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 pure 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 pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  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 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.

Notes

  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. 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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Buttermilk: Buttermilk creates a supremely moist lemon cake. If you do not have buttermilk, use whole milk instead.
  8. Lemons: You need about 2 Tablespoons of lemon zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice.
  9. Cream Cheese: Use brick-style cream cheese. Not cream cheese spread.
  10. 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

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

777 Comments

  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

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

  2. 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/

  3. Made your Lemon Blueberry Cake tonight for a co-worker & it smells heavenly . My layers don’t seem to be as high as yours . I followed directions exactly , my baking powder is brand new & I’m an experienced baker , so not sure what went wrong ! Usually I find that a cake that calls for buttermilk calls for baking soda or combination of powder & soda . Wanted to check that baking powder is what you use . Will know tomorrow if it affected taste ! Wish me luck …it looks very pretty garnished with strips of lemon peel & berries ! Thank you !

  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.

  5. 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. 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…!

  8. 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 !

  9. Quick question: My daughter is allergic to wheat, rice and dairy. Do you think I could make this with a flour other an all-purpose flour and secondly, can you make buttermilk with almond milk & lemon?

    1. Hi Angie, I’m unsure how to make this cake with any other flour. The almond/lemon mixture does work, yes – but I find the final baked good still isn’t as moist as when I use dairy milk/lemon for the buttermilk substitute.

  10. 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?

  11. 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

  12. 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. 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!

  13. 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. 🙂

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. Thank you for this excellent recipe. I made it yesterday & took it to a friend’s house & it was loved by all. I had some leftover lemon curd in the fridge that I spooned onto the top & that kicked it up an even more delicious notch if that was even possible. I wanted to let you know I appreciate your recipes, I just saw your blog around Christmas time & am a new fan! Thank you for stating how many minutes to cream & mix the batter I always wonder how long to do this. Also in this recipe I appreciated in the footnotes you telling approx. how much zest & juice we needed from the lemons. Mine must of been extra juicy because I used about 2 & had over 9T. Of juice so used that. I was scared of using too much! Also I was wondering something: in my experience when a recipe calls for buttermilk usually there is a bit of baking soda too- to react with the acid- why doesn’t this recipe have some soda? Thanks!

    1. Hi Beth Anne! Glad this cake was a hit and your lemon curd addition sounds wonderful. The buttermilk is used in this recipe purely for moisture – not to act as an acidic ingredient with baking soda to help leaven the cake. I’m sure you could use a smaller amount of baking soda, but I’ve never tested with it.

  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. 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!!!

    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!

  22. 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.

  23. Wow
    So I just made this tonight, I was drinking some wine and thought, im going to make that lemon cake Ive always wanted to make, so I halved the entire recipe, I had a bag of frozen mixed berries (Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) I also made my own buttermilk using 1% milk and fresh lemon juice…I made a very small layer cake I had some silicone baking pans that are like 7″, the cake was moist and delicious, this will be my go to when I have a party or when I make it for a friend….the mixed berries tasted heavenly with the cream cheese frosting…. Thanks for sharing xoxox

  24. 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?

    Thanks!

    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.

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