Lemon Berry Birthday Cake


Penelope is now a grown up 5 year old! It’s nuts to think that I’m mother to a 5 year old. We enjoyed some delicious cake together and blew out candles, nothing terribly special. Her real birthday party is yet to come.


Nagging in the back of my mind, I’ve had an idea for a tasty cake. Not knowing it would work out, I decided to give it a try. Divine is the only word that comes to mind.

Coffee cake batter + the best berry jam I could find at the grocery store + lemon zest frosting = the perfect blend of tart, sweet and mellow.


Currently, I’m a little tired of all the cupcake/dessert places that make “the most amazing insert dessert here” that are all coma-inducing sweet with no substantial flavor. Maybe this explains why the whole “put bacon on it” is a thing? Which, by the way, is totally delicious. I love the bacon maple doughnut place just down the street from me.

Using my tried and true coffee cake recipe for the cake part added a neutral base for the flavored frosting and jam. And this frosting is tart and sweet. Had I made a lemon cake, it would’ve been completely overboard. The other nice thing about making coffee cake as a base: it’s a known quantity. I’ve made that recipe hundreds of times so I know it works. And it works well in cake form.


I spread a jam between the two cake layers (I didn’t have time to make my own – so I bought the fanciest stuff we could find). It was a blueberry blackberry blend, which pairs deliciously with lemon. The lemon frosting is my mom’s melting moments frosting recipe multiplied by 2 and a half. YES. I wanted to make sure I had enough to cover the whole cake. And I had just a little bit left over.

Below is the whole franken-recipe put together for your convenience, should you ever choose to make this. And you should. 


Lemon Berry Birthday Cake

makes 1 2-tier 8 inch diameter cake
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Preheat your oven to 375F and grease 2 8 inch cake rounds. Cut out parchment paper in two 8 inch discs and place on the bottom of each cake pan. In a large bowl; whisk yogurt, oil, egg and milk. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir and fold into batter until smooth. Pour into cake pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit for a minute or two before taking out of the pan to cool. Cover in cling wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready to frost



  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • grated lemon rind


Grab your cake rounds and stack one on your desired cake plate. Generously spread about 1/2 cup of the best jam you can find, preferably seedless. Carefully place the second cake round on top. Quickly frost one layer (the crumb layer), it’ll look ugly, but that’s okay. Place in the fridge for a couple minutes, then frost again. BOOM. You’re done now, eat it like a rock star.

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    1. shannon says:

      What a lovely cake, and I bet it was delicious too.

    2. phil says:

      happy birthday to penelope .
      this cake looks and sounds delicious
      i m starving just reading the receipe

    3. Kristin says:

      I think I need to make that cake for my birthday next week, even if I have to bake it at two am to avoid heating up the house. It’s been 90 here! Yikes. I can relate to the oddness of having a five year old. My daughter has been five for four months and I still feel strange saying it out loud! How can she possibly be that old??

    4. Mandie says:

      Oh my! I’m gonna need to try this! It looks amazing! Happy birthday P! :)

    5. Polly Scott says:

      Looks so tasty! Happy Birthday, P! We can’t wait to see you and play with you again! You’re lucky to have a mom who appreciates amazing whip cream:). You’ll realize the importance of this later . . .

    6. Alie says:

      I’m definitely trying this today! Isn’t it crazy how kids grow so fast?!

    7. May says:

      This looks amazing! Come next year I’d love to make it for my little one’s first birthday. =)

    8. Becca says:

      Aww. My four year old loves jam. She thinks it will fix anything and even asks for it on celery… which I can’t seem to give in to yet. But this is such a wonderful post! Not only a great idea but you shared how you made it too. I showed her and she is excited for a jam cake for her birthday. Thank you.

    9. Marissa says:

      So beautiful and you just made me hungry for lemon iced coffee cake. I should be mad at you. Or rather, my thighs should… :)

    10. Jo says:

      Can this cake be made ahead of time and frozen? Do you use unsalted or salted butter for frosting? Thank you

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