Summer in Washington State means blackberries are literally growing everywhere! Our grand children came to visit a few weeks ago and we picked oodles of berries everyday with the idea we would make jam. That never happened, but we ate berries fresh by the bowlful and blended them with ice cream to make blackberry shakes.By far my favorite way to use the abundance of juicy, summer berries is atop this gorgeous Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!
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The Cake: Two Layers or Three….it’s up to you
This simple cake is naturally flavored with fresh lemon juice and zest then frosted with lemon buttercream, and topped with luscious blackberries dusted with powdered sugar. You can make this cake two layers, or three. If you make a double layer you’ll need to use two 9 inch non stick cake pans, to make it triple layer you’ll need three 8″ non stick cake tins.
How to “Zest” a Lemon:
To “zest” citrus you will need a microplane. The key here is to scrape the skin of the lemon until the white is exposed and then move to a new area. The white part of the skin is bitter, so you don’t want to go too deep.
TO MAKE THIS CAKE GLUTEN FREE:
If you are fine eating gluten, have at it! But if you are one of my gluten free followers, I have a wonderful suggestion to make this cake gluten free but just as good: Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour. Not all gluten free flours are created equal, the grains in this flour are soaked for easy digestion and the texture is the best I have found for GF baking!
The Recipe: Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!
Tips and what you need: all ingredients should be room temperature. You will need a microplane to zest the lemons, two 9″ inch non stick cake pans or three 8″ non stick cake tins depending on how many layers you want. You will also need a stand mixer or hand mixer. I love my Kitchen Aid Mixer! When it comes to vanilla I always prefer using vanilla paste. If you want to make this cake gluten free I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour.
A beautifully light lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting topped with fresh blackberries! You can use three 8" cakes pans or two 9" cakes pans depending on how many layers you want.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or the gluten free flour of your choice, see above for my suggestion)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pans
- 1/4 cup coconut oil or baking oil of your choice
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 eggs, room temp
- 1 1/3 cups cultured buttermilk, room temp
- zest of two lemons
- 1 pint fresh blackberries
- Garnish with mint leaves or thyme even crushed pistachios if desired (basically anything green)
- 1/2 cup butter room temp
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- tiny pinch of sea salt
- 4-5 cups cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position
To prevent the cake from sticking you can use non stick pans, then use a paper towel to wipe sides and bottom of pans with soft butter. Dust each pan lightly with flour, OR fold a large piece of parchment paper in half twice. Use bottom of cake pan and pencil to trace a circle on parchment, then cut folded paper so you end up with two or three circles (depending on if you are making two layers or three). Place parchment circles into the bottom of pans and spray with organic non stick spray. This is my favorite method. Set aside
Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
Place butter, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions
Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute
Add lemon zest and mix until incorporated (to zest lemons scrape with a microplane just until white is exposed, then move to a new area until all the yellow is gone)
Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
Allow cakes to cool, gently remove from pans from oven discarding parchment (if using) and then frost. You can make this cake "naked" by frosting the top of each layer, or "semi naked" by frosting each layer and then spread some frosting around the sides
Place softened butter, lemon juice, sea salt and 4 cups powdered sugar into a bowl and mix. If frosting is not quite thick enough add more sugar (up to a cup, I usually end up using almost 5 cups total). If it's too thick add just a little more juice. When frosting is desired consistency, frost cooled cake.
Right before serving: top cake with blackberries and use a screen colander or sifter to dust with powdered sugar. Add mint leaves, thyme sprigs or crushed pistachios as a garnish if desired
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