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 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted (210g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup caster sugar (200g)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (172g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup whole buttermilk (118 ml)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (45 ml)
- 1 1/3 cup fresh blueberries, tossed in 1 tablespoon of flour (180g)
For the Blueberry Jam
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (157g)
- 1/4 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
- 1/2 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.
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: simple, buttercream frosting