Why is the combination of bright lemons, juicy blueberries, and tangy cream cheese so gosh darn good? Not only is this Lemon Blueberry Cake recipe super easy, it might just be the tastiest way to enjoy fresh, seasonal blueberries this summer.
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I’ve had a lemon blueberry cake recipe saved for years and kept putting it off. Two years ago we found out that Ben is allergic or sensitive to blueberries (and the poor kid loves them), so it just didn’t seem like a good idea to make this cake. But I recently realized that he doesn’t even like cake, only frosting. So I finally got to whip up this long awaited lemon blueberry cake!
Once I finally pulled that saved recipe up, I realized I didn’t even like it. It seemed dense and heavy, like a pound cake. That’s not what I had in mind, so I created my very own lemon blueberry cake recipe. And it rocked! To quote a taste tester, “This is the BEST cake I’ve ever had!! This is SO good!”.
Developing your own cake recipe is not terribly difficult as long as you are familiar with cake baking and the ingredients involved. If you need a little more info in this area, you’ll want to grab my (free) Ingredient Glossary from the Resource Library.
My goals for this cake were a tender cake that had a light lemon flavor and a generous serving of juicy blueberries. I decided to make this a naked cake, with cream cheese frosting between the layers and on top. A full coating of frosting would just overwhelm this delicately flavored cake.
I decided to use my yellow cake as the base for this recipe. To infuse the cake with lemon, I first pulsed the sugar with the lemon zest. This step is optional, but it helps release the oils in the lemon zest to get maximum flavor. I used the zest of one lemon, but two lemons would give the cake a deeper flavor. Then I subbed in some fresh lemon juice for part of the milk.
This cake was a huge success, but if you want to find a complaint, it’s that the blueberries all sunk to the bottom. It is very difficult to prevent the heavy berries from sinking, especially because this cake batter is so light. You could try using frozen wild blueberries, which are smaller, but you’ll miss out on those giant pockets of juicy berries!
Cream Cheese Frosting is Life
Y’all, I am crazy for cream cheese frosting. It’s always been my favorite and we even had it on our wedding cake! That sweet, creamy tang is irresistible and so different from any other frosting. It just seemed like the perfect pairing for this lemon blueberry cake.
This is a half batch of frosting from my Kryptonite Cake and it is the perfect amount for a 9 inch naked cake. If you decide to cover the whole cake, just double it up. Two things to keep in mind with this recipe. You want the butter and cream cheese to be the same temperature when you combine them. And you also don’t want to over mix the two or the cream cheese will split. Boo.
Here’s another completely optional, kinda extra bit that you can skip if it’s just too much work. I first made candied orange peel with my brother in law when we whipped up this magical saffranskrans (actual spelling). Use this beautiful candy to decorate the top of the lemon blueberry cake and you could even put some in between the layers for more zing.
The most important step in this candied lemon peel recipe is to boil the peel for the full amount of time. Boiling removes the bitter compounds from the pith and rinsing helps as well. While the finished candy does have a bit of a bite, it’s super delicious. I had to hide these from my 5 year old because he kept trying to steal a piece before I finished the cake!
The candied lemon peel recipe uses a lot of sugar, and in the days of quarantine, that is not something I want to waste. After tossing your finished lemon peel in the sugar, save that excess. It’s got a little bit of lemon love in it.
Now, it isn’t a very good texture for cake baking right now, but that’s okay. Since I pulsed all of the sugar with the lemon zest in my mini food processor, it ends up being nice and fine. I also saved the syrup, but it was a bit too bitter for brushing onto the cake.
To assemble, place a layer on your cake board and pipe a layer of cream cheese frosting over it. Be careful not to get too close to the edge or it will squidge out later. You could also add more flavor and texture by topping with blueberries and lemon peel. Totes optional though.
Top with the second layer and the remaining cream cheese frosting. Use your big spatula to smooth the top. I then used the back of a small spoon to create that swirl. Add blueberries and candied lemon peel or even fresh lemon slices to create your own unique Lemon Blueberry Cake.
Okay, that taste tester I mentioned up top may have been my dad who is not exactly a picky eater, but still. This Lemon Blueberry Cake is actually the bomb diggity. Light lemon cake with juicy blueberries and a dab of cream cheese frosting is the perfect dessert for any Spring or Summer day.
16Tbspsunsalted buttercut into 16 pieces, soft, but still cool or 2 sticks
1 1/2cupsblueberriesplus extra for decorating
Candied Lemon Peel
Cream Cheese Frosting
8ozcream cheese soft, but still cool
1/2cupunsalted butter softened
4cupspowdered sugar sifted
Lemon Blueberry Cake
Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray two 9 inch cake pans lightly with Baker's Joy, line with parchment paper, and set aside.
Pulse the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor. This is optional, but will help release the oils in the zest. Set aside.
In a measuring glass, add the lemon juice and whole milk. This will equal 1/2 cup. Add the eggs and vanilla, whisk, and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. The lemon zest will get caught in the sieve, just dump that into the bowl. Mix the dry ingredients on the lowest setting until combined, about 30 seconds.
With the stand mixer still on the lowest speed, add the butter one piece at a time, waiting a few seconds between additions. Mix until the butter and flour begin to clump together, about 30-40 seconds after the last piece of butter is added. Scrape the bowl down.
Add 1 cup of the egg mixture with the mixer on low and beat for 5- 10 seconds to incorporate. Scrape the bowl down. Bump the speed up to medium- high and beat until light and fluffy, about a minute.
Add the remaining egg mixture in a slow, steady stream down the edge of the bowl. If you hit the paddle, it will make a mess. It should take about 30 seconds to add this remaining mixture.
Stop the stand mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat again at medium- high speed for about 15 seconds to thoroughly combine. The mixture will look slightly curdled.
Gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Divide between the cake pans. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the batter. Bake for 23- 27 minutes or until the cakes spring back when you touch them and they pull away from the pan.
Cool in their pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Since the blueberries sink to the bottom, let them cool upside down on the rack. Cool completely before frosting and assembly.
Candied Lemon Peel
Use a knife to cut the peel off of your lemons. Cut the peel into thin strips and place in a small saucepan. Add enough water to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In the same saucepan, add 1 ½cups of water and 1 ½ cups of sugar to a boil. Add the lemon peel and simmer for 30 minutes, or until softened.
Strain the lemon peel out of the syrup. Toss with the remaining sugar and transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Let the peel dry for a day or two.
Cream Cheese Frosting
In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together for 3- 5 minutes. It should be light and fluffy.
Add about one third of the powdered sugar. Beat for 1- 2 minutes, starting on low and bumping up to medium. Add another third of the sugar. Beat for another minute. Add the remaining powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat for a minute or two until combined and fluffy.
Place one chilled layer of cake on a cake board and pipe half of the frosting onto it, being careful not to get to close to the edge. Use a large offset spatula to smooth it and create an even, flat surface.
Add the second layer of cake and pipe the remaining frosting on top. Smooth to create an even, flat top. Use the back of a small spoon to create a swirl. Place the spoon in the center of the cake and rotate the turntable. As it turns, move the spoon towards the edge of the cake to create a swirl.
Decorate with extra blueberries and candied lemon peel.
For soft, light colored sides and a flat top, use cake strips around the pan.
You can toss the blueberries in a bit of flour first, but it doesn't make much of a difference.
Calorie count does not include the candied lemon peel.
Hi there! I’m Colleen, a novice baker with a passion for learning and improving my bakes… and blunders. On Bakes and Blunders, you can find all sorts of tasty recipes that range in difficulty, but most importantly, I’ll try to explain the reason behind important steps. If you know why a recipe works, you can tweak and adapt it to suit your unique tastes, and you’ll be able to reliably produce some very delicious treats. If you love baking and want to expand and grow your skills, or if you are a casual baker and just need some pointers, my blog is right up your alley! Join me on my baking journey and we’ll learn how to make more impressive recipes together.