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Friday, October 14, 2011

Lemon & Blueberry Layer Cake


In honor of B's birthday today, I'm doing a cake post!
Only I didn't actually make him a cake.
Although, I was thinking of doing this one.
I know it seems like a total copout but I know he'll love it.

This cake is the result of 3 different recipes and 
several different inspirations like this.

The ending result was fantastic.
Lemon blueberry cake with lemon curd filling and a lemon buttercream frosting.
Although it sounds extra lemony it's not too tart at all.

The cake is dense and the blueberries sank when baking,
creating that great streak of blueberries.
I stacked the cakes with the ends towards the center cake which does not have blueberries in it.

The cake recipe (and candied lemon) is adapted from Martha Stewart
the curd is my own recipe (doubled and the tiniest bit extra was served alongside the cake with a spoon for curd enthusiasts to add a dollop to their cake is so desired) 
and the frosting is from the Lemon Drop recipe in the Baked Cookbook


Lets start with the lemon curd as I really think you need to make this first and 
stick it in the refrigerator so that it's nice and cold when you use it.

The warmer the curd, the thinner and the more you lose to 
oozing out the sides when you stack your layers.

The Easiest Lemon Curd Ever
1 cup lemon juice
4 tsp finely grated zest (I run a knife over mine after zesting with a microplane)
2 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp

Cream your butter, add sugar and zest and mix well.

Add your eggs in, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Throw in your lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Mix, mix, mix.

At this point it will look all curdled and gross. Don't worry.

Pour the mixture into a pot and cook over low-medium until thick, stirring constantly. I'll be honest, I always put it up to medium because I'm super impatient. As it heats it will start to thicken. You'll know it's ready when the curd coats the spoon and stays in place when you run your finger (or another utensil) down the center.

You can keep this in the refrigerator for several days or break into small batches and freeze.


Lemon & Blueberry Cake

  • 1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
  • 2 3/4 cup blueberries or about 3, 12 oz packages 
  • 2 cups will go into the cake and the rest is for decorating 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

  • Butter and flour three 9-by-2-inch (or 8 inch if that's what you have) 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 3 cups sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. 
  • Beat in 1/4 cup lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
*You can make your own buttermilk by taking a 1 cup measure, adding 1 tbs lemon juice, filling the remainder with low fat milk and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes.

  • Pour 1/3 of the batter into one cake pan and smooth the top.  Add 2 cups of blueberries to the remainder of the batter and fold them in, then split between the 2 remaining pans and smooth the 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 cup sugar and 1 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 to use for decorating later. 
  • Stir remaining 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.

  • Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. 
  • Brush with lemon syrup. I did this several times.  Let cool completely.

  • Once cooled I put them in the refrigerator because it makes them easier to frost.
If you wanted you could make these ahead and freeze.

  • Picnik collage
Lemon Drop Frosting

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup lemon curd

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk sugar and flour together.
Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, 
until the mixture comes to a boil & has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Beat on high speed until cool.
Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of the lemon curd and continue mixing until combined.
If the frosting is too soft, put it in the fridge to chill then remix.
If the frosting is too firm (like if you made it the day before) let it sit out a while,
or place it over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.

You want it firm enough to hold it's shape.



Place your plain lemon cake (without blueberries) on a flat surface and trim to make it level.

Place one cake layer on a plate or platter, top down (upside down).
Surround it with wax or parchment paper (cut into strips) 
so that you don't have to worry about frosting mess.

Pipe a ring of your frosting just inside the edge.
This will keep the curd in when you stack your layers.
If you feel your frosting is too soft, place the layer in the fridge for a bit.
Fill with about a cup of lemon curd.
Take your plain lemon cake and place in on top, then repeat with the frosting ring and the curd.
Finish with the third cake, bottom down (right side up).
Crumb coat the cake and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Frost the sides and top of the cake.

Garnish with the candied lemon slices, pile the blueberries on top
and around the base and top off with one lemon slice, cut and twisted.

Refrigerate the entire cake for another 20 minutes to help it all set.
You can place this in a cake saver and store in a cool room for up to 3 days.
If it's too hot put it in the fridge just allow it to sit at room temp for 2 hours before serving.

I actually didn't have a cake saver so I just stuck it in the refrigerator and made sure there wasn't anything smelly near it :)

It was perfect.

This cake looks like a lot of work but everything can be done in phases ahead of time.
Everyone loved it.

Make this cake!


  1. That cake looks absolutely dreamy, and you've decorated it beautifully. I have never made lemon curd and am rushing off to give it a go.

  2. That looks so perfect! Blueberry and lemon are a match made in heaven imho....

  3. oh---I'm SO behind on my blog reading---but I'm catching up this weekend---just going to stay in my jammies and read---TMI? hmph! That cake is BEEEAUTIFUL! It looks so moist! I love the combination of three are a true foodie!;D Enjoy your weekend, Dawn!


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