Blueberry Cake

Layered Blueberry Cake recipe | photo by Zoë François

Sometimes the best ideas come from happy accidents. I had set out to make blueberry sauce for the boys’ pancakes, instead this purple, berry-stuffed cake materialized. I’d been testing a recipe for the perfect white cake, which I am always on the hunt for. (I think, in my humble opinion, I have the world’s best Devil’s Food Cake, but a simple white cake is still out there to be created.) Whenever I get a new baking book I make the white cake to see if the author nailed it. It has to be moist, but not dense and has to taste like warm vanilla. The cake I was testing that morning is from Vintage Cakes. I won’t stop looking for the perfect cake, but this one is pretty close. The boys never did get pancakes that morning, but they did get to eat purple cake for breakfast. They were thrilled.

Blueberry Cake

White Cake from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

1 1/3 cups (5 1/3 ounces) sifted cake flour (sift the flour into the measuring cup)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 egg yolks, at room temperature

3 whole eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1/2 cup heavy cream, cold

Blueberry sauce:

6 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

zest of 1/2 lemon

Blueberry icing:

1 pound (about 4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted (sift after measuring)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla

Pinch salt

To bake the cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8-inch cake pans and line with buttered parchment.

Whisk the flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. On low-speed slowly add the oil and vanilla until combined. Mix in the yolks and whole eggs one at a time, scrape down the bowl after each. Add the flour in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour.

In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream to medium peaks. Fold the cream into the cake batter. Divide the batter equally into the cake pans.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack.

Blueberry sauce for Layered Blueberry Cake recipe | photo by Zoë François

To make the blueberry sauce: 

In a sauce pot add the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and zest. Cook over medium heat until the sauce is bubbling and the cornstarch thickens and turns translucent. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. This can be made a few days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring the sauce back to room temperature when adding to the icing.

Blueberry sauce and icing for Layered Blueberry Cake | photo by Zoë François

To make the icing: 

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt, mix on low-speed until incorporated. Turn up the speed and mix until smooth.

Blueberry sauce mixed into the icing for Layered Blueberry Cake recipe | photo by Zoë François

Add 1/2 cup of the room temperature blueberry sauce to the icing and combine.

Blueberry sauce mixed into the icing for Layered Blueberry Cake recipe | photo by Zoë François

Add 1/2 cup more blueberry sauce and combine.

Assembling the Layered Blueberry Cake | photo by Zoë François

To assemble the blueberry cake:

Slice each of the cakes in two layers. Spread about 1/2 cup of icing over the first layer and slightly build up the edges, which will hold in the blueberry sauce.

Assembling the Layered Blueberry Cake | photo by Zoë François

Spread about 1/3 cup of the blueberry sauce over the icing, but not all the way to the edge. Repeat with two more layers, then finish with the fourth layer of cake.

Assembling the Layered Blueberry Cake | photo by Zoë François

Spread the remaining icing over the outside of the cake. It will never be perfectly smooth due to the blueberries.

Assembling the Layered Blueberry Cake | photo by Zoë François

The blueberry cake can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

A slice of layered blueberry cake | photo by Zoë François

Serve at room temperature.

31 thoughts to “Blueberry Cake”

  1. I agree 100% that you DO have the best Devil’s Food Cake – Ever! (As do my friends who’ve eaten all the cupcakes I’ve baked using your recipe, LOL!). Thanks again for that (and many other) great recipes, Zoe. :^)

  2. We just got an email from our local upick blueberry place saying they have no berries because of the harsh winter. So I’ll either have to break down and buy store berries, or wait another year. Either way, I’ll likely make it w Fannie Farmer’s basic master yellow cake, replacing the vanilla with halt the quantity if almond extract and adding a pinch of ginger. It’s the best light colored cake I’ve ever made (not that I’ve made many… Chocolate is the usual request in my household!

  3. So, have you EATEN the world’s best white cake ever? For me, it is only an elusive dream, which reality cannot touch. Why does white cake never have that rich, moist deliciousness that the devil’s food consistently has? I wish I could say had I ever eaten a white cake that came even close to what you describe. They are all flat in flavor, dry, and lackluster. The devils food is foolproof.

  4. Your cake is beautiful! I was inspired to make it for my daughter’s 4th birthday. The purple color was perfect for her. However, it was a disaster for me from start to finish…twice. I’ve never had a more difficult time baking. Both batches of cakes fell dramatically in the center, so much so that I couldn’t cut them in half. The cake tasted amazing but looked pretty sad, as it was missing the middle. The blueberry sauce was good, but curdled the frosting as soon as I added it, both at room temperature. I’m hoping I can pull it together enough for her birthday dinner tonight. Luckily, she’s not picky about how it looks. I’m sure she’ll love the taste. 🙂

  5. Hi Zoe. Just wondering in your pictures of this cakes did u use a 8 inch cake pan or smaller? I love the height of your cake!

  6. Hello! I found this recipe through Pinterest. I wanted to make a cake for my fiancé for his 28th birthday, and asked him what flavor he wanted (I’ve made layered cakes in the past, but they’ve always been from boxed cake mix). Of course, he tells me “blueberry”. I’m thinking… How can I pull off a blueberry cake?! Then I found your recipe! This is the first “from scratch” cake I have made and it seems to have turned out well. We haven’t eaten it yet… It’s for tomorrow! Here is a photo: http://i61.tinypic.com/2442sjp.jpg Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I made this cake and followed the recipe. The batter tasted so good. Baked the cake and it sunk…What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Oh, that’s always so disappointing. Did you make any substitutions? A different flour or any other changes can do this. Oven temperature is sometimes a culprit. Do you use an oven thermometer? Over mixing can also be an issue. Give me some more details and maybe we can figure it out.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday and it was amazing! Super moist! I’d like to make it again, but I have a few issues…(maybe you can help): First, I felt like I had way too much blueberry sauce and I didn’t want it to go to waste so I really layered it in between the layers of cake. Second, I don’t feel like I had made enough frosting, I had a hard time stretching it to cover the entire cake. Third, when I added to room temp blueberry sauce to the frosting it actually separated the frosting (looked terrible, tasted yummy!), so I actually quickly whipped up another batch of just vanilla buttercream to spread on the cake. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Heidi,

      If you feel like the cake has too much of the blueberry filling, then I would save some of it and serve it on the side or with pancakes at breakfast. It is always best to make too much frosting. Have you watched any of my cake icing videos? I always suggest using more. So, you may want to make 1 1/2 times the recipe if you don’t feel there is enough. Add the blueberry sauce 1 tablespoon at a time if it looks like it is separating. Mix each addition in well before adding any more. If it seems like it is getting thin or going to separate, then stop adding more.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. I tried this cake and it is delicious. However, my layers weren’t as large as yours in the picture. And my icing wasn’t very thick either. Do you have any suggestions for me to try?

    1. Hi Ann,

      When you baked the cake did it fill the pan? If you still have room in your pan, you can make a 1 1/2 batch to get a thicker layer. I am just afraid it will be too much batter for regular pans. If you are interested in thicker layers, then 8×3-inch cake pans are a great way to go.

      The same can be done with the icing.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks for the suggestions. I loved the taste of the cake so I will keep working on perfecting this one. Do you think I could make 4 smaller layers instead of cut 2 layers in half? Would that work?

  10. Wondering about making this cake w/blackberries (being in Northern CA that’s my wild summer fruit). Any adjustments you could think of?

    I’m planning ahead ’cause the blackberry bushes are just flowering now.

    1. Hi Helen,

      It will be wonderful, but take into consideration that blackberries can have tons of small seeds. If so, you may want to puree the portion of the filling you will use for the icing and strain it before adding it to the buttercream. If it ends up being too liquid, you can heat the pureed/strained fruit and add a bit more starch to thicken it a bit before making the buttercream.

      If your berries don’t have as many seeds as I am assuming, then just swap them for the blueberries.

      Cheers and let me know how it goes. Zoë

  11. A printer- or viewer- friendly version of this would be nice. It’s annoying to have to filter through the photos to get to the actual steps of the recipe.

  12. Made this to a T last year for my daughter’s 3rd birthdatand it was amazing. So much so, she wants it again! Thank you!

  13. Hi Zoe, I made this cake (as well as your carrot cake) and in both cases the flavour of canola oil comes through fairly strong after baking, and it tinted the batter yellow (compared to your photographs). Is that how its supposed to be? Is there an alternative to canola oil that you would recommend? I just can’t get past that taste of canola oil in the cake…. Thank you!

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