Lemon Layer Cake With Basil And Blueberries Recipe

For a refreshing and unique twist on the traditional lemon cake, try this lemon layer cake with basil and blueberries. Recipe developer Annabelle Randles was inspired by a recent trip to Italy to create this delicious recipe. This layer cake combines zesty lemon flavors with subtle hints of fresh basil that add a unique and refreshing twist. Topped with juicy blueberries, fresh basil leaves, and a slice of lemon, this beautiful and flavorful dessert is sure to brighten your day.

For an extra burst of tartness and creaminess, the cake is layered with homemade lemon curd. Randles also adds lemon curd to the cream cheese frosting for an extra sweet and tangy finish. The cake layers are light and fluffy, in perfect contrast with the rich lemony filling and creamy frosting. 

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply craving something sweet, this lemon layer cake is a must-try recipe. 

Gather the ingredients for the lemon layer cake with basil and blueberries

To make this recipe you will need self-rising flour, granulated sugar, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, lemon juice and zest, basil leaves, and vanilla extract. You will also need butter for the lemon curd as well as cream cheese and powdered sugar for the frosting. The cake is topped with fresh blueberries, some basil leaves, and a lemon slice.

Step 1: Make the buttermilk

Make the buttermilk: in a small bowl, mix the milk and lemon juice. Set aside until curdled, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 2: Make the lemon curd

Make the lemon curd: In a small saucepan, whisking continuously, heat the sugar, butter, eggs, and lemon juice over medium heat until the mixture thickens like custard, around 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Step 3: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 4: Line two cake pans

Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

Step 5: Grease the cake pans

Grease each pan all over with butter and dust with flour.

Step 6: Mix the dry ingredients

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and basil.

Step 7: Mix the wet ingredients

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.

Step 8: Combine the wet and dry ingredients

Mix half the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Add the remaining half and stir until well combined.

Step 9: Divide the batter

Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.

Step 10: Bake the cakes

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean

Step 11: Let the cakes cool

Leave the cakes to cool in their pans for 5 minutes, turn them out, and leave to cool down completely on a wire rack. Remove parchment.

Step 12: Reserve some lemon curd

Reserve ⅓ cup of lemon curd to sandwich the cakes together.

Step 13: Whisk the cream cheese

Make the lemon curd frosting: In a stand mixer, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.

Step 14: Add the powdered sugar and lemon curd

Add the powdered sugar and remaining lemon curd and beat until well combined.

Step 15: Spread lemon curd on the bottom cake

Assemble the cake: Place one cake on a serving plate and spread the top evenly with the reserved lemon curd.

Step 16: Place the second cake on top

Place the second cake on top

Step 17: Frost the cake

Cover the cake with a first layer of lemon curd frosting.

Step 18: Refrigerate the cake

Place the cake in the fridge until the frosting hardens, about 1 hour.

Step 19: Add the second frosting layer

Cover the cake with a second layer of cream cheese frosting.

Step 20: Decorate the cake

Top with blueberries, basil leaves, and lemon slice just before serving.

Can I make this layer cake ahead and how should I store it?

If you wish to make this cake ahead of time, you can make the lemon curd first and keep it refrigerated for up to a week in an airtight container. The cake layers can also be baked ahead of time. Once they have completely cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to two days. The frosting is best made on the day you assemble the cake.

To preserve the freshness of the cream cheese frosting it is best to store the finished cake (or any leftovers) in the fridge where it should keep for two to three days. Make sure to place the cake in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing other flavors from the fridge. For best taste and texture, Randles advises taking the cake out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving to bring it to room temperature.

What other pans can I use for this layer cake?

To turn out the cake more easily, Randles favors spring form pans and uses two 8-inch cake pans for this recipe. However, the quantity of batter is also suitable for two 6-inch cake pans which will yield a smaller and taller cake. If you are using traditional round cake pans, make sure to line the bottom and sides of the pans with parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking.

You also have the option to bake one larger cake in either one 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan. Once the cake is completely cool, carefully slice it horizontally into two even layers using a serrated knife or a cake leveler before adding the lemon curd layer as per Step 15 of this recipe. Alternatively, unflavored dental floss or a piece of clean sewing thread can be used to slice cake layers evenly. Just keep in mind that you will need to adjust the baking time, as the cake will take longer to bake due to the increased thickness.

Lemon Layer Cake With Basil and Blueberries Cake Recipe
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A layer cake zippy with lemon juice, zest, and curd gets an additional boost from the savory addition of basil and a rich, tangy cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time
1.5
hours
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
Lemon layer cake with basil and blueberries
Total time: 2 hours
Ingredients
  • For the cake
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup finely chopped basil leaves
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the lemon curd
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • For the lemon curd frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Lemon curd
  • Toppings
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1 lemon slice
Directions
  1. Make the buttermilk: in a small bowl, mix the milk and lemon juice. Set aside until curdled, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Make the lemon curd: In a small saucepan, whisking continuously, heat the sugar, butter, eggs, and lemon juice over medium heat until the mixture thickens like custard, around 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  4. Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  5. Grease each pan all over with butter and dust with flour.
  6. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and basil.
  7. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  8. Mix half the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Add the remaining half and stir until well combined.
  9. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Leave the cakes to cool in their pans for 5 minutes, turn them out, and leave to cool down completely on a wire rack. Remove parchment.
  12. Reserve ⅓ cup of lemon curd to sandwich the cakes together.
  13. Make the lemon curd frosting: In a stand mixer, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
  14. Add the powdered sugar and remaining lemon curd and beat until well combined.
  15. Assemble the cake: Place one cake on a serving plate and spread the top evenly with the reserved lemon curd.
  16. Place the second cake on top.
  17. Cover the cake with a first layer of lemon curd frosting.
  18. Place the cake in the fridge until the frosting hardens, about 1 hour.
  19. Cover the cake with a second layer of cream cheese frosting.
  20. Top with blueberries, basil leaves, and lemon slice just before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 597
Total Fat 26.3 g
Saturated Fat 11.1 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 146.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 83.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 56.6 g
Sodium 511.3 mg
Protein 9.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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