If you love blueberries and lemon as much as I do, you’ll love this incredible berry cake! This blueberry lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting is what dessert dreams are made of! I start with a buttermilk cake batter, fold in lemon zest and blueberries, then frost the cake with a lemony and zesty version of my Cream Cheese Frosting. The cake can be filled with either my Homemade Lemon Curd, or some store-bought blueberry preserves. This fruity and lemony cake is perfect year round, but especially for summertime!
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Blueberry Lemon Cake Layers
Blueberries and lemons are a match made in heaven and this cake is bursting full of flavor from both! I make this cake using my basic buttermilk cake batter, which is great for many different recipes. First, I mix together the wet ingredients: buttermilk, eggs, oil, extracts and sugar. Next, I mix in the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. And last, I add in the lemon zest and blueberries.
Before adding the berries, it’s important to get them coated in cornstarch. The starch will do two things: help keep the berries suspended in the batter and thicken the blueberry juices as the cake bakes. I like to add about half the berries into the batter and half over the top. This way, they don’t all sink to the bottom!
Can I Use Frozen Berries?
Yes, you can absolutely use frozen berries for this recipe. I always prefer fresh when they’re available but frozen berries work just fine, too! Just make sure to thaw them completely before using them!! This is important. Adding cold berries to the batter will slow down the baking process and cause the cake to bake unevenly.
Baking & Cooling the Cake Layers
My blueberry lemon cake layers bake at 350F for about 40 minutes. You want to make sure the batter is completely done before removing the cakes from the oven. I always do a toothpick test for doneness. Just insert the toothpick into a clean, center spot on the cake and it should come out clean, without any wet cake batter.
Once my berry cake layers are done, I remove them from the oven and let them stand for a couple minutes in the pans. However, I never cool them in the pans! I always transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cooling any type of cake, except for cheesecakes, in the pan will cause the cake to sweat. When this happens, the bottom becomes heavy and almost gummy in texture. Always cool your cakes on a wire rack!
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
This blueberry lemon cake recipe is made with the best frosting – zesty lemon cream cheese frosting! This easy, creamy frosting goes so well with the berry flavors! I have a separate video recipe for the basic frosting so make sure to check it out! Once I have the basic recipe done, I add in a little bit of lemon extract and lemon zest to add lemon flavor.
This frosting can be a little bit on the soft side when you first make it. I recommend chilling it in the refrigerator for a few hours, or even overnight, for best results. I usually make it the day before and let it chill overnight, then remove it a couple hours before I start assembling my cake to let the frosting thaw.
2 Fillings: Lemon Curd or Blueberry Jam
The best way to add even more flavor to any cake is pick a complementary filling! For my blueberry lemon cake, you can use either my Homemade Lemon Curd or blueberry preserves as a filling. Or, you can do both! Choose the filling based on what you want more flavor of – blueberries or lemon. If you want more blueberry flavor, use the preserves. More lemon flavor, use the lemon curd. I have a separate video recipe for my lemon curd, so make sure to check it out!
Assembling the Cake
Assembling this berry cake is a breeze! Always, always make sure the cake layers are completely cooled before starting! Even if the cake layers are slightly warm, they will melt the frosting. Try placing the cake layers into the refrigerator to chill down faster.
To assemble the cake:
- First, level off the tops and split the layers in half. I recommend using a long, serrated knife to do this step.
- Add the frosting: add about ¾ cup of cream cheese frosting between each cake layer.
- Add the filling: first, pipe a barrier ring of frosting around the edge to keep the filling in. This is important! Otherwise, the filling will seep out the sides.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting and use flat spatulas to level the frosting.
- Garnish the top: add dollops of cream cheese frosting, berries and sliced lemons to make the cake look extra pretty!
Enjoyed this delicious blueberry lemon cake? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Strawberry Lemonade Cake – fruity, zesty and sour cake with strawberry lemon cake layers, lemon buttercream and lemon curd!
- Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake – super easy, 15 minute recipe for the best berry cake! Perfect with coffee in the morning!
- Blueberry Crumble Cake – you’ll love this blueberry cake topped with a cinnamon and oat crumble! Another easy and delicious recipe!
- Lemon Pound Cake– another super easy cake recipe, with loads of lemon flavor and a simple lemon glaze!
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Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):
- 8-inch Aluminum Pans – I love these pans for baking cake layers!
- Parchment Paper Rounds – buy premeasured and precut parchment paper to save time!
- Lemon Extract – the perfect way to add lots of lemon flavor.
- Ateco Turn Table – this cake decorating table is a must for all bakers!
- Off-Set Spatulas – I love these mini spatulas so much! So convenient and easy to use.
The Best Blueberry Lemon Cake Recipe (video)
For Blueberry Lemon Cake:
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup light cooking oil or melted butter
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- Zest from 2 large lemons
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
For Lemon Frosting:
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened at room temp
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened at room temp
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 1 rsp lemon extract
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup Lemon curd, for filling
- 1/2 cup Blueberry preserves, for filling
- Blueberries and lemons, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Line two, 8-inch (20-cm) cake pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with a baking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, sugar and extracts. Beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients together, then sift into the cake batter and mix on medium speed for about 1 minute, just until incorporated.
- Next, zest 2 large lemons and add the zest into the batter. Cut the lemons open and squeeze out the juice into a measuring cup. Strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer and add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) to the cake batter.
- Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of lemon juice over the blueberries, arranged in a medium-sized bowl. Add the cornstarch and use a spoon to toss the berries until they’re well-coated.
- Add just half of the blueberries into the cake batter and use a spatula to fold them in, along with the zest and lemon juice.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top. Bake the cake layers for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake layers from the oven, out of the pans and onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lemon cream cheese frosting. Place the softened butter into a mixer bowl and attach a flat beater. Beat the butter on medium to high speed for 6 to 8 minutes, until it’s white and creamy. Add in the cream cheese and continue mixing on medium speed for 4 to 6 minutes, scarping down the sides of the mixing bowl occasionally, until the mixture is smooth.
- Add in the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract and lemon extract. Continue mixing on medium-high speed for a couple more minutes, until the frosting is smooth. Add the lemon zest last and mix for 30 seconds. Place the frosting into the refrigerator to chill.
- Once the cake layers have cooled completely, use a long, serrated knife to level off the top (if needed) and split the layers in half.
- Transfer about 2 cups of the cream cheese frosting into a pastry bag tipped with a simple round tip, or a star tip. To assemble the cake, spread about ¾ cup of cream cheese frosting onto each cake layer. Next, pipe a barrier ring of frosting around the edge of the cake; watch my video to see how it’s done. Into the center, add 3 tablespoons of lemon curd or blueberry preserves.
- Repeat the same process for the next 2 layers, then add the final layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting, smoothing it with a spatula and cake scraper. Refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes.
- To garnish the top, pipe dollops of cream cheese frosting along the edge, then top with fresh blueberries and sliced lemon. Allow the cake to chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours before serving.