Grandma’s Lemon Blueberry Cake

My grandma Luhm passed away when I was just four years old.  She had an amazing reputation for being a great baker and the kindest person in Northern Minnesota.  I have no memories of her baking but I would like to believe that a cake like this would win her approval.



1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 and 1/4 cups (250g) raw sugar

1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups (375g) Minnesota Girl Flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (240ml) buttermilk

zest + juice of 3 medium lemons


1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or non-thawed frozen (275g)

1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour



8 ounces (224g) low-fat or full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3.5 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar

1 – 2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream*

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch salt


Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two rounds or two square 9 inch cake pans with nonstick spray.


Get Mixing. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy – about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.

In a large sized bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined. Toss the blueberries in 1 Tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. It may look lumpy, please don’t over-mix or your cake will be tough.

Spoon batter evenly into 2 prepared cake pans. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.

Finishing the cake. First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. The recipe doesn’t make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.