Lemon Blueberry Cake (The BEST)
“Soft & fluffy lemon blueberry cake full of fresh lemon and blueberries! Frosted with the best cream cheese frosting”
Video Tutorial: Watch me make this lemon blueberry cake from start to finish!
Whew, lawd!! What a month August turned out to be. I feel like I’m just now getting back to normalcy.
As many of you know, at the beginning of August my sweet Grandma Barb passed away suddenly. Losing our beloved matriarch really shook our family but like always, we clung to each other and we are somehow even closer than we were before. I’m surely going to miss having my grandma in the physical so much, but strangely, I feel her familiar warmth and presence all around me, especially when I’m cooking in her kitchen.
After the funeral, my sister and I woke up the next morning and decided to cook breakfast at grandma Barb’s house for the family. Her house is still full of so much love and good energy. It will continue to be the family celebration hangout spot. I know she would love that because she adored her home and having it overflowing with food, family, and laughter.
I had planned to only take a couple of weeks away from Divas Can Cook and my other stuff to spend time with my family, but as soon as I got back home, Covid hit me, my husband, and my boys. The remainder of the month was spent nurturing everyone back to health. If you’ve ever had covid with mild symptoms, you know that getting back to normal is an up and down journey, but we made it.
So here I am, emerging at the end of August and welcoming September like where the heck did that entire month go???? I will tell you one thing though, I NEEDED that pause. It’s been over 13 years since I’ve gone a day without working in some form and I had no idea how restoring doing absolutely nothing could be.
Did somebody say cake??
I feel fantastic and so full of creativity. My energy, appetite, taste, smell, and motivation are all back full force and I couldn’t wait to get back in the kitchen! As I was trying to think of something to bake for dessert this week, a lemon blueberry cake instantly to mind. As I’ve stated plenty of times, there is just something about baking with fresh lemons and blueberries that makes me so happy. It’s the color, scent, everything! It’s the perfect cake to wave goodbye to summer, don’t you think?
I put on my grandma’s apron and went into the kitchen for the first time this month to bake! My goodness, it was magical!
Here’s to you grandma Barb! I will do your legacy proud!
Lemon Blueberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
What is a lemon blueberry cake?
If you’ve never had a lemon blueberry cake then you’re probably wondering what it tastes like. To me, it kinda tastes like a slightly sweeter blueberry muffin with a light lemony taste. The lemon-blueberry combo is a classic because they complement each other so well. I knew I’d love this fantastic cake! The sweet and tart blueberries and zestiness of the lemons make the perfect team paired up with the cream cheese frosting. The crumb texture is slightly dense but so fluffy and soft!
Lemon Blueberry Cake Ingredients
To make this lemon blueberry cake bakery-worthy, here are the cast of character!
- All-Purpose flour- You could also use cake flour for a finer crumb, but I like to stick with all-purpose here. Plus, I always have it on hand.
- Baking powder & salt– These two act as our leavening. Lots of baking powder to give a light crumb.
- Granulated sugar- Normally I like an even ratio of sugar and flour but this lemon blueberry cake uses less sugar. It really helps the natural lemon and blueberry flavor shine and the frosting gives it that punch of sweetness.
- Lemon zest, Lemon juice, & pure lemon extract- We are not messing around with it comes to true lemony flavor. This trio ensures the most balanced, delicate lemony flavor.
- Fresh blueberries- Aim for plump, firm blueberries. For this recipe, I prefer fresh over frozen
- Vanilla extract- IMO any cake can benefit from a hint of vanilla! Yum!
- Sour cream & milk– These are our moisture givers! Sour cream and milk provide plenty of moisture for the lemon blueberry cake giving it such an incredible crumb. I skipped the buttermilk for this cake since the sweetness is on the lighter side.
The Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
To finish this lemon blueberry cake off, cream cheese frosting was a no-brainer! This one is my favorite! I never knew it was possible to have so many favorite cream cheese frosting recipes! Once you make this cream cheese frosting I’m sure it’s gonna become a favorite for you too! It’s so good, perfectly balanced, and pretty easy to remember:
2 blocks of cream cheese, 2 sticks of butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 4 cups of powdered sugar! 2-2-1-4! I love that this cream cheese frosting recipe gives me enough to frost a 3 layer cake! Nothing worse than having to make up an extra batch of frosting when you only need a little bit more to finish up a cake. Been there done that! This frosting pairs so well with this cake! They are a match made in heaven!
How to decorate this cake
Lemon blueberry cake has such an elegant flair to it. It would be perfect for weddings, bridal showers, tea parties, and other Spring & Summer formal events. This cake doesn’t require any decorating other than frosting, however, it sure looks gorgeous when it’s all dressed up!
If you are cake-decorating challenged like me, then no worries! Lately, I’ve been turning to edible flowers & herbs to make cakes look pretty and like I actually know what I’m doing. It works great for this lemon blueberry cake! Just pile a bunch of stuff in the middle of the cake or along the edges and call yourself a cake decorator! Boom!
Having a stash of edible freeze-dried flowers can be a lifesaver when you need to decorate a cake, but fresh flowers work just as well.
For this lemon blueberry cake using fresh blueberries and lemon peel ribbons and zest was a no-brainer! For the edible flowers, I went with pretty violets, mints, and dandelion for color contrast. I still need a little “flower arranging” practice but I think it looks so pretty!
Note: When choosing edible flowers for decorating make sure they are pesticide-free and indeed edible. You can buy fresh or freeze-dried pesticide-free flowers online. Here are a few easy to find edible flower options.
Lemon Blueberry Cake FAQs
- Can I use frozen blueberries? Yes, you can however I prefer fresh, firm blueberries in this recipe for best results. I never have to worry about the blueberries bleeding into the batter when I use fresh. Sometimes using frozen blueberries can turn the batter a light purplish-grey if they accidentally break open.
- I don’t like using shortening, can I use all butter? Absolutely, however, the crumb texture will be slightly different. If you’re looking for a shortening with fewer ingredients try Spectrum’s butter-flavored coconut oil shortening.
- How do you keep the blueberries from sinking to the bottom? Coating the blueberries in flour helps to keep the blueberries suspended in the batter. This batter is also pretty thick and whipped so that helps as well.
- How do I add blueberries to cake batter? Blueberries are very delicate so you want to gently fold them into the batter using a rubber spatula. Be careful not to break the blueberries open.
- How do I keep blueberries from bleeding into the batter? To prevent blueberries from bleeding into the cake batter, start with fresh, firm blueberries. Pick out any bruised blueberries. Be very gently and use a light hand with folding the blueberries into the batter. This will keep them from breaking open and bleeding into the batter.
- How do I store lemon blueberry cake? Store this cake in the fridge. When ready to serve, slice, plate, and allow it to come to room temperature before serving. This will ensure you get those perfectly smooth frosting lines and the cake is nice and fluffy when it is time to eat it.
- How do I zest a lemon? Lemon zest is the thin yellow layer of a lemon peel. To zest a fresh lemon, gently slide it over a zester. This tool will grab just the zest of the lemon (the yellow part). Turn the lemon as you zest it so that you do not zest any of the white pith underneath which is bitter. This lemon cake uses fresh lemon zest and lemon juice. It’s much easier to zest the lemon BEFORE you slice and juice it.
- Can I replace the blueberries with raspberries? I’ve never tried it, but I don’t see why not! Sound so good!
How to make a Lemon Blueberry Cake
Follow the recipe and step-by-step video instructions below to create the best, homemade lemon blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting!
Before you begin: Here are a few helpful tools to gather:
- 3 (dark, nonstick) 9-inch cake pans
- 3 large mixing bowls
- Large rubber spatula
- Lemon zester
- Lemon juicer
- Offset spatula
- Cake cover
- Cooling rack
Get the Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, (measured correctly, see note)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup butter-flavored shortening
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pure lemon extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, (you'll need about 2 large lemons)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, (from the 2 large lemons)
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, (see note)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, (for coating blueberries)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 2 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Fresh blueberries, lemon peel ribbons or zest, and edible flowers (see note)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease (3) 9-inch round baking pans with shortening and lightly coat with flour. Set aside. (I used dark, non-stick pans)
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and granulated sugar until well combined.
- Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time. Then mix in vanilla extract and lemon extract. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together sour cream, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed sugar mixture, while alternating with the milk mixture. Mix until batter is fully combined and no flour remains. The batter will be thick and fluffy. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add blueberries and flour. Gently toss so that blueberries are coated into the flour. Pour blueberries into the batter (including any remaining flour from the bowl)
- Very gently fold the blueberries into the batter, being careful not to break them open.
- Pour the batter evenly into the 3 prepared pans.
- Bake on the middle rack for 24-26 minutes (check on it at the 20-minute mark.) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and when the pan is cool enough to touch,( run a knife along the inside rim of the pans if needed) and gently turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
Make The Frosting
- When the cakes are almost done cooling, make the frosting by creaming together butter and cream cheese until well combined.
- Add in vanilla extract.
- Mix in powdered sugar a cup at a time, until frosting becomes creamy.
- Frost, stack, and decorate the cake!
- Refrigerate the cake to let the frosting firm up to create smooth frosting lines. Store cake in the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before serving.