Friday, October 15, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Marble Cake - Happy Birthday MOM!!

 My mom was planning on coming out in August to celebrate my daughter's 2nd birthday ( Yes I know - August and i'm finally blogging in October..) and her birthday is also in August so I had to make her something yummy too. She is normally a chocolate lover but my friend Stephanie had found this AMAZING cake on a blog somewhere and we both decided we had to make it. She made it first and said that it was too sweet for her taste and not lemony enough. We both love the combo of blueberries and lemons and she said she was a little disappointed that it wasn't more tart and lemony. So I decided to mess with the recipe a little and see what I could do to make it more tart than overly sweet. And my changes were EXACTLY what it needed. Tart, lemony, not too sweet and the perfect touch of sweetness from the homemade blueberry jam for the filling. I also went with a lemon Swiss meringue buttercream frosting instead of the frosting that the recipe called for. Only because I like it.

 I really love the combo of fresh sweet blueberries and bright tart lemons. To me this says"summer".

 First I made the homemade blueberry jam so it would chill and set up. I made this a couple of days before I baked and assembled the cake. The jam recipe called for a TON of sugar and I thought that would take away from the natural sweetness of the fresh blueberries so I only added 2 tbsp instead of 3/4 cup. I was so glad I did that. It was perfect. Not too sweet at all.

 I also didn't puree the blueberries first then add to the pan to  simmer. I kept them whole and mashed as it cooked.

Cake time!

 One of my additions to this recipe was a TON more lemon zest. And I cut the sugar by a little bit since my friend said tha cake part was too sweet. And I am glad I did that..

This recipe called for cake flour which is a softer wheat and makes for a lighter crumb. I don't always use it for cakes and cupcake, all purpose usually works just fine, but for the recipes that I make that call for it I use it.

 The pans are greased at then lined with parrchement. To get a perfect fit I trace around the bottom of the pan while the pan is on top of the parchement, cut it out and place inside the greased pan. 

 mmmm everything is better with butter..

 We buy our eggs from a local farm so they aren't always the same size but come in a variety of colors. I read somewhere that using brown eggs for coloring at Easter time make for richer colors.
The cake batter was a really light creamy batter

You can see the little flecks of lemon zest. I used a TON and this really made this cake more lemony than  the original recipe

For the marbled effect a few blobs or tablespoons, however you like to measure, of the jam is added to some batter and mixed well. I should have done more jam and batter because it didn't come out as marbelized as I thought it would.

Add the jam/batter mixture to the batter in the pan. I did two layers of this in each pan for a more marbled effect.

I just used a toothpick to swirl the jam batter around 

Not as much marbelizing as I thought there would be but still looked good and the lemony smell was awesome!

one of the layers cut in half

the homemade blueberry jam. The recipe made a ton so I saved the rst in a jar in the fridge and the hubby ate it on toast. He said it was perfect, not too sweet

first layer done

this was a tall cake!!

I had a picture of the crumb coat layer but I am having a hard time moving pics around for some reason and it disappeared! So here is the cake with the final later of frosting. It is lemon Swiss meringue butter cream. I purposefully didn't make it super smooth because of the lemon zest in it. I liked the way it looked

 With some frosting embelleshments

 I added fresh blueberries and dyed some of the frosting purple for extra decorations. I saw a cake like this with this recipe online somewhere but now I can't remember where to give them credit!

As you can see the marbelizing wasn't too obvious but the layers looked great with the blueberry jam

YUMMY!!  I really loved this cake and so did my mom and everyone else that had a piece or two! I think my changes were great and made this a keeper and I might try the recipe with cupcakes next time!!

Marbled Lemon Blueberry Cake
Adapted from SKY HIGH Cakes


For the lemon-blueberry preserve
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2tbsp  sugar OR honey
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons grated lemon zest

For the lemon cake

8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
7 egg whites
3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cups milk
¼ c fresh lemon juice
Fresh blueberries, for decoration


Make the lemon-blueberry preserve

1. Purée the blueberries, with any juices they have exuded, in a blender or food processor. Pass the puré e through a coarse strainer or the medium disk of a food mill to remove the skins.

2. In a heavy medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the blueberry purée with the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 20 minutes, until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup. To check for proper thickness, place 1 to 2 teaspoons on a small china or glass plate and put it in the freezer until cold. Drag your finger through the thickened purée: a clear path should remain. If it’s not ready, cook 5 minutes longer and repeat the test. Let the preserves cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Make the lemon cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter the bottom and sides of three ( or two) 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites, 2 or 3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk gently to blend. In 2 or 3 alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients, lemon juice and milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute to smooth out any lumps and aerate the batter.

4. Scoop 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl. Divide the remainder equally among the 3 ( or 2) prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula. This gives you a “clean canvas” to work with. Add 2 – 4 tablespoons of the Lemon-Blueberry Preserves to the reserved batter and blend well. Drizzle heaping teaspoons of this blueberry mixture over the batter in the pans. Using a skewer or paring knife, swirl the blueberry mixture in short strokes to drag it down through the lemon batter without mixing it in.

5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the layers cool in their pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Assemble the lemon-blueberry cake

1. Place a cake layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread half of the Lemon-Blueberry Preserves over the top. Place a second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining preserves over it. Finally, place the third layer on top of the second and frost the sides and top of the cake with the Lemon Buttercream Frosting. Decorate with fresh blueberries.  If you do several layers like I did then make sure you have enough of the preserves for each layer. The recipe did make quite a bit so you can save it to put on toast or mix into yogurt for a yummy snack!

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Makes about 5 cups
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tbsp Lemon extract
2 tbsp lemon zest

Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. If it is still runny keep beating it will come together I promise. Add in the lemon extract and the zest and continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.


  1. You just gave me the urge to try this recipe again, with your modifications. It was so disappointing to have mine come out so sweet :(

    Maybe next week will be a "do over"


  2. Wow! I'm impressed. This looks wonderful.

    Plan B

  3. wow i love it! I started buying my eggs from a local farm :) They are so much better!!!