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 Print Recipe
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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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

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5 cups

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!
4.95 from 255 votes
Print Rate
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%)
 

334 comments on “Lemon blueberry buttermilk cake

  1. 3 stars
    We made this cake tonight and it was soggy . It was pretty and tasted good ish but it was a soggy sponge. I baked it until toothpick came out clean. I believe there’s too much liquid and with the non US cups vs grams measurements i believe it went wrong at some point in the measuring.
    We did look up how many grams equated to tho. Wish it came out perfect i May try it one more time maybe less liquid?

    1. The measurements are perfectly accurate. If you prefer to use grams, you can select “metric” on the recipe card.

  2. This cake looks amazing! I am at altitude (6900 ft or about 2100 meters). How should I adjust the recipe?

  3. Any suggestions for baking at high altitude? (6000ft)?

  4. 5 stars
    Hi! I made this recipe for the first time and its delicious i made it as. Sheet cake though and used it to layer in cake jars for my baby shower. Im a at home baker going to start my business one day, but the texture of this cake is so lovely is that the buttermilk? If i just not add the lemon juice zest etc, and still use buttermilk will it come out as good? I would love to know if there is a buttermilk cake recipe that i can adapt to any flavor. But im not sure if theres a reason not to do that or if its possible?
    Beautiful cake and its delicious!

  5. 4 stars
    I made this cake today, and my only complaint is that my blueberries didn’t sink 🙁 my cake pans were also too shallow, so the cakes domed up slightly despite using cake strips. I can’t level the cakes because all the blueberries will end up getting cut off. Bummer! I just ordered deeper cake pans from Amazon so this doesn’t happen next time

    1. Ah bummer, you can also just push the dome down when the cake comes out of the oven. Place a clean tea towel on top of the cake and press with your hand. This doesn’t harm the cake at all 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Made your Blueberry Lemon Cake recipe today. Best cake ever. And I’ve been baking cakes, cookies, and breads for many years. Following directions and using a scale made it easy. It is perfect, very moist, and delicious. This cake is now my Go To cake.

  7. 5 stars
    This cake was very good! It was a heavy cake, so I thought it would be dense, but it wasn’t. I will make again!

  8. 5 stars
    Absolutely AMAZING cake! Baking is a combination of art and science and this recipe really drives that home. I purchased a scale for this and I’m so glad I did.

    The moisture in the cake was perfect, had just the right amount of lemon. I substituted cut fresh raspberries for the blueberries and sprinkled them all over the top of the batter prior to putting in the oven. It was literally to die for! I decorated it for my daughters birthday, using more whole raspberries on top.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  9. This cake is just yum!The flavors work together so well.This batter quantity gave me four 6 inch cakes.I used pastry flour since my store didn’t have cake flour,so i was a little apprehensive of the texture but no issues:)Thank you!

  10. 5 stars
    The cake was delicious, just the right amount of lemon flavor. Your instructions and video are very helpful. I didn’t add the blueberries in two batches and it was fine. They did not sink. Oddly, the ones at the top of the cake did not split open.

    I used toasted walnut oil for the vegetable oil. It tasted a bit strong in the batter, but I could not taste it in the cooked cake. I have to say, I received so many compliments on this cake, both on the visuals and the taste from those who tried it.

  11. 5 stars
    I want to add to my previous comments that I could not find cake flour in these coronavirus times but, strangely, found Fine Pastry Flour (half-way between AP and cake flour). It worked fine.

  12. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly as written – why in the world would I want to change it!! Used scales to measure all dry ingredients. Berry distribution could not have been better. Cake layers were tall & moist. The cake batter was lovely – fluffy & tasted awesome. Great recipe. I have a photo but don’t see a way to share it.

  13. 5 stars
    This is my second try to post a comment. Hope it works! Following the recipe exactly as written & weighing all dry ingredients this cake could not have been any better! Making a second one later today!!!

  14. 5 stars
    Made this cake as is. Even pulled out my scales and it came out perfect. Did use wax paper in bottom of pan to be sure it came out easy. Put layers in freezer and will frost later. I am sure it will be delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. Made this cake a few months ago and it is AMAZING! my daughter is celebrating her birthday and asked me to make this cake. The theme of the cake requires 4 layers, do you think this cake will hold up?

    1. Yep, just make sure you cool the cakes and chill them in the fridge before stacking. Check out my how to make your first cake tutorial for more info

  16. 5 stars
    I saw your cake recipe and lemon is my favorite. I baked it a couple of weeks ago for a co-workers birthday. It turned out great, all my co-workers loved it. I am baking it again today to share with good neighbors and taking some to a friend who has been in for months for the COVID-19 because is elderly and doesn’t to take any changes of getting exposed. Just hope it turns out as good as my first attempt.

  17. We LOVED this Delicious cake.
    We kept it refrigerated and it was even Better!! The Icing was wonderful too!!
    Thank you!!!

    Question? I want to make a Rum cake. Do you have a recipe? And if not would cake flour be recommended??

  18. 5 stars
    Love this cake! I have made it twice. The first one was for my Moms 81st Birthday. It was a big hit. So I made another to share with friends. The cake is light and moist and the icing is sinfully rich. Just bursting with the sweetness of blueberry a and tartness of lemon. Perfect combination. This will definitely be one of my favorites🍋❤️🍋

  19. Hi! Can this recipe be doubled or do you suggest making two separate batches?

  20. Hi, I am making this cake and wanted to know if you have tried adding a leyer of lemon curd to the filling?

  21. 5 stars
    My daughter has an August Birthday and I always make her a cake that is light, fresh and summery, I was thrilled when I found this recipe. I followed the recipe to a “T” and it Iturned out beautifully!! Each step looked just like the pictures posted in the recipe!!
    Thank you for this great recipe Liz. I’ll definitely make this cake again!!

  22. I will be making this cake today, but I can’t find lemon extract. Will it still taste lemony enough if I add extra zest and fresh lemon juice to the batter? Thank you! It looks super yummy!

  23. 4 stars
    I had just recently heard about a lemon blueberry cake and in my online search I came across this recipe and what hit me was the use of buttermilk in it. This definitely sounds like something our grandmothers would make so of course I had to try it. The recipe itself is very easy to follow and yes I would suggest using a scale to measure the proper amounts. Everything turned out exactly how the instructions suggested and I can’t wait to cut into it and see and taste the rewards.

  24. 5 stars
    This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made!!! It is so moist. Took to family function and wasn’t allowed to take any home with me as the family loved it just as much!!!!!

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