This Lemon Blueberry Cake is the perfect dessert for spring celebrations and get-togethers! Each layer is studded with blueberries and frosted with a bright and refreshing lemon icing. Recipe includes a how-to video!
All the Flavors of Spring in One Slice
So many of you have requested this lemon blueberry cake, and I am excited to finally share it with you today! With lemon notes in both the icing and the cake and a bounty of blueberries throughout each layer, this cake is so fruity and light. It’s absolutely perfect for spring and would be a very welcome addition to your Easter dessert table this year.
What’s So Great About This Lemon Blueberry Cake:
- It’s a lemony, perfectly tart variation of my vanilla cake with just the right amount of sweetness.
- A soft, plush crumb suspends at least some of the berries, thanks to the reverse creaming method (like I did with my chantilly cake!).
- We’re icing it with the lemon frosting I just shared last week, which makes it both refreshing and beautiful!
What You Need
Here are the key ingredients that ensure every bite of this cake is flavorful and light:
- Blueberries. I use fresh blueberries, but frozen will work too. If you use frozen, don’t thaw them first–just add them right into the batter.
- Lemon juice. For the most flavorful lemon blueberry cake, use fresh squeezed lemon juice.
- Lemon zest. Make sure you zest your lemons before you juice them! It will be quite a challenge to zest a juiced lemon.
- Buttermilk. While I love using my buttermilk substitute in a pinch, I actually don’t recommend using it for this cake. Stick with real buttermilk!
- Cornstarch. This helps achieve a soft, plush cake.
SAM’S TIP: While my lemon frosting complements this cake beautifully, you can make a cream cheese frosting variation that also tastes fantastic. To make this, follow the recipe for my lemon frosting, but add 4 oz of softened cream cheese in with the butter. You may need to add up to an additional cup of powdered sugar to get it the right texture!
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make It
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, using an electric mixer on low speed to mix after each addition.
- Slowly drizzle in the oil.
- Combine the remaining wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then slowly drizzle them into the batter.
- Use a spatula to gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
- Divide the batter among your prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes.
- Let the cakes cool in their pans for 10-15 minutes before inverting the cakes onto a cooling rack.
- Frost and decorate your cooled cakes, slice, and enjoy!
SAM’S TIP: If you only have two cake pans (or your oven only fits two pans at a time), you can let the remaining batter sit on the counter while the others are baking. If you do have three pans and they can all fit in your oven at the same time, definitely keep a close eye on them while they bake–most ovens do not cook evenly, and some may be done before others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Just add them in frozen (no need to thaw) and bake as normal. Note that if you use wild blueberries, these tend to streak the batter and turn it purple. If you don’t mind that look (it’s almost like a tie dye effect), feel free to use them as well!
While many (but not all) of your blueberries will sink, you’ll still get a nice distribution of blueberry to cake in the final result, especially since the cake layers are fairly thin. I made several variations of this cake where the crumb was dense enough to suspend blueberries evenly throughout, but the cake itself ended up gummy, dense, flavorless, and just all-around lackluster. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take flavor and texture over perfect looks any day! Note: While some people like to toss their berries with cornstarch or flour to help keep them suspended, I found it made no difference here.
This cake can sit at room temperature for a few hours, but after that, it will need to be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
And in case you are wondering, this cake is different from my (well-loved) lemon cake. While that one is divinely light, fluffy, and perfect in all its lemon splendor, today’s recipe was designed specifically to be a bit denser so that not all of the blueberries sink straight to the bottom (which would happen with my lemon cake).
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Lemon Blueberry Cake
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter softened and cut into 8 pieces
- ½ cup (120 ml) canola or vegetable oil
- ¾ cup (180 ml) buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest zest lemons before squeezing
- ¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice fresh-squeezed preferred
- 4 large eggs room temperature preferred
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups (340 g) blueberries see note (12 oz)
- 1 batch lemon frosting or preferred frosting
- Preheat oven to 350F and line three 8” round cake pans by lightly but thoroughly greasing and flouring the sides and lining the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon table salt
- Using an electric mixer, add softened butter, one tablespoon at a time, adding the next tablespoon only after the first is combined. The mixture will appear sandy in texture.½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter
- While mixing on low-speed, slowly drizzle in oil.½ cup (120 ml) canola or vegetable oil
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.¾ cup (180 ml) buttermilk, 2 Tablespoons lemon zest, ¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice, 4 large eggs, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- With mixer on low-speed, slowly drizzle in the buttermilk mixture until the batter is smooth and completely combined.
- Use a spatula to stir in blueberries.2 ½ cups (340 g) blueberries
- Evenly divide batter into prepared cake pans and transfer to 350F oven (if your oven is not large enough for all three pans or if you only have two pans, it is fine to let the remaining batter sit on the counter while the first two pans bake. If all of your pans do fit in the oven, make sure to keep an eye on them as most ovens do not cook evenly and some pans may be done sooner than others). Bake for 30 minutes or until the surface of the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Allow cakes to cool in cake pans for 10-15 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cakes and carefully inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
- Once cooled completely, decorate the cake using lemon frosting (or preferred frosting).1 batch lemon frosting or preferred frosting
BlueberriesI prefer to use fresh blueberries but in a pinch frozen blueberries will work instead. You do not need to thaw before using. Note that if you opt to use “wild” blueberries, they may streak your batter purple.
StoringStore tightly covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (note that the refrigerator does tend to dry out cakes the longer they are in there).
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This cake was so delicious! I had never incorporated the butter into the dry ingredients before, but it really made such a great texture in the cake. I will definitely be making this again.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake so much, Marjie! 🙂
This is not only a beautiful cake, but delicious.
The crumb is light and moist. The lemon flavor perfect, and the berries distributed perfectly throughout the batter.
I was skeptical, as the layers didn’t rise much, but the result was perfect.
I had never used the method of adding the butter a tbsp. at a time, but it is worth the extra time to get such a lovely cake.
I have decided to follow @sugarspunrun based on this recipe alone. I did not have ingredients to make her lemon frosting, but will certainly try it next time. I will be making this cake time and again! Highly recommend!,
If I don’t have butter milk can you make you own buttermilk and so you know how so sorry to ask.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Amy! You could use our buttermilk substitute, but we really prefer real buttermilk here 😊
Can this made as cupcakes?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Yes! Enjoy 😊
This cake is absolutely perfect. I used lemon Swiss meringue buttercream and it was the perfect pairing.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Yum! Enjoy, Olivia ☺️
Good morning – Have you ever made this as a sheet cake? If so, how long would you cook it?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Robert! We haven’t tried this ourselves, so we don’t know how long it would bake as a sheet cake. Just keep an eye on it and use the toothpick test to make sure it’s done 😊
Look so good!
I want to make this in two 7 inch tins as I’m feeding 2/3 people. What would the measurements be?
Also what size tray would fit this mixture?
Hi Madi! I haven’t tried this in 7 inch tins. I think I would probably just make the recipe as is, and fill the pans no more than 2/3 of the way full. You could bake any excess batter as cupcakes or simply discard it. Your bake time will be different so make sure to keep an eye on it. 🙂