Do you love lemons and blueberries? Well, you're in the right place. This beautiful lemon and blueberry cake is just what you'll want to make this summer!
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What ingredients are in it?
- All-purpose flour: stabilizes the batter.
- Baking powder: helps it rise.
- Baking soda: helps it rise.
- Salt: adds flavor.
- Sugar: adds stability and sweetness.
- Butter: adds richness and moisture.
- Eggs: adds stability, lift, and richness.
- Buttermilk: reacts with the baking soda to make it rise; also keeps it moist.
- Lemon juice: reacts with the baking soda to make it rise; adds a lemon flavor.
- Lemon zest: adds additional lemon flavor.
- Vanilla extract: adds additional sweetness and flavor.
- Fresh blueberries: adds the texture and flavor of fresh berries.
- Too dense. You may have added too much flour, overbeaten the mixture, or added the liquid too quickly to the batter. Next time, add the eggs one at a time to the batter and add a tablespoon of flour with them to prevent curdling.
- Didn't rise. If your baking powder is over 3 months old, pitch it. Use this test to see if your baking powder is still effective.
- Too dry. Most likely, you added too much flour or baked it too long.
Can I substitute frozen blueberries in baking?
Yes, you can use frozen blueberries instead of fresh ones in baking. For most recipes, there is no need to defrost the berries before using. In fact, using thawed blueberries isn't recommended, because they leak too much liquid into the batter.
Can I make this batter into a sheet cake?
Yes, you can. Make a regular batch of batter and bake in a 9x13-inch pan. You may need to increase the baking time by a few minutes, since the pan is a different shape. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center; it should come out clean.
Can I make this into muffins?
Yes, you can make it into muffins. Fill the muffin cups ½ to ¾ full of batter, and reduce the baking time by ⅓ to ½. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Can I make this cake ahead of time?
Yes, you can make it ahead of time. Store it in the refrigerator and eat within 3 days. For longer storage, freeze it. See the instructions below for freezing and defrosting.
How to Store Lemon Blueberry Cake
This dessert keeps the best in the fridge, especially if you're making it during hot weather. The cake slices the best when it's cold from the fridge. However, if you're making it in the winter, you can store it outside of the fridge in a cool place.
Can I freeze lemon blueberry cake?
Yes, you can freeze it! Here's some tips on how to do it, depending on what stage you want to freeze it.
- Whole Decorated Cake: chill for 2-3 hours until cold. Wrap in two layers of plastic wrap, then two layers of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
- Individual Decorated Slices: lay the slices in a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container. Seal and freeze for up to 1 month.
- Undecorated Layers: wrap in two tight layers of plastic wrap and seal inside of zip-top freezer bags. Freeze for up to 2 months.
How to Defrost
- Whole Decorated Cake: defrost in the fridge overnight. Eat within 2-3 days.
- Individual Decorated Slices: keep at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Eat within 24 hours.
- Undecorated Layers: keep at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Ice and eat.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients. Make sure you've measured them accurately using a kitchen scale, and that they are all at room temperature.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.
Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth, light yellow, and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Lightly beat the eggs with a fork and add them to the butter mixture in three additions. Add a tablespoon of flour with each addition of egg to prevent the batter from curdling.
Stir in the lemon zest and sifted flour mixture, then add the buttermilk and lemon juice. Gently stir until well combined.
Toss the blueberries in a tablespoon of all-purpose flour. This helps the blueberries not to sink.
Fold the flour-coated blueberries into the batter. If there is extra flour at the bottom of the blueberry bowl, do not add it to the batter.
Divide the batter among the three 6-inch pans that have been lightly buttered and lined with parchment paper. I like to use cake strips on the outside of the pans to ensure a flat top.
Bake the cakes at 350 F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Notice how the cakes have also shrunk away from the sides of the pan.
Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Flip the cakes onto a wire rack and gently peel off the parchment paper. Let them cool completely on the wire racks, about 30 minutes.
How to Make a Quick Blueberry Jam
This jam will add color and flavor to the buttercream frosting. Start by gathering the ingredients: fresh or frozen blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch.
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Mash the berries with a potato masher and simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
Pour the jam through a sieve to remove the pulp and seeds. Pour the sieved jam into a shallow dish, press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface of the jam, and chill in the freezer until completely set, about 30 minutes.
How to Make the Cream Cheese Buttercream
While the jam is cooling, let's make the cream cheese buttercream. You'll need icing sugar, unsalted butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and the blueberry jam.
Beat the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
Sift in the icing sugar, then beat it in until the icing has the thickness and flavor you desire.
Add the vanilla and a teaspoon of lemon juice as well, then beat the icing until smooth.
Divide the icing into two parts; leave one half white. Stir some of the blueberry jam into the other half to get purple icing.
Place the two icing colors into piping bags fitted with open star nozzles. If you want to create a marbled effect, swipe some of the blueberry jam inside of the piping bags.
Sandwich the cooled layers with the purple icing, then crumb coat. Do this by covering the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting, then scraping a lot of it off. This step traps the crumbs, preventing them from getting in the final layer of icing.
Feeling fancy? Use the prepared piping bags to pipe decorative rosettes all over. Alternate colors for more variety.
Want to do a quicker and easier decoration? Just do a crumb coat and pipe a shell border around the top edge.
- Measure the ingredients accurately. It's best to use a kitchen scale, especially for measuring flour and sugar.
- Use room-temperature ingredients. Cold ingredients won't make a smooth, emulsified batter.
- Don't have buttermilk? Make a substitute. Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup and fill it the rest of the way with milk. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Add a tablespoon of flour when you add each egg to the batter to prevent the batter from curdling. A curdled batter will produce a dense, stodgy result.
- Chill the blueberry jam before adding it to the icing. If the jam isn't fully chilled and set, it will make the icing runny.
- Is the icing getting too soft? Chill for 20 minutes, then finish the decorating.
- Set of 3 Spatulas: mixing, folding, and spooning is so much easier with these spatulas.
- Set of 2 Cake Strips: get flat topped, moist cakes with these reusable strips.
- 6-Inch Pan: these pans bake evenly and are a convenient size.
- Emeril Lagasse 1-Quart Saucepan: we love this mini pot for so many small-batch recipes!
- Nordicware Cake Lifter: this giant heavy-duty spatula makes moving a big dessert a breeze.
Other Cakes You'll Love
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This moist, three layer lemon blueberry cake is dotted with fresh blueberries and frosted with cream cheese buttercream frosting. Make the decoration fancy or plain—it’s up to you. This made from scratch cake tastes like a slice of summer!
For the Cake
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour, sifted (210g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup caster sugar (200g)
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (172g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ cup whole buttermilk (118 ml)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (45 ml)
- 1 ⅓ cup fresh blueberries, tossed in 1 tablespoon of flour (180g)
For the Blueberry Jam
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (157g)
- ¼ cup lemon juice (60 ml)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (42g)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (10g)
For the Icing
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (230g)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (113g)
- 4 cups icing sugar, sifted (480g)
- 2-3 tablespoons blueberry jam
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparing the Ingredients & Cake Pans (25 min)
- Measure out the ingredients. The best and most accurate way to measure ingredients is with a kitchen scale. The correct way to measure flour and sugar with measuring cups is to spoon the ingredient into the cup, then sweep off the excess.
- Room temperature ingredients. Do not use cold ingredients to make a cake. The buttermilk should be at room temperature for 30 minutes before using, and the eggs can be warmed up by submerging them in hot tap water for 10 minutes. Soften the butter in the microwave or on the counter.
- Prepare the pans. Lightly butter three 6-inch cake pans that are 2 inches deep. Line the bases of the pans with circles of parchment paper.
- Get the cake strips ready. If you're using cake strips, cinch them around the pans to get the right size. Soak the cake strips in cold water for 10 minutes, then gently squeeze out the excess water. Make sure that the strips are very wet, but not dripping, then slip them onto the prepared pans.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. It's best to have the oven ready before you start making the cakes.
Making the Cakes (15 min + 30 min baking + 40 min cooling)
- Dry ingredients. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until blended. Toss the fresh blueberries in 1 tablespoon of flour. Set aside.
- Cream. Beat the butter until smooth, then add the caster sugar and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs. Lightly beat the eggs with a fork and add them in three additions. Add a tablespoon of the sifted flour mixture with each addition of egg to prevent the batter from curdling. Beat the butter/egg mixture until smooth and fluffy.
- Finish the batter. Gently stir in the lemon zest and the dry ingredients, then mix in the wet ingredients until just blended. Make sure that all the flour is mixed in at the bottom of the bowl, but be careful not to overmix.
- Add the berries. Gently fold in the flour-coated blueberries and divide the batter evenly among three 6-inch cake pans.
- Bake. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cakes will also shrink away from the sides of the pan.
- Cool. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then flip them out onto wire racks and peel off the parchment paper. Let the cakes cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Making the Blueberry Jam (10 min + 20 min chilling)
- Cook the jam. While the cakes are baking, combine the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and break down the berries with a potato masher. Simmer for a couple minutes, until thickened.
- Sieve and chill. Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove the pulp and seeds. Pour the sieved blueberry jam into a shallow dish and chill in the freezer until thoroughly set, about 20-30 minutes. It's important that the jam isn't liquidy when you add it to the icing, or it will make it runny.
Making the Icing (10 min)
- Make the icing. Beat the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy, then add the vanilla extract. Gradually sift in the icing sugar until the icing has the taste and thickness you desire. If the icing is too thick, add the lemon juice to thin it.
- Add the blueberry jam. Remove half of the icing and stir in some of the blueberry jam to get the shade of purple you desire. Leave the other half of the icing white.
Decorating the Cake (30 min + 1 hr 20 min chilling)
- Crumb coat. Sandwich the cooled cakes with the blueberry icing. Crumb coat the sides by spreading on a thin layer of blueberry icing, then scraping most of it off with an angled spatula. This catches the cake crumbs, preventing them from getting in the outer icing. Chill the cake for 20 minutes to harden the crumb coat.
- Prepare the piping bags while the cake is chilling. Fit two piping bags with star nozzles, such as the Wilton 1M or the Ateco 824. For a marbled effect when piping, swipe some of the blueberry jam along the inside of the bags. Put the white icing in one bag, and the blueberry icing in the other.
- Finish decorating. Pipe the remaining icing onto the cake in rosettes. Chill the cake for 1 hour to firm up the icing and to make the cake easier to slice.
- Don't have any piping bags? Use gallon size zip-top bags instead. Snip off the corner with scissors and push the piping tip through the hole.
- Weigh dry ingredients with a kitchen scale for accuracy.
- Use room-temperature ingredients. Cold ingredients will make a lumpy, unevenly mixed batter.
- Make a buttermilk substitute by placing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup and filling it the rest of the way with milk. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Melting icing? Chill for 20 minutes to firm it up.
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: simple, buttercream frosting