Lemon Layer Cake With Blackberry Buttercream

Whisking Wolf
by Whisking Wolf
8 servings
1 hr 30 min

Soft and fluffy, this Lemon Layer Cake is loaded with bright citrus flavor and frosted with a sweet blackberry buttercream. Made from scratch with simple ingredients this cake is a sunny way to welcome spring.

They say you should dress every day like you’re going to get killed in your clothes. But why not extend the same advice to murderers? Fashion and function should go hand-in-hand, even if that hand is wielding a deadly weapon. I mean, no one is going to take you seriously as a serial killer if Exhibit A in a courtroom is the pair of Christmas pajamas you were wearing on a crime spree. In April.

If you’re wondering what killer couture has to do with a cake recipe, it’s a simple explanation. Combining blackberry juice with a mixer on high speed results in the berry-equivalent of blood spatter. Take it from me, no amount of bleach will clean your favorite Santa pj’s. And your kitchen will need to be repainted. Unless, of course, you like your walls looking like a scene from CSI.

Despite all appearances, the only baking-related crime was the crime of stupidity. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a victimless crime; I’ll forever have the stains to prove it. But despite making an epic mess, I also made the most deliciously moist cake. Lemon-filled and fluffy, this layer cake is slathered with blackberry buttercream. The sweet, scratch-made frosting is the perfect compliment to each citrus-flavored bite.

Make this wonderful treat for Spring or Summer, just be sure to make it wearing an apron.

Before sharing the recipe for Lemon Layer Cake, here are a few tips and tricks to help you out:

Ingredient Tips and Tricks

Always use the spoon and level method to measure flour. Scooping flour is a no-no. That technique overpacks flour into the measuring cup which results in a drier, denser cake than the moist, tender cake you get from properly measured flour.

For best results be sure all ingredients (butter, eggs and yes, even buttermilk) are at room temperature before beginning.

Not all lemons are created equally, given that, six small lemons is a good starting point for this recipe.

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a sour milk substitution by stirring one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice into one cup of whole milk and letting it set for five minutes before use.

Preparation Tips and Tricks

Cake layers must cool completely before frosting.

Blackberry buttercream can be made a day ahead, however, it must be covered and stored in the refrigerator. Before icing cake layers, let frosting sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften then re-whip with an electric mixer to fluff it back up.

Storage and Freezing Tips for Lemon Layer Cake

Cover and refrigerate frosted cake up to 5 days.

Frosted cake can be frozen up to 3 months. First cover with plastic wrap then with a layer of aluminum foil and place in an airtight container before freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

I hope you enjoy this Lemon Layer Cake recipe. Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of this blog when you try it for yourself. Don’t forget to tag @whiskingwolf on social media so I can drool over your pics on Instagram.

Finally, if you love blackberries check out my recipe for this stunning No Bake Blackberry Tart.

Lemon Layer Cake With Blackberry Buttercream
Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 1 Hours Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 30 min
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Lemon Layer Cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract pure
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour unbleached
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt fine
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
Blackberry Buttercream
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt fine
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract pure
  • 1 tsp milk
Lemon Layer Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated.
Add lemon zest and vanilla then beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, mixing on low speed until just barely combined.
Add lemon juice and buttermilk, mixing on low, until batter is smooth and lump free. Take care to avoid overmixing.
Distribute batter evenly among prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.
Place cake pans on a wire rack to cool completely while you prepare frosting.
Blackberry Buttercream
Add blackberries, lemon juice and salt to a small saucepan over medium heat.
Simmer for approximately 10 minutes, stirring continuously until berries are soft.
Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Discard seeds and pulp then allow blackberry juice to cool to room temperature.
Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth, approximately 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Add cooled blackberry juice then beat on low until combined.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk beating on low until incorporated then increase speed to high and beat until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
After cakes have cooled completely, turn them out from their pans and level tops with a cake leveler or serrated knife.
Using an offset spatula, frost top of first cake layer with buttercream then stack second layer on top. Frost top and sides with remaining buttercream. For best results, chill for half an hour before slicing.
Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Whisking Wolf
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  • Jodi Jodi on Apr 15, 2021

    Where does the cream cheese enter the frosting? Or why call it cream cheese frosting?

    • Whisking Wolf Whisking Wolf on Apr 15, 2021

      Hi Jody,

      Thanks for catching that! I made the frosting two ways--with and without cream cheese, preferred it without and missed making the update. Apologies for the confusions, it is fixed now.

  • Anne Chipman Anne Chipman on Apr 17, 2021

    What is the spoon and level method?

    • See 1 previous
    • Anne Chipman Anne Chipman on Apr 17, 2021

      Thankyou...Ill be using this from now on! Btw great recipe..I can't wait to try this out!