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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Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries on a round wooden board with silver serving utencil

Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries! 

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.

Two Layers or Three? It’s Up To you!

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.

Triple layer Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries garnished with thyme

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.

A woman's hands holding a lemon and microplane. Zest will be used in Lemon Cake with Blackberries



If you are fine eating gluten, have at it! But if you are one of my gluten free followers, I have two wonderful suggestions to make this cake gluten free but just as good: King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour is fabulous and found in most grocery stores. Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour is also wonderful and the grains in this flour are soaked for easy digestion!

Triple layer Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries on wooden cake plate with silver serving spatula

Love Citrus Cakes?

Try my Orange Blueberry Cake!

A close up of Orange Blueberry Cake topped with kumquats, blueberries and flowers


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.

Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins

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.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: #layer cake, blackberries, gluten free, lemon cake
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
The Cake:
  • 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)
The Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup   butter room temp
  • 3 tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • tiny pinch of sea salt
  • 4-5 cups cups powdered sugar
Cake Prep:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Prep pans:
  1. 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

Make Batter:
  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside

  2. Place butter, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined

  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions

  4. Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute

  5. 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)

  6. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles

  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

  8. 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

The Frosting
  1. 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.

  2. 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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