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Lemon Blueberry Cake

This easy Lemon Blueberry Cake is one of my favorite ways to combine lemon and blueberry flavors into one fabulous cake recipe. The moist and tender lemon cake is studded with sweet blueberries, then topped with a lemony homemade frosting!

A slice of lemon blueberry cake with a bite taken out

The Best Lemon Blueberry Cake Recipe

I know it’s a big claim, but if you ask me this is seriously the BEST lemon blueberry cake recipe out there. This simple cake is the bomb you guys. Between the fluffy lemon cake, the sweet blueberries, lemon curd, and the lemony mascarpone whipped cream frosting this cake is pretty hard to beat. It has the perfect combination of flavors and textures.

The lemon cake batter is the same recipe I use to make Lemon Cupcakes. It’s an oil-based cake recipe, so there’s no time spent waiting for the butter to come to room temperature. The cake version is just as easy and made even better with all the fresh blueberries add in. Today I’m going to walk you through exactly how to make this cake, including a step-by-step video.

Why You’ll Love this Lemon Blueberry Cake

There are so many reasons to love this cake, where do I begin? If you’re a fan of that classic lemon-blueberry combo, here are the top reasons you have to give this recipe a try:

  • Easy. If you can mix ingredients in a bowl you can 100% make this lemon blueberry cake. You don’t need any special ingredients or equipment.
  • Flavorful. The cake batter is bursting with lemony flavor and fresh blueberries. A layer of lemon curd between each layer of this cake enhances the lemon flavor, which is then topped off with a simple homemade lemon frosting.
  • Quick. Altogether the cake batter takes 10 minutes to make. Since it is an oil-based cake recipe you don’t even need to wait for the butter to warm to room temperature. You can store-bought lemon curd, and the frosting comes together in minutes!
  • Impressive. Want to impress family or friends? Make this lemon blueberry cake for them. They’ll fall in love with the texture and flavors! And even better, you’ll have wowed everyone without spending hours in the kitchen. This recipe is also perfect as a birthday cake.
Lemon blueberry cake on a cake stand

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here’s a quick overview of some of the ingredients you’ll need to make this lemon blueberry cake. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • Dry ingredients: Standard cake ingredients including sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and eggs.
  • Vegetable oil: This makes for a more tender crumb and helps produce a moister cake.
  • Lemon zest and juice: Use both for the most lemon flavor and definitely don’t skip the zest.
  • Lemon extract: This ingredient enhances the lemon flavor but you can use vanilla extract instead if you prefer.
  • Sour cream: If you don’t have sour cream, you can substitute it with nonfat Greek yogurt.
  • Buttermilk: For acidity, flavor, and moisture. If you don’t have it on hand, make this easy substitute.
  • Fresh Blueberries: These will be tossed in a little bit of flour to help prevent them all from sinking. If you need to use frozen berries, you don’t need to toss them in flour.
  • Lemon curd: For the filling. It’s optional but it really adds that punch of lemon flavor to this cake, I don’t recommend skipping it.

Can I use frozen blueberries?

One of the most common questions I get about this recipe is whether it matters if you use fresh or frozen berries. I have only made this cake with fresh blueberries, but the recipe should still work with frozen berries. However, keep in mind that frozen berries may have more moisture than fresh because of all the ice crystals.

If you want to use frozen blueberries, add them directly to the cake batter and skip the step where the berries are coated in flour.

Why Do My Blueberries Sink?

Coating fresh berries in flour helps prevent the berries from sinking to the bottom of the cake. However, there is no way to fully prevent this. I recommend using smaller berries if possible. Also I like to drop a few berries on top of the batter prior to putting the cake in the oven to bake. 

A small white bowl with lemon zest next to a lemon and a microplane grater

How to Make Blueberry Lemon Cake

Here’s a quick look at how to make this delicious cake! Make sure to check out the recipe card below for detailed instructions.

Make the Cake

First we are going to make the cake layers. Here’s how:

  • Prepare the baking pans. I’ve offered some helpful hints below.
  • Combine the wet ingredients. Beat together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and lemon extract. Next add the lemon zest, lemon juice and sour cream and beat until the batter is well combined.
  • Mix dry ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients. Alternate adding half the dry ingredients with half the buttermilk and beat until well combined.
  • Prep and add the blueberries. Toss the blueberries with 2 tablespoons of flour. Then gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
  • Bake. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans, about 1 2/3 cups of batter per pan and bake according to the instructions in the recipe card.
Glass bowl with lemon mascarpone whipped cream frosting

Make the Lemon Frosting

For the frosting, I went with a simple mascarpone whipped cream. It’s an amazing, thick whipped cream frosting that is not too sweet. You could also use my lemon buttercream frosting.

  • Chill the bowl: I recommend placing a metal mixer and the whisk in the freezer for 5-10 minutes prior to starting. Also keeping your ingredients refrigerated up until you’re ready to use them.
  • Let the Mascarpone turn to liquid. Spoon the cold mascarpone whipped cream into your bowl and beat on a medium-low speed. Slowly pour in the heavy cream, allowing the mascarpone cheese to turn to a liquid consistency.
  • Beat on high speed. Then increase the mixing speed to high (speed 8-10) and beat it until soft peaks form.
  • Add the sugar. Next, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating on low until sugar is incorporated. Then continue beating at a high speed until stiff peaks form.

The whipped cream will thicken pretty quickly once the mascarpone has been added. This frosting is very light and it’s not overly sweet so it allows the flavors of the cake to really shine through.

Assemble the Cake Layers

Now it’s time to assemble your lemon blueberry cake! If the layers are not all the same thickness, place your thickest and flattest layer on the bottom.

  • Frost the first layer. First, pipe a layer of the mascarpone whipped cream and spread evenly. Using a piping bag helps to ensure an even distribution of frosting.
  • Add lemon curd. Then spread a layer of lemon curd (about half the jar). Don’t spread the lemon curd all the way to the edges, stop about ½ inch from the edge
  • Add the next layer of cake on top. Press it into layer below. Try your best to place it centered and not leaning to one side or the other.
  • Invert your top layer. So the actual bottom of the cake layer is on top, giving you a nice flat surface on the top of your cake.

For more helpful advice see the tips I’ve shared for how to make layer cakes.

Decorate

I decorated this with a thin layer of mascarpone frosting, you can see it’s a little bit rustic. Use any leftover frosting to decorate this cake. I used a large open round piping tip. Then you can garnish this cake with fresh fruit like lemon slices and more fresh berries.

Slice of lemon blueberry layer cake on a blue plate

Tips for Success

Here are some quick tips to keep in mind for the best homemade lemon blueberry cake:

  • What size pan? For the layers of cake, I use three 8-inch baking pans, it’s approximately 1 2/3 cups of batter per pan.
  • Preventing sticking. It’s important that you line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper or 8-inch silicone baking liners. This will ensure you can easily remove the cakes from the pans.
  • Getting level cakes. I also bake my cakes with bake even stripes. These are used to create a nice even and level cake. It prevents the edges of the cake from cooking too quickly and therefore rising in the middle.
  • Or manually level your cakes. If you don’t have bake even stripes, that’s totally fine, you’ll just need to cut the dome of your cakes off with a cake-level or serrated knife before you start laying them.

How to Store

  • Storing frosted cake: Once frosted, this lemon blueberry cake can be kept for up to 2 days and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container such as a cake carrier.
  • Make ahead: To make the layers ahead of time, cool completely, line the top and bottom with parchment paper, and tightly wrap them in plastic wrap. I do not recommend making the frosting in advance and storing it separately. Make the frosting and frost the cake immediately. Then store in the refrigerator.
Lemon blueberry cake on a cake stand

Variation Ideas

Want to use the concept of this lemon blueberry cake as a starting point for other berry-citrus combos? Here are some ideas:

Print
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Slice of lemon blueberry layer cake on a blue plate

Lemon Blueberry Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 43 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 slices
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This easy Lemon Blueberry Cake is a moist lemon cake loaded with sweet blueberries and topped with lemony mascarpone frosting! Between each layer of cake is mascarpone whipped cream and a tangy lemon curd. A moist oil-based cake that’s fluffy and is truly the best blueberry cake ever!


Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 lemons- zested and juiced (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Lemon (or vanilla) extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) light sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (11.2 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (236 ml) (or milk)
  • 1/4 cup (59ml)  fresh lemon juice
  • 9 ounces fresh blueberries, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons (15.6g) all-purpose flour

For the frosting:

  • 2 ¼ cups (532ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, cold
  • 1 jar (10 ounces) lemon Curd

Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. Prepare your bake even stripes if desired.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and lemon extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next, zest 2 lemons into the batter and then juice the lemons to get 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and sour cream to the batter and beat until well combined.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add half the dry ingredients to the batter, beat on low speed while pouring in half of the buttermilk, and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
  5. Finally, add the remaining dry ingredients and remaining buttermilk and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  6. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  7. Toss the blueberries with 2 tablespoons of flour. Then gently fold the blueberries into the batter, saving a small handful to drop on top of the cake batter.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans, about 1 2/3 cups of batter per pan. Drop the remaining blueberries on top. Bake at 350°F for 20-23 minutes. Rotate your pans in the oven halfway through baking.
  9. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, you cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
  2. Spoon the cold mascarpone whipped cream into your bowl and beat on a medium-low speed (speed 3 on your stand mixer). Slowly pour in the heavy cream, allowing the mascarpone cheese to turn to a liquid consistency.
  3. Then increase the mixing speed to high (speed 8-10) and beat it until soft peaks form.
  4. Next, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating on low until sugar is incorporated. Then continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.

Assembly

  1. Use a cake leveler to cut the domes off the top of the cake. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of that.
  2. Place half of the whipped cream in a large piping bag fitted with a large open round tip, or simply cut off the end of the piping bag. Pipe a layer of frosting and spread evenly. Then spread half of the lemon curd over the mascarpone filling.
  3. Add the second layer of cake and repeat the above steps using all of the remaining lemon curd. Next, add the final layer of cake on top.
  4. Use your piping bag to fill in any gaps between your layers and to create a crumb coat. Using an offset spatula or icing smoother, wipe away the excess frosting, leaving you just enough to coat the outside of the cake. Do not mix your crumb coating frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it.
  5. Proceed to frost the top and sides of the cake using your offset spatula. Once the sides of the cake are covered, use an icing smoother to remove any excess frosting. You can take the end of your offset spatula and gently place them against the sides of the cake as your rotate your cake to add a little texture.
  6. Use remaining frosting to pipe the florets on the top of the cake using an Ateco 809 tip (large open round). Garnish with lemon slices and leftover blueberries. This cake must be refrigerated.

Notes

  • Substitute the sour cream use a plain non Greek yogurt. Full fat sour cream will also work
  • Homemade buttermilk substitute 
  • Blueberries can be substituted with raspberries or blackberries
  • Make ahead and storage instructions: Once frosted, this cake can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container such as a cake carrier. To make the layers ahead of time, cool completely, line the top and bottom with parchment paper and tightly wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Frosting: I do not recommend making the frosting in advance and storing it separately. Make the frosting and frost the cake immediately. Then store in the refrigerator.
  • Frozen berries: Note that I have not tested this with frozen blueberries but it should work. Frozen berries may have more moisture than fresh. Toss in the batter when frozen and do not coat in flour

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 672
  • Sugar: 60.1g
  • Sodium: 370mg
  • Fat: 32.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 21.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 89.9g
  • Fiber: 2.4g
  • Protein: 8.4g
  • Cholesterol: 112.6mg

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221 comments on “Lemon Blueberry Cake”

  1. Where is the recipe for the lemon curd? This sounds good but I wouldn’t know how to make the lemon curd.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      The lemon cake base works great as a cupcake, but when the blueberries are added to it, it makes for a sort of lumpy and not nice and round looking cupcakes. But yes, the recipe technically does work for cupcakes

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Correct, it’s more a dense and spongy cake vs light and fluffy, especially with the berries

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Yes, you can make the cake recipe as is, and bake between 25-30 minutes, it’s best to check every few minutes after 25, as each over and pan will bake differently. You won’t need nearly as much frosting or filling

  2. I think I ruined the frosting. I followed all instructions but after a couple minutes beating it on high speed, my frosting turned into liquid. Any suggestions?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Can you tell me a little bit more at what stage did this happen? Was it before or after adding the powdered sugar? Did you ever reach soft or sift peaks before that happened?

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Yes, I would cool completely, line the top and bottom with parchment paper, and tightly wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze.

  3. I made this cake for Easter, keep in mind I typically only make box cakes, I was able to do it and it was amazing! Thanks






  4. I made this recipe but put it in a 17×13 to make a bunny cake. It was cooked all the way but the cake was really wet and kind of gooey. Any ideas on how I messed up? Or can fix it for next time?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      If it was wet and gooey, I am not sure how it could have been fully cooked through? It’s a denser and moist cake but no part of the cake should be wet or gooey.

  5. Avatar photo
    Mary-Martha Bahn

    I made this for a ladies potluck and it was a huge hit! The flavor was awesome and the colors beautiful. I only had 2 cake pans (8 inch), so I put 2 cups of batter in each and put the remaining batter in a loaf pan. They took a few minutes longer to bake but came out perfectly. For the loaf pan cake I cut it in half lengthwise and spread frosting and curd between the layers, but did not frost the top. It made a great tea cake. I will be making this again.






    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thank you so much Mary!! I love that! Next time, if you’d like, you can bake this batter in two 8-inch pans simply dividing it in half and adding a few minutes onto the bake time.