Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Chenée Lewis
Easy lemon and blackberry cake starts with moist blackberry cake with lemon zest, and has an easy blackberry cake frosting! You’ll love this blackberry lemon cake with blackberry filling and lemon curd! And for more layer cakes, try my Chocolate Spice Cake, my Butter Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, or my Passionfruit Cake with White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream!
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Easy Lemon Blackberry Cake Recipe
Just in time for your summer celebrations, this lemon and blackberry cake is a fantastic way to showcase summer berries for a special occasion! This cake is so moist and full of bright flavors, and it's got a velvety blackberry buttercream frosting that makes it truly irresistible!
I really love baking with lemon, so this cake is a favorite recipe of mine! It's based on my Lemon Coconut Layer Cake from my summer cookbook! But for this cake, I added fresh, sweet blackberries to balance out the tartness of the lemon, and the balance of flavors was fantastic.
What to do with lots of blackberries?
Summer berry season is such an amazing time of year, and there's nothing better than picking a big batch of fresh, ripe blackberries or grabbing some at the farmer's market! And if you're looking for something to do with all those berries, this lemon and blackberry cake is your best bet! We're folding in fresh blackberries into the cake batter, and topping it all off with a blackberry buttercream frosting made with more fresh blackberries! If you're a berry lover, you will adore this cake!
What does lemon do to a cake?
So what happens when you add lemon juice to cake batter? Well first of all, the lemon in this cake adds a nice bright, citrus flavor that complements the sweetness and tartness of the blackberries so perfectly! And the lemon also works with the baking soda in the cake batter to give this easy lemon blackberry cake a nice, fluffy texture.
Moist Blackberry Cake Ingredients
- lemon zest - adds that bright, tangy lemon flavor! Make sure you use a microplane zester and only zest the top layer of the lemon peel. I recommend using organic lemons because conventional lemons can have a waxy coating that prevents your cake from getting that maximum lemony flavor!
- granulated sugar - we'll press the lemon zest into our granulated white sugar to make sure all of those lemon oils are released.
- butter - I like to use salted butter in most of my cake recipes, but if you prefer to use unsalted, just add ¼ teaspoon of salt in with your dry ingredients.
- eggs - your eggs should be room temperature before adding them to this lemon and blackberry cake recipe.
- vanilla extract - be sure to use a high-quality pure vanilla extract. Or better yet, check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home with just 2 ingredients!
- vegetable oil - I like to use canola oil, but any light-flavored vegetable oil works well.
- cake flour - cake flour is great in this lemon and blackberry cake because it produces a light, moist crumb. If you don't have cake flour on hand, see the tips below for a cake flour substitute!
- baking soda and baking powder - these leaveners help to give our cake a nice lift!
- blackberries - I like using fresh blackberries in this cake, but you can also thawed and drained frozen blackberries.
- sour cream - adds a nice moisture to this lemon and blackberry cake!
- fresh lemon juice - juice those lemons that you zested earlier.
For the Blackberry Buttercream Frosting
- blackberries - frozen or fresh work fine, but you may want to thaw them from frozen to make them easier to purée.
- fresh lemon juice - helps to add a nice tartness and complements the blackberry flavor perfectly!
- butter - as above, if you prefer to use unsalted butter, just toss in ¾ teaspoon of salt to balance out the sweetness in this frosting.
- powdered sugar - just like with our cake flour, you'll want to measure your powdered sugar by weight with a kitchen scale, or with the spoon-and-level method.
- vanilla extract - to round out the flavor in this blackberry buttercream!
For this 8-inch layer cake, you'll need three 8-inch cake pans -- these are my favorite! And I'd recommend a stand mixer to whip up your batter, as well as a microplane for zesting!
Tips and F.A.Q.
In this lemon and blackberry cake, the first secret is sour cream! The richness and acidity of sour cream ensures a soft, fluffy cake that stays moist! Another key step is adding a bit of vegetable oil for an even moister cake.
This lemon and blackberry cake uses lemon zest and lemon juice to create a bright lemon flavor! Many dessert recipes use lemon extract, which you could also add here if you really want to amp up the lemon flavor!
This blackberry lemon cake has a bright, yet subtle lemon in the batter, with a boost of lemony flavor in the lemon curd filling.
You sure can! I like to thaw them and drain them so that they don't add too much liquid to the cake batter. For the blackberry buttercream frosting, you may not need to drain them since they'll be puréed.
Absolutely! Homemade lemon curd always has the best flavor, but when you're filling this blackberry lemon cake with lemon curd, store-bought works just fine.
If you don’t have cake flour, you can make a substitute to use in this moist blackberry cake recipe! All you need is all-purpose flour and corn starch. Just measure out 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour and replace 5 tablespoons of it with cornstarch. In grams, it’ll be 312 grams of all-purpose flour sifted with 40 grams of cornstarch. As I mentioned above, it’s best to measure by weight with a kitchen scale, but if you don’t have one be sure to use the spoon-and-level method to measure by volume.
Unfrosted cake layers can be made and stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to two days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months, wrapped well in plastic wrap and heavy duty foil.
Once frosted, the cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days, and should last in the fridge in an airtight container up to 4 days.
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you could leave a rating and comment below! It’s so wonderful hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to share your creations with me by tagging @chenee_today on Instagram!
More Berry Recipes You'll Love
- White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins
- Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream with Biscoff Cookie Swirl (No-Churn)
- Strawberry Crumble
- Oatmeal Cranberry Pecan Cookies
Equipment you may need
- zest of two lemons
- 1½ cup (300 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (114 g) salted butter - room temperature
- 3 large eggs - room temperature
- 2 teaspoon (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (55 g) vegetable oil
- 2½ cup (263 g) cake flour - measured by weight with a kitchen scale, or with the spoon-and-level method
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
- 1½ teaspoon (6 g) baking powder
- 1 cup (144 g) blackberries - washed and dried
- 1 cup (230 g) sour cream - room temperature
- ⅓ cup (81 g) fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup (226 g) lemon curd - homemade or store-bought (see note)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottoms of three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, press zest into sugar to release oils.zest of two lemons, 1½ cup granulated sugar
- Add softened butter and cream 3-5 minutes or until fluffy.1½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup salted butter
- Add eggs, one at a time, followed by oil and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated after each addition.3 large eggs, ¼ cup vegetable oil, 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.2½ cup cake flour, 1½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Gently stir in blackberries to coat with flour mixture. Set aside.1 cup blackberries
- In another bowl, whisk together sour cream and lemon juice until smooth.1 cup sour cream, ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- Add ⅓ of flour-blackberry mixture to batter and mix just until incorporated, then follow with ½ of sour cream mixture. Repeat; then finish with final third of flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
- Spoon batter evenly into three prepared baking pans and drop onto the counter from an inch or two of height to minimize air bubbles.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean.
Prepare Blackberry Buttercream
- Purée blackberries with a blender or food processor and push purée through a fine-mesh sieve to strain out seeds.1 cup blackberries
- Add purée and lemon juice to a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat 5-10 minutes until reduced.¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Measure out ⅓ cup of puree and add to a large bowl with softened butter. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy and well combined.1 ½ cup salted butter
- Add vanilla and mix well. Gradually mix in powdered sugar on low speed, then increase speed to whip for 2-4 minutes or until buttercream is light and fluffy.2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 6 cup powdered sugar
- Place one cooled cake layer on a cake board or cake stand.
- Spread a thin layer of blackberry buttercream over cake layer and use a piping bag to pipe a buttercream border around its edge.
- Add about ⅓ cup of lemon curd inside piped border and smooth to fill.1 cup lemon curd
- Top with second cake layer and repeat steps 2 and 3.
- Top with final cake layer and continue to frost cake as desired.
PIN this lemon and blackberry cake for later!