A classic flavor pairing, this pound cake is sweet and perfectly dense, with a lot of lemon flavor and bursting with juicy blueberries that don't sink to the bottom! The top will bake to a golden brown, rise and crack slightly, as good loaf cakes do. It keeps well, can be frozen, used in trifles, and is also wonderful eaten plain, without the glaze.
We are fierce lovers of pound cake in this blog. We love the simplicity of them with that dense but amazing crumb that is unparalleled. The lemon pound cake with sour cream is our star recipe and the strawberry pound cake comes in a close second place. This cake today is a mix of both.
About this recipe
- Flavor: the combination of blueberries and lemon is amazing and a crowd pleaser, and this is a recipe you can make year round. Use fresh or frozen berries and you can even add a little lemon extract if your citrus is lacking flavor.
- Pan size: this is a recipe that can be baked in a loaf pan or double the cake batter and baked in a bundt pan.
- Make ahead: it keeps well wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for a week, and can be frozen for a month.
- Serving it: it can be eaten plain or glazed, it can be frozen for later and used in a trifle. So many possibilities. Such a great and easy lemon blueberry pound cake recipe.
- Lemon: we use both fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for this cake to achieve the best lemon flavor.
- Blueberries: seasonal, fresh blueberries are always the best, but, as explained before, this recipe works perfectly well with frozen ones.
- Cream cheese: it adds moisture and helps create a fantastic crumb.
- Butter: unsalted is best for a buttery pound cake.
- Eggs: fresh large ones are what we use for all, or at least most, recipes.
- Flour: all purpose flour or cake flour, both work. The difference in texture are subtle.
- Salt: a little enhances the rest of the flavors.
- Baking powder: it acts as a leavening agent to help the cake rise in the oven. Always make sure you use fresh baking powder that hasn't expired, it will have more strength.
- Vanilla: I love using pure vanilla, either paste or extract. It adds a caramel undertone and brings out the lemon flavor.
How to make it
It's a simple butter cake but using an electric mixer and a large bowl or the stand mixer is encouraged. Otherwise, you'll need a lot of arm muscle to beat this properly. It's important that all ingredients be at room temperature for a proper mixing.
- Creaming. The soft butter is beaten with the sugar until fluffy and creamy (hence the name creaming method) and then the eggs are added, one by one. For best results, it's important to add the sugar slowly as you beat the butter, and to mix well after adding each egg. The whole thing should take 4-5 minutes. This will incorporate air and help the cake rise and be as fluffy as possible. Images 1 and 2.
- Adding the flavorings. The vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest. I like to do this before adding the dry ingredients, especially the lemon zest, because I find that they integrate better and produce a better flavor, but you can add them towards the end, with the blueberries or the cream cheese. Images 3 and 4.
- Flour mixture. Also called the dry ingredients, they are added to the butter mixture in parts, alternating with the cream cheese. Make sure you don't beat it much after the dry ingredients are added, as it will make the cake tough. Use it at a low speed. Images 5 and 6.
- Adding the berries. The blueberries are added at the end with a spatula to avoid crushing them. Don't use the electric mixer. Images 7 and 8.
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- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes are as accurate as I they can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Different pans: one recipe is perfect for a medium loaf pan. But it can be doubled and made in a tube pan or simple bundt pan with 10 cup capacity. Don't be tempted to use very intricate patterned pans as the blueberries might stick and the baked cake will be hard to remove. The baking time will vary, of course, and will probably be about 1 hour. You might want to check the Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt cake as reference.
- Serving it: I love it plain, at room temperature, with the lemon glaze or without. But this is a great recipe to use in a trifle (layers of whipped cream, more fresh blueberries and emon curd). Or serve a thick slice with whipped cream and more fresh berries.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, absolutely! In fact, I make blueberry cakes year round using frozen berries. No need to thaw them, add directly to the batter.
It does after a day or two, especially if the room is not cool. Fruit starts to ferment at some point, and though it can take a few days and depends a lot of environmental temperatures, it will make the baked thing go bad in a short time. So I always wrap the cakes and refrigerate them after two days at the most.
Use cream cheese as this recipe does, sour cream or oil. And also don't over bake it, and keep it in plastic wrap if not eaten the first day it's baked. Refrigeration will start to dry any cake after a few days, so you might want to freeze if not eating it. Always well wrapped.
Related recipes you might like:
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For the cake:
- 1 ½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose or cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature (see Notes for substitutions)
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- A tablespoon or more of lemon juice
- Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.
- Butter or spray a 9x4 inch (10x24 cm) loaf pan and, if you want, add a strip of parchment paper to cover the bottom and two shorter sides. This will make it easier to remove the cake.
- Wash and dry the blueberries if fresh, or use directly from the freezer but make sure they are not clumped.
For the cake:
- Beat soft butter for 20 seconds in a large bowl with electric beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Add sugar gradually while you continue beating at medium speed, and then for 3 more minutes after adding all of it. The mixture should be light in color, fluffy and the sugar will have partially dissolved.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl regularly.
- Add vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and mix. It might look curdled, but don't worry.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) together in a bowl, or have them measured and sift them directly over the cake batter.
- Add them in 2 parts, alternating with the cream cheese in 1 part. That means you start and end with the dry ingredients.
- Mix and integrate it well, but don't beat much at this point. After adding the last part of the flour mixture, you should have most of it not incorporated when you add the berries. After adding the flour, cake batters should not be beaten too much as that will develop gluten and toughen the baked cake.
- Add the blueberries and mix the batter with a spatula. Make sure everything is incorporated and try not to crush the blueberries. But make sure there are no flour spots. You should have a thick, smooth batter with berries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake in the middle rack for about 45 minutes, until it rises, the top cracks and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Pound cakes are dense so make sure it's fully baked. If the top is browning too quickly but the middle is not done, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum paper and continue to bake.
- Cool on a wire rack and remove carefully from the pan, removing the strip of paper.
- Drizzle the glaze over and let it dry before cutting and eating.
- Keep leftovers at room temperature for a day or two or in the refrigerator for several days, with plastic wrap in both cases, or frozen for a month, well wrapped also.
For the glaze:
- Put the powdered sugar in a bowl and add half the lemon juice.
- Check to see the consistency. It should be like thick honey. Add more juice if needed to adjust the consistency.
- Pour over the cooled cake and let drip down the sides. Let dry before cutting.
Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes are as accurate as I they can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
No cream cheese? You can use regular sour cream or Greek yogurt instead of the cream cheese, same amount. The crumb will be a tad less dense and a smidge more tangy. They both add great moisture and tenderness.
Make ahead: you can keep the cake in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a month, well wrapped. But if you store it after the glaze is applied, it will lose some of its shine and probably and be a little mushy, but it will still taste good. So, if you want to make it ahead before serving and maintain a shiny glaze, I recommend you store the pound cake plain and ice it an hour or so before serving. I wrap it first in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze it up to a month. You can use other type of airtight container or wrapper, just make sure no air is getting into it to prevent freezer burn.
Bundt cake: you can easily double this recipe and bake it in a tube pan or simple bundt pan, avoid the ones with very intricate patterns as the cake might stick more.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cooling time: 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
Keywords: lemon blueberry pound cake