Zesty, fruity, fresh, and fun – this sweet lemon cake full of fresh blueberries will remind you of summer lemonade and blueberry pie. Using fresh produce is essential for the perfect bite of tart and sweet. Bright fragrant lemons and deep, rich blueberries are so visually stimulating that they will have your mouth watering before you begin your prep for this cake! I was even lucky enough to use some of my mother’s fresh blueberry jam to make this juicy cake – so, if you can get your hands on some homemade jam, preserves, or compote, I highly recommend using it in this recipe. If this isn’t the perfect springtime dessert to have at your next brunch, lunch, or evening affair al fresco, then I don’t know what is.
This recipe was adapted from the queen herself, Martha Stewart. She has had her ups and downs, but no one can deny her personal branding success, as well as the plethora of amazing ideas, recipes, and crafts her team has come up with over the years.
Lemon and Blueberry Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
1 cup fresh blueberries
blueberry jam or preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Add blueberries, leaving a few aside for the topping.
Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.
Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting (recipe below). Between the two cake layers, apply the blueberry jam or preserves, about 1/2″ in thickness. Frost cooled cakes and top with blueberries.
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.