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
Hey Sally! Can I make this cake 2 days in advance? Icing on the day 🙂
If you do not want to freeze the cake, then for the freshest taste I recommend baking it one day in advance and keeping it at room temperature covered tightly.
I love this recipe! Is it possible to cut it in half for a single layer cake?
Yes, you can halve the recipe. Enjoy!
Can I make this with raspberries instead?
Have you made this cake with your lemon buttercream frosting?
Yes!! It’s delicious if you really love lemon!
HIi Sally, can i use dried blueberries in this recipe?
Sounds like a delightful change and easy to make. Eager to make it for my next fellowship.
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
Hi Cate, you can absolutely make both substitutions! I hope you have a great birthday!
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.
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
Hi Diana! I wish I could help, but I have zero experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html
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.
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!
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?
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.
Nope it’s not just you. I’ve made this cake twice in the course of two weeks because it’s driving me crazy too. I’m determined to get it right, lol. But mine came out dense and heavy also. The first time I know I definitely over mixed it. But the second I didn’t for sure. Next time I’m using cake flour and really cooking for 21 mins on the dot. Hopefully three times the charm
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.
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!
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!
I made this cake this past weekend and it got rave reviews. It was on the dense side but very moist and flavorful. The only problem I had was getting the cakes out of the pans because they were stuck to the bottom. Next time I will butter and flour the cake pans again. But I will definitely make this cake again! Thank you so much for all these great recipes.
Cake was very dense and dry. Baked three layers and they came out quite thin as there was not enough batter. Icing recipe made far too much icing. Overall the cake i baked as a treat for my hubby was a major disappointment. Giving it two thumbs down.
I made this today, halving the recipe and baking it in a square baking pan and replaced most of the butter with applesauce and OMG IT IS AMAZING. Mine probably isn’t as buttery and fluffy as yours made with butter but my family has already devoured it, as it still tastes amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe; I’ll be sure to make this again as a layer cake. I’m not sure if I will be using applesauce again or butter though!
hi Sally – Do you think it would be strange or contradict the flavors if I added shredded coconut to the outside of the frosting? I love the combination of lemon and coconut, but I’m not sure how it would go with the blueberries.
Not at all! I think that would be incredibly tasty. You can even try toasting the coconut before adding it as garnish– 300 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes.
I don’t normally comment on blogs, but since I am making this cake for the fifth time as a family request for their birthday cake, I must! This has QUICKLY become a family favorite! Thanks for sharing! Once I made the cake and served it very chilled, everyone thought it was cheesecake! Very, very delicious recipe!
Refrigerating will help, of course. And yes, I suggest half cake flour half all-purpose if you’d like a semi-lighter crumb. So happy you enjoyed it!