Lemon Blueberry Cake

Lemon Blueberry Cake

I’m starting to have an inkling that this blog may become more of a baking/cooking blog if I keep it up.  My family has been telling everyone that I’ve been baking every day this week . . . which is more or less true.  I just checked out Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook from the library, so I had to try at least 2 or 3 or 4 of the recipes.  Once everything is added up, I made five different recipes this week – just about enough for every day.  If you’re curious, the recipes were my Bakery Style Lemon Blueberry Muffins, my Best Frosted Brownies Ever, and Sally’s apple bread, Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Layered Lemon Blueberry Cake.

Since it is also Abby and my self-proclaimed impromptu Nerd Week, starting with 4,5, & 6 Star Wars movies, I made the apple bread during The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring and the Lemon Blueberry Cake during The Two Towers 🙂

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This cake is fabulous!  I’ve only made it once before and that was an utter failure.  My dad still loved it, because he ate it like breakfast pound cake, but that batch was definitely too dense.  It turned out that the high density was due to my misreading the part that says 5 seconds, but I read 5 minutes for the last round of stirring.

So make sure to read everything and be prepared for anything!

Once I followed all the directions correctly, it tasted amazing!  It’s so light, fluffy, moist, and incredibly flavorful.  The light cream cheese frosting is a “perfect complement” to the cake, as Sally says.

I just think that lemons and blueberries together are the most wonderful summer combination, don’t you?

Here are some of Sally’s tips for the cake:

“Make sure you use fresh lemons. None of that lemon extract stuff! And no bottled lemon juice, which is quite potent.

* How to choose lemons at the store? Make sure the lemons you choose are smooth-skinned and heavy for their size. That way you know they are extra juicy.

Use buttermilk. Buttermilk, known for providing exceptional moisture to your baked goods, will leave each bite tender and lush. I’ve found that lemon cakes can easily be dry and gritty. There’s none of that in this recipe! Buttermilk, a little brown sugar, and 4 eggs assure the final product is as moist as it could possibly be without being wet.

Did you know? It’s easy to make your own buttermilk alternative at home! I don’t typically keep buttermilk in the refrigerator. But you can sour your own milk (1% milk fat or higher) at home to make DIY buttermilk. For this particular recipe, simply measure 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in a measuring cup/glass. Then fill the rest up with milk until you reach 1 full cup. Stir it around, let sit for 5 minutes, and it will be ready to use in your cake. (Alternatively, you could also use 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar.)

Fresh or frozen blueberries are OK. If using frozen, do not thaw. And don’t worry – the blueberries will not sink to the bottom of your cakes.

* Why not? Because I make sure the cake batter is extra thick. When you have a thin batter, your heavy fruit will likely sink to the bottom. This batter is thick and you’ll surely work a few arm muscles scooping it into the three cake pans. Toss the blueberries in a touch of flour as well – this way they won’t burst inside and turn your cake purple.”

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Enjoy each bite of summer sunshine 😀

Lemon Blueberry Cake

Cake

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature1
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (360g) sifted all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk3
  • zest + juice of 3 medium lemons4
  • 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or non-thawed frozen (275g)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature5
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream6
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour three 9×2 inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy – about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
  3. In a large sized bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined. Toss the blueberries in 1 Tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. Do not overmix at any point.Overmixing will lend a tough, dense textured crumb.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans. If only using 2 cake pans, your bake time will be longer. Bake the three layers for about 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took 21 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
  6. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. The recipe doesn’t make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.
  7. Make ahead tip: Prepare cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cakes at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cakes may be frozen up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature if desired before serving.

Additional Notes:

This batter will fit into a 9×13 pan. Fill 2/3 full. If there’s extra batter, you can make a few cupcakes. I’m unsure of the baking time since I only typically make it as a layer cake.

  1. Room temperature eggs preferred for even distribution among batter. Simply set into a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes before using or set out when you set out your cream cheese/butter for the recipe.
  2. Be very careful not to overmeasure your flour. This will result in a heavy, dense crumb. You want a precise 360g. For a lighter crumb, you can use 3 + 1/4 cups sifted cake flour instead.
  3. Please use buttermilk in this recipe. See note in post about how to make a DIY version at home.
  4. 1 medium-size lemon = approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon zest = 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  5. Use brick-style cream cheese. Not cream cheese spread.
  6. Heavy cream with 30% or more milk fat preferred in frosting for creamiest texture. For a less creamy texture, milk would be fine.

(Recipe and Additional Notes are from Sally’s Baking Addiction )

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