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!

Lemon blueberry cake on a white cake stand

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. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use whole milk instead.
  • 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!

Video Tutorial

2 images of lemon blueberry cake batter in a mixing bowl and in a cake pan

slice of lemon blueberry cake on a plate

2 images of lemon blueberry cake on cake stand and a slice on a white plate

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!

slice of lemon blueberry cake on a plate

More Lemon Recipes For You

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slice of lemon blueberry cake on a plate

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


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.


  • 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 pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (354g) 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 pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans.
  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.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then beat in the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice *just* until combined. Toss the blueberries with 1 Tablespoon of flour and gently fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. Do not over-mix. Over-mixing will lead to 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 21-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before assembling and 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. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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. Bring frosting to room temperature before spreading as it will be quite stiff after refrigerating. (Add a splash of cream or milk to thin, if needed.) 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bundt Cake: I haven’t tested this as a bundt cake but it will likely be a bit denser than the original layer version since it’s one tall layer. It will take significantly longer to bake. I also have a lemon poppy seed bundt cake recipe. You can leave out the poppy seeds and add 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries. I also have a lemon berry yogurt cake recipe. You can use all blueberries.
  4. Cupcakes: Here is my lemon cupcakes recipe. You can add 1 cup of blueberries to the batter and top with cream cheese frosting.
  5. 6 Inch Cake: Use these lemon blueberry cupcakes batter and follow my 6 inch cakes baking instructions. You can use regular lemons instead of meyer lemons (like the cupcakes call for) if needed.
  6. Eggs: 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.
  7. Flour: Be careful not to overmeasure your flour. This will result in a heavy cake. For a lighter crumb, you can use the same amount of sifted cake flour instead.
  8. Buttermilk: Buttermilk helps produce a supremely moist cake. If you don’t have buttermilk, use whole milk instead. You can use lower fat or nondairy milks in a pinch, but the cake won’t taste nearly as rich and moist.
  9. Lemons: You need about 2 Tablespoons of lemon zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice.
  10. Cream Cheese: Use brick-style cream cheese. Not cream cheese spread.
  11. Cream: 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


Comments are closed.

  1. Hi Sally. I am new to your site and I already love it! A question about this recipe – I note that the frosting is a cream cheese frosting. Will that frosting keep for a few days after making the cake or does it go “off” easily? Does the cake need to be kept in the fridge? Thanks. Kim

  2. I really want to make this but we are not cream cheese icing fans.
    Would you recommend another icing to go with the cake?

    1. Hi Kim – I’d say a vanilla frosting instead: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/11/homemade-lemon-cupcakes-with-vanilla-frosting/

  3. I was curious if I can make these into cupcakes and if so, what temp and time?

    Love your blog by the way. You’re amazing!

    Dawn- Gardner, Ks

    1. Hi Dawn – this recipe, halved, is made as 12 cupcakes here: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/11/homemade-lemon-cupcakes-with-vanilla-frosting/

  4. Hi Sally, loved the picture of the cake..looks so moist n yum.just want to know can I use strawberry instead of blueberry bec we don’t get blueberries here in India.is it a gud combination of strawberry n lemon???
    Also if using strawberry than can I use sum other frosting.

    Look forward for ur advice.

    1. Yep! Strawberries would be just fine. The cream cheese frosting would pair wonderfully too!

  5. Helen Dunning says:

    This looks totally scrummy. Boy oh boy, are my family in for a treat! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us “cake-a-holic’s” 🙂

  6. Oh mai got can’t belive I found this , it’s my dreamed cake!!! I can’t wait for my birthday next May I’ll be perferct for my BBQ party .. I hope to find every ingredient, Can’t wait!

  7. This is the perfect answer for my dilemma as to what to bake for my friend’s birthday this Saturday ! It looks absolutely delicious, plus I have blueberries and lemon already. I have a question, though: I don’t have three identical pans. Would the batter suffer / not rise properly if I used the same pan to bake it in three separate times ? Sorry if it’s an idiotic question, I’m not much of a connoisseur when it comes to the science behind baking. Thanks for sharing all these recipes, your blog is going to keep me busy for a while !

    1. You may use the same cake pan and bake in 3 batches – that would be fine!

  8. I also wondered about halving recipe and baking in a square pan for fewer people–maybe 9×9″? I rarely make layer cakes, though may have to try this at some point for a crowd. Wanda, how long did you bake your 13 x 9 cake?

  9. This cake was amazing!! Even the batter before I put it in the oven was so delicious I couldn’t stop eating it ~ just as amazing when cooked. Perfect summer cake for down here in Australia.
    Sally your recipes are just amazing! Every recipe I make is always a hit ~ really excited to receive your cookbook I pre-ordered =D

    1. Hi Monika! I’m so happy you loved this cake. Thanks for reporting back!

  10. Just made this for my Mom’s birthday and it was a huge hit! My mom is a sucker for lemon and this cake had just the right tang with the perfect combination of blueberries and lemon. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks!!!

    1. Perfect birthday cake if you ask me! Thanks for reporting back, Laura.

  11. [email protected] Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:

    Could I make this into 2 layers instead of 3?? Thanks!

    1. No, you couldn’t. There is too much batter. You could, however, fill two 9×2 inch cake pans 1/2 way full and then use the extra batter to make cupcakes (17-18 minutes bake time for cupcakes, same oven temp). Enjoy!

  12. First, I love all of your recipes – they completely inspire me in the kitchen, so thank you 🙂 Second, this recipe is phenomenal. I’m not a huge lemon fan – I’m of the strictly chocolate-dessert-persuasion group. This cake was beyond moist and such a fruity lemon flavor, not too sour and the blueberries were perfectly distributed. ! I made 24 cupcakes and a little 6-inch 2-layer cake. My kids went crazy over it! Thanks, and please keep up the great work!! 🙂

    1. Thanks Erika! I’m so happy to hear how much you love my recipes and that this recipe (despite your love for all things chocolate!) was a hit. 🙂

  13. 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.

  14. Can I use a spring form pan to bake the cake in.

    1. 3 9-in spring form pans would be fine.

  15. I am new to baking but have been trying a lot of different recipes. How to make the lemon zest?

    1. I use a zester.

  16. I came home last week to find this recipe pinned to my door, with a note from my neighbor begging me to make this. Yesterday was the day. The cake was phenomenal, and a huge hit at home when I brought it to a neighbor party!! The lemon / blueberry flavor was a winning combination, and a light ice was the way to go with the yummy cream cheese icing. This was my first recipe from your site, but it definitely won’t be the last one that I try! Delicious.

  17. Made this cake today and it was delicious. Posted pics on Facebook and everyone is drooling! I added the link to your site! Thank you!

  18. Made this cake for my sister in laws birthday.she just loved it n I m so glad I followed ur recipe to the core .ur small instructions goes a long way in baking. I just can’t thank u enough for ur recipes. I don’t eat egg so replaced it with Organ Egg Replacet as usual . Thanks Sally once again

  19. I can’t wait to try this but I’m a little scared. I love the 3 layer cakes, but I’ve had trouble in the past with the layers slipping. The last time I made sure the layers were completely cooled, should I chill the frosting a little so it’s not slippery? Is there a trick to insure the layers don’t slid?

    1. As long as you make sure the cake is cool, the whipped cream is chilled and cold, and that cake layers are nice and flat (you’ll level them off as stated in this recipe), then you won’t have any slipping problems. Enjoy!

  20. A friend posted a link to this recipe on Facebook. I saved it and made the cake last night for a neighborhood Bunco party. It was AMAZING!!! The flavor was outstanding and the presentation was gorgeous! Everyone raved about it! I will most definitely make it again and again! Next time I might try using lemon extract in the frosting instead of vanilla, for a little more zing! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  21. Morgan Worthington says:

    I made this cake for our staff luncheon on the 18th and it was a major hit, just like you said!!!! I am in no way a “baker” although I love to bake. Your directions are easy to follow and I love the helpful hints you give! I will be making this again next week for my birthday – and I’m ahoy to be doing it! So delicious! Thank you for sharing your baking deliciousness with us!!!

  22. Hi Sally, Would you happen to have the modifications to make a double layer cake for this?

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Debbie! There is too much batter for a double layer cake. You could, however, fill two 9×2 inch cake pans 1/2 way full and then use the extra batter to make cupcakes (17-18 minutes bake time for cupcakes, same oven temp). Enjoy!

  23. I normally make my daughter a lemon cake with sugar coated blueberries in the center for her birthday, March 9th. I think this year I will be making this! She will be turning 22 and shares my love for all things lemon.

  24. In the ingredients, it list zest? What is zest? I plan on trying this recipe real soon : )

  25. Hi Sally, I’ve just discovered your site recently and your recipes are wonderful! I am making you lemon blueberry cake today and just realized I only have 4oz. of cream cheese for the frosting. I was thinking I’d add 4 oz. of sour cream to replace; what do you think?


    1. Hi Carol! I would not add sour cream to the frosting. Perhaps just use a vanilla buttercream as the frosting instead? Or just use an extra 1/2 cup of butter instead.

  26. Mandy Bowkett says:

    I made this last night – refrigerated after frosting it – and we had it for breakfast this morning. It was perfect! 🙂 I look forward to sharing a few pieces with some co-workers tomorrow – but the rest is for me and my hubby!

  27. I used a bunt pan and it came out wonderful!! I baked at 350 like recipe calls and baked about 50min.
    Thank you so much for such a delicious recipe Sally!! I can’t wait to try your lemon cupcakes 🙂

  28. Just made this last night for my birthday. It was delicious! And I love, love, love cream cheese frosting!

    1. I only made 2 layers, though, since I only had an 8 in., 9 in., and 10 in. pan. So it baked for 31 minutes and was fully cooked. It was still amazing!

  29. Just made a half version of the cake (only) as a test run for a small wedding cake for friends this weekend. Delicious! Good crumb, moist, mellow lemon and sweet blueberry flavors. Can’t imagine how good it will be with curd and frosting added!

  30. Just made it today! Can’t wait to taste it tomorrow after dinner? Ironiclly I’m making chicken piccata!

    1. Too funny! Love chicken piccata!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally