I have great news!! If you remember way back when, I shared a DELICIOUS cake recipe from one of my coworkers, Diane. It is one of the recipes I get the most feedback on. Everyone who has made it loved it and most of them have made it multiple times. That's right, the Di that gave us our favorite banana cake is sharing another cake!! Hold on to your seats!
Here's the thing; though I work with Di, I almost never see her. Usually we are chatting as she is driving around Northern IL and I am flitting about somewhere in rural Missouri or central Illinois. It's what we do. One calls the other with a question about a project and we iron out the best way to proceed or pass along whatever insight we have. Then the conversation turns to food. It could start with where we went for lunch but it almost always ends in baking. We both love to bake. We both love to eat baked goods. We can't help it. The harder the week, the more we bake. It's like cheap therapy. So, when one of us stumbles onto something really good we do the right thing and share the recipe!
She mentioned this cake for the first time in the spring. Lemon and blueberries are a match made in heaven and it sounded so good. Then she made it again for a party she was having over the 4th of July weekend. Now, I know it's good if she's making it again that quickly. So I got the recipe from her. I have been addicted to blueberries lately. They have been such a good price at the store that I've been buying at least a couple of pints a week (sometimes a couple of pints a couple of times a week!) I can't help it! Jax and I love some in our yogurt, so most of them have been used that way. But I knew I had to reserve a pint for this cake. TOTALLY WORTH IT!
Di usually bakes this as a 9x13" cake. I wanted to go for a layer cake. Of course they take a bit more frosting to get the job done. Instead of making 1 1/2 batches of frosting (which was totally tempting because.... frosting!) I decided to go with a naked cake look. You could certainly follow Di's lead and do a no fuss 9x13" or you could just up the frosting a bit if you wanted a layer cake with finished sides. No matter what, you won't be disappointed. The lemon in this cake isn't the kind that will overpower you. It is just enough to give that nice lemon/berry flavor that I love so much. The cream cheese frosting is also nice and mild. It all just plays together so nicely. We all really enjoyed it. But it's biggest fan might be my father-in-law. Jax and I brought about a big plate full of cake with us when we went to visit. He hadn't had breakfast yet, so he was happy to have a slice. Then he and Jax had another slice for a mid-morning snack later! If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!
It is a perfect spring/summer cake. Or make it in the winter with frozen berries for a taste of summer any time!
Di's Lemon Blueberry Cake
generously serves 12, but could easily serve 16
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour + 1 T for dusting berries
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup whole milk soured with a tsp of lemon juice)
7 T lemon juice
1 1/2 cups blueberries
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 T heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Optional: Additional blueberries for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare 3 9" cake pans. (I just use the baking spray with flour in it, but use whatever method you like best.)
- Beat the butter on high until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until well creamed.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium until completely incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour (just the 3 cups, keep the 1 T aside), baking soda and salt. Stir into the wet ingredients until just incorporated.
- Add the milk and lemon juice and stir by hand until it just comes together. Toss blueberries with the 1 T of flour and fold into the batter.
- Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (add a little time if you are baking in a 9x13"). The sides should be just pulling away from the edge of the pan and if you insert a toothpick in the center it should come out clean.
- Let cakes cool in their pans for about 5 minutes and then invert onto cooling racks. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- For frosting: Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, a T of cream and the vanilla. Mix on low until the sugar is well incorporated, then turn mixer to high. Beat for 2-3 minutes then add additional cream until you have the desired consistency. I knew I was going to just be frosting between the layers and the top of the cake, so I added 3 T for a softer frosting. Adjust the consistency with powdered sugar or cream until you get it how you'd like it.
- Layer the cakes and frosting on your serving tray. End with a healthy dose of frosting and garnish with blueberries if desired.