lemon blueberry cake with lemon cream
Spring has finally come to Boston. With a snow storm just a week and a half ago, I can’t even begin to express my relief to have a weekend full of sun and warmth. Everyone is whispering cautionary reminders of the April 1st blizzard a few years ago, but I am holding on to hope that we’ve seen the last of the snow. I’m ready for flowers, asparagus, fresh strawberries, and – at long last – the warmth of sun on my skin.
My mind has been somewhat consumed with a batch of lemon blueberry muffins earlier this week that I wasn’t all that happy with. I’ve been eager to give the recipe another try with some tweaks, but when I saw this recipe for a lemon blueberry cake with lemon cream on The Kitchn, I had to put the muffins aside and give the cake a try.
Simple, bright, and unfussy, the cake is just what I was hoping for. It’s perfect for an early spring weekend full of hope for a final end to winter. The cake is moist and full of juicy blueberries with a light pop of lemon and is irresistible still warm out of the oven. Of course you could skip the lemon cream, but I beg you to take the extra five minutes to make it. It’s so easy to prepare and it is positively heavenly. If you love lemon even half as much as I do, you will wonder how you ever lived without lemon cream.
Lemon Blueberry Cake with Lemon Cream
Recipe adapted every so slightly from The Kitchn
Fiori di sicilia is a citrus flavoring that can be hard to find, but adds a wonderful flavor. I get it from King Arthur Flour, but there's no need to buy it for this recipe, just use vanilla extract. While homemade lemon curd is much better than store-bought, there's no need to go through the trouble for this recipe. Lemon curd can be found in the jam and jelly section of your grocery store. You can substitute 1/2 cup of buttermilk for the milk and yogurt if preferred.
The cake can be made a day ahead wrapped well and stored at room temperature. The cream may be made 8 hours in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
For the cake:
- 5 oz (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 oz (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
- Zest of one lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon fiori di sicilia or pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (whole or 2%)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (don't thaw)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
For the lemon cream:
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons store-bought lemon curd
- Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Flour the sides.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Place the granulated sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until it is the texture of damp sand and smells like lemon candy. Add the butter and beat in a stand mixer or with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the fiori di sicilia or vanilla and the egg. Add the yogurt and beat well.
- At low speed, beat in half the flour mixture until just combined. Then beat in the milk and remaining flour mixture.
- Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Scatter the blueberries over top and sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar.
- Bake until the cake is golden-brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack and cool for 10-15 more minutes. Remove parchment and invert onto a plate.
- Meanwhile, using an electric mixer or whisking by hand, beat cream and lemon curd on high speed until creamy, smooth and thick (about the consistency of regular yogurt). Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Serve cake warm or at room temperature, dolloped with lemon cream.