Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Cake Recipe

Moist and velvety lemon cake with juicy blueberries and tangy cream cheese frosting! The buttermilk in this cake recipe makes the lemon cake extra tender. The perfect dessert for a summer BBQ!
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves: 8 cups
slice of lemon blueberry cake on a white plate

This lemon blueberry cake is like no other cake you have tasted. The lemon cake has a soft, velvety and fluffy texture and beautiful natural lemon flavor which is balanced out by those sweet blueberries. Smooth and tangy classic cream cheese frosting that is just firm enough to frost a cake but not too sweet makes this one of my favorite summer cake flavors. 

lemon blueberry cake

My husband has always loved my lemon cake and for years it was our most popular wedding cake flavor after vanilla cake. Recently I have fallen in love with using buttermilk in my cake recipes whenever possible. So I have updated my beloved lemon cake recipe to use buttermilk and then tweaked it again to make a truly delicious lemon blueberry cake! 

I thoroughly enjoyed taste testing this cake. Not gonna lie. 

Blueberry lemon cake ingredients

lemon blueberry cake ingredients This is the BEST lemon blueberry cake recipe! The secrets to this fluffy, soft cake is using cake flour (low-protein flour), buttermilk and the reverse creaming method. 

Do not fall for the “just add cornstarch to regular flour” trick. It does not work for this recipe. Your cake will look and taste like cornbread. 

Pro-tip – If you’re in the UK search for Shipton mills soft cake and pastry flour or flour that has a protein level of 9% or less. 

Blueberry lemon cake step-by-step

Step 1 – Measure out your buttermilk. Take out 4 ounces and place it into a separate measuring container. Add in the oil. If you double this recipe, remember to double this amount as well. 

buttermilk and oil in a measuring cup

Step 2 – To the remaining milk, add the eggs, lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk lightly to break up the eggs. 

milk, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest in a measuring cup

Step 3 – Add your flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment attached. 

dry ingredients and butter in a mixing bowl

Step 4 – Add in your softened butter in chunks while mixing on low. Mix everything until it looks like coarse sand. 

dry ingredients and butter in a mixing bowl

Step 5 – Now add in the milk/oil mixture all at once and bump up the speed to 4 and mix for two full minutes to develop the cakes structure. The batter will be light, white and not curdled looking or broken. 

texture of lemon cake batter

Step 6 – Now add 1/3 of your milk/egg mixture while mixing on low. Let it fully mix in then add in half of the rest of the liquid. Let it mix in then add in the final amount of liquid. Mix until just incorporated. 

liquids being added to lemon cake batter

Step 7 – Divide the batter into two pans prepared with cake goop or your preferred pan release. For added insurance, you can put parchment paper into the bottom of the pan. 

Step 8 – How to keep blueberries from sinking

It wasn’t that hard to get the lemon cake to a place where I was happy with it but the blueberries were a real problem! They kept sinking to the bottom! To counteract this problem I have a couple of tricks for you to keep those pesky fruits from sinking to the bottom of your cake. 

berries being mixed with flour
  1. Wash your blueberries off and then dust them in flour. The flour coating helps adhere them to the cake batter and keeps them from sinking. If your blueberries are frozen, skip this step
  2. Sprinkle half your blueberries on the top of the cake and don’t mix them in. They sink naturally. 
  3. Now the real trick. After 15 minutes of baking, sprinkle some more blueberries on top of the cake batter. Yes… while it’s baking in the oven. I know it’s crazy but I tried it and it worked! 
blueberries on top of cake batter in a cake pan

Step 9 – Bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes then sprinkle the rest of the blueberries on top of the baking cakes. Continue baking for another 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the center of the cake springs back when you press on it. 

Step 10 – Remove the cakes from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Let them cool down until the pans are barely warm. Don’t let them get cold or they will stick. 

lemon blueberry cake out of the oven

Step 11 – After the cakes are cool, flip them out onto the cooling rack to cool fully. Then I wrap them in plastic wrap, put them in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes to get the cake to firm up so it’s easier to handle before I frost it. 

close up of lemon blueberry cake on cooling rack

Step 12 – Frost your cooled cakes with cream cheese frosting, decorate with more blueberries and organic pansies if you like!

frosting lemon blueberry cakes

I also added some really thinly sliced lemons to the side of my cake and they look really pretty. Make sure you remove the seeds as well. 

lemon blueberry layer cake on light blue cake stand

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting

cream cheese frosting

I’ve actually tried this lemon blueberry cake recipe with a few different frostings like my easy buttercream and stabilized whipped cream.

But I feel like the perfect compliment to this cake is my classic cream cheese frosting. The tart and tangy flavor tastes so amazing with the sweet and sour lemon blueberry combo. It’s a match made in heaven really!

Making this cream cheese frosting is pretty easy. It’s a little more stable than some cream cheese frostings but not as stable as my crusting cream cheese frosting recipe. It’s a balance of the two. 

Step 1 – To make the frosting, place your butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or use a hand-mixer). Cream the butter until smooth and lump-free. 

cream softened butter until smooth

Step 2 – Add in your softened cream cheese in small pieces and combine with the butter until smooth. 

combine together cream cheese and butter until smooth

Step 3 – While mixing on low, start adding in your sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time until it’s all added and everything is smooth. Then add in your extract and salt and done! So easy!

close up of cream cheese frosting

Make sure you don’t over-mix the cream cheese frosting though, it can separate if you mix for too long. 

lemon blueberry layer cake on light blue cake stand

Is this lemon blueberry cake recipe good for cupcakes?

Yes! I did a little test batch and made this lemon blueberry cake into cute little cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting. I filled my cupcake liners half full then sprinkled 3-4 blueberries on top. 

Bake at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes until set. After they are cooled you can frost with cream cheese frosting and top with some fresh blueberries and a lemon slice. 

This recipe made 36 cupcakes. 

lemon blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and topped with fresh blueberries and a lemon slice

Can you cover this cake in fondant?

The answer is yes! You can cover this cake in fondant but you don’t want to use cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting doesn’t do well next to fondant, it makes it weep and get soggy. 

You CAN fill a cake with cream cheese frosting with a dam of regular easy buttercream to keep it inside and frosted on the outside. Just remember that cream cheese frosting can be at room temperature for 2-3 hours but has to be refrigerated after that. 

Lemon raspberry cake 
Lemon curd cake
Lemon curd 
Fresh strawberry cake

Want to learn the basics of making your first cake? Learn how here!

Click on this image to go to the how to decorate your first cake tutorial

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

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8 cups

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Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
slice of lemon blueberry cake on a white plate

Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Cake Recipe

Moist and velvety lemon cake with juicy blueberries and tangy cream cheese frosting! The buttermilk in this cake recipe makes the lemon cake extra tender. The perfect dessert for a summer BBQ!
4.96 from 290 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 432kcal

Ingredients

Lemon Blueberry Cake Ingredients

  • 8 oz (226 g) buttermilk Or regular milk with 1 Tbsp white vinegar added
  • 3 oz (85 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 (3 ) large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp (2 Tbsp) lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp (2 Tbsp) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) lemon extract
  • 12 oz (369 g) cake flour
  • 11 oz (340 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) baking soda
  • 8 oz (226 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp (2 Tbsp) AP Flour for dusting blueberries
  • 2 cups (296 g) blueberries You can use frozen but don't thaw them

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz (453 g) cream cheese room temperature
  • 8 oz (226 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 32 oz (907 g) powdered sugar sifted

Instructions

  • This is the BEST lemon blueberry cake because I use a scale so it turns out perfectly 🙂 If you convert to cups I cannot guarantee good results. Make sure all your (cold ingredients) butter, eggs, milk are at room temperature or a little warm.

Cake Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350º F/177º C. Prepare two 8" round cake pans with cake goop or another pan release that you prefer.
  • Measure out buttermilk. Place 4 oz in separate measuring cup. Add the oil to the 4oz of buttermilk and set aside.
  • To the remaining milk, add your eggs, lemon extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and gently whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  • Turn the mixer onto the slowest speed (setting 1 on Kitchen Aid mixers). Slowly add chunks of your softened butter until it is all added then let everything mix until it looks like coarse sand.
  • Add your milk/oil mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and mix on medium (speed 4 on kitchenaid) for 2 full minutes to develop the structure. Don't worry, this will not over-mix the cake.
  • Scrape the bowl. This is an important step. If you skip it, you will have hard lumps of flour and unmixed ingredients in your batter. If you do it later, they will not mix in fully.
  • Slowly add in the rest of your liquid ingredients in 3 parts, stopping to scrape the bowl one more time halfway through. Your batter should be thick and not too runny.
  • Fill your pans 1/2 full with cake batter. Give the pan a little tap on each side to level out the batter and get rid of any air bubbles.
  • Wash your berries (if they are fresh) and toss in flour. If berries are frozen skip washing and just toss in flour. Sprinkle half the blueberries on top of your batter. Do not stir them in.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes then sprinkle in the second half of your blueberries on top of the cake.
    Bake for another 10-15 minutes then check for doneness. If the cakes are still really jiggly, I add another 5 minutes. I check every 3 minutes after that until I'm close and then it's every 1 min. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. 
  • Remove cakes from the oven and give them a tap on the countertop to release air and prevent too much shrinking. Let them cool on a cooling rack until they are barely warm.
  • After cooling, place the cooling rack on top of the cake, placing one hand on top of the cooling rack and one hand under the pan and flip the pan and the cooling rack over so the pan is now upside down on the cooling rack. Remove the pan carefully. Repeat with the other pan.
  • After the cakes are fully cooled, carefully wrap them in plastic wrap and place them into the freezer or fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up the cakes and make them easier to handle for stacking.
  • After your cakes are chilled, fill them with your cream cheese frosting and frost the outside. I finished my cake with some more fresh blueberries and organic pansies (edible). If you're not familiar with decorating cakes, check out my how to make your first cake blog post!

Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions

  • Place softened butter in the bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attachment and cream on low until smooth
  • Place softened cream cheese in the bowl with butter in small chunks and cream on low until smooth and combined
  • Add in sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time until combined
  • Add your extract and salt and combine until smooth. Don't over-mix or your frosting could separate

Notes

  1. Weigh your ingredients to avoid cake failure. Using a kitchen scale for baking is super easy and gives you the best results every single time. 
  2. Make sure all your cold ingredients are room temperature or slightly warm (butter, milk, eggs, to create a cohesive batter. Curdled batter causes cakes to collapse.
  3. No buttermilk? You can make your own buttermilk 
  4. To prevent blueberries from sinking, I wash them (to get them wet) then roll them in flour. Then I add them to the batter halfway through baking
  5. Do not fall for the “just add cornstarch to regular flour” trick. It does not work for this recipe. Your cake will look and taste like cornbread. If you can’t find cake flour, use pastry flour which isn’t quite as soft as cake flour but it’s better than all-purpose flour. 
  6. Make your own pan release (cake goop!) The best pan release ever! 
  7. If you’re in the UK search for Shipton mills cake and pastry flour. If you’re in another part of the country, search for low protein cake flour.
  8. Need more help with making your first cake? Check out my how to decorate your first cake blog post. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 432kcal (22%) | Carbohydrates: 50g (17%) | Protein: 6g (12%) | Fat: 24g (37%) | Saturated Fat: 15g (75%) | Cholesterol: 62mg (21%) | Sodium: 254mg (11%) | Potassium: 84mg (2%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 38g (42%) | Vitamin A: 680IU (14%) | Vitamin C: 0.7mg (1%) | Calcium: 41mg (4%) | Iron: 0.6mg (3%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!
 

336 comments on “Lemon blueberry buttermilk cake

  1. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly as written. Perfect in every way!! Made it twice in one week.

  2. can i use blueberries in can? we dont have blueberries available

    1. Frozen blueberries would work better than canned. But you can use canned if you drain, rinse and dry them.

  3. 5 stars
    We made this recipe for our wedding cake…it came out amazing!! Everyone was asking for it afterwards because it was so moist, rich, and tasty. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe! I got more compliments on this cake than ANYTHING I have ever cooked or baked— and I’m not a bad cook. I’m about to make it again for my grandmother’s 82nd birthday.

  5. 4 stars
    I’m confused. Some of the comments mention using 15 oz cake flour but the recipe I see calls for 12 oz or 369 grams. I made it using the 12 oz…I didn’t see the 15 oz comments until mine was in the oven and taking a while to not be jiggly. I hope it turns out ok.

    1. Yes it should be okay! I changed the recipe a little while back to make less batter, because some people were having issues with their cake pans overflowing. Hope it turned out well 😀

  6. Just wanted to say I found your channel 2 days ago and got so inspired I made this cake last night. It turned out amazing and I appreciate your style and the layout of your site. Can’t wait to make more.

  7. Can we use pastry flour instead cake flour for lemon blueberry cake

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Liz, if i were to use the vanilla cake batter and add crushed oreos at the end would i have to dust them with flour as well to prevent sinking?

  9. Hi Liz, how are you. If I was going to make 3 8×2 cakes would I have to adjust the recipe to make 12 cups? In your cake calculator it says to make 12 cups of batter to make 3 8×2 cakes. So, should I make 12 cups of batter or make a 1 1/2 batch. Please let me know.

  10. 5 stars
    Hi! Wondering if I can use the lemon frosting that’s on your doctored strawberry cake recipe? And maybe add a thin layer of lemon curd in the middle filling? Do you think that would be too much lemon?

  11. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious but I would love more blueberry flavor. Would it work if I used your blueberry filling between the layers?

  12. You use an electric mixer to make this cake. How will it turn out if it is made by hand?

    Love using a scale to bake and cook. It saves dishes and is so much easier. I make bread like this all the time and it always turns out.

    1. Hi Carolyn, for most of my cake recipes you really need to use a stand mixer or at minimum a hand mixer. Using a whisk and trying to do the reverse creaming method by hand would be very difficult. If you use a hand mixer, go by look and consistency instead of by time. Mixing for 2 minutes with a kitchenaid stand mixer will create more fluff than a hand mixer could do in 2 minutes. Hope this helps!

  13. 5 stars
    Hi Liz, I’ve made this cake before and I’m obsessed with it, the buttermilk just makes the texture perfect. To anyone reading this you have to try this cake.

    I want to make a smaller cake and was wondering if you think it’s safe to just use half of all the ingredients.

  14. 5 stars
    Hi Liz,

    Thank you so much for this recipe and your meticulous instructions! I made this cake over two days. Candied lemons for decorating and baked the cake on day one. Frosting/decorated on 2nd day and served same day. It was baked as a birthday cake gift. I absolutely loved it. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all. I made one adjustment; I reduced the sugar for the frosting to weigh 24 ounces instead of 32 oz, this was entirely for personal taste preference. The cake was perfectly sweet with just the right lemon/blueberry divine-goodness, moist and layered well. I added the blueberries as recommended, but the second round did not really sink in or burst, and stayed mostly on top, but this was not a problem as I simply turned the cakes over to use the bottom layer to frost. (I don’t remove the browned layer anyway-personal preference). The only bad this about this recipe, is that is SO precise, that there isn’t any left-over batter or frosting for the baker to enjoy… I guess, I will simply have to make another one! :-). Thank you again.

  15. 5 stars
    Made this for my moms birthday today. Everyone loved it – from 4 years old to 65 years old. My mom and son even said it was the best cake they’d every had.

  16. 4 stars
    Hi Liz how are you?
    So today I made your cake. It was delicious thank you!!!! But when I did the cream cheese frosting something went front with my butter. It was at room temperature, but once I finished mixing everything small pieces of hard butter were still inside my frosting. So I had to use a colander to filter everything out. It was a mess! 🤦🏼‍♀️😁 So my question is. Instead of using the butter could I substitute it with whipping cream? Would that go well with this recipe? If yes how much would you suggest to add to the cream cheese? Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Alice, so sorry you had that issue! Was your cream cheese also room temperature? Sometimes when you mix that with the butter for the frosting and the cream cheese isn’t the same temperature, you can get those little lumps. Stabilized whipped cream would be delicious, but I definitely prefer the tangy lemon cream cheese frosting with this cake. I also mix my cream cheese frosting on low so that it doesn’t get any air inside and stays nice and creamy.

  17. 4 stars
    I love the recipe but the fruits stayed on the top…😳 why ?

    1. Sometimes if the batter is a bit thicker you might need to mix them in more, mine usually have trouble staying on top

  18. Can you make this Cale ahead and freeze it?
    I’ve got a birthday thing Thursday but don’t have time to do the cake unless I do it today…

    1. Absolutely! I always wrap my cake layers in plastic wrap and freeze them before baking. Then I frost a few days later and store the cake in the fridge.

  19. 5 stars
    Before attempting to make this, I had tried the WASC one first to get an idea what your cakes were like. I rarely bake but I’ve been wanting to try a lemon blueberry cake after seeing someone brag about it online. It turned out amazing, even though I ended up making cupcakes as someone at a dinner party I was bringing this to already made a different cake. Thanks so much for this recipe. I don’t usually like American cakes as they taste too sweet for me but the ones I’ve tried so far were just right for this Spanish-Asian girl.

  20. 5 stars
    This is now my favorite cake. Ever. Better than chocolate. It makes a stunning and delicious cake. I am about to make it for the fourth time in 2 months.

  21. 5 stars
    Lovely cake. So good. Thanks for sharing. I used oil instead of butter and came out beautiful.

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