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Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake (Dairy-Free)

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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A purple frosted lemon blueberry cake sitting on a white cake stand. It is topped with fresh blueberries, bright yellow lemon slices, and purple frosting rosette swirls.

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.

A close up picture of a purple frosted lemon blueberry layer cake. There is a large slice cut into the cake and slightly taken out of it. There are blueberries and lemon slices on the top of the cake.

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 ButterI 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.

A lemon blueberry layer cake covered in purple blueberry frosting. It's sitting on a white cake stand and there are a few pieces missing allowing you to see the two cake layers inside which are speckled with blueberries.

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.

A slice of purple frosted lemon blueberry cake. It has two white cake layers full of blueberries and is topped with lemon sliced and fresh blueberries.

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.

A purple lemon blueberry cake top covered in frosting swirls, lemon slices, and blueberries.

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.

A purple frosted lemon blueberry cake sitting on a white cake stand. It is topped with fresh blueberries, bright yellow lemon slices, and purple frosting rosette swirls.

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.

A slice of purple frosted lemon blueberry cake. It has two white cake layers full of blueberries and is topped with lemon sliced and fresh blueberries.

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:

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A slice of purple frosted lemon blueberry cake. It has two white cake layers full of blueberries and is topped with lemon sliced and fresh blueberries.

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake (Dairy-Free)


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 14 Slices 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Soft fluffy layers of gluten-free and dairy-free lemon cake bursting with blueberries. Paired with a sweet and tangy blueberry cream cheese frosting, this cake is the perfect summer sweet treat!


Ingredients

Scale

Lemon Blueberry Cake

  • 1 ¾ cup (224g) gluten-free flour blend *
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum **
  • ⅔ cup (151g) dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (117ml) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup (59ml) dairy-free milk, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend

Blueberry Compote

  • 1 cup (120g) blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • pinch of fine sea salt

Blueberry Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 1 cup (227g) dairy-free salted butter, cold
  • 1 cup (227g) dairy-free cream cheese, cold
  • 7 cups (840g) icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup blueberry compote
  • optional: lemon slices, blueberries, and zest for decor

Instructions

Lemon Blueberry Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare two 8-inch round baking pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, xanthan gum (if using), baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with an electric handheld mixer, cream the butter, sugar, oil, and lemon zest on high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix on high for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients from step 2 and turn the mixer on low.
  6. While the mixer is on low slowly pour in the lemon juice and milk. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  7. Combine the blueberries and 2 tablespoons of flour and very gently toss them together. Fold into the cake batter with a spatula.
  8. Divide the cake batter evenly into the two prepared 8-inch round baking pans and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake layers on the cooling rack and allow them to fully cool. If freezing the cake layers for a later time, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

Blueberry Compote

  1. In a small heavy-bottomed pot combine the blueberries, sugar, and salt and heat over medium-high. When the berries begin to release their juice and start to simmer, reduce the heat to medium and allow to gently simmer.
  2. Stir continually until the mixture reduces by ¾ this should take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on if you used fresh or frozen blueberries.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour into a shallow container. Place plastic wrap directly on the blueberry compote surface and allow it to fully cool. This can be placed in the fridge to chill faster.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and cream cheese together on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  2. Add in the icing sugar and salt and mix on low until combined.
  3. Add in the blueberry compote and mix on low until combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to high and allow to beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Place in the fridge to chill until ready to use.

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each fully cooled lemon blueberry cake layer with a cake leveler or knife if needed.

  2. Place one layer of cake on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately 2 cups of blueberry cream cheese buttercream.

  3. Repeat with the remaining layer and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Remember that if at any time the cake or frosting feels soft or unstable, stop what you are doing and place both in the fridge to chill.

  4. Cover the cake with a final layer of buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother. Leave the top edge raw and unfinished or create sharp edges with an offset spatula.
  5. Decorate as you please. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip and piped small rosettes around the top outer border of the cake and filled the space with extra lemon slices, blueberries, and lemon zest to create a wreather-like effect. Enjoy!
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Notes

* Check to see if the gluten-free flour blend contains xanthan gum.

** Omit xanthan gum if the gluten-free flour blend already contains it.

  • Prep Time: 60 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 633
  • Sugar: 58 Grams
  • Sodium: 227 Miligrams
  • Fat: 38 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 21 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 1 Gram
  • Carbohydrates: 73 Grams
  • Fiber: 3 Grams
  • Protein: 6 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 147 Miligrams

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14 Comments

    1. Yes, you can use regular all-purpose flour. It will have a slightly denser crumb than cake flour as I recommend in the ingredients alternative section of the blog post but will totally work. Omit the xanthan gum if not using gluten-free flour as well!

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