Blackberry Lemon Cake

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A light and refreshing lemon cake swirled with homemade blackberry jam and topped with fluffy lemon whipped cream. This sweet and tangy cake is the perfect way to celebrate the bounties of summer!

Blackberry Lemon Cake on a cake stand with Lemon Whipped Cream and fresh blackberries. A cake slicer is ready to cut a slice with a stack of plates.

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How to make a blackberry lemon cake:

A slice of lemon cake with blackberry swirl. Lemon whipped cream on top and fresh blackberries

Makes 1 single layer cake. You will need 3-4 medium lemons for this recipe.

Ingredients For the Blackberry Jam:

  • 12 oz of fresh or frozen blackberries, plus more for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Ingredients for the Lemon Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups of cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature

Ingredients for the Lemon Whipped Cream:

  • 1 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions:

Make the blackberry jam:

Place a big metal bowl or baking dish in the freezer to chill. This will help cool down the jam quickly later. If you prefer, you can avoid this step by making the jam the night before, just bring it up to room temperature before baking the cake the next day.

In a small saucepan, combine the blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer. 

Once simmering, cook the berries until very soft and begin to fall apart, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Turn down the heat if the mixture starts bubbling too aggressively. 

While the berries are bubbling, mash the fruit with a fork or spatula to break down any big pieces of blackberry.

Jam simmered and mashed until smooth in a sauce pan

Simmer until no big chunks of fruit remain and the syrup is thick, coats the back of a spoon, and has reduced to 1 cup, about 11-15 minutes total of simmering.

Blackberry jam on the back of a spoon, it should be thick enough to drag your finger through without filling in.

Remove the jam from the heat and pour it into the chilled bowl/dish. Pop the jam in the fridge to cool down completely while you make the cake. 

Blackberry Jam on a spoon in a jar

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350° and grease and flour a 9” springform pan. Set aside.

Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Give the dry ingredients a mix with a whisk or fork and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 30 seconds on low speed to smooth. 

Add the vegetable oil and sugar and beat on medium high speed until very light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to give the sides and bottom of the bowl a scrape.

Butter, sugar, and oil, beaten until very light in color and fluffy

Turn the mixer to low speed and add the eggs one at a time, mixing completely before adding the next egg. 

Once all the eggs have been incorporated, stop the mixer, give the bowl another scrape with the spatula, and add the lemon zest, juice, and vanilla. Mix on low until fully incorporated. If the mixture looks a bit curdled that’s totally fine.

Next, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients.

With the mixer on low, start by adding half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix until almost combined and then pour in all of the milk. Stir until halfway mixed and then add the last of the flour mixture.

Stir on low until almost fully combined, then turn off the mixer and give the mixing bowl a final scrape with a rubber spatula. Turn the mixer back on and turn up to medium speed. Mix until the batter is fully combined and fluffy, about 20-30 seconds.

Grab the prepped springform pan and spoon about 2/3 of the cake batter into the pan. Use a spatula to gently smooth into an even layer.

Next, take the blackberry jam out of the fridge or freezer and make sure it’s cooled to room temperature.

Using about 2/3 of the blackberry jam, spoon little dollops over the top of the cake batter. Do not smooth out the jam.

Dollops of blackberry jam on top of lemon cake batter

Next, spoon the remaining third of the cake batter over the jam dollops and lightly smooth out the top of the batter into an even layer. Do your best not to disturb the jam dollops underneath, we’re not trying to mix them together.

Drop the last of the jam over the top of the cake batter in spoonfuls.

Next, take a butter knife and insert it into the cake batter. Drag the knife across the pan from left to right and then from top to bottom to make swirls. Do not stir.

Lemon cake batter and blackberry jam swirled together

Pop the cake in the oven and bake for 45-60* minutes until the cake is golden brown, risen, and a toothpick inserted has come out clean.

*Different pans conduct and distribute heat differently, I start checking the cake around the 45 minute mark to prevent overcooking. You can use a regular cake pan for this as well, and the cooking time will probably run closer to the 45 minute mark.

Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and set it on a cooling rack.

Baked cake with cooked swirl

After about 10 minutes of cooling, run a thin knife between the cake and the edge of the pan to loosen. Release the sides of the springform pan and allow the cake to finish cooling. Once the cake is cool enough to handle, you can remove the bottom of the springform pan if you choose.

While the cake is cooling, make the lemon whipped cream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, add the heavy cream, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. 

Stir on low speed for 10-15 seconds to combine and then turn the speed up to medium high and whip until stiff peaks have formed, about 30-60 seconds. 

You’ll know the cream is ready when you remove the beater from the bowl and the cream stands on the end of the whisk without drooping or running off.

You can serve this cream on the side while the cake is still warm (highly recommended) or pile the cream on top of the cake after it has cooled completely. Garnish with fresh blackberries and enjoy.

Cake topped with whipped cream and fresh blackberries

Serving Suggestions:

My favorite way to serve this cake is slightly warm, with a dollop of cool lemon whipped cream on top, and fresh blackberries on the side.

If you’re making this as a special occasion cake or a centerpiece, pile the whipped cream on top of the room temperature cake at the last second. Add a pile of fresh blackberries to the center of the cake and watch your guests swoon.

Storing your cake:

I like storing my cake and whipped cream separately if possible, by keeping the cake wrapped well in plastic wrap or in an air tight container at room temperature. The whipped cream will need to be stored in the refrigerator.

If the cake is topped with whipped cream, cover the cake the best you can, and store it in the fridge. I recommend bringing it up to room temperature before serving.

The cake is best the day it’s made, but will taste great up to 3 days after baking.

A slice of cake with blackberry swirl, sliced lemons and whipped cream, topped with fresh blackberries

Freezing your cake:

This cake can be baked and frozen ahead of time for an easy make ahead dessert.

After baking, allow the cake to cool completely and then wrap it tightly in plastic (without the whipped cream). Store in the freezer for up to a month.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature, still wrapped in plastic. Once thawed, top with your whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh berries.

Substitutions and Variations:

  • You can use store bought blackberry preserves instead of making your own. Add a tablespoon or two of fresh lemon juice to freshen up the flavor and thin it out a bit. You’ll need 1 cup of jam for this recipe.
  • Frozen blackberries are totally acceptable to use in the jam.
  • You can swap the blackberries for raspberries if prefer.
  • Can’t find cake flour? Make this cake flour substitute. The texture will be a little different, but it’ll work in a pinch!
  • Omit the whipped cream and dust your cake with powdered sugar before serving or your favorite cream cheese icing.

Tips For Success:

  1. You can make the blackberry jam up to 3 days ahead and store it in the fridge. Bring the jam up to room temperature before adding it to the cake batter.
  2. Make sure all the cake batter ingredients are at room temperature. This will allow all the ingredients to incorporate properly and will result in a well risen and light cake.
  3. Use cake flour instead of all purpose. I found that cake flour made this cake super light and tender. If you don’t have cake flour or can’t find it, you can make a cake flour substitute in a pinch.
  4. To make the cake super moist, but also light, I like to use both butter and oil in the batter. The butter adds the flavor, while the oil keeps the cake moist and fluffy.
  5. Make sure the blackberry jam is cooled completely before swirling it into the lemon cake batter. Adding the jam while it’s too hot will melt the ingredients in the batter, leaving it greasy and dense.
  6. Use fresh lemons. You’ll get more zest off of each lemon and fresh lemons give off more flavor.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

Honey Almond Cake

No Bake Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake

The Best Blueberry Pie Cookies

Easy Blackberry Lemon Cake on a cake stand with whipped cream and fresh blackberries

Blackberry Lemon Cake

Yield: 1 single layer cake
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

A light and refreshing lemon cake swirled with homemade blackberry jam and topped with fluffy lemon whipped cream. This sweet and tangy cake is the perfect way to celebrate the bounties of summer!

Ingredients

Blackberry Jam

  • 12 oz of fresh or frozen blackberries, plus more for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Lemon Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups of cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature

Lemon Whipped Cream

  • 1 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

    To make the jam:

    1. Place a big metal bowl or baking dish in the freezer to chill. This will help cool down the jam quickly later. If you prefer, you can avoid this step by making the jam the night before, just bring it up to room temperature before baking the cake the next day.
    2. In a small saucepan, combine the blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer. 
    3. Once simmering, cook the berries until very soft and begin to fall apart, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Turn down the heat if the mixture starts bubbling too aggressively. 
    4. While the berries are bubbling, mash the fruit with a fork or spatula to break down any big pieces of blackberry. Simmer until no big chunks of fruit remain and the syrup is thick, coats the back of a spoon, and has reduced to 1 cup, about 11-15 minutes total of simmering.
    5. Remove the jam from the heat and pour into the chilled bowl/dish. Pop the jam in the fridge to cool down completely while you make the cake. 

    To make the cake:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350° and grease and flour a 9” springform pan. Set aside.
    2. Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Give the dry ingredients a mix with a whisk or fork and set aside.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 30 seconds on low speed to smooth. 
    4. Add the vegetable oil and sugar and beat on medium high speed until very light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to give the sides and bottom of the bowl a scrape.
    5. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the eggs one at a time, mixing completely before adding the next egg. 
    6. Once all the eggs have been incorporated, stop the mixer, give the bowl another scrape with the spatula, and add the lemon zest, juice, and vanilla. Mix on low until fully incorporated. If the mixture looks a bit curdled that’s totally fine.
    7. Next, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients. With the mixer on low, start by adding half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix until almost combined and then pour in all of the milk. Stir until halfway mixed and then add the last of the flour mixture.
    8. Stir on low until almost fully combined, then turn off the mixer and give the mixing bowl a final scrape with a rubber spatula. Turn the mixer back on and turn up to medium speed. Mix until the batter is fully combined and fluffy, about 20-30 seconds.
    9. Grab the prepped springform pan and spoon about 2/3 of the cake batter into the pan. Use a spatula to gently smooth into an even layer.
    10. Next, take the blackberry jam out of the fridge or freezer and make sure it’s cooled to room temperature.
    11. Using about 2/3 of the blackberry jam, spoon little dollops over the top of the cake batter. Do not smooth out the jam.
    12. Next, spoon the remaining third of the cake batter over the jam dollops and lightly smooth out the top of the batter into an even layer. Do your best not to disturb the jam dollops underneath, we’re not trying to stir them together.
    13. Drop the last of the jam over the top of the cake batter in spoonfuls.
    14. Next, take a butter knife and insert it into the cake batter. Drag the knife across the pan from left to right and then from top to bottom to make swirls. Do not stir.
    15. Pop the cake in the oven and bake for 45-60* minutes until the cake is golden brown, risen, and a toothpick inserted has come out clean.
    16. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and set it on a cooling rack.
    17. After about 10 minutes of cooling, run a thin knife between the cake and the edge of the pan to loosen. Release the sides of the springform pan and allow the cake to finish cooling. Once the cake is cool enough to handle, you can remove the bottom of the springform pan if you choose.

    While the cake is cooling, make the whipped cream

    1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, add the heavy cream, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. 
    2. Stir on low speed for 10-15 seconds to combine and then turn the speed up to medium high and whip until stiff peaks have formed, about 30-60 seconds. 
    3. You’ll know the cream is ready when you remove the beater from the bowl and the cream stands on the end of the whisk without drooping or running off.
    4. You can serve this cream on the side if the cake is still warm (highly recommended) or pile the cream on top of the cake after it has cooled completely. Garnish with fresh blackberries and enjoy.

    Notes

    *Different pans conduct and distribute heat differently, I start checking the cake around the 45 minute mark to prevent overcooking. You can use a regular cake pan for this or even a square baking dish. The cooking time will probably run closer to the 45 minute mark in this case.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 5g

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