberries, frozen and dehydrated… i don’t know which ones to use, the ones that are frozen taste so lightly, barely i would say, and the dehydrated ones actually taste pretty good, kinda sweet and full of flavor, but i have no fresh ones (not so common to find them here in Mexico)
    which ones do you recommend me using?

    thanks in advance! love your blog 🙂

    1. Claudia,
      I would use the dehydrated ones soaked in buttermilk until slightly moistened, draining off excess moisture before baking. Possibly blt lightly before tossing inflour. This cake looks delicious! Can’t wait to try myself!!

      1. i just saw this, thank you so much!
        i’ll do it next time, i just made the cake and they sank a little 🙁
        thanks dor the advice, wish i had read this before…!

  5. Looks so good, Sally! Almost makes me wish I wasn’t vegan 😉

    Also, just wanted to point out a typo: “My parents didn’t have electric for days.” They’re so easy to spot in other people’s writing, if only I could in my own!

    1. Hey Michelle! I certainly do make errors sometimes; they’re hard to spot – you are right! But I’m trying to say that my parents had no electric for days. Not four days. Maybe I’m missing something. I need more coffee!

      1. Oh, I’m sorry! I guess I would have said electricity, instead of electric. Maybe I’m missing something, haha. I guess it’s just a different way of wording it. No big deal anyway!

      2. Brenda, There always seems to be ONE in every group. Beautiful cake Sally, thank you for going to the trouble of sharing with us. By the way, I didn’t notice any errors and won’t go back to try and find one, understood everything the first time reading. Thanks again.

  6. Oh, it’s definitely the season of citrus and lemon! I’m sure another one of your readers must have noted this already, but we’re “cold” here in the Californian parts…meaning it’s dropped below 70 on some afternoons. To be fair, it feels legitimately cold when you’ve come to expect a good high 70’s in a tshirt! This’ll brighten up the kitchen perfectly. Pinned, Sally!

  7. Sally this is one gorgeous cake! I love how soft and fluffy the cake itself is, the ooey gooey factor of the frosting, those big blueberries in every bite, and I know it’s such a classic combo, bb’s with lemon. And I know you love your lemon desserts. What a pretty cake! It would be a beautiful Easter, Mother’s Day or springtime cake! pinned

  8. Oh my gosh, I am totally on board with this, Sally! I had a figuratively gray week (plus the -20 degree thing), and then today is literally gray, and sunshine/lemons/blueberries/happiness is just what I need! 😀 And a “spreadable cheesecake” frosting? Um, dream come true!! I hope your weather improves soon. We are supposed to have some unseasonably warm days later this week, and I am SO excited, especially because I have the day off on Friday to enjoy it :). Thanks for this gorgeous recipe…it came at the perfect time!

    1. Have a wonderful day off Caley. Get outside or bake this cake. Either way, it’ll certainly brighten your spirits. My friend is traveling to CO next week. Wish I was going too!!

  9. Sally, this is absolutely gorgeous! The colors, the flavors, the sheer size and beauty. A wonderful burst of spring that is definitely needed right now! And that frosting. Oh my gosh. I think I could eat it with a spoon. Go eat a spoon of it for me, yes? 🙂 Megan and Erin are two lucky ladies to eat this beauty. Hope you had a great weekend!

    1. There’s too much batter for two pans. If you’d like, you may split between two pans and fill them 2/3 of the way full. Then bake cupcakes with the remaining batter for 18 minutes.

  10. So I have to use the three pans? Can I use a bundt pan? It’s my favorite cake pan and I’m dying to make this. This combination makes my mouth water.

  11. We are at the ripest end of summer here in Australia and the farmers markets are bursting with berries! (Not meaning to tease my friends in the northern hemisphere.) This cake would be the perfect way to celebrate the best time for our produce.
    I might have to conjure this one up for a family lunch in a few weeks 🙂
    Thanks Sally. Stay warm!

    1. For 24 cupcakes, yes. But if you’d like to only make about 12 cupcakes, you may halve the recipe – which is essentially the same as my lemon cupcake recipe linked at the bottom of the post. (Baking time included in that recipe.) Enjoy!

  12. This has been some winter, hasn’t it? And as I’m typing this, it’s snowing outside my window. Again. I’m so happy you just went for it with this cake! Bring Spring to you, if it’s not coming fast enough on its own, lol! So pretty, Sally, and like a breath of fresh air after all this drear. 🙂

  13. Looks incredible Sally! I love the combination of lemon and blueberries, it’s still summer here so your recipe arrived at the perfect time for some fresh punnets of blueberries! Bookmarked to try asap! Thanks, and I’m glad that you and your girlfriends had a wonderful catch up. Times like those are to be treasured xx

  14. This looks absolutely delicious, a wonderful seasonally-aspirational recipe! And I love having little Thanksgivings with friends throughout the year. We had one for New Year’s Eve and are in talks for an all-veggie one sometime soon. I wonder if the blueberries in this cake would qualify it for an exception ; )

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