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.
But 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 adding a sprinkling of edible pearls makes it that much 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!
AND here’s another decorating idea with fresh berries and lemon zest for you:
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.
Other special dessert recipes you may like:
Note: This article was originally published in 2012 and has been updated with pinnable images, new formatting, and printable recipe. Enjoy!
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