Lemon Blackberry Cake

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Tangy Lemon Blackberry Cake is a moist lemon cake, loaded with fresh blackberries. In between each layer of cake is mascarpone whipped cream and a tangy lemon curd. It’s an oil-based cake recipe that stays super moist and is dense like a sponge cake.  


A close up shot of a lemon cake showing all the beautiful blackberries on the inside and the layers of lemon curd. The cake is sitting on a blue and white plate.

Give me alllll the blackberry desserts this summer. I am loving baking with all the fresh flavors and a mix of tangy and sweet. I don’t even mind heating up the kitchen for this.

This Lemon Blackberry Cake is perfection. It is a homemade, moist lemon cake with fresh blackberries baked right in. Add in layers of lemon curd and a perfect mascarpone whipped cream and you have the most mouthwatering cake.  

I am swooning over this lemon cake. It’s moist, dense like a sponge cake and packed with lemon flavor. It’s also made with buttermilk which adds to the tangy flavor of the cake.

I’ve used this same recipe for my Lemon Cupcake Recipe, my Lemon Blueberry Poke Cake as well as other layer cakes. It’s great for layer cakes because it’s very stable.

You might also recognize this cake has very similar flavors to my Blueberry Lemon Mascarpone Cake. I just fell in love with this flavor combination and needed a blackberry version and maybe there’s a raspberry version in my future too.

 The frosting for this cake is a mascarpone whipped cream. If you’ve never had it, I insist you try it immediately. It’s like whipped cream but thicker, more of a mousse. It’s subtle flavor compliments whatever you pair it with, as it’s not over powering or too sweet.

A layered lemon blackberry cake with a couple slices missing showing the inside of the cake

 For the layers of cake, I use three 8-inch baking pans. The cake makes about 5 1/2 cups of batter, so approximately 1 ¾ – 2 cups of batter per pan. It’s a little more than usual with the addition of the blackberries.

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.

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.

The batter is a little thicker, especially with the berries, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t dome a lot, of is a little uneven on top because of the berries.

Just be sure it’s cooked all the way through before taking them out of the oven, and note that the baking time may differ between the 3 pans if they are not evenly filled. Keep a close eye on it the last few minutes of baking and pull the pans out as needed.

A giant slice of lemon cake layered with blackberries and lemon curd. There's a few bites missing showing the inside of the cake.

To fill your cake, I suggest filling a piping bag full of the frosting and using that to pipe the layers of frosting. Pipe a thicker board around the outside of your cake so that you can fill the middle with lemon curd and not have to worry about it spilling out the sides.

It’s best to add a thin crumb coat of frosting on the outside of the cake before adding your final layer of frosting so that you have a nice, clean finish on your cake.

Since it’s frosted with the mascarpone whipped cream, this cake has to stay refrigerated, but don’t worry about it drying out. The cake is so moist, and the lemon curd and frosting help lock that in.

For the decorations, I kept it pretty simple using some of the leftover mascarpone frosting and berries and a couple of lemon slices. I love the simplicity of it.

If you need to cut yourself an extra big slice, no judgements over here!

An overhead shot of a lemon cake showing all the beautiful blackberries on the inside and the layers of lemon curd .

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A close up shot of a lemon cake showing all the beautiful blackberries on the inside and the layers of lemon curd. The cake is sitting on a blue and white plate.

Lemon Blackberry Cake

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28 minutes
  • Total Time: 58 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 slices


Tangy Lemon Blackberry Cake is a moist lemon cake, loaded with fresh blackberries. In between each layer of cake is mascarpone whipped cream and a tangy lemon curd. 


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 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
  • 12 ounces blackberries, washed and dried
  • 23 tablespoons (15.6g) all-purpose flour

For the frosting:

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


  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. Prepare the 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 beat until well combined.
  4. Add half the flour followed by the baking powder and salt and 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 flour, mixing on low speed while pouring in the 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 blackberries with 2 tablespoons of flour, add additional if needed. If the blackberries are large, cut them in half, then gently fold the blackberries into the batter.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the three pan, about 1 ¾ cups of batter per pan. Drop the remaining blackberries on top. Bake at 350°F for 28-32 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. Spoon the cold mascarpone 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.
  2. Then increase the mixing speed to high (speed 8-10) and beat it until soft peaks form.
  3. 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.

To assemble the cake,

  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 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 you icing smoother to remove any excess frosting.
  6. 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. Garnish with leftover frosting and blackberries. This cake must be refrigerated.


  • To substitute the sour cream use a plain non Greek yogurt. Full fat sour cream will also work
  • See this tutorial to make homemade buttermilk 
  • See my detailed tutorial of the Mascarpone Whipped Cream
  • 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.
  • Sub blueberries with raspberries or blackberries
  • 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 Information:
1 slice
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Lemon Cake Recipe, Lemon Blackberry Cake, Lemon Dessert

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48 Responses
  1. Crystal

    Hi! I made this for my boyfriend for his birthday and he loved it! His brother wants me to make him one but with pineapple…. do you think that would work?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Crystal- So glad your boyfriend loved it! The pineapple option sounds delicious! I think this would work, but instead of baking the pineapple into the cake (because pineapple is so much more moist than a berry), you might want to bake the cake layer, then do a pineapple filling in between the layers.

  2. Blair

    This cake is fantastic. I made it for the first time last year for my sisters birthday and again this year (only using the mascarpone frosting recipe) because it is incredible! Seriously people will think you bought it from a professional bakery. Thank you! 🙂

  3. Emily

    I’m curious about making this cake for an upcoming birthday but would need to freeze it since I won’t be able to bake it right before the party. How well do you think it would freeze with the berries in there? Thanks!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Becky- Technically yes, but I don’t love the way the cupcakes bake with the berries in them, especially if the berries are large. They are a little lump and uneven. You could cut the berries into smaller pieces for better results.

  4. Gigi

    I made this cake recipe for my son’s birthday, and it was AMAZING! It was super moist and perfectly lemony! I followed the cake recipe opting for vanilla extract and milk. I only have 2 cake pans, but this didn’t seem to be an issue at all, my cake was still thoroughly cooked within the time listed. The frosting sounds delicious, but I didn’t get a chance to make it as my son specifically asked for buttercream frosting, so I will have to try it next time. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. Marian Locascio

      I made this cake for Christmas and everyone loved it, some mentioning that it was the best cake they’d ever had. I did a test bake a month before Christmas and, since it was only my husband and me, I halved the recipe and used two six inch pans. I used yogurt and made my own buttermilk as suggested. It worked. For Christmas I followed the recipe exactly but used three 9” pans, as that’s what I had. This also worked just fine. The layers may be a little thinner, but with all the absolutely wonderful frosting (and there’s more than enough) this cake was still high, moist and beautiful. I’ve followed the recipe twice now, but still have a question. In number 8 in the instructions it says “drop the remaining blackberries on top”. What remaining blackberries?
      The recipe has made it into my permanent recipe binder and it will probably become a Christmas tradition in my house. Thanks so much.

      1. Beyond Frosting

        Thank you so much Marian! This is amazing! Sometimes I save a few blackberries to drop on top of the cake batter once it’s been poured into the pan but I see that is not very clear. Thanks for the heads up!

  5. AJ

    This looks like the cake I need to make this weekend, but I don’t have 3 8-inch cake pans. I’m not sure how to adjust it to do it in 2 9-inch pans and would appreciate your thoughts on that.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Aj- I have not tested this recipe with 2 9 inch pans, I worry with the berries it will be a lot! Here are some general guidelines based on my VANILLA layer cake. If your pans are filled to the top, that’s too much- they will take longer to bake, dome a lot in the middle and the edges will probably crisp a bit more. You can also try 3-9inch layers and REDUCE the baking time indicated in the recipe.

      For two 9-inch cakes, they baked from 28-32 minutes. Baking times will vary due to how full the pans are, type of pans and true oven temperature. Please note these did “crust” a little more on the outside edge due to extended baking times and they rose quite a bite in the middle, so you’ll lose more of the “dome” of the cake

  6. Gabrielle

    Hi there, this cake sounds amazing!!! However maybe A tad to much lemon for my family. Would it turn out just as lovely without adding the lemon curd? Thank you

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Gabrielle- yes if it’s too much you can eliminate it. You might trying instead adding a little bit of lemon zest to the frosting which will help retain some flavor but not over power it!

  7. Rebecca Newble

    This looks great but I’m making for a teenager that doesn’t like lemon. If I eliminate the lemon additions would it be similar to a white cake with blackberries? Or would it take too much away from the taste?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Rebecca, it would be similar to a white cake with berries. You’d need to increase the buttermilk to 1 1/4 cups if you are eliminating the lemon juice. I would recommend baking the vanilla cake recipe from my vanilla layer cake but the batter is thinner, so the berries will likely sink to the bottom. Vanilla cake with berries and this frosting would still be good but definitely not the same cake.

      1. Rebecca

        Thanks for the feedback! I actually made it before I saw this and added a 1/4 cup water in place of the lemon juice. It turned out wonderful! Thank you so much for the recipe! This is a keeper and I loved the frosting! It was a hit with everyone!

  8. Ada

    Well it’s me again with another question!!!!
    Is it possible to make this one with frozen berries… any kind of berries?
    Thanks again and again

      1. Ada

        OMG There is always a doubt, no?
        Do you think I should thaw them first or would it be ok to use them frozen?
        I am really looking forward to make this one.

  9. Diana Muñetón

    Este cake es delicioso, además de las moras incluí arándanos, y el contraste de sabores me encantó, la suavidad es sorprendente. Muchas gracias, ojalá incluyeran la receta de la cuajada de limón.

  10. Jackie

    Hi…I want to make this cake this week for a birthday but I want to Use macerated blackberries like a filling between layers. How do you this this will turn out? And do I need to modify the cake recipe since I’m not putting the berries in the cake batter?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jackie, that should work as long as you build up a big enough damn around the edge of the cake to hold the layers up. I’ve also made this with a berry compote. You do not need to make any adjustments to the actual cake recipe.

  11. Jean

    This is a really special cake. I’d say even nice enough for a wedding. I made this for a friend’s 40th birthday, and literally every single person came up to me and told me what a great cake it was, and it really was. Highly recommend!

  12. Jen

    Made this cake yesterday and ate some today. It was fabulous! The cake itself is nice and sturdy for layers but still very moist. The whipped frosting was nice and light. The whole cake has a nice lemon punch to it without using any lemon extract. Will definitely be making this cake again!

  13. Andrew

    This cake was so fun to make and absolutely DELIGHTFUL!! The frosting is to die for and it is so light and beautiful. I will definitely be making again!

  14. Jean

    It’s 1am, midwinter in Cape Town and I’m in the middle of this as a birthday cake for my little boy. I’ve substituted raspberries for blackberries. Batter is gorgeous and I’ve remembered to bake a dollop in a tiny tin for a taste! Btw I think there may be a typo where you mention blueberries.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Aww Jean! That is so sweet! I hope you enjoy! Thank you for the heads up on the blueberries! I corrected that.

      1. Jean

        Julianne, the baked raspberries have created significant dips in the top of the cakes. I wonder if blackberries would have been more solid? Will this look very uneven when assembled? I can do another one with just the lemon…

        1. Jean

          I went ahead and it turned out a delicious and beautiful cake – I actually did a pink ombre finish – but not exactly easy. The high edges of icing were not enough to stop the lemon curd spilling out the sides once the weight of the top layer went on. Then it all started to slide… I was able to spear it quickly with three bamboo skewers. It was gorgeous but not foolproof.

          1. Beyond Frosting

            I love the idea of a pink ombre frosting! Wondering if your lemon curd was a little thin, or maybe a little too much between the layers. As long as the dam around the outside was thick enough, it shouldn’t have slid, but I am glad the bamboo skewers saved it!

  15. Jaime

    You are a wizard! All your recipes are excellent. I wanted to ask your opinion on an orange cake. I’ve been asked to do an orange cake. Do you think I could make this lemon sponge with orange instead? Maybe with orange zest and orange extract? Hmm. Thanks 😉

  16. Erin

    This cake looks delicious, Julianne! I’m an avid fav of anything lemon, and I haven’t really experienced many lemon-blackberry combinations in my life…I’m beginning to think that I’ve been seriously missing out? Gotta try something lemon-blackberry this summer!!! And this beautiful cake looks like a worthy option?

  17. Bob Bayer

    Yes, it is blackberry season! Have a lot of them growing on the edges of the fields around my house! This recipe looks real good.

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