Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

I think cake will always scream "BIRTHDAY" to me. Pretty much every time I have it, that's what it's for.

I remember the cakes from all my years of birthdays. The chocolate cake my mom let me cover with pink sugary decorations from the grocery store. The petit fours we searched allowed for during my Samantha phase.

And the banana cake on my first birthday. Yes, a banana with a candle stuck in it. That one I might not actually remember but I'll definitely never forget.

This cake celebrates an incredibly special birthday. A new baby boy welcomed into the world today by two of my dearest friends and their darling little daughter.

I'm headed right now to meet him.

I wouldn't consider myself a little baby person per say. I don't reach for them the moment they enter the room. But this is one little baby I can't wait to get to know.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
recipe adapted from Sweetapolita

This cake will serve at least 12.

2 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs

Lemon Curd:
3 large egg yolks, strained
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons water
pinch salt

Prepare the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by buttering and flouring them.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl (flour, baking powder, salt). Remove one tablespons flour mixture and use it to coat the blueberries.

Stir the whole milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until pale yellow and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing after each until well combined. Mix in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk mixture, but starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Mine filled two pans.

Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, between 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cakes in pans for about 10 minutes, and then invert them on the racks until completely cool.

Make the lemon curd: Combine the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5 to 7 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Scrape the bottom of the pan regularly so nothing sticks.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the cool butter one piece at a time, stirring well until each is melted and the consistency is smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, placed right against the lemon curd. Refrigerate until chilled.

Prepare the frosting: Cream the butter and lemon zest in the bowl of a mixer, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar, mixing on low speed for about 2 minutes until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on medium high for 3 to 4 more minutes, until light and fluffy.

Frost the cake: Place one layer of cake on the bottom of your cake stand. Pipe icing around the edges of the cake to form a barrier so the lemon curd can't escape. Fill the middle of the cake with lemon curd, spreading it evenly around the cake. Top with another cake layer, face down, with the brown, smooth side up.

Spread a thin layer of frosting over the outside of the cake. This is the crumb layer to trap crumbs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator and frost the cake generously with frosting. Use a frosting tip to create a border on the cake, if desired.

Because of the lemon curd, the cake must be kept refrigerated.


  1. Such a sweet thing to do for your friends. The cake looks divine (lemon and blueberry is such a wonderful combination, isn't it?) and I'm sure they will enjoy being treated. A wonderful memory in the making!

    1. Thanks! He's such a delightful little boy that it all seems worth it. I feel lucky to know their family so well.

  2. Lemon and blueberries would pair so well together. I am loving this cake!

    1. Thank you! I love that lemon/blueberry combination. Lemon just screams "spring!" to me.

  3. Lemon, blueberries, cake...and you didn't invite me? Hhhmmmpppfff. Looks great!!!!

  4. Well I am absolutely FOR SURE a baby person. I want one, like...yesterday. :P This cake looks amazing!! I'm a total lover of all things lemon and blueberry. That child is lucky to have you in his life!

    1. Oh, I feel pretty lucky to have him. He seems pretty perfect so far! Lemon and blueberry was perfect to celebrate.

  5. Great meeting you at the NYC bake sale this past weekend. And what a delicious looking cake! Lemon and blueberry, one of my favorite combinations!

    1. Thanks Loiuse! It was great to meet you too. I never knew how much I loved lemon and blueberry before this cake!

  6. What fun! A new baby is such a blessing...