Breakfast,  Cakes,  Snacks

Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cake

We love lemon. (Ooh, Ma’s Lemon Sponge Pie, with its tart curd and divine fluff.)

And we love blueberries. (Ahh, Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin Cake, all juicy and sugar-crusty on top.)

So it’s no wonder we love this moist Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cake. Sweet and tangy, it balances the two flavors just right.

It makes a perfect snack cake or dessert. But its real secret to success?  No need for fresh or even frozen berries.

You’ll need lemons of course—but that’s easy, since you may have lemons in your fridge right now. We always keep a stash for lemon pasta, fish, scallopini, hummus…you name it. So we can toss together a lemon dessert just about any time.  

But who keeps fresh blueberries on hand? They go moldy quickly, and out-of-season berries can cost as much as a dime apiece (maybe even more now with inflation).

While frozen berries will work well in pancakes and cakes, they get icy and shrivel if left forgotten in the freezer. And for me, the juice usually splats out of the bag when I snip it open, staining my fingers deep purple for the rest of the day.

Instead, this recipe calls for the convenience and tastiness of a good quality blueberry preserves. It takes only a half cup, so you’ll have plenty left over for PB&J or your Sunday toast. And it lasts as long as needed in the fridge.

The jam gives the cake a purple swirl and creates a decorative marbling on top. Later, dress the cake up with a final drizzle of lemon glaze.

So keep some preserves on hand for any time you feel like a swirling up a fancy little lemon blueberry surprise. Especially when out-of-season blueberries cost more than your main course.

Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cake

For the Cake

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • ½ cup blueberry preserves
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and line bottom with greased wax or parchment paper.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on medium for 2 minutes, or until thick and fluffy.
  4. Add the oil, vanilla, lemon rind, and juice and mix on low until blended.
  5. Add flour mixture alternately with the sour cream or yogurt using a couple of additions, blending on low after each one.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan. Spoon thick lines of preserves over the top. With the spoon, gently swirl it into the batter. Do not stir.
  7. Bake for 55 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool cake in pan. Remove wax or parchment paper before placing on serving plate.

For the Glaze

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons water
  1. In a small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of water until smooth but slightly thick. If too thick to pour, add a tiny bit more water.
  2. Drizzle glaze over the cooled cake and let it dry. Cut cake into squares.
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