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.
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
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.
Step 2 – To the remaining milk, add the eggs, lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk lightly to break up the eggs.
Step 3 – Add your flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment attached.
Step 4 – Add in your softened butter in chunks while mixing on low. Mix everything until it looks like coarse sand.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Sprinkle half your blueberries on the top of the cake and don’t mix them in. They sink naturally.
- 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!
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.
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.
Step 12 – Frost your cooled cakes with cream cheese frosting, decorate with more blueberries and organic pansies if you like!
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.
Classic Cream Cheese Frosting
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.
Step 2 – Add in your softened cream cheese in small pieces and combine with the butter.
Step 3 – Then add in your extract and salt and done! So easy!
Make sure you don’t over-mix the cream cheese frosting though, it can separate if you mix for too long.
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.
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.
Want to learn the basics of making your first cake? Learn how here!
Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Cake Recipe
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
- 14 oz (397 g) cake flour
- 12 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- No buttermilk? You can make your own buttermilk
- 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
- 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.
- Make your own pan release (cake goop!) The best pan release ever!
- 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.
- Need more help with making your first cake? Check out my how to decorate your first cake blog post.