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Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

If you loved my White Cake with Strawberry Filling, you’re going to love this Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. It’s based off the same white cake with lemon flavoring and lemon zest added to the cake batter. To enhance the lemon flavor I opted for a sweet blueberry filling. I debated between Swiss meringue buttercream or cream cheese frosting, but in the end I chose to pair this cake with fluffy cream cheese frosting.

For the garnishes I used a few fresh blueberries and candied lemon peel.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Reverse Creaming Method

After doing some searching, I found that using the reverse creaming method for white cake was ideal. Why? Because adding the butter to the dry ingredients coats the flour creating an ultra tender crumb.

And instead of whipping the egg whites and folding them into the batter, which can leave your cake with holes, I simply combined the egg whites with the milk before adding to the butter-flour mixture.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Why I Use Lemon Emulsion

  • It’s water based and not alcohol based like most extracts are.
  • You can easily substitute 1 teaspoon of lemon extract with 1 teaspoon of lemon emulsion.
  • The flavor of lemon emulsion is more robust than lemon extract.
  • Plus the lemon flavor will not bake out when exposed to heat.

Lemon Emulsion Substitution

If you don’t have lemon emulsion on hand you can substitute it with 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice added into the wet ingredients. And add one more tablespoon of lemon zest for a total of 2 tablespoons in to the flour mixture when making this Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Candied Lemon Peel

Since this cake has several components, you’ll be glad to know that the candied lemon peel can be made up to 1 week in advance. My advice is to get this step done and out of the way first! Once the lemon peel has dried, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Blueberry Filling

Again, if you loved my White Cake with Strawberry Filling you’re probably going to love this blueberry filling as well. I simply swapped out the strawberries for blueberries in this recipe. This filling recipe is easy to adapt to make it your own my swapping out any frozen fruit.

FILLING TIP: Try to get as much juice out of the blueberry puree as possible so you’ll have some filling left over to spread out over the top of the cake if you choose. If not you can always garnish the top of the cake with fresh blueberries.

FILLING REMINDER: Keep in mind the filling will need to firm up a bit in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours before using.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Lastly, I opted for a fluffy and smooth lemon cream cheese frosting to adorn this Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, since lemon is the star of the recipe plus lemon and blueberries go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Don’t believe me? Check out my Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake for proof!

LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING TIP: To achieve super smooth frosting be sure you sift the powdered sugar before adding to the butter and be sure your cream cheese is very soft.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

What is a Crumb Coat?

It’s a thin layer of frosting that seals in any stray crumbs before adding the second layer of buttercream to the cake.

I must admit that crumb coating isn’t something I’ve always done. I would do it all the time back when I made custom cakes but since I started focusing my time on layer cakes, crumb coating wasn’t something I did often. But I recently started doing crumb coats on my layer cakes and I can definitely see the benefits of it. It’s an extra step that is worth it!

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Assemble

Now comes the fun part! Once all your components are complete, the assembly process is fun and easy. Place a cake board on a cake pedestal or serving platter (You can also use a cake turntable to make the frosting process super easy. And then transfer the cake to a serving platter or pedestal.). Pipe a frosting dam around the top edge of the cake and spread about 1/2 cup of filling on the top, spreading the filling out all the way to the frosting dam. Repeat this process with the second layer of cake. Once you have your third cake layer on top, apply a thin coat of frosting (crumb coat) over the cake and freeze for about 5 minutes or refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Then apply a second layer of cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

Use any remaining frosting for decorating the cake edges and spread your remaining blueberry filling over the top of the cake, leaving about 1 inch from the edge free of frosting.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Plan It Out

With all my cakes I have a written schedule, and this one is no different.

DAY 1: Prepare the candied lemon zest and bake the cake layers.

DAY 2: Make the blueberry filling and cream cheese frosting. Assemble the cake and serve.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

How To Store Cake

Store Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake in an airtight cake container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

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Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

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Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 53 minutes

Three layers of lemon cake filled with blueberry filling and frosted with fluffy cream cheese frosting and garnished with candied lemon peel and fresh blueberries.

Ingredients

SPECIAL TOOLS

CANDIED LEMON PEEL

  • 5 lemons, scrubbed
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar

LEMON CAKE

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon emulsion
  • 2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cup (12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces, at room temperature

BLUEBERRY FILLING

  • 12 ounces frozen blueberries, thawed
  • ¼ (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste

LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

Instructions

CANDIED LEMON PEEL

  1. Half fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the zest strips and reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse the zest.
  2. In the same saucepan, combine sugar, water and cream of tartar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Add the zest, cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Let the zest simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain zest. Toss zest with 1/2 sugar, breaking up any lumps of sugar with your hands. Spread the zest onto a baking sheet to let dry at room temperature for about 2 hours before using.

LEMON CAKE

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a bowl or a 4 cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together milk, egg whites and lemon emulsion. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment attached, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms pea-sized pieces, about 1 minute. Reserve ½ cup of the milk mixture and pour the remaining to the flour mixture and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and add the reserved ½ cup milk mixture to the batter and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Do not over mix. The batter may look curdled. Give the batter a final stir by hand with a rubber spatula.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and smooth tops with a rubber spatula. Gently tap cake pans on the counter to settle the batter and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes, switching and rotating pans halfway through baking.
  4. Let cakes cook in their pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert cakes on to wire racks to cool completely, about 2 hours.

BLUEBERRY FILLING

  1. Place thawed blueberries in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Over a bowl pour blueberry puree over a sieve to remove the solids. The puree will be thick. Use a spoon to stir and press the puree through the strainer.
  2. Place blueberry puree in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add sugar and cornstarch mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Once the puree thickens, remove from the heat. Cool for 5 minutes and then add fresh lemon juice and chill for about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator until ready to use.

LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING FROSTING

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and salt. Reduce the speed to low and beat for 1 minute.
  2. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the cream cheese and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Mix in lemon zest. Do not over beat or the frosting will become soupy.

ASSEMBLE

  1. Fit a piping bag with a Ateco #827 and fill the piping bag with about 1 cup frosting and set aside. 

  2. Place a cake layer on a cake board or serving platter and pipe a dam of frosting around the edge of the cake. Spread about 1/2 cup of the blueberry filling in the center of the cake layer, spreading it out until it reaches the frosting dam. Add another cake layer on top and repeat this process with the frosting dam and blueberry filling. Top with the last layer of cake (bottom side up) and cover the cake with a crumb coat.
  3. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Frost the chilled cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting. If you have left over filling, spread some in the center of the cake, leaving about an inch from the edge free of filling. If you don’t have enough filling you can use fresh blueberries instead. Pipe a decorative border on the top and bottom edge of the cake with any remaining frosting and serve.

Notes

NOTES: Candied Lemon Peel can be made up to 7 days in advance. Store Candied Lemon Peel in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

Store cake layers in plastic wrap in an airtight cake container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting will keep covered at room temperature for up to 6 hours, and then refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days. Bring chilled frosting to room temperature and beat on low speed to soften.

Assembled cake can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight cake container for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 611Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 573mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 9g

*Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary.*

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