Stop everything and make this lemon blueberry cake if you love blueberries! This cake is beyond moist, with the perfect zing from lemon zest and juice. I divided my buttercream into two batches; one is flavored with a blueberry reduction while the other is all lemon.
I’m not sure if my meager description is doing the cake any justice but it was soooo good! I really loved it as a naked cake because the cake itself is so tasty it really doesn’t need a lot of frosting, you don’t want to mask the flavor with too much sugar.
What You’ll Need to Make This
Blueberries: I love fresh blueberries with this recipe but you can use frozen ones. Thaw before use then dry off and toss with flour.
Butter: I always specify unsalted butter just because different manufacturers add various amounts of salt to salted butter. The best way to have uniform results from a recipe is to use unsalted butter then add however much salt you need separately. If you don’t have unsalted butter then go ahead and use salted butter! Just omit the extra salt.
Milk: If you’re sensitive to dairy you can use a nut milk or soy milk instead.
Sour Cream: I love sour cream in my cake recipes but yogurt can be used instead. The closest match would be plain Greek yogurt.
Egg Whites: I like the lighter color of the cake from the egg yolks being omitted. If you want to use the whole egg just halve the sour cream in the recipe.
How to Make Lemon Blueberry Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350F and butter and flour three six inch pans. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a large bowl then whisk together and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl add the milk, sour cream, egg whites, vanilla, and butter, then whisk together. The butter should be VERY soft, you can even melt it if desired. In a small bowl toss the blueberries in a tablespoon of flour or corn starch.
3. Pour the wet into the dry and mix until just combined. You can do this by hand or in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the blueberries and lemon zest then fold in gently. Distribute the batter evenly into the three pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch. Invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
4. While the cakes bake you can make the blueberry reduction. Add the blueberries, water, lemon juice and sugar to a pan then place over medium heat. Mash the blueberries and simmer until reduced by half. Strain into a bowl and chill.
5. Cream the butter and salt then sift in the confectioners’ sugar in two or three batches. Beat on low and drizzle in the lemon juice. Scrape the bowl down them mix once more until uniform and
6. Transfer about 1/2 to 3/4 a cup of the buttercream to a bowl then mix in the reduction a tablespoon at a time until the desired taste is reached.
7. Pipe buttercream between each cake layer. I like to add alternating rings of the blueberry and lemon buttercream between each layer but make sure to pipe a thick ring of the stronger lemon buttercream at the edge. Pipe an outer layer. Scrape and smooth with an offset spatula.
8. Add dollops using an 846 tip. Place frozen berries inside the dollop ring. You can TOTALLY use fresh blueberries but the frozen ones have a nice frost, which adds visual interest
Pro Tips for This Recipe
- I have a hint for avoiding berries at the bottom of your pans. Toss the blueberries in a just a dash of lemon juice to moisten the skin a bit then sprinkle with a tablespoon or so of flour. This will prevent them from sinking during the bake. The harder part is making sure the blueberries are separated and not in a big clump when you pour the batter into the pans. Just use a spoon so move them around if you notice a big pile here or there.
- If you’re wondering how I got such a nice light edge to the layers it’s from using cake strips! They’re wet fabric strips you wrap around the edge of the pan. You can make your own or buy a set here. I love them because they always give me nice flat layers and the outside is never burnt! Check out my video on how to get flat layers to see how they work and how to make your own!
- If you’re not using 6-inch pans, double the recipe for 8-inch pans or triple the recipe for 9-inch pans.
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you just add blueberries to cake mix?
You can add blueberries to cake mix but blueberries are heavy and many cake mixes are going to be a bit light to support their weight. Always toss the berries in flour or cornstarch before adding to the batter.
Why do blueberries sink to the bottom?
Blueberries are large and denser than your cake batter so they will tend to sing while baking. Tossing them in flour or cornstarch will help. This trick also works for nuts!
How do you decorate it?
Your Blueberry buttercream is going to be DELICIOUS, but it will be softer than the frosting without the reduction. You should pipe a band of the plain frosting at the edge between each layer and if your cake looks unstable just pop it into the fridge to set up. I have a whole post with all my cake decorating tips so check it out if you have any concerns about layer cakes!
How can I avoid it becoming dense?
Measure your ingredients with a scale. Most problems occur when people add too much flour to their recipe. The other thing to avoid is over-mixing the batter. If you mix too much you’ll develop the gluten in the cake and after baking it will contract and become dense. Mix until just combined.
If you’ve tried this lemon blueberry cake recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
Lemon Blueberry Cake
For the Cake:
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour 210g, plus 1 tbsp to coat berries
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar 333g
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter 170g, room temperature
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk 120ml, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream 120ml, room temperature
- ⅓ cup lemon juice 60g, fresh
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract 15mL
- 1 1/3 cup blueberries 180g, fresh
For the Reduction:
- 1 tbsp water 15mL
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries 203g, fresh
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice fresh
For the Lemon Buttercream:
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter 339g, room temperature
- 6 cups confectioners' sugar 720g
- 3 tbsp lemon juice 45g
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 340 degrees F. Butter and flour three 6-inch pans. I use damp cake strips on my pans for more even baking as well.
- Sift the dry ingredients including the sugar together in a large bowl.
- Beat the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, add blueberries and lemon zest. Coat with about 1-2 tbsp flour.
- Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in blueberry/lemon zest at the very end and mix until just combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly into the cake pans.
- Bake at for about 30 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch.
For the Reduction:
- Put ½ cup of blueberries in the freezer.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine 1 cup blueberries, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp granulated sugar. Mash and stir for a minute then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by half then strain into a small bowl to chill.
For the Lemon Buttercream:
- Cream the butter in a stand mixer then sift In the confectioners' sugar in a few batches, Scrape the bowl down and mix once more until lighter in color and homogenous.
- Add lemon juice a tbsp at a time until a desired consistency and taste is reached.
- Transfer about 1/2-3/4 cup to a small bowl and mix in blueberry reduction a tablespoon at a time and mix or until you reach a desired flavor.
- Transfer blueberry buttercream and around the same amount of lemon vanilla buttercream to piping bags. Snip off the tips of both. Add both bags to one piping bag and snip off the tip.
- Transfer the rest of the lemon buttercream to a piping bag.
For the Assembly:
- Pipe blueberry/vanilla buttercream between each layer. Add a thick ting of lemon buttercream to the edge
- Pipe the plain lemon around the sides and smooth for a naked crumb coat. Scrape the sides and smooth cake for a naked look.
- Using an large closed star (846 tip), pipe a circle of dollops about 1 inch from the edge of the cake.
- Add frozen blueberries to the inside of the circle.