Lemon blueberry cake with lemon curd filling and torched meringue is the perfect celebratory cake - in a small packaging. This is a 6 inch cake, perfect for smaller gatherings. Even though we can't always justify big cakes, we can always have delicious cake!
Small cakes for smaller gatherings
It is inevitable. Our gatherings have drastically minimized during the last year, and I see that in what recipes people want. You want recipes for smaller cakes, and smaller cake recipes I will give you.
This is part 1 of 3 in my small cakes series, the two others will be uploaded in the next 4 weeks. Update: here's cake #2 The Salted Caramel Chai Cake with a delicious coffee chocolate buttercream and #3 Chocolate Raspberry Cake with a luxurious Baileys buttercream.
They are all compiled in this 6 Inch Cakes and other small batch desserts round-up!
All of them use the same base recipe for the cake batter, with just minor alterations to create vastly different cakes.
Fun fact: it is actually a variation of my basic cupcake recipe. Almost like a pound cake recipe, with just a few basic ingredients. This cake needs to be easy, and it definitely is!
1, 2 or 3 layers to this cake
I considered making 3 layers to this cake, but then I thought it wasn't so small batch cake anymore. 2 layers can also be a lot if you're just two, but it keeps pretty well for several days and I highly recommend making 2 layers so that you can fill it with lemon curd!
However, I wanted to make a table of how you can alter this recipe for 1, 2 and 3 layers. And you could also make this recipe into cupcakes! Cupcakes are easy to freeze if they are unfrosted, so that's a great idea if you don't want to eat everything in 3-4 days.
Lemon curd filling
Lemon curd is the reason for why this recipe originally has two layers instead of one. Now you can add fillings into it, aka the best lemon curd ever. Or if you want to make a new cake out of this, use mango lime curd instead!
You only need about ½ cup of lemon curd for this cake, and that's not so easy to make. I have reduced the recipe a bit for this cake, using 3 lemons, 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, ½ cup sugar, pinch salt and 1 stick of butter. Same instructions as before. That makes about 1 cup of lemon curd, which is perfect for a 3 layered 6 inch cake.
Leftover lemon curd can be frozen, or it can be used in these recipes:
- Blackberry lemon curd pavlova nests
- Fresh strawberry cake with lemon curd filling
- Red currant and lemon curd brûlée tarts
- Lemon meringue cupcakes (although they are quite similar to this recipe)
There's no problem in using store-bought lemon curd too, if that's more your thing!
For this lemon blueberry cake recipe you will end up with 2 extra egg yolks (or 3 if using store-bought lemon curd), these can be used in a crème anglaise vanilla custard sauce, in these wild mushroom ravioli, or in vanilla pastry cream.
The Meringue Marshmallowy Frosting
As I have mentioned previously, making Swiss meringue isn't as terrifying as many make it to be. It is actually very easy! Swiss meringue is egg whites and sugar heated on the stove and then whipped until peaks.
There's one extremely important rule when it comes to all kinds of meringue, and that is that everything needs to be fat-free. If you get just the tiniest speck of egg yolk in your egg whites, the meringue will not stiffen.
That means you also should clean the bowl of your stand mixer and the balloon whip, and anything that will come in direct contact with the meringue. No matter if you think it's already clean. If you do that, and make sure there's no egg yolks, it is really hard to mess up.
To make extra sure, you can wipe the bowl with a little lemon, but I have never found the need to do so.
Place the stand mixer bowl on top of a small saucepan with simmering water, and add egg whites, sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir with a spatula until the sugar crystals have melted and the mixture is all smooth, add in vanilla extract.
Now place the bowl back into the stand mixer and while gradually increasing the speed, whip until soft peaks (the peak of the meringue will droop a little). This takes somewhere between 5-10 minutes.
If you find that you have too many egg whites leftover, you can also use them in a matcha dalgona, whiskey sour or gin fizz (perfect if you have only one leftover), or of course macarons or pavlova if you have more.
Fresh or frozen blueberries in cakes?
Frozen blueberries are frozen when the blueberries are at their peak, so they are guaranteed to be as tasty as can be. The nutrients and flavor are preserved when frozen. In this recipe, I have used frozen European blueberries as they are so much more flavorful than the large American blueberries.
You are most likely to find these smaller blueberries in the freezer section anyway, so I'd look there before going for the fresh ones. I also think the frozen berries are easier to fold into the batter without breaking them.
They may bleed a little bit once baking, but I don't think it's a problem. Do you think my cake looks too purple? If you do, then I would choose fresh, American blueberries. The cake won't be as flavorful, but it will still be delicious.
That is the preferred blueberries in this blueberry pie recipe as well, I refer to them as wild blueberries.
How to make this lemon blueberry cake
This lemon blueberry cake recipe is designed to be super easy to make, to make it extra low threshold to actually get your spatula out even though you just have a small gathering!
Pre-heat oven to 350F (175C). Line two 6 inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides. If you have only one pan, you can do this in batches (like I did!). Set the extra batter a cold place until the other cake is cold enough to take out of the pan. Then continue.
Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a small bowl: flour, baking powder and salt - sed aside. Now add softened butter to a large bowl and whip until creamy, about 1 minute. Then you can add in the sugar and whip until pale and fluffy, about 3 more minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time and whip some more, then pour in the buttermilk, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Whip to combine before folding in the dry ingredients. Lastly, fold in the frozen blueberries.
This batter will be quite thick and it can look a bit grainy if your butter wasn't perfectly room temperature. No worries, it will taste good! Divide the batter in the two pans, and then bake for about 30-35 minutes on the middle rack.
Once a toothpick inserted in the middle, comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, it's done. Take it out of the oven and let completely cool in the cake pan.
Once cold, add ½ cup of lemon curd on top of one, then place the other cake on top of that and spread the meringue on top. It is extra beautiful if you torch it with a kitchen torch, but it's not necessary.
Keeps for 3-4 days in a cold room in a cake box. Enjoy!
Did you like this lemon blueberry cake? Here are more lemony desserts I think you will like:
- Lemon ricotta cake (this can easily be cut in half)
- Lemon blueberry muffins with crumb topping (great to freeze)
- Whole wheat lemon ricotta pancakes
- Lilac lemon cupcakes
- Lemon cake with crumb topping
- Crêpes with lemon cream cheese and blackberries
- Lemon zucchini bread
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