Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

This easy Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake is bursting with fresh blueberries and lemon flavor. Topped with homemade cream cheese frosting, this classic cake recipe is perfect for summer!

Pinterest collage showing Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake on a stand and a slice of lemon cake.

Fresh and Easy Lemon Blueberry Cake

This Lemon Blueberry Cake recipe was meant for summer. This cake is seriously SO moist, tender and full of amazing lemon flavor. Add plenty of fresh blueberries to the mix and you have a classic cake that pretty much represents the best of summer, in cake form!

When working on this recipe, I started with my lemon poppyseed cake, because that cake has been so well loved and is my favorite lemon cake at the moment. However, the blueberries initially sank because the batter is a little thin for holding the blueberries and the cake is so light.

To fix that, I added some additional flour and replaced some of the milk with sour cream. Sour cream adds a similar moisture, but it’s thicker so your batter isn’t as thin. I also used buttermilk instead of regular milk, to help tenderize the cake. After making those changes, the cake wasn’t quite as moist as I wanted and the texture wasn’t quite perfect.

My next step was to add some additional sugar. It’s a common misconception that sugar only lends sweetness to a recipe. When sugar melts, it’s liquid, so it actually adds moisture and can greatly affect texture. The additional sugar I added gave the cake just enough moisture and the BEST texture, without compromising the blueberries ability to stay “afloat” in the cake batter. That first bite of the final version of this cake was heaven and I knew I had it just right.

A slice of lemon blueberry cake on a white plate with a bite taken out of it.Top view of a frosted cake decorated with lemon slices and blueberries.

Recipe Ingredients

In this recipe, simple ingredients come together to make the perfect lemon blueberry cake. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and Baking Soda: The combination of the two is perfect. The baking soda helps with the acidity in the lemon juice and the baking powder lends a nice texture.
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature + vegetable oil: The combination of butter and vegetable oil adds moisture to the cake. I love the combination because you get the benefit of the buttery flavor and the moisture of the oil.
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sour cream and Buttermilk: The combination gives the cake plenty of moisture without thinning out the batter so much that the blueberries sink
  • Eggs
  • Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest: Lots of lemon flavor in this cake!
  • Fresh blueberries

Side view of a lemon blueberry cake on a cake stand.Top view showing a slice of cake surrounded by lemon slices and fresh blueberries.

How to Make Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Don’t let the number of steps in this recipe intimidate you. This is a classic lemon cake recipe that is actually easy to make, especially if you break it down into small steps like I have done for you in this recipe!

1. Prep your tools. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).

2. Mix the dry ingredients. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

3. Beat the sugar. Add the butter, oil, and sugar to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.

4. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and mix until well combined.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.

6. Start mixing wet and dry ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.

7. Add lemon flavor. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest and milk then slowly add the mixture to the batter and mix until well combined.

8. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.

9. Toss the blueberries with 1/2 a tablespoon of flour and gently toss to combine, then add the blueberries to cake batter and fold to combine.

10. Pour into cake pans and bake. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a just few crumbs.

11. Cool. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Once the cake is cooled and ready, you can make the Cream Cheese Frosting. Cream cheese frosting can be a little tricky if you aren’t used to working with it. The cream cheese tends to be softer than a butter based frosting, so be sure to check out my post on it for some tips.

A frosted lemon blueberry layer cake on a pedestal.

Best Lemon Blueberry Cake

The final cake is seriously the best! The most amazing flavor, a wonderful texture and loads of blueberries. This cake is not “fluffy,” but it’s also not pound cake-like dense. It has the perfect balance of both worlds! It can’t be too fluffy or the blueberries will sink. So it’s just dense enough to support the blueberries, while also being as light as possible. Trust me, if you are looking for an easy dessert that will have everyone coming back from another slice, this cake is it.  Make it for backyard picnics, make it for Sunday brunch, just make it! You won’t regret it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reduce the amount of powdered sugar used in the frosting?

Cream Cheese frosting can be tricky – it’s tempting to reduce the powdered sugar, but your frosting might end up too thin if you reduce it and not stay in place on the cake. I don’t recommend it.

Can I use frozen blueberries?

I recommend fresh blueberries, but in a pinch you can use frozen. I would just recommend thawing them and patting them dry first. Otherwise, the frozen blueberries (when added to the batter frozen) add additional water to the batter and thin it out as it bakes. As a result, not only does the final texture of the cake change a bit, but the blueberries sink.

A slice of lemon cake dotted with fresh blueberries on a white plate.

More Lemon Desserts to Try:


Read Transcript

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A slice of lemon cake dotted with fresh blueberries on a white plate.
Recipe

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake is bursting with fresh blueberries and lemon flavor. Topped with cream cheese frosting, this cake is perfect for Summer!


Scale

Ingredients

Lemon Blueberry Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp (374g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cups (362g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp (86g) sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon zest (about 3 large lemons)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups (about 260g) blueberries

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (224g) butter, room temperature
  • 11 cups (1265g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Lemon slices
  • Blueberries, for decorating

Instructions

1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

3. Add the butter, oil, and sugar to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.

4. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and mix until well combined.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.

6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.

7. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest and milk then slowly add the mixture to the batter and mix until well combined.

8. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.

9. Toss the blueberries with 1/2 a tablespoon of flour and gently toss to combine, then add the blueberries to cake batter and fold to combine.

10. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a just few crumbs.

11. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

12. To make the frosting, add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined and smooth.

13. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.

14. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

15. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. Add more or less powdered sugar, as desired for consistency purposes.

16. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat, if needed.

17. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.

18. Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly on top of the cake,

19. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of frosting.

20. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed. To make the line pattern in the side of the cake, run a 9 inch offset spatula around the outside of the cake will turning your turntable. Start with the line at the bottom and work your way to the top.

21. Pipe swirls of frosting on the top of the cake and decorate with lemon slices and blueberries, if desired.


Keywords: lemon blueberry cake recipe, simple lemon blueberry cake, lemon and blueberry cake, easy lemon cake recipe

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Recipe rating

56 Comments
  1. Robyn Kuchenthal

    Delicious! Made this for my nephew’s bday party. It was a hit. The whole family loved it. I did make it in a 9×13 pan and baked at 350 for about 35 min. I made half the frosting. It was perfect!

  2. Rosemarie Rodriguez-Hager

    Have you ever froze the layers? Going to be doing extensive decorating and wanted to space out the work by making cake ahead of time.

  3. Dilanya

    Hi Lindsay,
    Just wanted to know if I can use limes instead of lemons cause they aren’t available right now

  4. Kami Riley

    I’m wanting to make this in a 12×18 cake pan more like a sheet cake with frosting only on top. Will this be enough batter or should I double the recipe? I am making it for a friends birthday & want it to feed more like more like 40. My fear is 1 recipe will be too thin of a cake.

  5. Evengiline

    Hi Lindsay.
    I made this cake, lemon blueberry layer cake for my girl’s 10th birthday last year. I also made a batch into cupcakes. The cake was so delicious everyone was raving about it. I made it again for my husband’s birthday. Again it was a hit! We love not only the taste but the texture of the cake, still moist even after several days! Thank you so much for sharing your great recipes!
    Btw I first saw your book in our local library several years ago. Loved the recipes so much my husband bought one for me as a present.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake! And thank you for sharing about my book! That’s really neat to hear and I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed the recipes!

  6. Poonam

    Thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe ❤️. Can I make it in 4 pans of size 6 inch pan, what should be the cooking time? Looking forward to the reply. Thanks so much ❤️

  7. Lynn

    Sounds fantastic. I’d like to know if the amount of batter is appropriate for two- 9” round pans? Hoping to make for my husband’s retirement party.

    1. Lindsay

      You can do it in two 9 inch cake pans, but the cake won’t be quite as tall. If you want it taller, you could do one and a half recipes worth.

  8. Ana

    Recipe looks amazing I love blueberries & lemon together! 
    I want to make this as a 9” cake. I know I can do two layers but I if wanted to do 3 layers should I do a recipe & half for cake or double it? Also for a 2 layer or a 3 layer 9” how much frosting? I am guessing it won’t be enough to frost a 9” cake unless I do a naked cake. 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure. Depends a little on how tall you want your layers. You could try 1 1/2 recipes. Seems like a good guess. As for frosting, that depends on how much frosting you like. I’m often accused of my recipes making too much, so it may be enough for you.

  9. Sydney

    Hi Lindsay!
    Tried this recipe this morning. I didn’t make the frosting yet, but the cake was INSANELY DELICIOUS. I know ’cause I took a bite (cheat!). I’m making this for my father’s birthday today. I’m only twelve and a very good baker. I was thinking of topping this with either vanilla buttercream or the frosting in the recipe. But when I looked at the sugar amount in the frosting of this recipe, I almost fainted. 11 CUPS???? That is way too much and insane. I’m afraid I’m going to get diabetes after eating a slice. Is this a typo because 11 cups is way too much sugar. In other cake recipes I found that most of them needed 3-5 cups of powdered sugar in the frosting. But 11 cups? No thanks.

    1. Lindsay

      It is a standard decorators style cream cheese frosting. You can reduce the amount of powdered sugar, but you will end up with a thinner frosting. I would take a look at the amount of cream cheese and butter in the other recipes that you’re looking at. I would guess that those are less as well. Proportionally, this one is probably similar to other cream cheese frosting recipes.

      Glad you were happy with the cake layers.

  10. Patricia Galfano

    I made thiecLemon Blueberry cake and it came out very dense, like a pound cake. I want to try it again. What did I do wrong?

    1. Lindsay

      Hard to say for sure from a distance, but I’d check to make sure you used the right amounts of baking soda and baking powder and didn’t switch them up. Also be sure to fully cream the butter, oil and sugar and don’t over mix the batter at the end.

  11. Emma

    Hey!  I watched the video for this recipe, and the only discrepancy I see is with how much butter and oil to add.  Here in the printed recipe, it calls for 1/2 cup of both, but in the video, you added 1 full cup of both — I checked, and you didn’t appear to be doubling the recipe in the video.  Which amount should I add?

    1. Lindsay

      There’s no discrepancy. I used 1/2 cup of both in the video. The two sticks are 1/4 cup sticks and the oil is in a mason jar, so I’m not sure why it looks like 1 cup, but it’s not. I hope that helps.

  12. Judith Minsky

    Hi Lindsay, I discovered your blog recently and it comes just in time to make my birthday cake. Would this work with cake flour? how does cake flour affect recipes? do I need to change anything?

    1. Lindsay

      Cake flour should be fine. I do think it changes the texture and flavor of the cake a bit. I know most people think cake flour makes cakes lighter, but I don’t always find that to be the case. Plus I don’t care for the flavor of cake flour as much. I personally prefer all purpose. But it should bake fine.

  13. Twinkle

    This was a great recipe! I’m an amateur baker and this was my third cake attempt. (the other two I followed were also from your recipes) . But everyone enjoyed it.. I thought the icing sugar ratio was very high as well but frankly it balanced the sourness from the lemons perfectly. The blueberries I used weren’t all sweet but it went well with the icing as well! Thank u for the recipe Lindsay! Love trying ur recipes!!
    Ps : “the best part of this cake was I had one slice left over, forgotten in the fridge but even after four days it tasted great!! It wasn’t dense at all.. Was super moist..

  14. Cherryl Perez

    I love this recipe. No substitutions in the ingredients. I did use two 6 inch round cake pans, made 48 mini cupcakes and 10 regular cupcakes. I only frosted the cake and halved the icing recipe. My roommate loved the cupcakes and I took the cake to work and it was an instant hit! I’m definitely baking 2 more using 9 inch pans and taking back to work so everyone can enjoy it’s awesomeness! Bravo on an amazing, moist, decadent lemon blueberry cake I’ve ever had! 

  15. Ronak Mehta

    Thank you for sharing this delightfully easy, mouthwateringly delicious recipe. Have baked this cake several times since I first tried it a few weeks back and it’s been a huge success each time!

  16. Suzy-q

    Hey, Lindsay! I made this cake the other day and it was fantastic. My new favorite cake! So moist and full of flavor, I wanted to eat two pieces! Of course, I shared it with family and friends but next time it’s all mine!!! Thanks for the great recipes. It’s count down until baby time! Best of luck! Stay safe.

    1. Lindsay

      Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it!

      Yes, it’s getting close! I’m 30 weeks now. Thank you!

  17. Kellie powell

    I can’t wait to try. My plan is to make a 6 inch layers and with the rest make cupcakes. Do you see an issue with that?

  18. shalz

    HI Lindsay- love your recipe’s as always. two months ago i made oreo cake (with chocolatwe cake) and oreo cupcakes (with oreo buttercream frosting and vanilla cake with easy homemade vanilla cupcake recipe 2020) they were a hit, super duper hit actually. thanks to you.
    this time i want to make a cake with BLUEBERRIES, MASCARPONE cheese frosting (without lemon). I have researched quite a lot of posts and recipes on your site they all look yummy.

    1) In this post you mentioned that the blueberries initially sank to the bottom. i was wondering if the BLUEBERRIES settle down when added to MOIST VANILLA LAYER CAKE recipe.
    2) how can i use this “lemon blueberry layer cake” recipe without adding lemon juice to make just blueberry layer cake. can i substitute something else in place of lemon juice? or just omit the 1/2 cup lempn juice totally?
    thank you so much for your recipes and congratulations on your pregnancy and i wish you both and your family good health.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the recipes! To answer your questions 1) Yes, it was the moist vanilla layer cake that the blueberries sank in, so I altered it for this lemon blueberry cake recipe. 2) I haven’t tried this cake without lemon, so it’s hard to say if it’d turn out. But you could try substituting the lemon juice with additional buttermilk and see how that turns out.

      Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, it is. And while I know it’s tempting to reduce it, that will really thin out the cream cheese frosting and make it hard to work with. You can read more about cream cheese frosting here. If you truly want to reduce it, then you’ll want to reduce everything else as well.

    1. Lindsay

      Sure, but you’d want to reduce the baking time since you’ll have thinner layers. Or you could make just two layers and then you might need a little more time.

  19. Suzy-q

    Lemon and blueberry are great combinations. I am looking forward to making this cake.
    I’ve made your lemon blueberry cheesecake many times, always a big hit. Thank you for your wonderful recipes.
    I wish you well in your pregnancy. She’ll be making her debut soon! How exciting!

  20. Erin

    This looks soooooooo yummy, Lindsay!! Now I really wish our oven wasn’t broken, because I’d looooove to be making this right now!

      1. Anna

        Ok, thank you! Also I want to congratulate you on your baby coming (soon!) your boys are adorable and I’m sure they will be awesome big brothers! Thank you for all the great recipes, your blog is my favorite place on the internet 🙂

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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