Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake With Lemon Curd {Legacy Recipe}

There isn't a better combo than lemon and blueberries. This Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake is just what we need to take our taste buds into spring.  

Whole layered cake with blueberries with a spatula holding one slice

Start with a box of lemon cake mix, and add pudding, butter, fresh blueberries, and fresh lemon zest to the batter.  And don't even get me started on the Sunshine Sweet Lemon Curd that is between the layers.  HELLO!!

There is sour cream in the cake batter which makes this a thick and fluffy cake.  The juicy blueberries and the lemon buttercream make this blueberry lemon layer cake truly perfect. 
Slice of layered cake with blueberries on a plate and a cake on a pink cake stand

When I first started baking, I avoided layer cakes.  If this is your first layer cake, I have several tips and suggestions that will help you have success and confidence.  

This cake will be one that you serve for years and years to come.

Ingredients for the cake

  • Dry ingredients: lemon cake mix, vanilla instant pudding mix
  • Wet Ingredients: eggs,  whole milk, melted butter, sour cream, fresh lemon juice.  Some cake recipes are delicate and require room-temperature ingredients.  This one is simple and not fussy, you can use everything right from the fridge.  
  • ​Add-Ins: whole blueberries, lemon zest

See the recipe card for quantities.

Helpful Tip

I like to make this cake over the course of 3 days.  Breaking it up is so helpful when I am already busy with holiday preparations.

*Bonus: by making the cake layers ahead of time, you will freeze them and that really seals in the moisture for the most decadent cake.  

Instructions for the cake

  1. To prepare the cake pans, you will line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and spray the edges, sides, and bottom of the pan with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl and an electric mixer), stir together the cake mix and the pudding powder. Just the two powders.
  3. Add in the eggs, milk, melted butter, sour cream, and lemon juice.  Using the paddle attachment, mix well on low speed increasing to medium speed until batter is smooth.
  4. ​Using a rubber spatula, carefully stir in the blueberries and lemon zest.
  5. Pour evenly into two aluminum cake pans.
  6. Bake and cool on a wire rack.  Cool completely before removing cakes from pans.
  7. Wrap cakes in two layers of plastic wrap and place them flat in the freezer until ready to assemble the cake.
Make one batch of lemon curd and keep in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the cakes. 
On the day you are ready to assemble the cakes (at least 6 hours before serving) make a batch of Lemon Zest Buttercream.  

Remove the cakes from the freezer. Place one cake layer on a plate. Using a piping bag, pipe an edge of frosting to create a barrier around the middle of the cake.

Fill with 1 cup of lemon curd. 

Top with second cake layer.  Frost the top and sides of the cake and garnish with lemon swirls and fresh blueberries.

Let the cake set at room temperature to fully thaw and come to room temperature.

When I have leftover lemon curd, I like to put a spoonful in Greek yogurt with fresh berries and granola.

This is a beautiful cake for any special occasion.

Starting with a boxed cake mix makes this dessert less challenging for a beginner.  I have now been making and serving this beautiful layer cake since 2015.


You can use fresh or frozen blueberries.  If you use frozen berries, do not thaw them first.

The blueberries do tend to sink a bit to the bottom of the pan as the cake bakes.  This is just fine and truly makes for beautiful layers.

You can easily substitute raspberries for the sour cream in this recipe. They work well because they are small like blueberries. I would advise against using strawberries, as they would be too big when left whole and too juicy for the batter if they are chopped. You can also substitute plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream. Make sure it is full-fat.

Special Equipment and what to use instead

Note: I have these special items and I find them to be so so helpful and very useful in a zillion other recipes. Worth the purchase and storing them for sure.

*citrus juicer/ press: you can easily just cut the lemon in half and squeeze it by hand. Make sure to measure the juice and remove the seeds.

*microplane zester: you can use the tiny side of a box grater in place of this

*2 (8 inch) aluminum cake pans: You can use any 8 inch round pans that you have, aluminum cook the most evenly.

*offset spatula: Use a knife or rubber spatula

Homemade Lemon Curd

Don't let the fear of making homemade lemon curd stop you from trying this layer cake.  You can buy lemon curd in a jar and add a smidge of fresh lemon zest.  It won't be as zippy and tart as homemade, but it certainly is a good shortcut.

Slice of layered cake with blueberries on a plate and a cake on a pink cake stand

Success Tip

I like to make this cake over the course of 3 days.  Breaking it up is so helpful when I am already busy with holiday preparations.

*Bonus: by making the cake layers ahead of time, you will freeze them and that really seals in the moisture for the most decadent cake.  

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

By Alexis


  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 ½ cups fresh blueberries plus more for garnish after frosting.
  • Sunshine Sweet Lemon Curd
  • Lemon Zest Buttercream Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 round cake pans with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake and pudding. Add eggs and beat until smooth.
  3. Add milk, melted butter, sour cream, and lemon juice and mix until well combined. Batter will be very thick and fluffy.
  4. Gently fold in blueberries with a spatula.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned on top and a knife inserte the the center comes out clean.
  6. Let cakes cool completely in the pans, them remove them and wrap in cling wrap. Place cakes in freezer until ready to assemble.
  7. Make Sunshine Sweet Lemon Curd and refrigerate 3 hours.
  8. To assemble cakes, remove from freezer and unwrap. Place one cake on a cake plate and pipe a barrier of frosting around the edge and fill with the Lemon Curd.
  9. Place second cake on top of lemon curd and contine with frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
  10. Top with fresh blueberries and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  11. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.


Find the recipe for Lemon Curd here.
Find the recipe for Lemon Zest Buttercream here.
This cake falls into my favorite category of "Legacy Recipes".  It takes quite a bit of time and many steps.  I like to break this recipe into 3 days.  Not necessarily all in a row, but by spreading it out, it seems less time-consuming.
Day 1: make the cakes.  bake and cool completely.  double wrap in saran wrap and then in a freezer bag.  Freeze for up to 3 weeks.  
Day 2: make the lemon curd.  After this is cooled, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.
Day 3.  Make the frosting and assemble the cake.  You can layer the cake and frost it all while still frozen.  Let it thaw for about 4-5 hours after assembling.  Then store in the fridge for 2-3 days. 
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