This lemon blueberry cake starts with a moist & tender lemon cake that’s dotted with juicy blueberries. Then it’s topped with cream cheese frosting that has just a hint of lemon. It’s a simple recipe that’s easy to make and perfect for spring & summer.
Last week I asked on Instagram what flavor combo you prefer: lemon blueberry or lemon raspberry. It was pretty neck-and-neck, but lemon blueberry came out on top. And hence, this lemon blueberry cake recipe was born. It has a deliciously tender & soft texture, zero dry cake crumbs, a bright & sunshiney lemon flavor, and tons of juicy blueberries. Then the cream cheese frosting is oh so creamy and not too sweet.
Lemon and blueberries make for such a delicious flavor combination. The slight tang of the lemon is the perfect complement to sweet, juicy, extra plump blueberries. (For some reason I always chuckle at the idea of “plump berries”). And if you love the flavor combo as much as my Instagram buddies (HI!!!!!) – then you’ll love this recipe.
Lemon Blueberry Cake Recipe
This lemon blueberry cake recipe is made in a 9×13 inch pan, so it’s much easier than making a layer cake. There’s a few key ingredients in this recipe that make it extra moist & tender, so let’s talk specifics.
- Real butter – not margarine, not that 50/50 stuff. We use real butter for the most flavor, and to ensure that the cake doesn’t taste oily. Make sure the butter is softened to room temperature first so that everything mixes together evenly.
- 3 large eggs for tenderness. Some cake recipes just use the egg whites. This makes for a much more delicate, airy texture. But when you want it perfectly moist and tender – I like recipes that use the whole egg.
- Cake flour for an extra soft, never dense cake crumb. I realize that not everyone has cake flour on hand in their kitchen, so I’ve included a substitute in the notes using all-purpose flour and cornstarch, although I definitely recommend using cake flour if possible. Just make sure that you don’t substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour as a 1:1 ratio. Otherwise, the cake with be dry and dense.
- Buttermilk for a moist, tender, super soft cake. Make sure it’s room temperature first – by either leaving it on the counter for 15 minutes to warm up, or microwave in short 10 second bursts on low-medium power. If you don’t have buttermilk, I’ve included a substitute in the notes. But I really, really recommend using buttermilk if possible.
- Lemon juice & lemon zest for that delicious flavor. Make sure to use lemon juice from freshly squeezed lemons as opposed to the stuff from the bottle for a tart, bright flavor that doesn’t taste sour.
- Feel free to use fresh or frozen berries. If using frozen, just make sure not to thaw them first.
Then the cream cheese frosting is an easy, peasy, simple recipe made with butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, a little lemon juice and cream. Make sure to use brick-style, full-fat cream cheese, and allow both the cream cheese and butter to soften to room temperature before getting started.
Now for a few common questions:
Can I make this into a lemon blueberry layer cake? Yes. It’s enough for a 2-layer 8 inch layer cake. Line the bottom of the cake pans first, then grease the sides. They’ll take about 21-25 minutes to bake.
Can I turn this recipe into lemon blueberry cupcakes? Yup. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 fulls, and bake at 350F for for 16-20 minutes. You’ll end up with about 18-20 cupcakes total.
How can I make this recipe ahead of time? Make the cake and frosting up to 1 day in advance. Cool the cake completely then wrap tightly and store at room temperature, and store the frosting in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to frost, let the frosting warm up to room temperature first. You may need to beat the frosting again with the mixer if it seems too hard/thick to frost. Unfrosted cake can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months, then thaw overnight in the fridge.
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter**
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoos vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup lemon juice , freshly squeezed
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries , fresh or frozen
- 2 teaspoons cake flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 8 oz brick-style cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 - 3.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon cream , as needed
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch cake pan.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy. (About 2-3 minutes).
Add in the vanilla extract and beat in the eggs 1 at a time.
In a liquid measuring cup whisk together the lemon juice and buttermilk.
With the mixer on low speed, beat about 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture followed by about 1/3 of the milk mixture.
- Continue the process of alternating between the flour & milk until just combined, turning off the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Toss the blueberries with the 2 teaspoons of flour, then gently fold into the batter with a spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Beat the butter until soft, then mix in the cream cheese.
Add in the lemon juice and mix in 3 cups of the powdered sugar, starting with the mixer on low speed and then turning up to medium as it starts to combine.
Beat in 1 tablespoon of whipping cream, and then mix in the rest of the powdered sugar as necessary, going little by little and adding more cream if needed.
Frost the cooled cake, and optionally decorate with blueberries and lemon slices.
*If you don't have cake flour, measure out 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour. Remove 1/3 cup and replace it with 1/3 cup cornstarch. Sift together 4 times.
**Use unsalted butter, softened to room temperature.