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. 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!

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 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.

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. 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

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

978 Comments

  1. I couldn’t wait until spring to make this delicious looking cake, so I just took it out of the oven. The good news, thus far, is that I don’t have to cut the top of each layer to make it even – they’re all the same. Now, I don’t know if this is bad news but the most they raised is 3/4 of a inch. Hope my oven is working OK. I’ll let you know. 🙂

  2. Just finished baking this! Has to possibly be one of the best cake recipes EVER! I don’t eat cake, but this spoke to me as I am a lemon lover. The batter was so silky smooth and it had amazing flavor…just wonderful.
    This will be wonderful in the spring and summer-and I simply can’t wait to bring it to all the BBQs.
    Great Recipe!

  3. Can gluten free flour be used? One cup/one cup Domata brand?

    1. I’m unsure. I have no experience with GF flours, especially with cake recipes.

  4. Made this cake this morning. It turned out perfectly. Moist delicious cake with the perfect amount of lemon flavor and blueberries. The consistency is dense and rich but the cake itself isn’t overly sweet. The icing is perfect. Thank you so very much for the recipe.

  5. I went to the store, bought all of the ingredients (which totalled around $30) and made this cake today for a party, which took a very considerable amount of time. I took it out of the oven after 21 minutes, waited until they were cooled, and then tried taking them out of the pan. They were definitely not cooked all the way, so I put them in for another 10 minutes, and they were still not cooked. I did not overmeasure the flour, and measured all of the ingredients exactly. This is the one recipe of yours that completely failed and discouraged me. I only hope that I’m the only person this happens to.

    1. Hey Lauren! Did you test the cakes with a toothpick? I encourage bakers to always test their cakes with a toothpick test – if it comes out clean, the cake is done. So sorry you found them to be underbaked.

  6. I made this for a friend’s birthday today and it was delicious! Took about 25 in the oven and they were perfect. Really strong lemon flavour, I love your website, everything I’ve tried has been incredible 🙂

  7. My husband saw this recipe on his friend’s Facebook page and requested that I make it. I made it yesterday and we are both in LOVE with the cake! The tartness of the cake pairs so well with the sweetness of the frosting. This was my first layer cake and it turned out great thanks to your instructions and tips!

  8. I made this cake over Friday and let me say I LOVE it!!! Everyone liked it!! I made it with self rising flour and it turned out great!!! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  9. I lined my cake tins with parchment and it worked wonderfully.

  10. Maura Kelly says:

    I made this cake for a dinner party 2 weeks ago and it came out fabulous! Everyone loved it – even my daughter who does not like cake! Your measurements and comments were spot on. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  11. Claudia Gardea Márquez says:

    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…!

  12. I made this (but with raspberries instead of blue) for a potluck at work, and WOW WHAT A HIT. I have never gotten so many compliments on my baking before!

  13. Hi

    I would like to know what is in the middle of this cake? Is it cream cheese?

    1. The cream cheese frosting, yes.

  14. I made this cake last night. It is delicious! I had a slice for breakfast 🙂 Thanks for posting the recipe.

  15. Hi Sally, I wanted to tell you how much I loved your cake I made it yesterday for my friends birthday and everyone had at least one peice! I do have a question though, is this cake supposed to be light and fluffy? Because mine came out sort of dense, someone even asked me if it was a pound cake. Regardless it was still delicious. Another thing, my batter was normal consistency it was not thick like you said it would be. We loved this cake me and my boyfriend could not stop eating the frosting!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Brittany! I’m so glad this cake was loved. It won’t be the lightest, fluffiest cake you’ll eat but it shouldn’t be dense like say… banana bread… either. I would suggest adding a couple Tablespoons less flour, but since your batter wasn’t thick to begin with as it should be – I’m lost! When adding the milk, lemon zest, and juice – mix with a spatula, not your mixer. And do so very lightly. This should help.

  16. Oh my GRACIOUS Sally this cake is absolutely incredible! I think this is my favorite recipe I’ve tried of yours! It came out perfectly-thank you for making your directions so detailed! This cake has me officially convinced that you can make a moist cake with butter! (I’ve only had successful moist cakes using vegetable oil! All my butter cakes always dry out!)
    I love your blog so much-I look forward to reading each new post! And your cookbook is coming in the mail on Tuesday-so excited!

    1. Hey Maggie! Thanks so much for reporting back. I’m so glad you loved this cake! And that you’re excited for the cookbook. Tell me what you make first from it. There’s plenty of lemon recipes inside. 🙂

  17. Lisa Chase Patterson says:

    Andrea, I’m sorry to hear you lost your horse and on my bday no less. Losing a horse is not much different than losing a human. I lost my first horse a few yrs ago and it took me a long time to get over it. It tore my heart out. I will keep you in my prayers and hope that you’re doing well.

  18. Hey! Just a question, would I be able to make these as cupcakes? If so what changes need to be made. I’m thinking about putting a little candied lemon on top also 🙂 I hope this splash of color will cheer up a bad mood! Thanks for your time!!

    1. Hi Sally- if you click the link under the recipe to where I made this as cupcakes – you can use that recipe and add some blueberries to the batter. Here is the link again: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/11/homemade-lemon-cupcakes-with-vanilla-frosting/

      1. Wow! Thanks! I should have thought of this in the first place! Will be making this today.

  19. AMAZINGLY delicious and MOIST. I just made it 🙂 Not a fan of cream cheese frosting either, and I fell in love!! It’s usually too sweet for my taste, but this was incredible! I can’t wait to get your cookbook… Sally, I am thinking about making this cake for my daughters 1st bday in a few weeks. I doubled the frosting recipe, coated the cake and refrigerated the rest of the frosting hoping that it may be pipeable tomorrow-as a test run. I would really like to dress up her cake. If I can’t pipe it, do you think that your fresh strawberry filling into the whipped frosting will work? I would like to do the rosette style you see on the ombre cakes. Do you have any tips on getting your cakes to be level? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Jessica – the strawberry whipped cream frosting you mentioned is whipped cream and isn’t a heavy frosting so it would be very tough to pipe. For piping, I recommend my vanilla frosting recipe. Found here: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/11/homemade-lemon-cupcakes-with-vanilla-frosting/

      If you don’t care about piping or not, the strawberry whipped cream would be wonderful with this lemon blueberry cake.

  20. Can this be made into a 9×13 or larger single layer cake? It looks great!

    1. Yes, this batter will fit into a 9×13 pan. Fill 2/3 full. If there’s extra batter, you can make a few cupcakes. I’m unsure of the baking time though. Enjoy!

      1. I baked for approx. 40 minutes and checked with knife in the center for doneness.
        Cake turned out fabulous!

  21. Hi, I would like to ask you if is possible to cover this cake (with this frosting) with fondant. I will make a B’day cake and I need use the fondant but I don’t want to risk that the fondant will be so runny. Have you any experience with this frosting and fondant?

    1. Hi Lucy! This is a very, very light cream cheese frosting and wouldn’t hold up with fondant, unfortunately.

  22. Don’t have three pans the same size……I went to the dollar store and got three foil round pans for 1.00! Worked great and this recipe is delish!!

  23. I just made this, this morning and dang its almost gone everyone loves it and I’ve only had a small piece.

  24. Udayan Paul says:

    Heavenly

  25. Rachel Donnelly says:

    This looks amazing. Thanks for the recipe.

  26. Sally,
    I made this for my birthday and it turned out great. I made a 2-layer cake and 6 cupcakes. I used Meyer lemons, eliminated the blueberries, and made a lemon curd filling to go between the two layers. Instead of a lemon frosting, I made a brown sugar cream cheese frosting and frosted the cake with that and toasted coconut.
    This was so delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Sounds so good, Jenny! Thanks so much for reporting back.

  27. What a warm, sunny cake! Being as I live in Alberta, Canada where it easily gets to -40 Celsius (never mind the windchill, which can be -68) this recipe sounds like just the answer to our cold weather blues! Thanks. I will definitely try it. It’s so beautiful, it makes me smile 🙂

  28. Does anything need to be altered if using salted butter? I live out in the boonies and unsalted butter is not available at the local grocery store… unsalted butter requires a trip to a town with a higher population (and bigger grocery store). Any words of wisdom? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this!!

    1. That would be just fine, Rebecca. Reduce the salt in the recipe to 1/4 teaspoon.

  29. This is one of the most beautiful cakes I’ve ever seen. Lemons & Blueberries – 2 of my favourite things in the world. Now if I can only find someone to bake this for me….. 😉

    Gorgeous work Sally!

  30. I made your recipe for the blueberry lemon layer cake omg it was so good everyone wanted some my boss found the recipe

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