I generally try to reserve these “celebration” cakes for special occasions, namely my blogging anniversary or my birthday or Russell’s, mostly because they’re a whole mess more complicated than bundts or simpler “everyday” cakes, but also because I really don’t need all this cake in my house on the regular.
The cake was a HUGE hit. Usually a quiet, stoic German man, complements don’t come super easily from my grandpa, but he must have come over to compliment and thank me for this cake at least 5 times. Nice and moist and not to sweet. His cousin even came over to shake my hand because he liked it so much!
This cake is SUPER blueberry-y. The freeze dried blueberries really come through, and just like grandpa said, the cake is moist and tender and just sweet enough. The blueberry filling tastes just like blueberry pie filling or homemade jam, and the vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream is delicately sweet, smooth and silky, and definitely lets the blueberry filling shine without anything competing with it.
If you love blueberries, you HAVE to make this cake y’all!
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or frozen (do not thaw– 275g)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) lemon juice (3 medium lemons)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 3 cups (354g) sifted all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream
- 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 8 ounces (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
PREPARE THE OVEN
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Grease three 9-inch or 8-inch round cake pans (8-inch pans produce thicker cakes), line bottom with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper.
- Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans.
MIX THE CAKE BATTER
- Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy – about 1 minute.
- Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla.
- Beat on medium speed until everything is completely combined, about 2 full minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then beat in the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice just until combined.
- Toss the blueberries with 1 Tablespoon of flour and gently fold into the batter.
- Batter is extremely thick.
- Do not over-mix.
- Over-mixing will lead to a tough, dense textured crumb.
BAKE THE CAKE
- Spoon batter evenly into prepared cake pans.
- Bake for about 21-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (8 inch cakes take closer to 25 minutes.)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before assembling and frosting.
MAKE THE FROSTING
- Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes.
- Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes.
- Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE AND FROST
- Use a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface.
- Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting.
- Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer.
- Top with frosting and spread around the sides.
- The recipe doesn’t make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost.
- Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired.
- Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.
- Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.