Lemon and blackberries are complete opposites but put the two together and they complement each other with sweet and sour flavors. And then, you have the colors of the yellow lemon and the deep dark reddish-purple of the blackberry that are showstoppers when put together. What better way to use these two flavorful fruits than with a luscious Lemon Cake filled and covered with a silky Swiss Meringue Blackberry Buttercream.
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Truth be told, I love cake. How about you, do you have a favorite? This cake is a bit extravagant looking but is super easy to make and the flavors make this cake delightful.
My birthday girl requested this cake along with a very colorful topping of fruit and piped flowers. It's oh so pretty.
Ingredients for the cake
- Cake flour
- Baking powder
Steps for the cake
- Prepare two 9" cake pans by greasing the pans and lining with a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Mix the milk with the vanilla in a measuring cup.
- Cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy for about four minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed until incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with a third of the milk and vanilla. Mix well between batches, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Mix in the lemon juice and the lemon zest.
- Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes.
While your cake is baking make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. This buttercream is my favorite, it's smooth and silky, and spreads so easily on cakes. I love, love, love it!
Ingredients for the buttercream frosting
There are several steps to make the blackberry buttercream, trust me they are not hard.
Making blackberry puree
- Make the puree by adding the blackberries to a small saucepan and mashing them with a fork. Add the sugar, water, and lemon juice, stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Mix the cornstarch and additional water together and pour over the blackberry mixture. Stir constantly until thickened for about two minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
The mixture comes out nice and thick, and yes it is red. This blackberry puree is going in the buttercream but I'm going to tell you that this sauce is perfect on ice cream, toast, pancakes, over a block of cream cheese, inside a crepe; there are so many ways to use this, it's that good.
How to make the Swiss meringue
- The butter for this needs to be at room temperature.
- Set up ban-marie (a bowl set over hot water on the stove.) Add the egg whites to the bowl with the sugar, mix to combine. Place a candy thermometer in the bowl and stir continuously until the mixture reaches 120 degrees F.
- Transfer the egg mixture into a stand-mixer bowl that is fitted with a whisk attachment and whip the egg whites until they reach room temperature. I actually put my hand on the bottom of the bowl to gauge the temperature but feel free to stick a thermometer in the bowl.
- If you don't have a stand mixer just make sure the egg whites are in a big bowl so you can beat them with a handheld mixer.
- With the mixer running add one tablespoon of butter at a time and continue mixing until all the butter is incorporated. While beating in the butter at one point the buttercream may look like it is separating, don't worry, just keep beating and it will come together.
- Add the vanilla and ½ to ⅔ cup of the blackberry puree. The amount is up to you. I used ⅔ cups because the birthday girl said she wanted lots of blackberries in the frosting. That's it!
Whip in the blackberry puree until combined and then you are ready to spread on your cooled cakes.
Tall lemony and luscious cake; covered with sweet and silky blackberry buttercream.
Try these other One Hot Oven cakes
This easy-to-make classic Raspberry Chiffon cake is filled with fresh raspberries inside and in the icing. It's pink and delicious.
Bake this Apricot Cherry Upside Down Cake has a tender vanilla cake with fresh summer apricots and cherries on top.
Another favorite, but with a twist, are these individual Grilled Pineapple Upside Down Cakes.
This Banana Cream Cheese Cake Roll has an easy-to-make baked-in filling that makes this cake easy to roll.
Zesty Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberry Buttercream
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoons baking powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice optional lemon extract
- 2 cups blackberries
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 lemon juiced
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 8 ounces egg whites
- 1 ½ cups sugar 10 ounces
- 1 lb butter room temperature butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° and grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. It is helpful to cut a piece of wax paper or parchment and lay on the bottom of the cake pan.
- Beat the softened butter at medium speed until light and creamy
- Add the sugar and beat until fluffy
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl occasionally
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt
- Beat in the flour mixture alternating with the milk in three batches.
- Scrape down the bowl and add the lemon zest and the lemon juice or extract
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool cakes for 10 minutes then turn out on a cooling rack.
Instructions for Blackberry Puree
- Place blackberries in a small pot and mash lightly.
- Add sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and lemon juice.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 4 to 5 minutes. , Mix together the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Slowly pour into the simmering blackberry mix, stirring constantly.
- Cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
Instructions for the Swiss Meringue Blackberry Buttercream
- Cut the room temperature butter into small cubes and set aside.
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl, Cook, stirring continuously over a simmering bain-marie until the mixture reaches 120° F. on a candy thermometer
- Place the hot mixture into a mixing bowl of a stand mixer and using the whip attachment whip until it reaches room temperature. This can also be done with a good handheld mixer.
- Add softened butter 1 cube at a time with the mixer running and continue mixing, scraping down the bowl and mix until smooth.
- Whip in the vanilla and the ⅔ cup of blackberry puree until the mixture is combined.
Frosting the cake
- The cake is ready to be frosted once the layers are totally cool. Place the first layer upside down on a cake plate and add enough buttercream to frost the first layer, then add the next cake layer, upside down so the flat side is on top, and add icing to this layer. Finish up by frosting the sides of the cake.
- This cake will keep for several days, cover the cake with plastic wrap or keep in a cake container.
First Published: June 25, 2017... Last Updated: April 7, 2021
The birthday girl was very happy with her cake.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory recipes with all my baking friends.
I find it’s a lot better if you strain the cooked blackberries through a fine sieve and use the pulp,
Thank you for the thought on this. I go both ways on straining vs. nonstraining. It's like we have two jars of raspberry jam in the fridge one seedless and the other full of seeds.