Lemon Blackberry Lavender Cake
Moist lemon cake layers with a blackberry lavender jam and a light mascarpone frosting. Topped off with a lemon glaze, it makes for the perfect refreshing cake.
These lemon cake layers are a favorite. With 3 kinds of lemon components (lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract) it makes for the perfect cake bursting with lemon flavor. I decided to compliment it with a blackberry lavender jam and mascarpone frosting and haven’t regretted it for a second since tasting it.
Are there substitutes for the lavender or mascarpone cheese?: I love the way the dried lavender brings a depth to the flavors, but you can also leave the lavender out. Dried lavender can be found in the specialty spice section in some grocery stores, and on Amazon.
The mascarpone cheese in the frosting can also be substituted with cream cheese. Mascarpone cheese is just a lighter Italian cream cheese, and I love the way it keeps the cake light, but cream cheese will also do the trick well!
Can I convert to cupcakes?: Yes! This recipe converts great to cupcakes. Just adjust the baking for slightly less time. You can either fill the cupcake with the jam, and/or drizzle jam on top, or turn it into a blackberry frosting simply by adding the strained jam to the frosting. Add additional powdered sugar as needed to thicken the consistency if you decide to do that. Then, I would skip the lemon glaze and top with a fresh blackberry instead!
Lemon Blackberry Lavender Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 TB lemon zest (1-2 lemons)
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 ¼ cups cake flour*
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup buttermilk* room temperature
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 TB lemon juice
- 2 TB water
Blackberry Lavender Jam
- 3 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ TB lemon juice
- 1 TB corn starch
- 1 tsp dried lavender (optional)
Mascarpone Frosting (*see notes for alternatives)
- 5 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 TB lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 TB lemon juice
- About 1 TB milk, as needed
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease three 8" cake rounds, line with parchment rounds, and spray again. (You can also make as 3-4 layer 6" cake, 2 " cakes, a sheet cake, or cupcakes - just adjust baking time)
- In a large bowl sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Measure out the buttermilk with lemon juice and set aside.
- In a stand mixer, combine the softened butter, sugar, zest, together and mix for a couple minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing briefly after each one. Add vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl as needed and mix together until everything is incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk/lemon mixture. Just be careful not to over mix.
- Divide the batter into your 3 prepared pans (or alternate baking dish of choice). Bake for 20-25 minutes until a few moist crumbs are left on the toothpick. Remember, the cake continues to bake after you take it out of the oven. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Sugar syrup: While cakes are cooling, make the sugar syrup in a small sauce pan on the stove. Combine the sugar, lemon juice, and water. Simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved, then immediately remove from heat.
- Transfer cake layers to cooling racks and gently poke lots of holes in the top of each layer with a toothpick. Using a pastry brush (or spoon), generously brush layers with the lemon syrup. You may not use all of the syrup - that's okay. Let cakes cool completely before wrapping up or frosting.
BLACKBERRY LAVENDER JAM
- Combine blackberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium pot over the stove on medium heat. Mix together until combined and sugar begins to dissolve.
- Add cornstarch and lavender and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. If you wish to remove the seeds, strain. Refrigerate to allow it to continue to set before assembling (at least one hour).
- Sift powdered sugar and set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese and butter until smooth (2-3 minutes).
- Gradually add about half of the sifted powdered sugar, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add the vanilla, lemon extract, and lemon juice and mix together. Add the remaining powdered sugar until you've reached desired consistency. Beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Place a small dollop of frosting on the bottom of a cake board followed by the first cake layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the first layer, with a thicker rim of frosting around the edges to keep in the jam. Place about 1/2 cup of jam on the first layer.
- Place the second cake layer on top and repeat the frosting and jam directions from the step above. Place the third cake layer on top, topside down.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting around the cake to achieve a semi-naked look. Use a knife or offset spatula to create crisp edges on the top. Chill for 15 minutes before applying optional lemon glaze.
- Glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add milk as needed to form a glaze with the consistency like glue. To test, drip some of the glaze down a drinking glass. It should be able to barely run down the cake (or glass) without completely running off.
- Using a spoon or drip bottle, gently drip the glaze around the edge of the cake.
SERVING & STORING
- Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store in refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap. Stays fresh for 2-3 days. You can also wrap well in plastic wrap and store in freezer; fresh for a few weeks.