Easy recipe for lemon blackberry cake with buttercream and fresh blackberry filling. This recipe uses yoghurt and ground almonds to make a moist cake filled with fresh blackberries and lemon zest, coated in buttercream dyed pink naturally with blackberry juice. Filled and topped with more blackberries for flavour and decoration.
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, 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 quite straightforward. 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. 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.
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.
Layering Blackberry Lemon Cake
So, you could just make this recipe as one large 10" cake, but then you'd miss out on the fun of layers!
Fresh Blackberry Cake Filling
For this cake I recommend an easy filling of fresh blackberries. 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 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 will be added to the middle and top of the cake.
The pinkish purple buttercream for this cake is naturally dyed using the juices of blackberries. Taken an ounce or two of the macerated blackberries, mash these with a fork or use a blender, then strain out any seeds or pulp. You're aiming for a tablespoon or two of blackberry juice. This will not give a strong flavour to the frosting, but will provide a lovely shade.
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 juice, then beat for a couple of minutes until smooth.
Depending on the amount of blackberry juice you add to your frosting, you may find that you need to adjust the consistency. This recipe has been developed based on 2 tablespoons of juice in a warm kitchen. If you use more than this, you may need to add additional powdered sugar to thicken the frosting. If you add less, you may need to supplement with milk to reach the desired consistency.
Assembling Lemon Blackberry Layer Cake
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 about half of your macerated blackberries.
Pipe some additional buttercream on top of the blackberries and smooth over to sandwich these in place and then stack the second layer on top.
Use the remaining buttercream to frost the top and sides of the cake then decorate with the remaining blackberries and some extra lemon zest.
Blackberry Jam Alternative
An alternative to the fresh blackberry filling in this cake is to use jam. Using a firm set blackberry jam will work well either as a replacement for the fresh blackberries or as a supplement. You can mix a few spoonfuls of blackberry jam along with the fresh blackberries for additional texture and flavour.
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:
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 Lemon Blackberry Layer Cake
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 1½ cup superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 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
- 12 oz fresh blackberries
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar (muscovado)
- 1 lemon zested for decoration (optional)
Instructions for Blackberry Filling
- The fresh blackberry filling in this cake is simply sugared blackberries. It is best to start this first to ensure the berries have sufficient time to sit and macerate. Toss the 12 oz of blackberries in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (see note), cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or better overnight.
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
- To make the blackberry buttercream, take a few of your macerated blackberries (about 10 medium blackberries) and mash these with a fork or blend them in a blender to break down to juice. Strain to remove the seeds and set aside.
- 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 the strained blackberry juice (between 1 and 2 tablespoons of juice), beating for a couple of minutes until smooth. (see note)
Instructions for Assembling
- To assemble the cake, trim any domed tops off of the cake layers. Place one layer on a cake stand or plate and frost with some of the buttercream.
- Pipe a border around the inside of the edge and then fill with about half of the remaining macerated blackberries. Add some buttercream on top of the berries and smooth out to seal these into the centre of the layer cake.
- Place the second layer on top and frost the top and sides with the remaining buttercream. (see note) Decorate with the remaining berries and add some lemon zest.