Brighten Your Spring 2020 Quarantine with this Lemon Blackberry Cake

Nothing says party like cake. That my be more true than ever as people around the world stay home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

For as long as I can remember, desserts represented happy and carefree occasions. I can thank my wonderful mom for that. Every Christmas she makes chocolate fudge, sugar cookies, holy wreath cookies, peanut brittle, and fresh bread. Easter and Valentine’s Day come with their own special treats.

These sweet childhood memories and my obsession with Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter tea party have taken my love for decadent, frivilous cakes to a new level. Check out my cake instagram @TexasLifestyleCakes.

This lemon cake with blackberry buttercream is one of my favorite recipes for its fresh and complimentary flavors. Add buttercream flowers to give this cake a special spring flair that will liven up your home quarantine.

How to Make The Lemon Cake

I love having multiple layers to show off the alternating colors of yellow and purple but you can make this cake with less layers, too. I use four 8-inch round cake pans.

This cake is easily made from a box of yellow cake mix. Make the cake according to the box instructions, except for a few modifications.

  • Use milk instead of water. You may need to use a little more milk (i.e. 1/4 cup) than what is called for in the instructions.
  • Add the dry ingredients from a packet of lemon instant pudding.
  • Add zest from two lemon and the juice of half a lemon.

The instant pudding mix will make the batter thicker than normal. That’s okay. Use a spatula to help even out the batter in your baking pans and pound the pan (without too much force) on the kitchen counter.

How to Make the Blackberry Buttercream

Things get a little tricky here. Fresh blackberries bring out the best flavor but also add more moisture to the buttercream. Blackberry preserve fails to bring out the strong blackberry flavor.

The best way is to use a combination of both.

Make the buttercream according to Chelsweet’s The Best American Buttercream Recipe. Just don’t add the vanilla.

Make the full recipe (i.e. 2 cups butter, 7-8 cups of powered sugar, 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, and a dash of salt).

Set a little less than half of your buttercream mixture aside to make into your blackberry buttercream.

Add 1/3 cup blackberry preserve. Mix it well until there are little to no clumps of preserve in the buttercream. Cover with saran wrap or cloth. Set aside.

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to a small (or medium) pot and over medium heat. Add 16 ounces of fresh blackberries. Let the fruit simmer until it can easily be smashed with a fork and becomes a thick liquid. Using a cheese cloth as a filter to catch the seeds, pour the blackberry liquid into a side dish. Let it cool before adding to your blackberry buttercream mixture.

How to Make Buttercream for Decorating

Divide the remainder of the plain buttercream into different bowls and add your favorite spring color food dye. I used pink, purple, blue, yellow, green, and brown to make the twigs.

How to Decorate the Cake

Once the cake is layered, take a cake spatula and add buttercream to the outside. Use a cake scraper to even the exterior.

Here’s a video on how to make buttercream roses. Place your buttercream flowers in the freezer until they are hardened. Gently place the flowers on your cake.

Try The Lemon Blackberry Cake

I’ve made this cake for the last two Easter Sundays. It’s also often requested for spring birthdays and it’s perfect for Mother’s Day.

But let’s be honest, you don’t even need a holiday as a reason to have this tasty, beautiful cake in your home.