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!

769 Comments

    1. Hi Barbara! I haven’t tested this as a bundt cake but I would guess it might be more dense than the original cake since it’s all being baked as one layer and would take significantly longer to bake. Let me know if you try it!
      I also have have this lemon bundt cake recipe that you can certainly leave out the poppy seeds and add blueberries! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/glazed-lemon-poppy-seed-bundt-cake/

  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and the special tips. I made this for my family and decorated with edible flowers…. it was absolutely divine and enjoyed by all!! I made 2 cakes and froze the other with half the another occasion. Thank you so much again!!!

  2. Anyone try halving recipe for smaller cake? Baking for just 3 people and dont want days of leftovers…also would try 2 pans only, either 8 or 9 inch

    1. I halved it and used a 9×13 pan. The cake was on the thin side but tasted wonderful! Big hit at the potluck. Am making another one this week!

  3. I just have to say: I’ve made this cake several times, usually for birthdays. I forgot HOW GOOD it is, until I made it again a couple of days ago. If it were *safe* I could just eat the batter with a spoon!
    Thanks for sharing it. I always have great success with your recipes!

  4. Planning to make this soon for my parents anniversary….my mother recently has developed a problem with eggs. Do you have any suggestions for an egg replacement? I’ve been reading up on it but there is almost TOO MUCH information out there! Thanks in advance

  5. Do you think I could swap in raspberries or another berry for the blueberries? People at work love this recipe but I wanted to put a twist on it this time!

  6. I made this cake this past summer (perfect summer cake!)and my family requested it for Christmas this year! So instead of something chocolatey we are having this amazing cake for Christmas! Thank you!!

  7. Thank you Sally for all the amazing recipes and I apologise if you have already answered this I cant find your answer. Can I omit the blueberry I want this recipe with out them thank you

  8. This cake is amazing! I made it last summer when my son was home from college. When he came home for Christmas, he requested this cake! It is moist, delicious, and something that I dream about. Thank you, Sally, for this delicious recipe!

  9. So disapointed. I used frozen blueberries and the cakes did not bake correctly. At the 25 minute mark they were completely raw in the middle and the edges were already getting hard. By the time the center was cooked at 35 minutes, the edges were burned. Since this is for an order, it will be out to the grocery store for more blueberries (fresh this time) and a lot of prayer!

  10. I made this cake as a test cake for my nephews wedding and it was spectacular! I used fresh blueberries and followed the directions and I was told by multiple people that it was the best cake they’ve ever had. I am definitely making this as their wedding cake.

  11. Hi Sally,
    I have 5 (7 x1.25 inch tins ) how long would I need to bake this cake and at what temp? I am making this for my best friends birthday.

    1. Hi, Arusha! You can bake at the same temperature. I’m unsure of exact baking time, but likely just a little less than recommended in the recipe. I would keep an eye on it!

      1. Omg Sally I baked the cake for 18 mins and it looks so moist ! Hopefully it all goes acc to plan 🙂 thanks your recipes are the best

  12. I used frozen blueberries and weighed them rather than just using a cup measurement, as instructed in the recipe. It turned out perfectly! It’s one of the most delicious cakes I’ve tasted .

    1. Hi, Chris! I haven’t tried this recipe with any gluten-free flour substitutes, but you can certainly give it a try. If you do, please let me know how it comes out!

  13. +JMJ+
    Hi, Sally,
    Do you have any idea how we could make this cake, or any of your cakes for that matter, dairy-free? We have a little girl coming to my daughter, Maggie’s, birthday party who is unable to eat dairy. We would love for her to be able to eat the cake! Thank you!
    In Christ and His Mother,
    Elise and Maggie

    1. Hi Elise! I wish I could help, but I have very little experience baking dairy free cakes. Instead of adjusting a dairy cake recipe, I recommend searching for a dairy free cake recipe– those will likely taste best!

  14. I’ve tried your lemon cupcake recipe and it was delicious!! My kids won’t stop asking me to make them again.. can I ask why this recipe ie for lemon cake is a little bit different? I dont buy buttermilk and was wondering what the different ingredients do for the end product… thank you for your delicious recipes!

  15. Hi!
    I’m planning to make this for my son’s first birthday. I’m planning to do a tiered cake. A 9” layer topped with a 6” layer. I’m wondering how I could adjust the cake recipe and the frosting recipe for making three 6” cake layers? (I’m planning to make two separate batches, one for the 9” cakes and one for the 6” cakes). Thanks in advance!

      1. EXCELLENT!! Thanks so much for the prompt reply! I actually made your six inch carrot cake for my birthday but had forgotten about the post! YES planning to use cake boards and dowels as per my research. It’ll be my first tiered cake! Exciting! Thanks again :).

  16. Hi
    I have had a request for a lemon raspberry cake tier for a wedding. With all of the amazing comments I would like to make this recipe. Could I swap out blueberries for raspberries? I’m in New Zealand so fresh or frozen are available at the moment. Would I need to alter anything in the recipe?

  17. I followed this recipe to a t for my sons birthday party and used frozen blueberries. They didn’t rise at all 🙁 I think the coldness of the berries brought the temp too low and messed with the consistency. What a mess.

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