lemon blueberry sunshine cake

This cake was sitting pretty in the freezer for about a week, and I finally decided to cut myself a piece. OH MY GOD. It was like eating sunshine in the form of a cake. I am now obsessed with the lemon-blueberry combination. These bright flavors are the perfect way to celebrate as the summer season comes to a close.

This is a supremely moist cake due to the sour cream. It has a sweet, puckery lemon flavor and is bursting with bright, juicy blueberries. I iced it with my favorite, simple buttercream, but it would also be delicious with some luscious cream cheese frosting.
This cake freezes beautifully — as a matter of fact, I enjoy my cakes best after they have been in the freezer for a day or two (or even a week!).
With love,



 For the cake:

2 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs

For the filling:

1/2 cup blueberry jam  (or lemon curd)

For the frosting:
2 sticks butter, room temperature
4-6 cups confectioner’s sugar 
1/4 cup milk 
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease 3, 8″ cake pans. Sift dry ingredients into medium bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon flour mixture to larger bowl. Add fresh blueberries and toss to coat them with flour. Set remaining flour mixture and blueberries aside.
Stir whole milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest in small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar, until pale yellow and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Mix in flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Divide batter equally among 8″ round pans.
Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto racks until completely cool.

Once cakes are cool, spread blueberry jam and sandwich it between the layers.

Frost with lemon buttercream (recipe follows)

Lemon Buttercream

Beat butter in stand mixer until pale and fluffy. Slowly add the 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar. Add the milk and lemon extract. Add more confectioner’s sugar until desired consistency is achieved.

adapted from Sweetapolita

32 thoughts on “lemon blueberry sunshine cake

  1. Laura Dembowski

    That's a very pretty cake. I find many cakes freeze very well for even a month or two. That's how I save all my cakes, then I can enjoy them a couple times over the course of a few months. It's always fun pulling out a baked good from awhile back and rediscovering how fabulous it is.

    1. Cannella Vita

      Thank you so much! I totally agree, but I am not sure this one will last so long as to put it back in the freezer! Haha

  2. Maggie

    The recipe calls for three 8" cake pans, but your cake only has two layers. Did you use a larger layer pan?

  3. Tragic Bat

    Could they be made into cupcakes? I want to try this, but don't want to be tempted to eat the whole cake. lol

    1. Cannella Vita

      I am sure these could be made into cupcakes — I think it would make about 24 cupcakes, and you would bake them for 20-25 minutes.

  4. Anonymous

    I only have 2 9inch round cake pans. How much would I put in each? I'm thinking of just using the rest to make cupcakes, but I don't want to overfill my cake pans.

  5. VickieB

    Can lemon juice squeezed from a fresh lemon be used instead of extract, or do you think that would alter the cake chemistry?

    1. Cannella Vita

      You could try it for sure (and maybe add a bit of zest for good measure). But it may add too much liquid to the batter (in which case a tablespoon extra flour would help). Lemon extract is essentially lemon-y flavor condensed into a really strong liquid. Who knows, the cake may be even better with fresh lemons than the extract! I would give it a go!

  6. Anonymous

    Can't wait to try this, maybe tonight!! I love anything lemon, especially cakes… so I can't wait to try this! My daughter hates anything with the words "lemon" and "cake" in the same sentence, so I may get to eat this whole thing by myself… yah me!!! lol

    1. Cannella Vita

      Yay! (I ate almost half of the cake myself… I'm sure you could do it too!). This cake is so good though, it might be enough to change your daughter's mind about lemon desserts. Note that this cake is best when it sits in the freezer for a bit.

  7. Anonymous

    One of your ingredients I don't think has the full comment. Can you please correct or let tell me what it should say:

    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened a ***what comes at the end of this

  8. Anonymous

    can i bake this in a 9 x 13 pan? will it overflow? If I can, how long should I bake it for? thank you. can't wait to make it 🙂

  9. Michael

    Your cake sounds good and also looks nice. I'll surely try this at home and comes to you with feedback.

  10. Rachel

    Hi Erica,
    This looks like an amazing recipe! I've bookmarked it and plan to make it for my husband's birthday in a few months. He really dislikes cake and usually won't even try a bite but he loves all these flavors and the texture looks just quick-bread-ish enough that I think he'll swoon for it. Between the cream cheese frosting and cold moist texture, I think I'll finally be able to make a cake lover out of him. Thanks for another beautiful post!

    1. Cannella Vita

      Thank you so much! I really hope that he likes this cake! It is one of the best cakes that I have ever made/tasted in my life. I am actually planning on making it again soon.

    1. Cannella Vita

      Either! I froze mine after frosting, but you could always freeze the layers and then frost them later!

  11. Cathy

    Can you use frozen blueberries? I have frozen berries from the summer and would love to make this cake.

  12. Anonymous

    Hi, so you think this could be made with two 9 inch cake pans that are 2 inches tall? Thanks! This cake looks amazing and I'm excited to try it!

    1. Cannella Vita

      Most definitely! Although you would probably have to shorten the baking time slightly as the layers would be thinner.

  13. Anonymous

    I really want to make this cake, but it requires having a roomy freezer, which I don't exactly have in my dorm, so I guess I'll have to wait until Christmas break.
    But in the meantime, do you think your iced lemon pound cake (Starbucks copycat) would be good with blueberries sprinkled in it?

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