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
  • 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!


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.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 967
  • Sugar: 122.5 g
  • Sodium: 242.9 mg
  • Fat: 41.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 147.1 g
  • Protein: 7.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 140.4 mg

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

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Recipe rating

84 Comments
  1. Chinwe

    Hi I just wanted to say that all your recipes are simply amazing. I’ve made this recipe and the lemon poppy seed cake and my family can’t seem to get enough of them. Apparently this has become our new favorite in the house. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  2. Veronica

    Great recipe! I made the 3 cakes and froze them to use next weekend. I today I realized I used cream of tartar instead of bicarbonate of soda…! Do I need to make them again?? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Uh oh! I wouldn’t expect some to look like they baked OK. Did they turn out looking OK? I think you may want to make them again, but if they look OK it could just be that you would have very dense cake layers.

  3. PB

    This cake is AMAZING!!! Only the second cake I have ever made from scratch… by far the tastiest cake yet!! I made for a family dinner, and it was definitely a hit with everyone!! It looked beautiful and was bursting with lemon and blueberry goodness!! Highly recommend!!! I did not do all the extra making the icing smooth, because I like to textured “fluffy” look, but I don’t think it took anything away, as I still decorated with blueberries and lemon slices!! Didn’t have parchment rounds but might get before I make the next time, though the crisco & flour worked perfectly! Definitely need to refrigerate! Hot summer day (even with the AC blasting) made for very soft icing conditions! Had to refrigerate awhile before I was able to finish the icing and decorating.

  4. MFr

    I made this cake a few days ago and its flavor and texture were perfect, it is one of the best cakes I have ever made. But I had complications when it came to unmold them as they were too fragile, how can I avoid it or what did I do wrong?

    1. Lindsay

      Did you put parchment paper in the bottom of the pans? Because the cakes should come out super easily if you do and the parchment helps hold everything together. And how did you go about removing the cake layers? I usually turn them out onto parchment lined cooling racks. Are you turning them out immediately after they come out of the oven, or waiting a few minutes? The warmer they are, the more tender they will be. So if you need to wait a few extra minutes before putting them on the cooling rack, that could help.

    1. Lindsay

      I suppose so. I would do the same temperature. Time depends on how large you’re talking. For regular muffins/cupcakes, I’d say 15-20 minutes.

  5. Ally

    This recipe was wonderful!! My husband loves lemon so I added a bit more lemon than it called for and made a lemon curd filling to alternate between cream cheese! It was so good and easy. Definitely will make this one again

  6. Blerta

    I am making this today for a birthday it has to be 10inch and may be 4 layers to be a bit taller i am a bit scared to put cream cheese frosting inside if it runns out or slips out because i am putting swiss butter cream deco outside what do you recommend

    1. Lindsay

      I would recommend creating a dam of frosting with the Swiss buttercream and put the cream cheese inside of that. Then refrigerate it until firm before doing the rest of the decorations.

      1. Blert

        I am making 3 tear cake woud that be any problem sliding because if the cream cheese filling inside ,does this cake go ok if i only do buttercream all over in and out with some lemon curd in a midle

      2. Lindsay

        Cream cheese frosting shouldn’t automatically mean that your cake layers slide around. If the cream cheese frosting isn’t too thin, it should be fine. But you can certainly use regular buttercream as well. Keep in mind that regular buttercream can also be too thin and with lemon curd between the layers, your layers could still have issues. It’s about having the proper consistency of buttercream/cream cheese frosting.

  7. Nikki

    I’ve just made this cake for a party at the weekend (planning to freeze it til Friday) after a friend recommended the recipe. Are the cakes meant to be incredibly moist? I’ve just taken them out of the tins and from the bottom I’m fearing they’re underdone, though I’ve checked and checked and a skewer definitely comes out clean. Is it just all the fruit making them like this? I did beat the butter, oil and sugar til it was like air, so I’m just hoping it’s a super light cake? They’re sinking a little so I’m praying they don’t go dense!! One started to break as I tried to get it out of the tin. I’ve got it in one piece and planning to buttercream and decorate them, so it should hold together. But again is this cause it’s just such a light and moist cake?? Tempted to cut a hole in the middle of one to taste and check it’s baked 🙈🙈

    1. Lindsay

      It’s really hard to say without seeing it. I will say that there’s such a thing as over creaming your butter and sugar though. I hope it turned out ok!

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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