Blackberry Lemon Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

This cake was a lot. I haven’t baked a 4-layer cake from scratch in years. Like seriously…it has been about 4 years. I tend to go for cupcakes because they are much easier, less time consuming, easier to eat, etc. But I had a hankering to make a cake so I whipped up this delicious blackberry lemon cake that is so light, fluffy and moist. It has a pretty subtle flavor and is not overly sweet. While this cake is delicious and you should absolutely make it, it is not a recipe for the faint of heart. This cake will take a chunk of your time, so be prepared to spend a few hours in the kitchen. I am by no means a very skilled baker – my decorating and layering skills need some serious work, so as far as level goes, this is probably on the easier side because if I can do this, y’all can too! If you make this, definitely pat yourself on the back and if you share it with friends and family they better give you some extra praise and thanks. While my decorating and frosting skills need some work, I will say my creativity and ability to bake a cake and make frostings and fillings is at least there – so rest assured that the cake recipe tastes delicious and is well worth it!

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/3 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 3 Tsp Vanilla
  • 5 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 5 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Lemons, Zested
  • 4 Cups Blackberries, Chopped

For the Filling:

  • 1 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 4oz Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 Cup Blackberries
  • 1 Lemon, Juiced

For the Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Butter, Softened
  • 5 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • Makes: 1 4-layer cake
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cool Time: 120+ MInutes
  • Assembly Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 3 Hours

To Make The Cake Batter:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. We are going to make the cakes first because they require time to completely cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In an electric stand mixer (or using an electric hand mixer) add the butter and beat on medium until the butter starts to whip (2-3 minutes). Add the sugar to the butter and continue mixing on medium until the sugar is well combined.
  4. Next, turn the mixer on low and add the eggs 1 at a time until they are well incorporated.
  5. Now that the eggs have been completely incorporated, we are going to alternate between adding the flour mixture you set aside earlier and the milk. Turn the mixer on low and add 1/4 of the flour mixture and mix until loosely combined. Next add in 1/4 of the milk and continue mixing on low. Carefully increase the speed to medium and mix until the flour and milk are well combined. Repeat this step until all the flour and milk has been incorporated.
  6. Add in the vanilla and lemon zest and mix on low.
  7. Lastly for the cake batter, remove the bowl from the mixer and using a spatula, gently fold in the blackberries until they are evenly distributed.
  8. Now that your batter is ready to go, grease 4 four circular 9-inch baking pans well and line the bottom with parchment paper (this will ensure the cake comes out of the pain without sticking). Divide the cake batter evenly between the 4 pans.
  9. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes – check at 20 minutes and insert a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean, the cakes are done. When they are finishing baking, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To Make The Filling:

  1. Add the blackberries and lemon juice to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, gently mash the blackberries with a fork and stir (should take 3-4 minutes for them to soften enough to mash easily)
  2. Pour the blackberries in to a strainer over a large bowl. Using a spatula, press on the blackberries to get all the juice in a bowl, leaving the seeds behind.
  3. Place the bowl in the fridge until completely cooled.
  4. In an electric mixing stand, add the butter and mix on high for 2-3 minutes until the butter starts to cream.
  5. Add in the powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and continue mixing on medium until fully incorporated.
  6. Next add in the cream cheese and continue mixing on medium.
  7. Finally, add in the blackberry juice (once its cooled) – 1 tbsp at a time. Mix well – you want the filling to be thick enough to hold, but still able to spread easily.
  8. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

For the Buttercream:

  1. In an electric mixing stand, add the butter and mix on high until the butter begins to cream – about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Start adding the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Once all of the powdered sugar has been well incorporated, add in the milk and the vanilla and mix on medium.
  4. When mixed well, set aside until ready to assemble.

To Assemble:

  1. When the cakes are completely cooled, remove them from the pans.
  2. Carefully slice the top of the cake to even it out for a flat surface – this will ensure the cakes are even and don’t fall to one side when assembling.
  3. Place one cake round on the bottom, and spread a layer of the filling on top. Place another cake on top and add a layer of filling and spread evenly. Next, place the 3rd layer of cake and another layer of the filling. Lastly, place the last layer of cake on top (you will not top this last layer with the filling).
  4. Using a flat spatula, add about half of the buttercream on top of the cake. Gently use the spatula to spread the buttercream over the top and down the sides.
  5. Using the remaining buttercream, fill in any gaps on the side and smooth evenly to cover the entire cake.
  6. Slice and serve!

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