Layers of tender lemon sponge, studded with bursting blueberries, sandwiched between layers of lemony cream cheese icing and berry compote
There are some flavour combinations which just work and lemon and blueberry is one of them. In addition to the contrast of sunshine yellow lemons and purply blue blueberries, the tartness of the lemon complements the sweetness of the berry.
I have recently been focusing on simpler bakes which require minimal preparation and decoration time. Having staples which you can whip up in a flash definitely has its appeal, but as does the therapeutic relief which comes from spending the day in the kitchen, creating a masterpiece.
A masterpiece it is – this lemon and blueberry cake. When the cakes came out of the oven, giving off a buttery, lemony aroma, the blueberries in the batter were bursting with colour. I knew then that I wanted to keep the cake a naked cake, showcasing the actual sponges in all their beauty.
I have kept the frosting simple with my standard cream cheese icing, to avoid too sweet a frosting, but added a bit lemon to it for some extra zing. As there were a few components, I did not want to fuss too much with any additional embellishments, and opted for a store-bought blueberry jam. I did want to add some texture with berries, so also made a small batch of berry compote. This was a winning aesthetic decision to make, as as I sandwiched each layer, a bit of berry compote oozed out the side, staining the sponge and providing a very satisfying drip. This is of course optional, but very worth the three extra ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time to make the compote.
HOW TO MAKE THIS LEMON AND BLUEBERRY CAKE
- Begin by making the sponges and allowing them to cool.
- Cream the butter and sugar for five minutes, before adding the oil In, the add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time. Only adding the next one once the previous egg has been fully incorporated.
- Sift the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt into a bowl together.
- Begin by adding some of the sifted ingredients above to the whipped egg and butter mixture. Then alternate this with half the milk. Repeat with the remaining sifted ingredients and the milk.
- Finally, add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and blueberries.
- Bake in three, 20cm tins for about 25 – 30 minutes until the cakes are cooked and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Whilst the cakes are baking, make the compote by adding the blueberries/blackberries, lemon juice and sugar to a pot. Cook on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and some of the berries just begin to break down. Set aside in the fridge to cook.
- Then make the
- Decorate the cake with a thin spreading of blueberry jam on the first layer, then the lemon cream cheese and finally the berry compote. Repeat with the second sponge cake.
- Finally place the last layer of cake on, spread on the lemon cream cheese frosting and decorate with fresh berries and flowers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BEFORE MAKING THIS LEMON AND BLUEBERRY CAKE
What can I do to prevent my blueberries from sinking? Wet the blueberries a bit and coat them in flour, to prevent them from sinking.
Why is my cream cheese icing so runny? This comes down to overbeating the cream cheese. The method I prefer is to beat the cream cheese first. Then make the rest of the frosting and fold in the beaten cream cheese at the end.
Why is it difficult to cut into my lemon and blueberry cake? There are many layers to this cake and it is therefore sometimes difficult to get a neat slice. Cutting the cake once it is slightly chilled will aid with this.
Can I use any other berries in the cake? Whilst I have not personally tested this, I do think you can use raspberries and blackberries. Strawberries are too watery so avoid these. The compote may need to be addjusted depending on the sweetness of the berry.
How long will this cake keep for? The sponges, uniced will keep for 4 months in the freezer. Once the cake is iced, it should last for a week, stored in the refrigerator in a container.
OTHER RECIPES TO TRY
If lemon, blueberry or both are a combination which you enjoy, then I suggest you also give these a go:
For the Lemon and Blueberry Sponges
- 125g salted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 320g caster sugar
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 4 large eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 250g cake flour
- 80g ground almonds
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 150ml full fat milk
- 60ml lemon juice
- zest of 3 lemons
- 200g blueberries, coated in flour
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and line the base and sides of three 20cm round cake tins, with baking paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the oil and vanilla essence and continue to beat.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks in, one at a time. Only add the next egg/ egg yolk, once the previous one has been fully incorporated.
- Sift the cake flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Add half the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed butter and egg mixture and mix until just incorporated. Then add in half the milk. Follow with the remaining dry ingredients and the milk.
- Finally, stir in the lemon juice and zest and gently fold in the blueberries.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely, before frosting it.
For the Berry compote
- 75g blackberries
- 75g blueberries
- 125g sugar
- 30ml lemon juice
- Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the berries just begin to melt.
- This should take about 5 minutes.
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 500 full fat cream cheese, at room temperature.
- 120g butter, cubed at room temperature
- 150g icing sugar, sifted
- 30ml lemon juice
- Begin by creaming the cream cheese until nice and smooth and set aside.
- Then cream the butter until pale and fluffy.
- Add in the icing sugar, a little at a time and continue to beat until the icing is nice and smooth.
- Add in the lemon juice and continue to beat.
- Finally fold in the beaten cream cheese.
For Assembly and Decoration
- 250g blueberries and blackberries
- 150g blueberry jam
- flowers to decorate
- icing sugar for dusting
TO ASSEMBLE AND FROST THE CAKE
- Once the sponges have cooled completely, place a bit of icing on the cake stand and place the sponge on it to hold it in place.
- To the first sponge, spread a thin layer of blueberry jam.
- Then add some of the lemon cream cheese icing.
- Finally, add some berry compote to the lemon cream cheese icing, and then sandwich with the second sponge.
- Repeat the process with the second sponge, using up all of the compote and the jam, but reserving a third of the lemon cream cheese icing for the top of the cake.
- Sandwich with the third sponge.
- Finally, to finish the cake off, frost with the remaining cream cheese and pile with fresh berries. Dust with icing sugar and add some flowers for decoration.
Recipe by adventureswithsugar.com