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. Pam Pammtews says:

    I love the sound of this cake, lemon is my favorite flavor, but I have gone gluten free, do you think I could make this using my gluten free baking mix?

    1. I’m unsure – I’ve never baked this cake with gluten free flours and have little experience using them.

  2. I only have two 9 inch cake pans. While I am waiting for the 2 to get done should I refrigerate the remaining mix? Thank you

    1. Yes, that’s the best way to do it.

  3. This looks amazing!!! I’m about to make this but don’t have round pans. I plan to use an angel food pan instead – I hope it turns out. 🙂

  4. This look amazing for a spring lunch! Thanks

  5. Hey Sally!
    I only have one springform and it’s 11×3 ..! Can I bake a single layer and then cut the cake in half? Or half the recipe and then cut the cake in half to make the layers?

  6. I am gluten free but would LOVE to make this cake. It looks delicious!! Is it possible to use gluten free flour to replace the regular flour?

    1. I’m unsure, Joanna – I have never experimented with GF flours.

  7. Natalie Garstin says:

    I made this cake for my mother’s 62nd birthday and it was unbelievably fantastic. I just wanted to thank you for your delightful, sinful and easy to follow recipes because, historically, i am /not/ a successful baker 🙂 Your recipe made it possible for me to wow my family and now I’m super eager to bake, bake, bake! Thank you.

  8. This looks great! MY birthday is coming up and I told myself I must have a lemon cake. I don’t often get to have lemon desserts because my hubby hates them…But it’s my birthday and I choose! I’m so happy I found this one it looks perfect!

    1. Happy birthday Lauren! Enjoy.

  9. Any tips for making this cupcake style?

    1. Add blueberries to my lemon cupcakes – which is the same recipe as this cake only halved. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/11/homemade-lemon-cupcakes-with-vanilla-frosting/

  10. I want to make this for my dads birthday but I’m not sure as to what temp. And for how long to bake it for…. I want to use a 8″x3″ circular cake pan. Any suggestion?

  11. This looks absolutely delicious – can’t wait to make it! I like to use coconut sugar in place of both granulated and brown sugars. Any idea if I can replace them both in this same recipe? Also, I would really like to use a frosting that’s not so full of confectioners’ sugar (3-5 cups is a lot!). Any recommendations?

    1. Hi Patti. I have had no experience changing the sugar in this recipe. For best results, I suggest sticking to the recipe or trying any lower sugar recipe options: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/category/healthy-recipes/low-sugar-recipes/

  12. Is this a crusting buttercream?

  13. Can this cake be made in a 9X13 pan. And can I leave out the lemon juice and just do it as a vanilla and blueberry cake? Making this for our 38th anniversary!

    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!

  14. This is by far the best cake I have ever made!! I am always the one who makes the cake for my extended family. My father in laws birthday was in February and I wanted something sunny and spring like. This was perfect! It wasn’t hard to make, and every single person were saying how amazing it was and that it was the best cake they had ever had!….and how they’d rather this cake then presents for their birthday and they want it for their birthdays. Now a Month later it’s my husbands birthday and he asked for this cake and a extra one for his work.. It truly is the best cake ever! Thank you for the great recipe!

  15. That would be fine, Felicia.

    1. Just wanted to let you know – I made this yesterday for a party today and it was a HUGE hit! I was so happy with how it turned out, because I had a lemon cake for my birthday years ago and have been dreaming of it ever since. My friends absolutely loved it. Thanks!!!

  16. Perfect lemony moistness freckled with blueberry goodness wrapped in a cloud of cheesecake. Marry me, you treasure! For fun I added some blueberry vodka to the frosting. You should maybe add links to running on your site just to round things out. 🙂

  17. I made this cake and I loved the texture! The only thing is that the cake didn’t have much flavor. I even added 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. It didn’t taste bad, but without the frosting it would have been rather bland. Based off of everyone else’s comments I’m sure it was something I did…do you have any ideas? It sounds like such a good recipe, I’d want to try again!

    1. Hey Anna! The cake should definitely have lots of flavor. Maybe your lemons were rather small and didn’t give off a ton of fresh zest? You can also add a little more vanilla next time too. So glad you enjoyed it!

  18. DeeDee Chavez says:

    This cake looks amazing! Has anyone tried baking it in a Bundt pan? Thanks!

  19. DeeDee Chavez says:

    I baked this cake yesterday for my fiance’s birthday party. I used a Bundt pan and cake flour. I baked it for about 50 minutes but monitored carefully so it wouldn’t over bake. The pan really made the cake look extra lovely and easy to decorate.

    The cake was a HUGE hit. Everyone loved it. The Meyers lemons and blueberries were a perfect combination. The texture was perfect. Lastly, the frosting was so light, delicious and easy to make I’ll never buy pre-made tubs again. Thank you for making my first “cake from scratch” recipe a happy success!

  20. AMAZING! I have now made this twice and both times it was a hit! Thank you for posting…

  21. Is it possible to still make this recipe without a mixer? I dont own one and do not have the money to buy one right now. I really would love to make this but want to make sure it would be okay to hand mix.
    Thanks bunches.

    1. Hey Emma! No, it’s nearly impossible to cream butter to the correct consistency for this cake (and frosting) without a mixer of some sort. Here’s a blueberry/lemon recipe you can mix by hand. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/06/14/blueberry-sweet-rolls-with-lemon-glaze/

      1. Thanks so much! I will have to save up to get one!

    2. Emma – I have an old hand mixer I got in college for $13. It still works fine and I use it whenever I bake cakes, cookies, etc. A stand mixer would be great, but they’re so expensive and if the hand mixer isn’t broke, why fix it?!

  22. Stephanie Whelan says:

    Thank you! My husband saw this and thought it was the bees knees. So of course with his birthday around the corner I had to try it. Came out perfectly. Quite the birthday treat!

  23. Best cream cheese frosting. Hands down. I even use the frosting for other recipes now.

  24. Annemarie Reid says:

    Hi Sally,
    I baked your Lemon Blueberry Cake-It was absolutely delicious. I want to bake it for EasterSunday guests. So fresh and lovely, through and through, not too sweet either…beautiful presentation as well. Thank you for sharing it…I ordered your cookbook tonight as well…

    Fondly,
    Annemarie

  25. YUM! This cake will be great for Easter dinner! Thank you!!

  26. Awesome! Made this cake for a friend’s birthday and it was delicious! I especially loved the texture – almost pound cake-like (at least the way mine came out) and that’s what made it extra special. Instead of topping with additional blueberries, I grated more lemon zest on the frosting – which looked great and added an extra lemony kick to the cream cheese frosting. A new fan (and subscriber) to Sally’s Baking Addiction – thanks!

  27. Made this cake for a dinner club group and it was a BIG hit, so I’m making it again this weekend!

  28. Definitely not a quick and easy recipe but totally worth it! Brought this cake to surprise my sister with when visiting her at school and she and all her friends devoured it! Her roommate even got angry when the rest of her friends finished it off without her. It turned out so delicious, even with having to get frozen blueberries (they’re expensive right now!). Thanks Sally, great recipe!

  29. This turned out to be a beautiful and delicious cake! The cake is almost like a blueberry bread, except lighter and so moist and tasty. I added some lemon juice to the frosting and it was nice to have that extra lemon flavor.

    Like some others have posted, I needed to bake the cake longer than the 20-22 mins. I followed the directions to a T, used the correct pans, and they still needed to be cooked about 30-32 mins until the toothpick came out cleanly. I have a new oven (approx 5 months old and has been cooking everything else fine), so I don’t think anything is wrong there. Just an FYI!

  30. 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! 🙂

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