Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Light, fluffy and perfectly tender, this simple blueberry buttermilk cake is perfect for any occasion! Packed with fresh blueberries and a touch of lemon zest, it’s wonderfully classic. Vegetarian with a dairy free option.

A Blueberry Buttermilk Cake on a marble cake stand.

This blueberry buttermilk cake was originally published in May 2012. The post has been updated as of June 28, 2017 with new photos, text and improved recipe instructions (including a dairy free option).

It’s time for cake! Simple, no fuss, delicious berry-filled cake.

Do you feel me? <— Pretend I didn’t just say that.

No but really. This baked treat. Oh my. It’s completely perfect in that lovely everyday sort of way. Simplicity at its best!

And I am absolutely 100% kicking myself in the pants for forgetting about it over the last several years. But now? It’s all I can think about. Because it’s just so darn good.

We’re talking cake that is packed to the brim with fresh blueberries. It’s sweet but not cloyingly so, and is soft, fluffy and moist.

There’s a touch of lemon zest that adds a bit of brightness, and the whole thing is finished off with a quick sprinkle of coarse sugar over the top for some crunch.

It’s light but still totally treat-worthy.

Which would explain why I’ve made it three times over the last few weeks. Happy feelings all around! Because it’s straight up blueberry loaded love. ♡

Three pieces of Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Cake on small white plates.

Tips & Tricks

  1. First up. Check on your cake toward the earlier end of the listed bake time. Because it’s a thinner-style cake, it can bake up pretty quickly. And we don’t want to overcook it.
  2. Let’s talk about the batter. While mixing it up, you alternate back and forth between adding in the flour and the buttermilk. Each time you add some in, let it absorb into the batter and then keep going.
  3. If you enjoy this cake freshly baked, you get a hint of that aforementioned crunch from the coarse sugar. But! The cake also keeps well for several days and personally I think it gets even better as it sits. You lose that crunch on top but it gets even moister in a fantastic sort of way.
  4. I think this cake is perfect just as is (all naked and such), but you could absolutely serve up with a dollop of whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream if dairy free) and some sliced strawberries to make it nice and festive for the summer holidays.
  5. And finally, you could definitely sub in other berries for the blueberries. BUT I would stick with either raspberries or blackberries. Strawberries put off a ton of moisture when cooked and won’t work as well here.

Two slices of Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake with a cup of coffee.

Additional Cake Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

This simple blueberry buttermilk cake is perfect for any occasion! Light, fluffy & filled with plenty of fresh blueberries! Includes a dairy free option!

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Yield: 1 (8x8 inch) cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Light, fluffy and perfectly tender, this simple blueberry buttermilk cake is perfect for any occasion! Packed with fresh blueberries and a touch of lemon zest, it’s wonderfully classic. Vegetarian with a dairy free option.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature*
  • ⅔ cup granulated or pure cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk**
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sugar (or more granulated / cane sugar)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper (cut a big enough piece so that the paper hangs over the edges on two sides). Mist lightly with nonstick or olive oil spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Add the butter, sugar and lemon zest to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium high speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and egg, and beat until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add in one third of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat this process, adding another third of the flour mixture, then the remaining half of the buttermilk. Finally, add in the last third of the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the blueberries and then the coarse sugar evenly over the top of the batter.
  6. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 20 minutes (or completely!), then lift the cake out of the pan with the parchment overhang. Cut into squares to serve.


*To keep this dairy free - use ¼ cup solid state coconut oil in place of the butter. You want the coconut oil to be softened, but not melted. During the summer, my coconut oil is already soft due to the heat, so I just use it straight out of the jar. But if your house is cold and the oil is completely hard - just pop in the microwave for about 5 to 10 seconds to soften slightly (but don’t melt it! The time may vary in your microwave.). Beat with the sugar and zest as directed in the recipe - it won’t be light and fluffy as it would be with butter in terms of appearance at this step, but just beat as directed for the 2 minutes and proceed with the recipe. It works beautifully in the final cake.

**To keep this dairy free - make a dairy-free buttermilk! Mix together 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk (shake it up well first) and 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar in a small bowl. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, then use as desired (you’ll only need some for this cake). You can store the “buttermilk” in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 191mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g

Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.