Lemon and blackberry cake on a plate with forks

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This Lemon and Blackberry cake truly offers a little slice of heaven. Perfect for afternoon tea or a mid-morning coffee break. The tartness of the lemon paired with the sweetness of the blackberries makes for a delicious contrast in flavours. The cake itself is moist and fluffy with a light lemon frosting. You can jazz it up and top it with fruit, slices of lemon or edible flowers for a special occasion. But it also works perfectly well served as is. And, let’s be honest, it won’t be around for people to admire for long anyway!

Can I use frozen blackberries?

You can most certainly use frozen fruit for this recipe. However, I recommend thawing them first so that the cake cooks evenly. Freezing ruptures the skin of the fruit as the water inside expands and turns to ice. Therefore, you may also want to pat down the thawed fruit with some paper towel first if they are leaking a lot of juice.

Whether you use frozen or fresh blackberries, do make sure to slice them before adding them to the cake batter. As they are such a large fruit huge chunks in the mixture can lessen the stability of the cake.

A slice of lemon and blackberry cake on a plate

Can I make it with a different fruit?

This cake will work well with a range of different fruits. Why not try it out with strawberries for a sweet summery cake. Raspberries also work great, as do blueberries.

Why does my cake sink in the middle?

Have you ever had the disappointment of spending time making a cake, only to have it collapse when you take it out of the oven? Don’t despair. There are a few reasons why this might happen, and thankfully, there are also a few things you can do to prevent it from happening again.

  1. The oven temperature was wrong. If your oven was too hot, then the edges may cook too quickly while the centre doesn’t have time to set. Conversely, if the oven wasn’t hot enough then the cake may not have had the chance to cook in the middle properly.
  2. The cake ingredients were too cold. Note that this recipe calls for room temperature ingredients – butter, eggs and milk. If you use ingredients straight from the fridge then the temperature of the batter will be colder, meaning that the outside of the cake will cook faster than the middle.
  3. The batter was left for too long before baking. When you beat the butter and sugar you are adding air into the mixture. This gives the cake its structure and fluffy consistency. If you leave it sitting around for too long, then you may find that it loses this texture. Additionally, you may not realise that baking powder actually has two reactions to help it leaven. The first is on impact with the wet ingredients in the batter and the second is when it is heated. You won’t get the full benefit from this first reaction if you don’t use it straightway, and your cake may not rise as much.
  4. The batter was over-beaten. Once you have added the flour to the batter make sure to mix it only until it is fully combined. Don’t keep mixing after this point. The more you beat the batter the more gluten is formed, which can make the cake gummy. It can also make the structure of the cake weaker which can cause it to collapse.
  5. The oven door was opened too soon. We get it, you want to take a look at your creation and check how things are going. But if your cake is not set and you let cool air into the oven it can deflate and may not return to its plump self. Wait until at least 75% of the cooking time has passed before you take a peek. For this recipe that is 30 minutes of unadulterated baking time. I do rotate my cakes in the oven to ensure even colour, but this can be done successfully in the last 25% of the time.
Lemon and blackberry cake on a plate

How long does it keep?

Store the lemon and blackberry in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, providing you didn’t add any perishable decorations such as fresh fruit. After that point, it will become drier. You can keep it in the fridge to prolong its lifespan by an extra couple of days, but you may prefer to bring it to room temperature before tucking into a slice.

You can also freeze the cake for up to 3 months. The cake can be frozen whole or in slices. Wrap it in foil and then place it in a freezer-proof container to stop it from getting crushed before it is fully frozen.

Lemon and blackberry cake with slices removed


For a full list of ingredients, with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Lemon and blackberry cake ingredients
  • Plain flour
  • Baking powder
  • Sea salt
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs, room temperature
  • Whole milk, room temperature
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh blackberries, sliced into 3-4 pieces each

for the glaze…

  • Icing/confectioners sugar
  • Lemon juice


How to make it

For more detailed instructions, with recipe tips, jump to the printable recipe card.

Recipe Steps
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease the cake tin with butter and line the bottom with parchment/baking paper.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs and mix for a further couple of minutes.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, mixing each until only just incorporated.
  6. Add the lemon juice and mix for a final few seconds.
  7. Fold the blackberries into the batter and then spoon into the cake tin, evening the top with a spatula.
  8. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Allow to cool before transferring to a wire rack.
  9. Make the icing by mixing the icing sugar and lemon juice together.

Looking for more fruity sweet treat recipes? Try:

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Lemon and blackberry cake on a plate

Lemon and Blackberry Cake

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Lemon and Blackberry cake is the perfect coffee break treat. Tart lemon & sweet blackberries give a delicious & irresistible flavour contrast.

The cake will give around 16 generous slices.


Units Scale
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 120g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 120ml whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 170g fresh blackberries, sliced into 3-4 pieces each (see note 1,2)

for the glaze…

  • 150g icing/confectioners sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice



  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease the cake tin with butter and then place a circle of parchment/baking paper on the bottom.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. Add the butter, sugar and vanilla to another bowl. Cream with a stand mixer and a paddle attachment for 8 minutes or with a hand mixer with beater attachments for 8-10 minutes. Scrape down the bowl periodically. The mixture should be light and fluffy and without any visible sugar granules.
  4. Add the eggs to the bowl with the butter and sugar and mix again for a further 2-3 minutes.
  5. Alternate between adding the milk and the flour mixture, a little at a time. Mix constantly on a low setting while adding until there are no ingredients left and everything is just combined.
  6. Add the lemon juice and mix for a further few seconds.
  7. Fold the blackberries into the batter so they are evenly distributed. (see note 3)
  8. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and use a spatula to spread the mixture to the edges.
  9. Bake the cake in the oven for 40 minutes. (see note 4)
  10. Let the cake cool before removing from the pan and leaving it on a wire rack. (see note 5)
  11. While the cake cools, make the glaze by mixing together the glaze ingredients. You want a very thick but pourable consistency. You can add a little more sugar or lemon juice if needed.
  12. When the cake is fully cooled, pour the icing over the cake and spread it to the edges using a spatula, allowing some drops to drizzle down the sides.
  13. Decorate if desired, with fruit, edible flowers and/or sprigs of rosemary.


  1. You can use frozen or fresh blackberries for this recipe. If using frozen then allow them to thaw before using, and if they are leaking a lot of juices, pay dry with some paper towel.
  2. Don’t be tempted to throw full blackberries into the cake. As they are particularly large, big chunks in the cake can cause the cake to break apart. If you substitute another smaller berry, then you can use full pieces.
  3. Folding = very gently using a spatula to turn the blackberries into the batter.
  4. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door until at least 30 minutes of time has passed, to prevent it from collapsing. You can rotate the cake by 90 degrees for the last 10 minutes of cooking time if it looks more browned on one side.
  5. Make sure to cool the cake fully before decorating or transferring it to a serving plate.
  6. The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also store it in the fridge for up to 5 days before it starts to dry out. Bring the cake to room temperature before eating if stored in the fridge.
  7. The cake can be frozen either whole or in slices. Wrap in foil and place in a freezer-proof container to prevent it from being crushed before fully frozen.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: British


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 195
  • Fat: 6.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Protein: 2g

Keywords: cake, fruit, afternoon tea, sweet, indulgent,

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