This sublime Lemon Blueberry Cake deserves a spot in your regular blueberry season rotation, as does the Blueberry Caffe Latte I paired it with!
Fineness in simplicity
Currently, one of my favorite seasons is blueberry season. Usually it’s autumn lol, but ever since I started baking with blueberries it’s been impossible to deny how much I look forward to being able to bake with them every year. Frankly I like eating them on their own just as much, but it feels like a sin not to put them in a dessert at least once during the entire season, considering how lengthy it is.
That said, I can’t think of anything better to make right now than this SUBLIME Lemon Blueberry Cake. I like to write a rating of recipes I test and try on the margins of my print-out, and with this one there is a giant hand-written note that says “OMG 6 STARS!!!!!!” with a gazillion exclamation points, even though my scale only runs from 1 to 5.
This is one of my best recipe finds from the Two Peas & Their Pod blog, hands down! Now that I think about it, I should’ve put 10 stars there to properly convey exactly how much I love this! Although all the exclamation marks are a solid indication, even now!
You guys probably noticed I don’t post about frosted layer cakes much on here. It’s because I’m not very good at making (READ: decorating) cakes. The hot climate and my lack of patience in waiting for the frosting to set before proceeding is an equation for disaster. It’s not often that I would willingly undertake cakes that require hours/days of preparation like this Chocolate Strawberry Layer Cake, even though it is arguably worth it.
I don’t know… I just prefer simpler rustic cakes like this Lemon Blueberry Cake. Because despite not possessing that impressive layered cake aura, the taste of this cake is unforgettable enough!
In love with this Lemon Blueberry Cake
Since I’m already at it, let me throw out a few more superlatives to describe this cake: glorious and perfect! It has just the right amount of tartness from the lemon and some juicy sweetness from the blueberries. The crumb is super soft and tender– not fluffy but melt-in-the-mouth moist.
I love how the lightly savory cream cheese frosting, with the beautiful scent and light kick of lemon, adds such a delicious dimension to the cake overall. I adapted the cream cheese and butter-based frosting from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I find this type of frosting to be more stable without the need to add too much sugar. Then I added both lemon zest and juice to give it a zing.
Overall, the cake is not too sweet, and depending on how much sugar you add, the frosting is not too sweet either. It’s just a perfectly delicious cake with a beautiful lemon-blueberry flavor that I think is also impossible to mess up!
Now for the drink pairing
For the first time ever, I decided to try one of those blueberry coffee drinks making the rounds on Instagram. And holy cow, I LOVED THIS DRINK! Who knew blueberries and coffee were such a great match! (Again with the exclamation points here!!!!)
Cooking the blueberries in sugar to make them jam-like was brilliant. It’s extra work but well worth it! The flavors of the blueberries were really released this way, plus it makes it easier for the blueberry juices to mix into the coffee. It adds a sweet berry flavor to the latte without completely overwhelming the taste of coffee.
Make sure to stir the coffee really well– indeed, until the drink turns violet!– to incorporate everything before drinking. I promise you will not regret putting in the effort to make this drink one bit. What a great recipe from Nguyen Coffee Supply!
My recipe notes
- Do not skip the prep work. Aside from prepping the pan, prepping the sugar and the blueberries are essential steps as well. For the lemon sugar, I recommend doing this step ahead of time so the sugar really absorbs all of that lovey lemon essence. (I like to do this step before anything else.) The blueberries also need to be coated with a layer of flour so that they will float in the batter rather than sink to the bottom of your cake.
- Do not over-mix the batter. As with all cake recipes, we don’t want gluten to develop in the cake so it doesn’t come out tough. For this to happen, we want to avoid over-working the dough. Mix just until batter has barely any lumps and is mostly smooth. Any lumpiness will work itself out once the cake is baked.
- Bake cake for 40 to 50 minutes. Start checking at the 40-minute mark as ovens vary. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or the top of the cake gently bounces back when lightly pressed.
- Check to see if you like the consistency of the frosting before adding more sugar. You may have noticed in the video that my frosting is not too stiff. This is because I don’t like to add too much sugar into my frosting. If you’re like me, use 1 cup sugar first, taste, then build up from there. I reason I prefer a cream cheese and butter base for my frostings is because I feel it’s more stable even if you don’t add lots of sugar. If you like a sweeter frosting, feel free to add more sugar or more lemon juice as desired.
- This Lemon Blueberry Cake is best eaten at room temperature. The cake and icing hardens a bit in the fridge but give it a bit of time on the counter before eating and everything softens right back up to best eating texture.
Lemon Blueberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
For the initial prep
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 1¼ cups fresh blueberries
- 1 Tablespoon flour
For the cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup canola, grapeseed, or vegetable oil (use any neutral-tasting oil)
- 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt, room temperature
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the lemon cream cheese frosting
- ½ bar (113 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, according to preference
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more according to preference
- Blueberries, for garnish (optional)
Make the cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan that's 2 inches high. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and lightly grease the paper too. Set the pan aside for now.
- In a small bowl, rub together the sugar and lemon zest with your fingers until sugar is entirely coated with lemon essence and is aromatic. In a separate small bowl, add blueberries and sprinkle in the 1 Tablespoon flour. Toss until blueberries are evenly coated with the flour. (This step will prevent them from sinking to the bottom as the cake bakes.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside for a moment.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon sugar, eggs, oil, yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined and completely smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the batter has barely any lumps and is mostly smooth. Gently fold in the blueberries until distributed in the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake will also gently bounce back when lightly pressed. Start checking at the 40-minute mark to avoid over-baking.
- Remove cake from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges to gently release the cake and unmold onto a wire rack until completely cooled.
Once cake is cooled, make the frosting
- Into a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until lightened and fluffy. Add in the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and zest, then beat until smooth. Check to see if you like the consistency of the frosting. If not, feel free to add more sugar or more lemon juice as desired.
- Spread or pipe the frosting onto cooled cake in the style that you like, then garnish with more blueberries. Slice and serve. Cake is best enjoyed at room temperature with a glass of Blueberry Vietnamese Coffee Latte (recipe below)!
- Avoid crushing all the blueberries in the jam. I highly recommend keeping some of the blueberries whole rather than smashing or straining them out so you can get these berry bits as you drink.
- I tested this drink only with Vietnamese coffee. I haven’t tried it with regular coffee though it should work out fine. Vietnamese coffee has a distinct flavor that paired really well with the sweet and tart blueberry jam though.
Blueberry Vietnamese Caffe Latte
- ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons Vietnamese coffee grounds
- ½ cup freshly boiled water
- 60 to 120 mL milk of choice
- In a saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, and vanilla. Cook on medium low heat until blueberries break down and juices thicken to a jam-like consistency. Remove from heat and cool slightly until just warm. If desired, strain out any blueberry chunks.
- Place the blueberry jam into the bottom of your serving glass. Add ice. Pour in half the milk first, then place phin atop the serving glass and brew Vietnamese coffee. Remove the phin and add more milk until the drink reaches almost to the rim of the glass. Pour milk gently into the middle to layer the drink.
- Take some time to marvel at the layers, then stir the drink well to incorporate the flavors of the blueberry jam you made. Stir until the coffee turns a dark violet color, and enjoy! Drink may be served with a spoon or wide straw if you decided not to crush your blueberries. (I personally love finding some chunks of blueberries at the bottom of my drink!)
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