Vanilla Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Cardamom Curd

The very best three-layer Vanilla Blueberry Layer Cake, filled with delicious homemade blueberry cardamom curd and covered in whipped cream frosting. Simple flavors combine to make a truly spectacular dessert for any blueberry fan!

three layer blueberry cake covered with whipped cream frosting and decorated with blueberries

This vanilla blueberry layer cake, filled with the most incredible homemade blueberry curd and topped with dreamy piles of fluffy whipped cream, was the second layer cake I published on my site. I made it for my blueberry-loving son’s first birthday in 2016, and it has remained one of my favorite cakes ever since.

So! It was time for an update – new pictures with new helpful tips and tricks because this cake is just too good to remain buried in my recipe archives.

The blueberry and vanilla cake layers are my favorite vanilla cake, and I absolutely love whipped cream frosting, but the real star here? The smooth, creamy, vibrantly purple blueberry cardamom curd.  

Every time I make it, it’s such a struggle to not eat it all with a spoon, but if you can restrain from eating it all, it is just downright amazing in this cake.

I fully believe this cake deserves to be made year-round and deserves a spot on your table for all your birthday or holiday celebrations, but it’s especially perfect for spring and summer events.

slice of cake with layers of blueberry curd on a serving spatula

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Butter: Use unsalted butter, at room temperature. “Room temperature” is generally colder than we expect – for butter, we’re looking for 65 °F. If the butter is too warm, the final cake will turn out a little greasy and rubbery!
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar is mixed with the butter, helping to aerate the butter and provide extra lift to the cake.
  • Eggs: The eggs should be at room temperature, as well.
  • Vegetable Oil: You can substitute your favorite neutral oil, like canola oil or grapeseed oil.
  • Flour: Make sure to properly measure your all-purpose flour – I suggest weighing, but if you are going to measure by volume, fluff the flour with a fork, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level the top. You can substitute all-purpose flour for a one-to-one gluten-free baking mix to keep this cake gluten-free.
  • Baking Powder: Necessary to help the cake rise.
  • Salt: Measurements are provided for table salt or Morton’s kosher salt. If you use Diamond Crystal salt, adjust as necessary.
  • Buttermilk: If you can find real, thick, creamy, higher-fat buttermilk, use it! If not, the regular 2% low-fat buttermilk at grocery stores will work. If you can’t find buttermilk at all, mix replace 1 tablespoon of the milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, mix together, and set the mixture aside for 5 minutes before pouring it into the batter.
  • Vanilla Extract: For our vanilla-flavored cake layers.
  • Blueberries: While you can use frozen blueberries, fresh provides a better visual look. Frozen blueberries tend to dye the batter purple, while fresh blueberries stay intact until slightly bursting during baking, resulting in distinct purplish-blue streaks inside the cake layer.
  • Blueberry Cardamom Curd: This curd is so, so good and you should definitely make it. But if I really can’t convince you, you can substitute in a storebought blueberry (or lemon) curd, or a thick blueberry jam.
  • Cream Cheese: This is optional, for the whipped cream frosting. You can leave it out and frost and decorate the cake with just a layer of whipped cream (which I love). If you want a slightly thicker, a little bit heavier duty frosting, add in 4 ounces of cream cheese.
  • Heavy Cream: Use cold heavy cream to make the whipped cream frosting.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: I always like to use powdered sugar for whipped cream – I think it dissolves into the cream a little better. But if you don’t have any on hand, you can use granulated sugar instead.
overhead view of all the ingredients used to make a blueberry cake filled with blueberry curd

Best Vanilla Blueberry Cake Recipe

This recipe is my favorite vanilla layer cake — it’s the perfect combination of butter and rich, airy and sweet. We’ll bake one layer in the middle with blueberries for contrast, but you can play around with this as you’d like. Love blueberries? Add them into all 3 layers! Want the blueberry flavor to shine just fro the curd? Skip adding any blueberries to the cake batter. Or, if you’re looking for the perfect mix between the two, do what I do and add blueberries just to the middle layer of the cake.

Vanilla cakes often just use egg whites to keep a pristine white color. While this looks beautiful, I tend to think that the yolks contribute so much to the texture and richness of the cake, it’s well worth the tradeoff. (Plus, now you don’t have to figure out what to make with all your egg yolks!)

You’ll also notice that this cake calls for both butter AND vegetable oil. The butter carries the flavor – everyone likes a rich, buttery cake! But because this cake has to stay in the refrigerator, due to the whipped cream frosting, it’s more prone to drying out. To counteract this, we’ll also add some oil, which provides extra moisture and will help protect the cake from drying out and becoming stale.

step by step photos showing how to make the cake batter for a three layer vanilla cake

How to Bake Flat Cake Layers

Do your cake layers always dome, with the middle rising higher than the outside?  Want to know how to stop this and get perfectly flat layers every time?  First, we need to understand why this happens — it’s time for a little kitchen chemistry!

Kitchen Chemistry

Cakes dome because of simple thermodynamics: the batter along the edges of the pan get hotter than the batter in the middle of the pan.  As the batter heats, it loses moisture, and once enough moisture is lost the cake sets and stops rising.  The batter along the outside of the cake gets hot faster, thanks to resting up against the metal pan, and it rises and sets quickly.  The batter in the middle of the pan, however, is more insulated, and thus heats slower, continuing to rise far longer than the batter along the edges.

Now that we know the why behind cake doming, how do we prevent it?  Easy: we just need to insulate the outside of the cake so it heats at the same rate as the inside of the cake!  To achieve this, I always use insulating cake strips — you soak them in water first, wrap them around the cake, and it prevents the outside of the cake from getting too hot.  Easy peasy!

(Or, inversely, you can solve this by heating the inside of the cake as quickly as the outside, using a cake heating core.  These are metal circles you place inside the cake which helps conduct heat throughout the center of the batter — which is especially important extra large diameter cakes.)

Whipped Cream Frosting

Worried about making a cake with slippery curd layers?  Don’t be.

The whipped cream frosting not only tastes great, it also serves as our protective layer to hold the blueberry curd inside!

Spread a thick layer of frosting on the bottom of the cake layer, and then pipe or spoon an extra “barrier” along the edge of the cake. Spoon the curd inside this barrier, then place the next layer of the cake on top.

Once your three layers are assembled, frost the cake with a thin layer of whipped cream frosting to serve as a crumb coat. This both traps any loose crumbs from the cake and holds in any little leaky spots of the blueberry curd!

After refrigerating for a little, go back and add a second, thicker layer of frosting on the cake – or skip, if you prefer a more rustic look!

Also as a note: you can make this whipped cream frosting two ways. In the instructions, I include optional cream cheese. This makes a slightly thicker, heavier frosting – a little more like the texture we expect from a buttercream frosting. But! You can also leave it out and frost the cake with nothing but pure whipped cream – vanilla extract + sugar + heavy cream. Both ways are delicious!

  • Stand Mixer: An electric mixer is necessary to cream together the butter and sugar; either a stand mixer or hand mixer will work.
  • Beater Blades: I always pair a Beater Blade with my mixer – the blade scrapes down the side of the bowl for you, so you don’t have to stop and scrape everything down to the bottom of the bowl.
  • 8 Inch Cake Pans: These are my favorite cake pans; you’ll ideally want 3 so you can bake all three layers at once.
  • Parchment Rounds: I used to cut parchment paper into a circle to line my cake pans, but with how frequently I bake cakes, buying precut parchment rounds has been such a timesaver!
  • Cooling Racks: Turn your cakes out of the pans onto cooling racks to cool completely. This set is 3 tiered and folds easily for storage.
  • Offset Spatula: An offset spatula is my favorite way to smoothly frost a cake.
  • Cake Turntable: A rotating cake stand makes it so easy to decorate a cake by smoothly rotating in a full circle.
three layer vanilla cake filled with blueberry curd on a marble cake plate

Tips and Tricks for the Best Vanilla Blueberry Layer Cake

  1. Use the full amount of sugar and cream well with the butter.  Lots of desserts have more sugar than necessary, but the full volume of sugar really is necessary for the structure of the cake.  Cream together the butter and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes, until it’s pale yellow in color and well-whipped.
  2. For perfectly level cake tops, use insulating baking strips.  No baking strips?  Just be prepared to level the baked cake with a knife before frosting.
  3. Chill the blueberry curd for at least 30 minutes before using it to assemble the cake. This will make it easier to spread and prevent it from leaking over these sides of the cake.
  4. Pre-chill the bowl before whipping the heavy cream.  This isn’t necessary, but the process will go faster if the cream is kept cold! Cold temperatures help the cream whip up faster and create a more stable foam.
  5. Start with a crumb coat — a thin layer of the frosting — and refrigerate.  This will both help hold any crumbs from the side of the cake and keep the blueberry curd in place.  After chilling, add an additional thicker layer of whipped cream.
  6. Cake components can be made ahead of time. The cake layers can be baked 2 days ahead of time and stored at room temperature, or frozen for up to 3 months. The blueberry curd can be made up to a week ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to make the cake, make the whipped cream frosting the same day. The fully assembled cake can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  7. Adjust the ingredients to make a different size cake! This recipe is written for 3 8-inch cake pans. To bake in 6-inch pans, halve the ingredients. To bake in 9-inch pans, multiply each ingredient by 1.5.
three layer blueberry birthday cake filled with curd on a decorative dessert plate

More Layer Cake Recipes:

Vanilla Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Cardamom Curd

Vanilla Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Cardamom Curd

Yield: Serves 16
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

A three-layer blueberry vanilla cake filled with blueberry cardamom curd and covered with whipped cream. Simple flavors combine to make a spectacular dessert!


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (594 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) vegetable oil
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (150 grams) blueberries (triple for three blueberry cake layers)

For the Frosting:

  • 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, softened, optional
  • 3 cups (681 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (113 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Assembly:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, then spray parchment paper with nonstick baking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vegetable oil.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half of this mixture to the butter and eggs and beat until just combined. Pour in the milk and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla extract, mix to combine, and follow with the remaining flour. Beat until just combined and no lumps remain.
  4. Divide the cake batter between the three prepared pans (the batter will be thick). Add blueberries to one of the pans (or all three, if desired), gently pushing the blueberries down into the batter. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out with a moist crumb. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the cake pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the whipped cream frosting. For pure whipped cream, add the cream to a large, cold mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat at medium speed until the cream begins to thicken. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl, then increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whisk until the cream holds a stiff peak, an additional 5-7 minutes. For a slightly thicker, more stabilized whipped cream frosting, add the cream cheese and confectioners sugar to a large bowl and beat on medium-low speed until smooth. Turn the mixer down to medium-low and pour the heavy cream down the side of the bowl slowly. Once all the cream has been added, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, add the vanilla extract, and then turn the mixer up to medium-high speed, whipping until the frosting holds stiff peaks, 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream on the bottom of a cake plate to help prevent the cake from sliding. Place a plain layer of vanilla cake on the bottom, spread a layer of whipped cream on top, pipe or spread extra whipped cream along the outer edge, and add half of the blueberry curd. Repeat with the blueberry layer of cake, followed by topping with a plain layer of cake.
  7. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream along the sides and the top of the cake and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and use the remaining whipped cream to cover the sides and top of the cake. Decorate with additional blueberries as desired. Refrigerate the cake until serving.


  1. Cake components can be made ahead of time. The cake layers can be baked 2 days ahead of time and stored at room temperature, or frozen for up to 3 months. The blueberry curd can be made up to a week ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to make the cake, make the whipped cream frosting the same day. The fully assembled cake can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  2. Adjust the ingredients to make a different size cake. This recipe is written for 3 8-inch cake pans. To bake in 6-inch pans, halve the ingredients. To bake in 9-inch pans, multiply each ingredient by 1.5.
  3. This cake is also delicious with homemade lemon curd instead of blueberry curd.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a rating or a comment and share your recipe photos on Instagram - tag @bunsenburnerbakery!

The BEST blueberry layer cake: three moist, tender layers of homemade vanilla cake filled with blueberries, layers of creamy blueberry cardamom curd, and covered in whipped cream frosting. The ultimate celebration or birthday cake for blueberry lovers!

This recipe was initially published May 25, 20216 and updated with new photos and text in May 2023.