Lemon berry cake is a perfect spring dessert- a lemon cake layered with lemon curd, berry jam and frosted with an amazing icing made with lemon curd.
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This lemon berry cake is one of my favorite desserts to make for our family's Easter Dinner - it's light and lovely and just right for a spring-time celebration. When you're looking for good desert for a celebration, look no further - this is as easy as making a cake, filling and frosting, but with colorful layers that are special and a frosting that is to.die.for. Trust me on this.
Lemon Berry Cake
You can use your favorite berry jam for two of the layers (I used a Marionberry freezer jam) and lemon curd (homemade or store bought - I like Trader Joe's brand) for the middle layer, like I show here. Or you can make all three filling layers berry (or lemon, for that matter if you'd like a totally lemon cake!).
The cake is a nice ratio of spongy, but still moist, carrying it's own lemon flavor from zest, juice, and extract. Oh, yes - three lemon sources makes for a very good cake.
The Best Lemon Frosting Ever
My best discovery when creating this recipe was the frosting - it's so easy and SO good with just the right amount of lemon.
The secret? Lemon curd.
Yep, right in there with the powdered sugar and butter. And wow, did it work great!
In the past I've always used lemon juice in the frosting, and if you've done that, too, you know the problem: if you use too much (for more lemon flavor) it becomes too runny.
But with a yummy, thick, and tart lemon curd? You can add as much as you want without affecting the consistency- which results in the Best Lemon Frosting. Ever.
This cake only needs a few swirls as far as 'decorating' goes, but I've added a sprinkling of edible pearls as well as a mound of fresh blackberries sprinkled with lemon zest to make it even more special for a holiday.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of using lemon curd to flavor frosting, but I'm glad I did, because now it's the only lemon frosting I make.
I've been spoiled by the best - and I hope you will be, too. And it's literally the icing on the cake for this lemon berry cake!
Lemon Berry Cake Recipe with the BEST Lemon Frosting Ever!
- 1 cup butter 2 sticks
- 2 cup sugar
- 8 eggs
- 2 lemons zested and juiced (about 1/2 c. juice)
- 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract optional, enhances lemon flavor but still lemony without it
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger optional
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter 2 sticks, softened
- 2/3 cup lemon curd or more, depending on taste and consistency*
- 1 - 2 tablespoons milk optional if needed to lighten frosting
- 1 cup berry jam of choice
- 1/2 cup lemon curd**
- Optional for decorating: edible sugar pearls
- Make the cake:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper and lightly butter the tops of the parchment.
- Using a mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light - about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each. Add lemon zest, juice, and extract (if using). Mix until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger (if using). Mix on low just until combined. Pour evenly into prepared pans, smoothing tops.
- Bake 25 - 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on a rack.
- Loosen edges with a knife and invert onto a cooling rack, remove parchment paper, and then turn right-side-up onto another cooling rack. Cool completely.
- Make the frosting:
- Cream the butter and lemon curd in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whipping attachment. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time.
- After all the sugar has been added, whip the frosting on high for a minute. Check the spreading consistency. If it seems thick, add a tablespoon of milk and whip again on high for a minute. Repeat if needed. TIP: The key to a light and airy frosting is whipping air into it, so keep whipping until it seems easy to spread.
- Assemble the cake:
- Cut the cake layers in half to make four layers.
- Place one layer on a cake plate and spread with 1/2 cup of jam. Place second layer on top and spread this layer with 1/2 cup lemon curd (or jam). Repeat with third layer, spreading with another 1/2 cup of jam and topping with the last layer (top of cake).
- Frost the sides of the cake with the lemon frosting, swirling the frosting with a knife. Finish by frosting the top, using the remaining frosting. Sprinkle with decorative, edible sugar pearls if desired.
More special dessert recipes to try:
Triple Chocolate Cake with Crispy Bark Topping
Peanut Butter Celebration Cake
Strawberry Shortcake with crunchy biscuits dessert
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Just baked this luscious looking cake. The cakes didn't rise as much as I thought they would - only about 1" thick. Is that how your's turn out too? The only thing I can think of is not having the butter completely at room temperature when I beat it with the sugar, but I did beat it very well and in between each egg. I'm sure it will taste wonderful.
Your house looks amazing! Great natural light in all the rooms. Congratulations!
Hmm, did you use the same size pan as I did? I don't usually have completely room temp butter, so that's probably not it.
I think they should be between 1-1.5 inches to be able to split them.
Hope you enjoyed it as is!
This looks so good, I would need to make it gluten free. Do you think that if I changed the flour, would I need any other change.
Hi Maryjane, I would probably find a gluten free cake recipe and add lemon flavoring to it. Then continue with this recipe to fill and frost.
Oh my goodness, that looks just heavenly. I have always loved your recipes but that one looks so good I almost feel like getting married again just to have someone to make it for - errrl maybe not. I guess I could take in to work though right. Anna
Ha! It works for Easter and spring parties, too - you don't have to make a life-changing decision. 😉
So i did a test-run on this cake, before i make it for a "gender reveal" party for a friend. Once i added the lemon juice and before i added the dry ingredients, it curdled. I figured it was the lemon juice reacting with the butter. OK, no problem. I baked it up anyway and it seemed to be just fine. But the same thing happened with the frosting. It definitely does not look like the thick delicious frosting in your picture! It looks oily and curdled. Tastes fine, but looks awful! Any suggestions how to avoid and/or fix this???
Wow, Melissa, I've made this frosting numerous times and that's never happened - so sorry it turned out like that for you! It's hard for me to trouble-shoot since I don't know exactly what you used - was your butter too melted? was the lemon curd homemade or store-bought? did you mistake lemon juice for lemon curd? did you try adding more powdered sugar or whipping it more? These are all just questions I would ask to trouble-shoot... 🙂
this looks delicious but seems to have a lot of eggs in it?
does it really need 8??
Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says
Yes, it's a rich cake, which is why I like it. But I also like the "Lemon Curd Cake" in Martha Stewart's Baking cookbook and it only calls for 4 eggs - you can substitute that if you want. 🙂
This is our favorite cake too. I use seedless raspberry jam and lemon curd filling. I had a lot of lemon curd left over, wish I had thought of using it for the frosting too. I'll definitely try it next time. Thanks!
KnitOne, PearlOnion says
Looks delish! I make a similar cake every Easter and posted my version in Pinterest!
Wow, that's a big statement, best lemon frosting ever. I'll just have to make this cake and judge for myself. Have I thanked you yet for helping me stick to my diet?
Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says
Ha! I only had a little piece - the key is to take it to a gathering. 🙂
And I know I'm going out on a limb, but I felt it was a good discovery and warranted the big statement. Feel free to call me on it if you don't agree! 🙂
My problem is going to be not eating it all! I love Lemon and Berry flavors! You always have awesome recipes on here. I'm going to use this recipe for my teacher luncheon I'm hosting on April 30th. I'll send you some pix.
My husband can't stand lemon desserts. Insanity, I know. So poor me will have to make this and eat it all to myself. :o)
Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says
Ack! It's either lemon or chocolate at our house, basically. 🙂