Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling

Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling - this stunning layer cake is absolutely a show stopper for your next special occasion. With the blackberry buttercream filling, it tastes even better than it looks!
It may seem strange, but I was never one of those moms who couldn’t wait to have grandchildren. I thought my life was quite full, thank you very much, until ……… little Annie entered the picture. It only took seconds of cradling that sweet-scented, soft-skinned, pink-cheeked babe in my arms to become, well let’s just say ……….. hopelessly smitten!! Annie led the way, but in the short years following, came Elle Belle, Lilly, Luke and Emery Kate. This Grammy and Papa’s lives are quite full now, in a wonderful way, that we never imagined BG (before grandchildren). We’ve loved every minute of this amazing adventure and had no idea what we were missing before they burst on the scene. Thank you very much, dear Lord for blessing us with this awesome quiver full of children’s children!

Annie turned 7 in June. We weren’t able to celebrate on her birthday, since she lives with her mum, daddy and siblings in London, UK. We’re celebrating this weekend, however, as they all arrive today for a long summer holiday (as they say in Europe). I asked Annie a few weeks ago what kind of cake she’d like for her birthday celebration and she responded, without hesitation, “Lemon!”. So lemon it is!

Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling - this stunning layer cake is absolutely a show stopper for your next special occasion. With the blackberry buttercream filling, it tastes even better than it looks!

I saw a 14-layer version of this cake on Pinterest and followed it to the Bakerella blog. At first, I thought that the layers were sliced thin, but after reading the instructions, I realized that each layer is baked in a separate pan. To me, that made the whole thing much simpler. I have four 8-inch pans, so I baked the cakes in two batches, letting the pans cool and washing them, in between batches. You could make it super simple by baking the layers in disposable aluminum foil pans, as suggested on Bakerella.

The cake recipe is an old family recipe, not my family or anyone I know, but a family named Smith. The story’s told that this cake was famous in Art Smith’s (former personal chef to Oprah Winfrey) family. It was handed down from generation to generation and was a huge hit at every reunion, party or family celebration. Hence the name, Smith Family’s 12-Layer Cake.

The cake comes out moist and light and makes a tall, celebration-worthy dessert. I adapted it by adding fresh lemon juice and zest to the batter. I used my own icing recipe, adding again, Annie’s requested “lemon” to the delicious buttercream.

Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling - this stunning layer cake is absolutely a show stopper for your next special occasion. With the blackberry buttercream filling, it tastes even better than it looks!

Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling – this stunning layer cake is absolutely a show stopper for your next special occasion. With the blackberry buttercream filling, it tastes even better than it looks!

Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling - this stunning layer cake is absolutely a show stopper for your next special occasion. With the blackberry buttercream filling, it tastes even better than it looks!

 I used my favorite technique for the icing. Don’t tell anyone, but it’s super simple and doesn’t require a ton of skill. It always comes out quite pretty, but it’s just a random swirl of icing with a 1M Wilton tip. One of these days, I’m planning to take a cake-decorating class but just haven’t been able to squeeze that one in yet. In the meantime, this swirl makes a fancy looking cake without a lot of effort.

So there you have it; Annie’s Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling, perfect for a party of any kind!

We can’t wait to celebrate your birthday Annie! You’re becoming such a lovely young lady and your Grammy and Papa are so………. proud of you!

Annie's Birthday Cake The Girl Bees!

Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling - this stunning layer cake is absolutely a show stopper for your next special occasion. With the blackberry buttercream filling, it tastes even better than it looks!Hope your mum remembers to show you this before you get on the plane today. We’ll be here at the other end to give all of you lots of hugs and kisses …………… and to eat cake with you!!

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Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling

  • Author:
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cups milk
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the blackberry buttercream:
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 -3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the lemon buttercream:
  • 8 ounces butter
  • juice and zest of 1 fresh lemon
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk, more as needed

Instructions

  1. Position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 375° F. Spray four 8-inch cake pans (you will bake the cakes in two batches) and rub spray to completely coat the pans. Line the bottoms with round pieces of parchment paper. Spray the pans again lightly.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the mixture one more time, and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle blade on high speed until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and be sure the mixture is well blended. On low speed, add the flour in 3 increments, alternating with 2 additions of the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Using about 1 3/4 cups for each layer, spread the batter evenly in the pans.
  4. Staggering the pans on the racks so they are at least 2 inches from each other and the sides of the oven and not directly over each other, bake the layers until they feel firm when pressed in the centers and are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 18-20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Invert the layers onto cake racks, remove the parchment paper and cool completely. Wash and prepare three of the pans again as directed above. Repeat the procedure until all 7 layers have been baked and cooled.
  5. To finish the cake, place one of the layers on a cake plate and spread with about 1/6th of the blackberry icing. Stack the remaining cakes, spreading icing between each layer. Spread a thin layer of the lemon icing over the sides and top of the cake. This is your crumb coat and will make it easier to do the decorative frosting. Refrigerate cake until crumb coating is dry and set.
  6. At this point you can either frost the cake with a offset knife or pipe the icing on as in the photos. To do the swirly icing, use a large decorating bag fitted with a Wilton 1M or 2D tip and a coupler. Fill bag 1/2 full of lemon buttercream. Twist top to secure. Starting at a bottom edge, with the tip perpendicular to the cake, begin swirling icing in a random pattern, back and forth and up and down. Stop from time to time to readjust your grip on the pastry bag. You want to eventually cover all of the cake. Don’t worry about trying to make any pattern, it should be whimsical and random.
  7. Place blackberries and sugar in a medium size bowl. Crush berries with a fork and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Strain berry juice into a small saucepan, pushing solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much of the berry juice as possible. Bring juice to a boil, then lower heat a bit and keep at a steady simmer until juice is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  8. For the blackberry buttercream, beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer for 3 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy.
  9. Add powdered sugar and blackberry reduction and beat well. Add milk to make a fluffy, spreadable icing. Beat for another 2 minutes.
  10. For the lemon buttercream, beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer for 3 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy.
  11. Add powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat well. Add milk, if needed, to make a fluffy, spreadable icing. Beat for another 2 minutes.


53 thoughts on “Seven Layer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Filling”

  • Hi Chris! I would like to thank you so much for posting this recipe , I made it for my mum today and it was absolutely delightful , thanks again for helping me make my mum happy on Mother’s Day 💐🙂.

  • Hi Chris, I am planning on making a cake for my Granddaughters” engagement party. Do you think this cake would work well as a sheet cake? I am planning on using 2 half sheet pans and layering them. If not do you have a special recipe you would recommend for a yellow sheet cake. Thank you so much.
    I just love getting your recipes in my emails and reading the stories

  • Good morning, thank you for sharing such lovely recipe ideas. I made this cake for my boyfriends birthday and guests yesterday and it did not rise. the recipe calls for 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder… is this a type-o? LOVED the frosting.. but the cake was an expensive embarrassment.
    thank you

  • Hi There,
    This post is an awesome post and a really beautiful cake made with so much love ! my belated best wishes and blessings to ur Annie !
    I enjoyed browsing through your other wonderful recipes. It was a real delight to see and learn so much from your each and every post. Hope to see more of your creative endeavors in the New Year. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and stay Warm !
    Thanks & Regards, Sonia

  • OMG…I just noticed your gorgeous cake…so feminine, so incredibly amazing!
    …but then, so is Annie! Such a beautiful girl. Love all three little girls…so adorable, cute and little ladies!

    You are quite a phenominal cake baker, Chris! xo

  • Holy guacamole! That’s a lot of work doing the layers! It’s a stunning cake, though. Perfect for a little girl!

  • Happy Birthday to Annie! Such a great cake you baked her – it’s totally gorgeous! And super decorating, too – thanks for that decorating tip (I don’t have the decorating gene, so it was really useful). Great pictures – thanks.

  • That cake is gorgeous, but I think it’s outdone by your lovely granddaughters! What a sweet post! Enjoy your time together.

  • What a lucky little girl to have such an amazing cake for her birthday!!! It looks gorgeous, Chris!! You have beautiful grandchildren, Happy Birthday to Annie, have a great weekend!

  • What a beautiful birthday cake for your sweet grand-daughter. How wonderful that you get to have them for a long holiday. They are adorable little girls. Your cake looks absolutely perfect and the design is so frilly on the outside I love it. Enjoy your time with your family.

  • Chris, incredible is all I can say – what a picture of a birthday cake and how wonderful that your grand-children will be spending a month and a half with you! The girls are incredibly cute looking! Happy birthday to Annie then – I am quite sure she adored her cake and that all of you had a wonderful time!

  • Beautiful cake Chris! I can’t believe she is seven already! I know you all will have a great holiday. I miss you more than I can ever tell you here ( and not just for the Delicious food you bring) I would love to get together maybe after your holiday and catch up. Love ya!

    • Thanks so much! I’d love to get together Dana. I think of you all the time and miss you too. Hope your new job is going well!

  • Aww, what a super sweet post! Happiest birthday wishes to Annie! What a lucky girl to indulge in this beautiful, summery cake.

  • Your granddaughter is adorable! I’m sure she loves you as much as you love her. I still miss my grandparents literally every single day. And as for this cake, oh my word, does it look fantastic. I want a slice so badly. When a cake calls for more layers than I have pans, I typically bake them in as few batches as possible and cut the cakes.

  • Oh Chris!!!!! this is simply stunning – SO beautiful and perfect!! Annie is even more beautiful! what a super birthday cake for a lovely little girl 🙂
    Mary x

  • AmaZing cake for a beautiful little girl! What wonderful memories you are making with your grandchildren!

  • Happy birthday, Annie! You sound like my parents were BG….happy, busy, full lives. Now they can’t imagine how they filled their time without their grandson and Dudette. It makes me smile. Chris, the cake is gorgeous. I love the blackberry buttercream in the middle. With lemon cake and frosting, I bet it’ll be delicious.

  • This cake is stunning Chris. Everything about it is beautiful. I love the swirl that you do on you cakes and can’t wait to try it but haven’t had the opportunity. Both my kids have birthdays next month so maybe I will have the chance.

    I’m a huge fan of high rise cakes. If I’m goi g to make them they have to be tall and spectacular. I’m sure Annie will be doing backflips when she sees this.

    Great recipe and photo. I can’t wait to try this.

  • Oh my Chris this cake looks just wonderful. I can practically taste the lemon jumping out at me. I will most definitely be making this cake with my own fresh lemons.
    I can hardly believe that you weren’t hanging out for grandchildren. You’re definitely making up for it now 🙂
    Happy Birthday Annie!!!

  • Now that is an epic cake, worthy of a Princess! So incredibly pretty and I don’t believe you that the icing technique is easy. I use a 1M tip on my cupcakes and I can’t imagine creating a cake like that with it – you have mad piping skillz! Enjoy your time with the grand-daughters!

  • This is a gorgeous picture of Anni!!! This weekend will be so exciting! How long will they be staying? I know you have lots of fun things lined up to do. And you have made this high and beautiful cake so girly-girl!!!

  • Oh my goodness what an adorable seven year old! (Her sisters are quite cute also.) ….The cake is amazing. What a lucky little girl and you know that she will remember this birthday cake always. How special. I am happy that you are having an opportunity to spend a long summer with your family.

  • GORGEOUS cake Chris! This is truly a beauty (just like Annie)! I love her choice of lemon and your addition of blackberry to this cake. And by the looks of this cake, you should be TEACHING a class on cake decorating! Wow!

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