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!
This cake has become one of my favorite spring dessert recipes and Easter dessert recipes—and for good reason. Let’s dive headfirst into this sunshine-sweet springtime layer cake… no matter the time of year!
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!
Need cupcakes instead? Use my recipe for lemon blueberry cupcakes. Or perhaps breakfast? Try my lemon blueberry muffins.
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!
More Lemon Recipes For You
- Lemon Bars
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Scones
- Homemade Lemon Cupcakes
Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 23 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 (spooned & leveled)*
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk*
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest*
- 1/2 cup (120ml) 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
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 9-inch round cake pans or 8-inch round cake pans (8-inch pans produce thicker cakes), line with parchment paper rounds, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans. (If it’s helpful, see this parchment paper rounds for cakes video & post.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Spoon batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake for about 21-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (8 inch cakes take closer to 25 minutes.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before assembling and frosting.
- 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. Turn mixer to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
- 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.
- Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | 9-Inch Round Cake Pans or 8-Inch Round Cake Pans | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk | Cake Turntable or Cake Stand | Straight Icing Spatula | Offset Icing Spatula | Cake Carrier (to store cake)
- 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.
- 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.
- Cupcakes: Here is my lemon cupcakes recipe. You can add 1 cup of blueberries to the batter and top with cream cheese frosting.
- 6 Inch Cake: Use these lemon blueberry cupcakes batter and follow my 6 inch cake baking instructions. You can use regular lemons instead of meyer lemons (like the cupcakes call for) if needed.
- 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.
- Flour: Be careful not to over-measure your flour. This will result in a heavy cake.
- 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.
- Cream Cheese: Use brick-style cream cheese, not cream cheese spread.
- Cream: Heavy cream with 30% or more milk fat preferred in frosting for the creamiest texture. Milk works in a pinch!
Keywords: lemon blueberry cake
Here’s my recipe for lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting – a reader favorite!
Reader Comments & Reviews
First off, I’m not a baker. I mean, I CAN bake, but only if I have explicit directions and the ingredients are not foreign to me. Now, I’ve made this cake 3 times, and whomever I serve it to now thinks I’m some sort of baking genius. It was so easy to make and came out exactly as it should have. Not only that, but it looked just like the one in your picture! Thank you for posting, and I’ll be sure to use more of your recipes.
This cake is AMAZING! I’ve made it twice. We have such wonderful blueberries in Vermont and this year the berries were huge! My mistake in making the cake was putting in too many berries. I couldn’t help myself! The result was one of my layers broke in half. It wasn’t anything more frosting couldn’t fix and nobody noticed. Both times I made this cake everyone raved about it. The first time was for a friend’s birthday, so I only ate a little piece. The second time I gave it away… I need to make it again! Time to get those great VT blueberries out of the freezer and buy more Meyer lemons! Thanks Sally!
I just made this (or attempted to…). I didn’t have 3 cake pans so, as recommended I cooked it longer A LOT LONGER but the center all the way too the bottom of the layer is still too raw:< bummer this was intended as a birthday cake for tomorrow. the part if the cake that did cook is delicious however less like a "layer cake" and more of a muffin or coffee cake texture. I will try again using the 3 pans
How could anyone pass up on this cake? Lemons, blueberries, cream cheese frosting… All the good stuff in one delicious cake! So this quickly became the next one to try and I’m so glad I did. It was a hit!
Sally, I thought your story about making this cake in February was funny and I know what you mean. I find myself craving out-of-season dishes sometimes because I miss the smells and tastes of that season. I’m always in the mood for a pumpkin pie, even in the summer! I won’t be surprised if I start craving this lemon blueberry cake this fall or winter because it was so good and the smell of fresh lemons is like on other.
Thank you for this recipe and I look forward to trying something new next week! You’re two for two! 🙂
I made this tonight and only did a single layer but it was still divine. The flavors are wonderful for anyone that loves cake but not something too sweet. We all gave it a round of thumbs up! Thank you for being so thorough in your directions too.
I recently made this cake and it came out beautifully. It was so delicious! I definitely will be making this again.
Great recipe – absolutely fabulous texture and just the right mix of tart lemon and sweet blueberry. Thanks so much for sharing!
Sally – I just found your blog about a month ago and have already made almost a dozen of your recipes! They have all been fabulous. I made this cake for a bridal shower last week and everyone loved it! The cake and frosting both came out light. Perfect for summer. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!
Hi this cake cooked perfect snd I let it sit about 30 min to cool. Meanwhile the frosting i made I left sitting out on counter..when I iced the layers the cake, frosting kept running out and down sides and layers shifting..what should I do different next time? Chill icing a bit? Something to steady the layers?
Did you let the cake cool completely before frosting? You may try chilling the frosting recipe, yes.
Was wondering if this cake can be baked ahead of time and frozen?
The unfrosted cake may be baked and frozen ahead of time. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. However, I prefer it fresh (tastes best).
Made this for my family reunion this past weekend…it was my first cake from scratch…and it was delightful! Easy enough, I just need to refine my technique since it did come out a little tough (and I swear I was careful with the mixing)….I made it in a 9×13 pan and 45 minutes it was baked perfectly. Needless to say with 2 tables full of desserts, my cake was the only one mostly gone…so it was a hit! And the frosting! A new favorite…my husband is a frosting connoisseur…it’s “perfect” according to the man who had me make a bowl full of frosting in lieu of his birthday cake one year. Thanks for another wonderful recipe Sally!!!!
Found out why my cakes were too dense!
Baking powder past date! Had no idea it was so old. Be sure to check those dates ladies!!
Question for Sally — my 3 lemons produced more than 2-3 T juice each ..totaled about 11-12. Ok to use more and won’t affect product?
I reduced to 8 to be safe but could have used the flavor of more.. my preference!
Also, is the baking temperature for shiny or dark pans? Thanks!
I have found the temperature to be the same regardless of which color pans I use. You must have some large lemons! You may add a couple more Tablespoons if you’d like a stronger flavor. Adding more zest may be better, though.
I made this cake for my Mom’s birthday. It was a huge hit! Absolutely delicious! My son said it was one of the best cakes he has ever tasted. Thank you!
Tried this tonight– FABULOUS!
I used this recipe on Friday and the batter was so light! I made cupcakes, both mini and regular size, instead of layer cake. The batter was so light! The cupcakes came out excellent! The only thing is, with the mini size, if there are too many blueberries, you have no cake. Otherwise, fabulous!
Another thing I did was add much more cream to the frosting and whipped the heck out of it. I also added lemon juice and zest! Ohhhhhh boy!! It’s was a winner!
Anyway, if you make the cupcakes, I baked the mini for 10-11 min and the regular for 13-15. I guess it depends on your oven and the pans you use!
Tonight, I am making it as a sheet cake! I’ll let you know how it comes out!
Thanks for a great recipe!
I want to make half of this recipe, but I don’t want to use a cupcake pan. I still want to make a layered cake, so I can decorate for my mom’s birthday. Any suggestions on the pan sizes I should use?
Try using only two cake pans – the layers will be thinner. I am unsure of the bake time. Enjoy!
I made this delicious cake this morning! Oh my good gracious is this cake amazing, moist, and utterly delectable. It turned out just brilliantly. Great great cake recipe. I followed your instructions exactly. I will be making this cake time and time again, no doubt. Next time I make it, I’m going to try to substitute the exact amount of lemon juice and zest for orange juice and zest from same size fresh oranges. I know it might sound odd; but orange and blueberries (in my humble opinion!) go so well together and really compliment each other. I just love the combination. So I will try it and report back. Or…. If you happen to make this cake with orange, I will look forward to your post!!! Another winner Sally! Love!
Hi there! I’m making a lemon cake for a baby shower. Can I omit the blueberries and bake in a 13×18 pan? It’s for a large group. Do I need to make any changes? Thank you!
Yes, double the recipe. You may leave out the blueberries. I’m unsure of the bake time.
Per the other comments, this cake was a big hit. Also wondering about the consistency of the cake. When I added the dry ingredients to the wet I had my mixer set on low speed. Was this correct or should that step be done by hand? Thanks!
I usually do that step by hand.
I happened upon this site looking for something to make for mother’s day! Like most people who’ve posted their comments, all i have to say is, “YUMBO!!!” I The cake was completely gone in no time. It was moist,, delish, and tasted like the start of summer!!! The cake was just the right density – not terribly heavy and not fluffy. I cut back the sugar in the frosting to 2 cups and added another 4 ounces of cream cheese and used fresh, sliced strawberries and some lemon zest to top it. I can see making variations of this with the lemon as the star of the show. Thank you for such a yummy recipe. It’s a keeper!!
I just made this yesterday, divine! I used two 9″ springform pans, and baked at 325 for 40 minutes. Definitely a keeper!
I also made this for our Easter dinner/ Mom’s birthday! It was SO good, I just ate the last piece for my afternoon snack! (with some extra blueberries!). I also had to leave mine in the oven for more like 30-32 minutes. At 22 minutes it was still gooey in middle, so just kept checking every few minutes with a toothpick.
This cake is so light and wonderful. I will be making it again in 2 weeks for a friend’s baby shower.
I just made this cake for Easter lunch yesterday and it was FABULOUS. There were no leftovers, which is unusual considering there were about ten different desserts to choose from. Thanks for the recipe!!! I’ll definitely be making this again–soon!
This cake is absolutely delicious!! The icing is so wonderful and the cake is really flavorful and moist! I made it for Easter brunch today, and my family loved it! My dad even told me this cake is one of his top favorite desserts of all time…and he is a very picky eater! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! 🙂
I just made the funfetti cake you suggested with blueberries and the cream cheese frosting and I also put strawberries on top. It was the best cake I’ve ever made. My husband and daughters said it was better than Nothing Bundt Cakes shop we have in town. My sister said she’s going to make it for her son’s birthday next month and also for 4th of July. Just wanted to thank you for your quick replies and for the great tips and of course, the wonderful recipes! Thanks to you, Easter dessert is a huge success! 🙂