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Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Yield: makes 12-16 servings 1x


For the Cake:

  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, tossed with 2 tablespoons of cake flour

For the Frosting:

  • 2 (8-oz) blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 23 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 56 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of fine salt

Optional Decorating:

  • Additional blueberries
  • Other berries (I used blackberries)
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • Flowers
  • Lemon slices


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. Mix the milk and lemon juice together in a measuring cup and set aside until the milk is curdled, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy and well combined, about 5 minutes.
  4. Beat in the extracts, followed by the eggs, beating after each egg is added.
  5. While the wet ingredients are creaming together, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  6. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the bowl and mix to combine. Add in ½ of the milk mixture and mix to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the last ⅓ of the flour. Mix the batter until light and creamy and no bits of flour remain.
  7. Toss the blueberries and 2 tablespoons of cake flour together in a bowl (I use the same bowl as the flour mixture) and then gently fold them into the batter with a spatula.
  8. Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden on the outside and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes and then carefully invert them into cooling racks to cool completely to room temperature.

For the Frosting:

  1. Beat together the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy, fluffy, and well combined.
  2. Add in the lemon zest, extracts, and lemon juice and beat to combine.
  3. Add the powdered sugar, 1-2 cups at a time, mixing to combine. Keep adding the sugar until the mixture is fluffy and thickened. Beat in a tiny pinch of fine salt. Continue beating until the frosting is super smooth.

For Assembly:

  1. Place one cake layer onto a serving plate or cake stand and top with roughly 1 cup of the frosting. Smooth out to the edges of the cake and then top with the second layer of the cake. Repeat until all three layers are stacked, with frosting in between each layer.
  2. Frost the top of the cake, bringing the frosting down and around the sides of the cake, to create a thin layer or “crumb coat” of frosting. Place the cake in the fridge to set for about 20 minutes.
  3. Frost the chilled cake all over with the remaining frosting.
  4. Decorate the flowers, berries, fresh mint, and/or lemon slices, as desired.
  5. Store the cake in the fridge, well covered, for up to a day. Bring to room temperature before slicing and serving. Store sliced cake in the fridge, well covered, for several days.