Easy recipe for lemon blackberry cake with a fresh homemade blackberry buttercream and blackberry cake filling. This recipe uses yoghurt and ground almonds to make a super moist layer cake filled with fresh blackberries and lemon zest.
Why this recipe works
- Super moist - this is a lemon blackberry yoghurt cake. The yoghurt in the batter makes for a super moist bake. Ground almonds also help add to the moistness and soft texture of the cake layers while offering subtle complement to the lemon and blackberry flavours.
- Full of fresh blackberries - Not only is the lemon cake baked with fresh whole blackberries in each layer, but this layer cake also has a blackberry filling. A quick homemade blackberry compote packs even more blackberry flavour into every bite.
- Natural colours and flavours - my easy blackberry buttercream is flavoured and dyed with your homemade blackberry compote. This makes it all natural in colour and flavour. No needing to add any food colouring to bring out a beautiful pinkish purple!
To make this lemon blackberry yoghurt cake, you'll need:
- Butter - unsalted butter, softened at room temperature. You can substitute with salted butter, but if so, reduce the amount of salt added to the dry ingredients.
- Sugar - superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar work best in this recipe.
- Yoghurt - plain yoghurt works best in this recipe, but you can also substitute with Greek style yoghurt, mascarpone cheese, buttermilk or sour cream.
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon - you'll want the juice and zest of a lemon for this cake.
- Flour - all purpose or plain flour.
- Almond flour - or finely ground almonds. If the grind of the almonds is a bit on the coarser side, you may need to add this to the batter after sifting the other dry ingredients as it may get caught in the sieve.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Blackberries - this recipe works best with fresh, but you can also use frozen. Allow these to defrost first before incorporating in the mixture.
How to Make Lemon Cake with Blackberries
The process for this cake is very straightforward. It is essentially a one bowl cake recipe.
You begin by creaming together the butter and sugar until light. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the rest of the wet ingredients - the yoghurt, vanilla, lemon juice and also the zest. Beat these to incorporate.
Sift your dry ingredients - the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and almond flour - into the mixture. Tip: As noted with the ingredients, if your almonds are too coarsely ground, you may need to add these in separately without sifting.
Stir the batter together with a spatula until just combined, being sure not to leave an pockets of unmixed flour.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, toss the fresh blackberries with a spoon of flour. Coating the blackberries in the flour will help these to distribute in the batter. Stir half of the blackberries into the mixture.
Then pour the batter into two prepared 7.5" cake tins. This recipe can be made in larger or smaller baking tins, but the baking times will vary.
Top the cake layers with the remaining half of the blackberries. By adding some on top, this will again aid in distributing the berries in the cake layers while baking.
Bake the cake layers in a preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
When ready, remove from the oven and cool in the pan until you're able to handle these. Then turn out carefully to cool completely.
Quick Blackberry Cake Filling
This fresh blackberry cake filling is three simple ingredients:
- Blackberries - I use fresh blackberries here, but you can substitute using frozen. I recommend defrosting first.
- Light brown sugar - firmly packed tablespoon measures. I like to use brown sugar here for the depth and richness it brings out in the blackberries. You can use granulated sugar instead.
- Lemon juice - a squeeze from half a lemon is all it takes. The juice helps the blackberries to begin breaking down as they're heated and also adds pectin to the sauce, which helps it to thicken.
Simply place the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat, while stirring occasionally. Boil for 10 minutes as your blackberries break down. Your sauce will thicken to a runny jam consistency.
Let this cool completely.
Blackberry Jam Alternative
An alternative to making your own fresh blackberry filling for this cake is to use a pre-made jam. This can either be one you've made yourself or store bought. My Blackberry Bay Jam works well in this cake, the bay leaf and spices offering a warmth the jam, which compliments the flavours in the lemon blackberry cake.
The pinkish purple buttercream for this cake is naturally dyed using the homemade blackberry compote. You'll need:
- Butter - unsalted butter, softened at room temperature. You can use salted here, but it will add a touch of saltiness to the overall flavor.
- Powdered sugar - or icing sugar, sifted to avoid lumpy buttercream!
- Blackberry compote - or blackberry jam. This needs to be cooled before adding to the buttercream or the butter will melt and your frosting will become soupy.
Beat the butter in a large bowl until smooth then sift the powdered sugar into this and beat to incorporate (this is often easiest if done in two additions). Add the vanilla and blackberry jam, then beat for a couple of minutes until smooth.
Depending on the amount of blackberry compote you add to your frosting (and how set this is), you may find that you need to adjust the consistency.
This recipe has been developed based on 2 tablespoons of my homemade compote in a warm kitchen.
If you use more than this or if your compote is particularly runny, you may need to add additional powdered sugar to thicken the frosting. If you add less or have a firm set jam, you may need to supplement with milk to reach the desired consistency.
Assembling Blackberry Lemon Layer Cake
So, you could just make this recipe as one large 10" cake, but then you'd miss out on the fun of layers!
Once your cake layers are cool, trim the tops of these so that they are as even as possible. This is best done using a long and sharp serrated blade such as a bread knife. Hold this parallel to the table top, and slice around the cake to remove any doming. This cake does not normally rise in a dome, so any trimming should be able to be kept to a minimum!
Place the bottom layer on a cake plate or stand and frost with a light layer of the buttercream. Pipe a border around the inside edge of the layer (as in the image below) and then fill the centre with your blackberry compote.
Sandwich the second layer on top. Then, use the remaining buttercream to frost the top and sides of the cake.
Decorate with extra fresh blackberries.
Alternative Fresh Blackberry Filling
When I was originally developing this cake, I tested an even easier filling of fresh blackberries - not made into a compote or otherwise broken down over heat.
Blackberries can be a bit of a tough fruit, but by tossing these with sugar, you will help to soften them while encouraging them to release their juices.
Sugaring fruit in this way is called macerating. It is a key step in my Blueberry Strawberry Shortcake Trifle - an easy layered dessert of leftover cake and berries. For macerating these blackberries, stir a couple of tablespoons of light brown (muscovado) sugar into them, cover and set aside for at least a couple of hours. It is best if this is done the night before, but not necessary.
These macerated blackberries can be added to the middle and top of the cake, either in place of the compote or alongside it.
Tip: if blackberries are ripe and in season, the fresh blackberry filling is a great option! But if you're working with large and/or underripe berries, these are often a bit more difficult to add to the cake without making a compote.
Once assembled with frosting and filling, this lemon blackberry sponge cake lasts for about 4 days in the refrigerator.
To ensure best results, don't refrigerate the cake prior to frosting with a layer of buttercream. The buttercream acts as a seal to prevent the sponge from drying out in the refrigerator.
This lemon cake with blackberry filling can be frozen. To do so, you can either freeze the cake layers once baked and cooled (prior to assembly) or freeze the whole cake once assembled. If freezing, use fresh blackberries in making and assembling the cake instead of frozen. The frozen berries, once defrosted, should not be re-frozen as the quality will suffer.
Ensure that you defrost the cake prior to serving. If the cake is already frosted and assembled, this is best done in the refrigerator overnight.
Yes! Absolutely. This recipe is for a cake with fresh blackberries baked into the lemon sponge. I also use fresh blackberries as a filling between the layers for an easy tart and tangy lemon blackberry cake.
If you like this cake, why not try:
Or if you're after some fresh blackberry recipes, try:
Lemon Blackberry Cake
- 2 7.5 inch round cake pan silicone pans work well for this recipe
- large mixing bowl
- hand held electric beater
Ingredients for Blackberry Cake Filling
- 6 oz fresh blackberries or frozen, plus extra for decoration
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ingredients for Lemon Blackberry Layer Cake
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 1½ cup superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup plain yoghurt can be substituted with Greek style yoghurt, sour cream or buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- 2 cups all purpose flour or plain flour, plus a spoon extra to coat blackberries
- ½ cup almond flour or ground almonds
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 oz fresh blackberries cut in half if large
Ingredients for Buttercream and Filling
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 3½ cups powdered sugar or icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon blackberry compote reserved from the cake filling or use blackberry jam
Instructions for Blackberry Filling
- To make the blackberry compote, place the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture begins to boil. Keep boiling for 10 minutes while the blackberries break down and the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and cool.
Instructions for Lemon Blackberry Sponge Cake Layers
- Begin by preparing your baking tins and preheating the oven to 350°F (175C/155C Fan).
- In a large mixing bowl, use a handheld electric beater to cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Then add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition.
- Add the yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice to the mixture and beat to combine.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and almond flour into the bowl and stir with a spatula until just combined.
- In a small bowl, toss 8 oz blackberries with a spoon of flour to coat. Then add half of these to the batter and fold to incorporate.
- Pour the batter into two 7.5" round cake tins (see note) and smooth evenly. Scatter the remaining blackberries over top of the layers - this will help them to distribute in the batter.
- Bake in a preheated oven for about 50 minutes, checking for a toothpick inserted in the centre to come out clean.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pans before turning out onto wire racks to finish cooling.
Instructions for Buttercream
- In a large bowl, beat the softened butter until smooth, then sift in half of the powdered sugar, beating until combined. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat to incorporate. Then add the vanilla and blackberry compote (or jam), beating for a couple of minutes until smooth. (see note)
Instructions for Assembling
- To assemble the cake, place one layer on a cake stand or plate and frost with about a quarter of your buttercream.
- Pipe a border around the inside of the edge and then fill with your blackberry compote (or about ½ cup of jam).
- Place the second layer on top and frost the top and sides with the remaining buttercream. (see note)
- Decorate with the fresh blackberries.