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. I baked this for Easter Sunday and it was a hit! It was such a fun recipe to make and I will be definitely doing again for the summer. Though, I may decrease the amount of lemons just because it was a bit too overpowering. An overall great dessert for spring and summer!

  2. Hi Sally!

    Do you think it’s possible to use other fruits like, peach/ apricot in place of blueberries? ((:

    Thanks dear!

  3. Made this as a birthday treat for a colleague and it was very well received. I’ve already sent the URL to two gals who requested the recipe. thanks for posting!

  4. Hi Sally! I have to say, I have made a lot of your recipes & they NEVER disappoint! My youngest daughter turns 3 on May 3rd & she told me she wants a blueberry-cherry cake…I am going to be tweaking this recipe a bit by replacing some lemon juice with maraschino cherry juice & halving the amount of blueberries so I can put in sweet dark cherries. Keep up your amazing work, my husband definitely is a fan of your sweet roll & snickerdoodle recipes. Have a great night & thank you for knowing how to bake!

  5. Help!!! I made this cake and accidently put way too much lemon and zest in it, Is there a way to balance out the baked layers? It is very tart, I have not put it together yet and would absolutely hate to throw it away. I was thinking simple syrup ?? Please let me know what might help cut the tartness.
    Thanks
    Dawn

  6. I made this today and went by the weight instead of measurements. It turned out perfect! The cake was light and the sweet and tart complimented each other beautifully. My daughter tasted the sample cupcake I made and said “Mmmm, thats good!
    I will be serving this for guests and hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed it!

  7. Hey there, I have possibly a silly question… I like to bake but this is more complicated than things I generally do. You say to use 9×13 pans, but your pictures show a circular cake. Do you just trim the corners off, or something else?

  8. Hi Sally, Could you please respond to reviews regarding this cake being too dense, thin and sticking to pans? I think this cake looks & sounds delicious and wanted to try it for Mother’s day, but I am concerned it will be a ‘pound cake’ like texture and in your photos it looks very moist.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Nancy, due to the overwhelming number of questions I receive a day, I’m no longer able to respond to each and every one. With regards to the cake being too dense, I’ve never personally had that issue! I make this cake on the regular as well. My tips would be to measure the flour carefully, make sure it is sifted before measuring, and do not overmix the batter. Cake flour is suggested as well in the notes. To prevent the cakes from sticking to the pans, make sure the pans are greased and lightly floured.

  9. Hey there, Sally!

    I’ve made this cake twice, and while I love the flavor, I think I did something wrong to achieve a weird texture. My cakes came out a tiny bit chewy and dense with pockets of dough-like texture troughout the cake. I tried not to overmix.

    In step 2, do I have to mix until the mixture is completely smooth and the sugar is dissolved? It was still a bit grainy but I carried on anyway.

  10. Hi Sally, 

    I love this recipe, it was an absolute hit! Just wanted to ask you if the texture of the cake would change if I omit the blueberries and make it a simple lemon cake? 

    1. You can certainly omit the blueberries. I’ve done it a few times before– and my cupcake version (linked in this post) has no blueberries either. Still fantastic texture and flavor.

  11. Found this recipe on Pinterest this a.m., rushed to the store to grab a couple things and baked it for a Sunday Brunch today. AMAZING cake. I am definitely making it again. My new spring/summer favorite!

  12. Made this cake twice now – once with blueberries & once with raspberries & both times it turned out fantastic.  The first time I made it with three layers & the second time two layers (only a 5 minute difference on the baking time).   I also always make my own buttermilk (white vinegar & almond milk) & skip the heavy cream on the icing but it still has turned out great both times.  This recipe is definitely one to keep- my boyfriend hates chocolate & loves fruit so this cake is a winner!

  13. I am a Baker, not just in my kitchen, but it’s what I do for a living. When I saw those gorgeous pictures of this cake, I just had to make it. Even I had the same problem as many others did with a dense cake. Not sure what cause it, since I absolutely DID NOT over mix. I could even see unmixed tiny flour clumps remaining in my batter ( like pancake batter sizes ) I used room temp eggs and sifted my flour. I even measured everything using my gram/ounce scale…so all my measurements were exact. I had high expectation, and it seem all was going to work out, as I watched in the oven the layers rising beautifully. I was surprised in the finished product on the density of the cake crumb. I will say this; the flavor of the cake was delicious, and thankfully for that, even if it was a dense cake, it was still enjoyable to eat. Maybe I am wrong, but if anyone making this cake thinks they will get a “Duncan Hines or Pillsbury” cake texture, then they will be disappointed.

  14. I’ve now baked this cake for holidays, take-alongs, potlucks and just whenever I basically want to knock the socks off people with sweet delightfulness! I do two cake pans for 30 give or take minutes. Follow the recipe to a T and you won’t be disappointed. Word of advice: this takes TIME. It is not a dessert you can just throw together and be in and out of the kitchen. Each time I make this it takes on average a good hour with preparation, bake time, frosting and that’s not including my clean-up of the messy frosted lemon scented sticky kitchen. But, this is my favorite and by far tastiest cake to serve to loved ones. I’m so happy I found the recipe a few years ago! Thank you Sallys Baking Addiction!

  15. Hi Sally, Is it possible to make this Lemon Blueberry Cake into mini bundt cake form? I am making your Red Velvet Cake for a friend’s birthday party this weekend and wanted to make something else as well. I love the combo of lemon and blueberry, but didn’t want to make another cake. I also made your sugar cookies and took them to our Saturday get together with friends, and no lie, they were gone within the hour of us getting there. Every one of your recipes I have made, has been utterly delicious! I loved all of you Sprinkled episodes, too. Thanks for being you and making baking so much fun! I didn’t mean to use this at a platform for all I love about what you do.

    1. Hi Christine! Yes, you can make this as mini bundt cakes although I’m unsure of the exact time. Thank you so much for the kind comment and I’m so happy to read that you are enjoying many of the blog recipes!

  16. Sally, I made your Ameretto cheesecake for Christmas…BIG hit! It came out perfect, and your delicious chocolate cupcakes-amazing recipes I will treasure. Thank you

  17. I made this just because for work. It was insanely delicious. I did the 13×9. I was wondering if the cake can be done in a bunt pan and how long to bake? Also what can I do to make the creamcheese frosting to be applyable to drizzle over the bunt cake?

    1. Hi Deborah! You can bake this cake in a bundt pan, but I’m unsure of the bake time. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. Enjoy!

  18. Hi Sally love your recipes! I live at 8,000feet above sea level, cake came out too dense and raw in places. Can you help me with the adjustments I should make for my altitude. Thanks

  19. I saw this recipe a few times on your blog, most recently as a favorite of 2018. I made it for our January Birthday cake–we celebrate 4 birthdays in five days. It was so delicious and we could definitely taste the lemon! I didn’t expect it to come out as pretty as your photo, but surprisingly it did. Thank you for a great recipe, one of my new favorites. Thankfully, one of those birthdays was mine!!

  20. I made this recipe following directions exactly. It was very moist and tasty, but also very dense. I sifted all purpose flour, had all ingredients at room temperature, but the blueberries were frozen. You said they could be used but then the ingredients are not all the same temperature. Perhaps you could give a measure on the amount of lemon juice. I have a lemon squeezer so maybe there was too much juice. I need suggestions to make this lighter.

  21. Hi Sally
    I have been a fan of yours for some years now, I have yet to bake a cake of yours that hasn’t come out perfect, first time & every time. So thank you for that!!
    I am not a huge blueberry fan do you think I could sub for raspberries? And then maybe even lime instead of lemon? It’s my birthday next week and I’m looking for inspiration for a cake to bake for myself. (Also I love pink!)
    Thank you! Cate

  22. I’m sure this recipe is fantastic as is but I’m looking for a recipe for my grandfathers 75th birthday cake and his favorite flavors are blueberry and lemon — but he can only have dairy free! Would this work with substitutions?

    1. Hi Felicia! You can try using solid coconut oil instead of the butter and nondairy milk for the buttermilk. I haven’t tried this, but let me know how it comes out!

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