This bakery recipe for fresh blueberry layer cake is perfect for birthdays and special occasions. The cake is incredibly moist and full of natural blueberry flavor, with pretty layers of homemade blueberry compote and blueberry buttercream.
This is the perfect cake for the blueberry muffin lover--the cake really tastes like an extra-blueberry-y, super moist muffin. When paired with blueberry filling and creamy blueberry buttercream, it's a blueberry lover's dream!
At Amycakes Bakery, this cake was one of our most popular seasonal flavors--repeat customers ordered a blueberry birthday cake every year. In fact, several people have told me it's the best cake they've ever tasted. 🙂
🎥 Step-by-Step Video
🎥 I hope you enjoy the video above (you may have to hit "play" twice on mobile devices). You can also view all my bakery recipe videos and tips on the following channels:
🥣 Key Ingredients
- We’re using frozen blueberries in both the homemade blueberry compote and the blueberry purée. That’s because frozen fruit is typically frozen at its peak ripeness and will have the best flavor any time of the year (I talk about this in more detail in my Fresh Strawberry Cake recipe). Frozen blueberries also tend to be juicier than fresh blueberries, which will make a moister blueberry cake.
- I use Olive Nation blueberry emulsion because it tastes exactly like fresh blueberries. An emulsion is like an extract, but thicker in consistency and stronger in strength. That means you won’t have to add as much to get that delicious flavor of fresh blueberries. I’ve only tried Olive Nation’s brand because it’s my favorite and trusted fruit extract supplier (I’ve used them since the beginning of my bakery). Olive Nation has provided Amycakes Bakes readers with the coupon code AB20 for 20% off on their website (that’s an affiliate coupon code, thank you for your support ❤️). If you use a different blueberry extract or emulsion, I recommend adding a little to taste till you reach the perfect amount.
- A tiny bit of red food coloring in the cake batter is optional, but it keeps this cake a more purple hue to match the naturally purple blueberry buttercream. Without it, the cake has more of a blue-green/sea-foam shade due to the yellow from the eggs and butter.
- Buttermilk makes the moistest cakes, hands down. I go into detail in Seven Bakery Secrets to Incredibly Moist Cakes. It also balances the sweetness of the cake.
👩🏻🍳 Baking Tips
- Once you prepare your compote and blueberry purée, the cake batter will come together quite quickly--I recommend watching my quick recipe video to see every step. This is one of my easy two-bowl method cakes, so no mixer is needed to prepare the cake batter.
- If you wish to divide your time, make your blueberry compote and blueberry puree the day before you bake the cake, and store them in the refrigerator overnight.
Layer this Cake using the Cut and Stack Method
I bake all my cakes in sheet pans and cut them out with cake rings. I talk about this in detail in 5 Easy Steps to Baking and Layering Cakes Like a Pro, but here's a quick rundown:
1. Bake the Cake in a Sheet Pan
2. Wrap and Freeze the Cake in the Pan
3. Cut Desired Cake Size with Cake Rings and Layer the Cake from Frozen
4. Crumb Coat the Cake
5. Decorate and Serve
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
I haven't tried using fresh blueberries in this cake recipe, as I love the flavor and juiciness that thawed frozen blueberries provide.
Yes, you can make this cake in advance because it freezes really well! I typically freeze the entire cake once I have filled and either crumb-coated or completed my blueberry cake, as described in How to Bake and Layer Cakes Like a Pro. You'd never know this cake was frozen because it is so moist! Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then remove it from the fridge 2-3 hours before serving so it can come to room temperature.
Yes, this recipe makes delicious cupcakes. Use a 2-oz scoop (¼ cup) to divide your batter into 17 cupcakes in a 1x batch. Blueberry cupcakes typically bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 300 degrees for an additional 3-5 minutes. I recommend making a second or larger batch of blueberry filling so that you'll have plenty of cupcake filling--you can easily fill them with a cupcake corer.
🍰 Other fresh fruit cakes you'll love
If you love this blueberry cake recipe, you'll love these too! The strong natural fruit flavor of these cakes makes them perfect for birthdays and other special occasions (and they'll certainly impress your guests).
I'd love to hear what you think of this blueberry cake! Comment below, or pin it for later using the image above. 🙂
Thanks for Reading. ❤️
The Best Blueberry Layer Cake
- 200 grams (1 ½ cups) All-Purpose Flour (I use Gold Medal)
- 200 grams (1 cup) Sugar
- 43 grams (¼ cup) Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix (see Note #1)
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 2 large Eggs
- ¾ cup Buttermilk
- 1 ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 teaspoon Natural Blueberry Emulsion (I recommend Olive Nation Blueberry Emulsion. See Note #2)
- ⅛ teaspoon liquid red food coloring (see Note #3)
- 170 grams (around ¾ cup) frozen blueberries (we will turn these into a blueberry puree for both the cake batter and the blueberry buttercream)
Additional Cake Ingredients
- ¾ stick (3 ounces) salted butter, melted
- 1 x batch prepared Easy Blueberry Filling (please note the batch size)
Blueberry Buttercream Ingredients
- 715 grams (5 ½ cups) powdered sugar (you may add additional powdered sugar as described in step 5)
- 2 Tablespoons instant clearjel (optional)
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 ½ sticks (10 ounces) Salted Butter (soft to the touch)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ teaspoon Natural Blueberry Emulsion (I recommend Olive Nation Blueberry Emulsion. See Note #2)
- reserved blueberry puree
- prepared White Chocolate Ganache Drip
- Fresh Blueberries
Prepare the blueberry compote filling and blueberry puree
- You will use the blueberry compote filling in both the cake batter and as a cake filling. Prepare a 1 x batch of the blueberry cake filling recipe and allow it to cool. You can make it the day before and keep it refrigerated. Reserve 70 grams (¼ cup) for the cake batter and the remaining for the cake filling.
- You will use the blueberry puree in the cake batter and the frosting. Thaw the 170 grams of frozen blueberries in the microwave until completely thawed. Puree the blueberries with all the juice in a food processor until it resembles a fine puree. Reserve 78 grams (⅓ cup) of the blueberry puree for the buttercream (keep it in the fridge until using). The remaining 78 grams (⅓ cup) will be used for the cake batter.
Bake the Blueberry Cake
- Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. Line a ¼ sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the bottom and sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray (focus on the sides of the pan, the top of the parchment paper only needs a very light spray).
- Sift the Dry Ingredients in a bowl and then whisk until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the Wet Ingredients and the reserved 78 grams (⅓ cup) blueberry puree. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until well blended.
- Add the reserved 70 grams (¼ cup) blueberry compote. Pour the melted salted butter over the batter and whisk until it is fully incorporated and the batter is smooth and shiny.
- Pour the blueberry cake batter into your prepared ¼ sheet pan. Spread the batter out until it is even throughout the pan all the way to the edges--an offset icing spatula works well for this.
- Bake on the middle or top rack (avoid bottom rack) of the preheated 325-degree oven for 18 minutes, then turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Set the timer for an additional 3-6 minutes, or until a toothpick or paring knife comes out mostly clean (watch closely towards the end of baking). A couple of moist crumbs on your knife are fine, but they shouldn't look wet. Some ovens may require a longer baking time, and 2x batches may take a few more minutes in the oven.
- The delicate cake will be easiest to layer from cold or frozen--allow the cake to cool, then wrap the cake in the pan thoroughly in plastic wrap. Freeze the cake in the pan for at least 2 hours or up to 2 weeks ahead of time (brush the cake with simple syrup if freezing for more than a couple of days--see Note #4).
Make the blueberry buttercream frosting
- If using instant clerjel, whisk it thoroughly with the powdered sugar and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer (preferred) or handheld mixer and a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until broken up and softened.
- Add the room temperature salted butter and continue to beat until there are no lumps, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Once the cream cheese/butter mixture is very smooth and creamy without lumps, slowly sprinkle in the powdered sugar mixture while the mixer is on low. The mixture will be thick, but continue to slowly blend on low until it is fully incorporated.
- Add the pure vanilla, blueberry emulsion, and reserved blueberry puree. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then beat the buttercream on high for two-three minutes. This important step will add air into the buttercream and make it light and fluffy. The instant clearjel will cause the buttercream to thicken over the next 10 minutes. If you didn't use instant clearjel, you may wish to add up to an additional 1 cup of powdered sugar to reach a thicker frosting. The frosting can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated, but remove it from the fridge 1-2 hours before decorating your cake so it can be easily spread.
Layer, Decorate and Serve
- The easiest way to layer the cake is to layer the cake from frozen the day before you plan to serve it. If serving the cake the same day you are layering it, use refrigerated cake layers instead of frozen. Cut the cake layers with cake rings as described in How to Bake and Layer Cakes Like a Pro.
- Spread a ¼ inch layer of blueberry buttercream on top of your bottom cake layer, then pipe a ½" tall ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake. An offset icing spatula (I use the small and medium-size on all my cakes) helps with this. Evenly spread half of the blueberry filling on top of the buttercream within the ring, making sure it is not taller than the ring of buttercream (as seen in my recipe video). Repeat with the second cake layer. The remaining cake scraps can be used for cake truffles if desired.
- I recommend frosting a thin crumb coat of buttercream on the outside of the cake which will catch all the crumby edges, then allow it to set up in the freezer for about 10 minutes until the buttercream is firm, before adding the final coat of blueberry buttercream. Drizzle with Simple White Chocolate Drip and fresh blueberries, if desired. The remaining blueberry buttercream can be used to pipe rosettes with a 1M star tip and disposable piping bag.
- Allow the completed cake to set up in the fridge, but remove it from the fridge 2-3 hours before serving so it can come back to room temperature. This cake has the best texture at room temperature. Enjoy!
Instant Pudding mix contains modified cornstarch (a.k.a. Instant Clearjel), which helps cakes retain more moisture for longer while keeping a soft texture. I use Instant pudding mix in cakes and save my instant clearjel for recipes that don't have an ideal substitute (as described in my Instant Clearjel Shortage Section). However, if you'd prefer to use instant clearjel, it is likely that 1 to 2 Tablespoons will work well (in a 1x batch) in place of the Instant Pudding Mix--I just haven't tested it yet in this recipe.
- I have only tested this cake with Olive Nation Blueberry emulsion. Olive Nation has provided Amycakes Bakes readers with the coupon code AB20 for 20% off on their website (that’s an affiliate coupon code, thank you for your support ❤️). If you use a different blueberry extract or emulsion, I recommend adding a little to taste until you reach the perfect amount.
- The small amount of red food coloring in the cake batter is optional, but it keeps this cake a more purple shade to match the buttercream (otherwise it has a blue-green shade due to the yellow from the eggs and butter.)
- Simple Syrup is optional, but I use it to seal in the moisture for cakes that will be refrigerated or frozen for more than a couple of days. While the cake cools, make a simple syrup by combining 1 Tablespoon water and 1 Tablespoon sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the sugar is dissolved after whisking, about 20-30 seconds. Lightly brush the simple syrup on top of the cake with a silicone pastry brush (you won’t need to use all of it in a 1x batch baked in a ¼ sheet pan). You can also make a larger batch of this (1 part sugar to 1 part water) and keep it in the fridge if you’re doing a lot of cake baking.