It is simply not spring until you’ve baked a lemon blueberry layer cake. And this gluten-free and dairy-free lemon blueberry layer cake with whipped blueberry cream cheese frosting was spring scrumptiousness in every single bite. Grab those blueberries and sprint to the kitchen.
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Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake (Dairy-Free)
Soft tender layers of lemon cake speckled beautifully with bursting wild blueberries and covered in a tangy-sweet whipped blueberry cream cheese buttercream frosting. From the gorgeous natural blueberry color to the zippy lemon citrus flavor, this spring lemon blueberry layer cake is a must-bake in every manner of the saying.
What Makes Up A Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
With a sweet and zesty flavor profile, this lemon blueberry layer cake is made up of 3 components:
- Cake layers – super soft and fluffy lemon cake layers filled with wild blueberries.
- Blueberry compote – this blueberry compote packs a blueberry punch and is what flavors and colors the buttercream frosting.
- Frosting – tangy cream cheese frosting gets a blueberry upgrade when combined with the reduction mentioned above.
Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake Ingredients
If you’re new around here, first of all, welcome, and second, this recipe is written as gluten-free and dairy-free. That said, I do test each recipe with “regular” ingredients and make notes of alternatives or swaps so that everyone can enjoy it.
Here are a few key ingredients for this cake but make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom recipe card for the complete ingredient list.
- Gluten-Free Flour: Check to see if your blend contains xanthan gum. This can also be swapped for regular cake flour if you are not gluten-free. Note that gluten-free flour blends can vary in weight so I recommend measuring by the cup. I made this cake with XO Baking all-purpose flour blend.
- Dairy-Free Butter: I enjoy baking with BECEL plant-based bricks but any dairy-free butter substitute will work. You can also use regular butter if you are not dairy-free.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best but bottled from concentrate will also work.
- Dairy-Free Milk: I love to bake with unsweetened almond milk but this recipe will work with any type of dairy-free or dairy milk.
- Oil: Use canola or vegetable oil for best results.
- Blueberries: I used frozen wild blueberries for this cake. Wild blueberries are a bit smaller in size therefore I can squeeze more into the batter but regular blueberries will absolutely work. They can be fresh or frozen.
- Dairy-Free Cream Cheese: This recipe uses dairy-free cream cheese for the frosting. I love to use Violife Foods as I’ve found it the closest dairy-free alternative. You can use regular cream cheese (full-fat) if you are not dairy-free.
How To Make Blueberry Compote
Packing a serious punch of blueberry flavor, this blueberry compote is the easiest and yummiest way to incorporate real genuine blueberry flavor into the buttercream. No extracts or emulsions here. Just simple and delicious blueberries.
Quite a juicy berry, blueberries contain a high water content which will create a problem when mixed straight into the cream cheese frosting. Reducing the blueberries helps eliminate that water while maintaining the natural and true blueberry flavor. Think of it this way: smaller quantity and bigger taste.
Start by placing the fresh or frozen blueberries into a small pot with the sugar and salt and begin to cook over medium-high heat. As the blueberries begin to heat up they will release their water. Allow this mixture to come to a simmer and then reduce to medium heat.
Stirring continually, cook the blueberry compote until it decreases in volume by ¾. You are aiming for approximately ¼ cup of blueberry compote. Time will vary depending on whether you are using fresh or frozen blueberries.
Remove the blueberry compote from the heat once it has decreased in volume by ¾ and transfer it to a shallow dish. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and allow it to cool while preparing the cake and frosting.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
Step 2: Cream together the butter, sugar, oil and lemon zest until light and fluffy, and then add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
Step 3: Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and begin to mix.
Step 4: Slowly pour in the milk and mix until just combined.
Step 5: Gently toss the fresh or frozen blueberries in two tablespoons of flour and fold them into the batter with a spatula.
Step 6: Divide the cake batter into two 8-inch cake pans that have been prepared with baking spray and parchment paper and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. Cool cakes on a cooling rack.
Step 7: Prepare the blueberry compote and allow it to fully cool before using it in the frosting.
Step 8: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a mixer and cream together for 10 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar and mix until combined. Add in ¼ cup of cooled blueberry compote and allow to cream until fully incorporated and fluffy. Place in the fridge to cool.
Cake Assembly Tips
Cream cheese frosting, while delicious, is notoriously a pain in the booty to work with. And dairy-free cream cheese frosting is even softer. So with that said, I opted to keep this cake shorter and went with 2 layers of 8-inch round cakes. The wider base and fewer layers create stability while maintaining that delicious blueberry cream cheese frosting flavor.
Here are a few assembly tips:
- Work with chilled frosting: yep, that means using it straight from the fridge. When you are ready to stack this cake take the frosting out of the fridge, give it a quick whip, and start assembling.
- Leveled cake layers: flat and level cake layers will sit far easier than crooked ones. I use this super easy cake tool to ensure each cake layer is perfectly level.
- Keep the cake chilled: if at any point you begin to feel the cake slip or the frosting is too soft to work with, pop the cake and the frosting back into the fridge to chill.
How To Decorate A Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
As you desire is often how I refer to cake decorating. It’s not that I don’t want you to make the exact same cake as I did, it’s simply that I don’t want you to feel like you have to make the exact same cake. We all have an inner cake artist and I always want to encourage you to let it shine. That said, I break down this gluten-free lemon blueberry cake decor for you real quick.
Step 1: Crumb coat the entire cake and allow it to chill for 20 minutes.
Step 2: Put a final “beauty” coat of frosting on the cake and smooth the sides with a cake smoother. Note that due to the blueberry compote, there may be a few blueberry bits and speckles that inhibit the frosting from being 100% smooth. Leave that top rough buttercream frosting edge as it will act as a border for the remaining decorations. Place the cake back into the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
Step 3: While the cake is chilling, cut up extra lemons into small slivers and slices. Place on a clean kitchen towel and allow the excess lemon juice to be absorbed.
Step 4: Fit a piping bag with a Wilton 1M piping tip and fill the bag halfway with chilled blueberry frosting. On the chilled cake, pipe small rosettes around the top outer border. To pipe a rosette, gently squeeze the bag and, starting in the center in a circular motion, move the bag around and out stopping at where you started.
Step 5: Place the lemon slices around the piped rosettes creating a wreath-like border around the top and fill in any gaps with extra blueberries and lemon zest. Chill the cake until ready to serve.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
This cake can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
If you want to bake these layers a few days in advance, you most certainly can. I recommend allowing the cake layers to cool, wrap them in plastic wrap, and freeze until you a ready to stack and decorate the cake. Simply remove the layers from the freezer approximately 1 hour before to thaw slightly.
The Yummiest Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
To say I’m excited for you is an understatement. I am over the moon giddy for you to bake this amazing cake. This gluten-free and dairy-free layer cake is full of scrumptious summer yum in every bite full of tart lemon and sweet blueberry flavor.
Make sure you tag me on social media @cakedbykatie and leave me a rating and review below if you make it. Can’t wait to see!
Fresh Summer Baking Ideas
Here are a few other recipes that practically scream summer:
- Sangria Cupcakes
- Pina Colada Cake
- Orange Blossom Cake
- Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake
- Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes