This lemon blueberry jam cake is an incredibly moist white cake packed with lemon zest and decorated with a jam filling & cream cheese german buttercream.
This lemon blueberry jam cake is perfect for spring! It's a super moist white cake based on my popular vanilla cake recipe, but with whipped egg whites folded in at the end and a ton of lemon zest for a potent lemony flavor. In between each soft cake layer is sweet blueberry jam, which is all surrounded in a luscious cream cheese german buttercream. Decorated with fresh blueberries, lemon slices, and flowers, this cake is a true showstopper.
For more spring recipes, try Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting, Small Batch Banana Carrot Muffins, Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies, and Small Batch Lemon Bars.
- Cake Flour: Though it's not essential to make this cake, cake flour achieves the softest crumb!
- Sugar: Both the cake and the buttercream require granulated sugar.
- Lemon Zest: Add the zest of 5 whole lemons for a potent lemony flavor in the cake.
- Leavener: You'll need just baking powder to give this cake the perfect rise & texture. You'll also need cornstarch to thicken the pastry cream, which is the base of the buttercream.
- Fat: To make this cake super moist while maintaining that classic buttery flavor, this recipe uses an oil-butter combo. You'll also need 3 whole sticks of butter for the buttercream.
- Dairy: For optimum flavor and texture, use full fat greek yogurt and milk. You'll also need 1 ½ cups of whole milk and 6 oz of cream cheese for the buttercream.
- Eggs: The cake needs three egg whites, while the buttercream needs 4 egg yolks.
- Blueberry Jam: Get your favorite blueberry jam for the filling of this cake!
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and individual quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
Here are step by step photos and instructions on how to make this lemon blueberry jam cake! For the full ingredient list and method, see the recipe card at the end of this post.
STEP 1: For the lemon cake, start by mixing the dry ingredients and the lemon zest together.
STEP 2: Beat in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.
STEP 3: Add in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
STEP 4: Whip the egg whites to stiff peak.
STEP 5: Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
STEP 6: Pour the batter into three 6 inch cake pans.
STEP 7: Bake the cakes at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.
STEP 8: Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
STEP 9: Make the pastry cream for the german buttercream with enough time for it to cool down.
STEP 10: When ready to decorate the cake, beat the butter and cream cheese into the pastry cream until smooth.
STEP 11: Pipe a dam around the edges with buttercream and fill with jam. Repeat with the next layer, then decorate the outside of the cake as desired.
STEP 12: Enjoy!
The reverse creaming method is the process of beating room temperature butter into the dry ingredients. The fat coats the flour and inhibits the gluten from developing. With this method, the cake is sure to bake up flat without becoming too golden around the edges or on top. In contrast, the creaming method involves beating the sugar and butter together, which adds a lot of extra air into the batter. This is a great method for other bakes, but not with a white cake. With the reverse creaming method, the cake will bake up with an ultra fine, velvety crumb.
Cakes may dome in the middle when they bake because the outside bakes faster than the center, so the center has more time to rise. This is not ideal for layer cakes, because it is a pain to have to trim away the top of the cake. The reverse creaming method helps with baking perfectly flat cake layers. But the best way to ensure your cake layers bake up flat rather than doming is to use cake strips. Soak the cake strips in cold water before wrapping around the outside of the cake pans. This will ensure that the outside of the cake does not bake faster than the center.
German buttercream is made from a pastry cream base with butter beat into it. In this version, both butter and cream cheese are added, making it taste very similar to a rich cheesecake filling! If you'd like more tips and step by step photos on how to make pastry cream, read this Master Pastry Cream Filling Recipe.
Cover the cake and leave out at room temperature for up to 5 days. Yes, it stays moist for that long!!!
Baking in grams
All of the recipes on this blog are carefully developed with gram measurements so you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen with success. Volume measurements are extremely inaccurate and leave room for significant errors. Not all measuring cups are made equally, so your one cup of flour will be different from my one cup of flour. By providing precise measurements in grams (aside from minor ingredients, which are given in tsp/tbsp), you can make these recipes accurately and with less cleanup! All you need is this kitchen scale.
If this still isn't enough to convince you, I have provided volume measurements in the recipe card. If you are interested in understanding the conversions, this is the best conversion chart.
But trust me, once you try baking in grams you'll never turn back!
Happy baking! x
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Lemon Blueberry Jam Cake
For the lemon cake:
- 270 g (2 ¼ cups) cake flour
- 250 g (1 ¼ cups) granulated sugar
- zest of 5 lemons
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 113 g (8 tablespoon) unsalted butter , room temp
- 100 g (½ cup) neutral oil*
- 170 g (¾ cup) whole milk , room temp
- 170 g (¾ cup) plain whole milk greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 egg whites
For the cream cheese german buttercream:
- 340 g (1 ½ cups) whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 24 g (2 ½ tablespoon) cornstarch
- 340 g (24 tablespoon) unsalted butter , room temp
- 170 g (6 oz) cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 170 g (½ cup) blueberry jam
- fresh blueberries
For the lemon cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease and line three 6 inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut up the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until it resembles wet sand.
- Add the oil, yogurt, milk, and vanilla, and mix until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold it into the batter with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. (I recommend weighing the batter to be as precise as possible!)
- Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool completely before frosting.
For the cream cheese german buttercream:
- Start with the pastry cream – heat the milk in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer or about 200 degrees F.
- Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together for 2-3 minutes until light in color.
- Once the milk is simmering, slowly pour half into the egg-sugar mixture, whisking at the same time to temper the eggs.
- Pour everything back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly. After a couple minutes, a layer of bubbles will form over the top and it will begin to thicken.
- Once the bubbles disappear, continue whisking for one more minute, then remove from heat.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly up against the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least two hours or overnight. Alternatively, you could place the bowl of pastry cream over a water bath and whisk constantly until it cools down to 70 degrees F – you can immediately turn it into buttercream at this point.
- If the pastry cream was chilled overnight, mix the pastry cream for about 10 minutes on low speed until it warms up to about 70 degrees.
- Add the butter, a few cubes at a time, and beat on medium speed. If it looks curdled at all, continue beating on low speed until smooth.
- Add the cream cheese, vanilla paste, and salt, and beat until fully incorporated.
- Continue beating on low speed for several minutes until smooth.
- Secure the first layer of cake on the cake stand with a small amount of frosting on the bottom.
- Transfer some of the buttercream to a piping bag, then pipe a dam around the edge of the cake.
- Spread about 3-4 tablespoon of jam in the center, then place the second cake layer on top and repeat.
- Cover the whole cake in a thin layer of buttercream for the crumb coat.
- Place in the fridge for about 20 minutes, then frost the cake as desired.
- Top with fresh blueberries and lemon slices and enjoy!
- You can use any oil that has a neutral taste. My go-to is light tasting extra virgin olive oil, but you can also use vegetable or canola oil.
- You can make the cake layers the night before and decorate it the next day. Just wait until the cakes are completely cool, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
- Cover the cake and leave out at room temperature for up to 5 days. Yes, it stays moist for that long!!!