Posted on July 30th, 2017
Earlier this week, we found out my godfather was coming to the city for the weekend. A group text popped up with relevant parties to set up a Friday night dinner, with reservations at a rustic spot nearby. “Great!” my mom answered. “Dessert at our place after!”
Two minutes later, she came to find me. “So… what are you making for dessert tomorrow night?” she asked. If you want to know what it’s like to have a personal pastry chef, she can fill you in. I needed something that could be made ahead of time, something with a refreshing component to balance a potentially heavy dinner, and something I could make in an apartment kitchen with very little counter space.
So, lemon blueberry cake with blueberry filling and lemon buttercream frosting, naturally.
I baked the layers (only two since there were just seven of us) the night before, and then let them cool completely before filling/frosting/assembling. This was particularly important because I worried the filling would make the cake soggy and a warm cake would melt the buttercream. When I finally did ice the cake the next morning, I ate so much frosting that I got a stomachache, which I can admit is neither the first nor last time that has happened.
Decorating is not my forte, but I’m fortunate that the rustic-unfinished look is in right now, which I can almost manage. To accentuate the fresh flavors, I used a ring of blueberries and dehydrated some lemon slices for aesthetic effect. The final effect and, more importantly, the final flavor were a huge hit!
Lemon Blueberry Cake
For the cake:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla
Zest + juice from 2 medium lemons
2 cups of flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of milk
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
3 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease two 9 inch cake tins. Whip four egg whites into light meringue using stand mixer or electric beaters, and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg yolks, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix Greek yogurt, milk, and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to butter/sugar mixture slowly, alternating with milk/yogurt mixture. Gently fold in egg whites before stirring in blueberries. Pour into prepared tins and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the middles are set and a toothpick comes out clean.
For the blueberry filling:
1 cup blueberries
~1/4 cup blueberry jam
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Teaspoon of lemon juice
Macerate blueberries with cinnamon and lemon juice. Stir in jam to desired consistency.
For the lemon buttercream frosting:
1 cup of butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
Zest + juice from one lemon
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar, milk, and lemon until frosting has reached desired consistency. Feel free to add more lemon for a punchier flavor!
Invert cake round for bottom tier, and spread blueberry filling on the side facing up. Spread a layer of buttercream frosting on the other cake round on the side that will abut the blueberry filling– like you’re making a giant sandwich. Carefully flip frosting side to meet blueberry filling side. Add frosting to the top and sides as desired. Embellish with berries and lemons.
A little involved, but oh so worth it.