I’ve realised that many of my posts start out with ‘I love’. But then on the other hand, if I didn’t love it, I probably wouldn’t eat it as much, which then would probably mean I wouldn’t really blog about it?
Anyway, I love baking. It makes me happy, calms me down, and is often a challenge – especially since I like to try new things. I’d say I’m good at baking the basics (cinnamon buns, cakes, biscuits and cookies, cupcakes and muffins, bread), but what I need to work on is my decorating skills. Again, the basics are fine, but I lack that touch that makes them look like they’ve come from a bakery rather than my kitchen (i.e. I could never go on the Bake Off because my 12 biscuits never look the same!).
Blueberry and lemon cake is something I keep coming back to when I make birthday cakes for people. I first did it in London for my colleague, probably about two years ago now, and that recipe was great. Unfortunately, now I’ve changed laptop and phone, so when I decided I wanted to make a blueberry and lemon cake for my mum’s birthday I had to pick out another recipe online to go with.
The cake turned out nice, but I feel it was a bit too dense. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the fact that I reduced the sugar (I mean 350g sugar – are you kidding me?) but it just didn’t get that light and fluffy texture that I had in my other blueberry and lemon cake. The other things I can tell you straight away differ between the recipes is that this one uses buttermilk (or your own homemade version) and light brown sugar, which I know the other cake didn’t – as I’ve never had that at home before.
So while this cake went down really well with everyone, I was pining for my lost recipe.
100g granulated sugar
100g light brown sugar
4 (large) eggs
2 tbsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tbsp vanilla essence)
1 tbsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
240 ml buttermilk (see instructions below)
3 medium lemons (approx.. 3 tbsp)
275g blueberries (+ 1 tbsp flour)
227g cream cheese (full fat)
650 ml icing sugar
0.5 large lemon (2 tbsp juice)
1 tsp vanilla sugar
3 egg whites
150 ml sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
If you can’t get your hands on buttermilk, make your own by pouring 240 ml milk in a glass and add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside and let the lemon work its magic.
Beat the butter until creamy, then add the sugar and cream together.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this to the butter mix and combine carefully. Add the buttermilk (it’s supposed to go thick) lemon zest and juice.
Toss the blueberries in 1 tbsp flour (to stop them all sinking to the bottom) and gently fold into the mix. If you use bilberries (Swedish wild blueberries for those of you who haven’t seen that post) your cake will go purple no matter how careful you are – so don’t worry about that. Be careful not to over mix it.
Spoon your batter into two or three greased pans (I used one large and one small and left the larger one in the oven a little longer).
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius (until a toothpick comes out clean – which is a little longer for a larger tin).
For the icing, combine butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Add the icing sugar, vanilla sugar, and lemon. Here I have to admit that I wanted mine quite lemony so I added more lemon, which meant I had to add more icing sugar, but start out at the quantity above and work your way to the taste and texture you want.
Once the cake is completely cool, decorate with the icing as you please.
I also made little lemon meringues to go on top of the cake, which were really easy. You start by whisking egg whites to a hard ‘foam’. Then add 50 ml sugar and whisk until the foam goes shiny.
Add the remaining 100 ml of sugar and fold gently into the foam. Then add the lemon juice.
Pipe or spoon the meringue mix onto a baking sheet on a tray and bake for 1-1.5 hours at 100 degrees Celsius. Turn the oven off, but leave the meringues to ‘dry out’ in the cooling oven.
It should be added as well that I have added yellow food colouring to both my icing and my meringues. I wanted pink food colouring for another recipe, but could only get my hands on a box with red, blue, and yellow. (Turns out I had pink at home already though.) So since I had it I decided to use it, because I wanted that pop of yellow to really exclaim that this is a lemony cake (until you cut into it and it shouts blueberry at you).
All in all I was, as mentioned, a little disappointed with this cake, so I don’t think I’ll make it again. I’d rather try to hunt down that other recipe (I wonder if it’s still in the browsing history of my old computer – and if my old computer will still turn on?).