Berry Buttermilk Layer Cake


First of all I just have to say thank you all for the out pouring of kind words and thoughts about my pregnancy news. I am so excited to have it out in the open and feel so free to share what’s really on my mind as I post recipes! Like today- it’s currently 4 AM. I had planned on writing this post last night but I passed out at 9 and then woke up an hour ago with a stomach ache. Now I’m writing this in the living room watching Friends reruns I saved on my DVR for occasions JUST like this. Meanwhile- Andy is fast asleep in our brand new big bed and I’m hoping that I can tire myself enough to head back for my second round of sleep in a couple hours.


I’ve been feeling really great overall, but this nighttime stomach ache/insomnia thing happens a lot. Please tell me I’m not the only one!

About this cake- I made it for Andy’s family when I visited last week and it was a huge hit. There are 20 people in his family total (parents, 5 siblings, spouses, and kids,) so it was really my dream- all those people to eat my baked goods so I don’t have to! (Even though this light and fruity cake actually tasted so good to me!!) I cut this into 20 small pieces and it was gone instantly with everyone coming back for seconds.  (Next time I should make two!)


The cake is light and fluffy, full of juicy berries and frosted with my new favorite frosting of all time. Have you ever had whipped cream cheese frosting? It’s a mix between whipped cream and regular cream cheese frosting and it’s oh so good. Light, and creamy but thick enough to hold up in a layer cake. Some lemon juice and zest gave it the perfect amount of tang and this cake was summery perfection.

Berry Buttermilk Layer Cake

Berry Buttermilk Layer Cake

Yield: 1 9 inch layer cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh berries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries would all work plus more for garnish (optional)

For Frosting:

  • 12 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter, flour and parchment 2 or 3 9-inch round cake pans.*
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt- set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  4. At low speed mix in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk- starting and ending with the flour. Don't overmix!
  5. Spoon batter evenly into cake pans, smoothing tops. Scatter berries evenly over each layer.
  6. Bake until cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean- 20-25 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minute then invert them onto a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

For Frosting

  1. In a medium sized bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  2. In another larger bowl, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest.
  3. Gradually fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture a little at a time until smooth.
  4. Frost cake as desired when cool and top with fresh berries.


*8 or 9 inch pans would work- and you could do 2 or 3 layers depending on how thick you'd like them. Cake recipe adapted from Gourmet.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. This cake looks so delicious! I love berry anything so you can imagine how much appealing this looks to me. Plus, that frosting sounds interesting…can’t wait to give it a go!
    Hope your insomnia/ stomach ache will go away soon :)

    xo, Elisa

  2. That cake looks great. How long do you think the frosting will keep – I mean once it’s on the cake?

      1. So when you made this to take to your party, how far in advance did you make it? I would have to make it the day before but I guess the frosting would flatten out….?

        1. Hey Katie- I made it the morning that I served it. But you have to make this frosting to understand that it isn’t like whipped cream much firmer! And since I made 3 layers they weren’t too heavy at all!

  3. Sorry to hear about your your stomach/insomnia issues. No fun. This cakes look so fabulous though! Definitely pinning :)

  4. Beautiful, Audra! I love the idea of whipping cream cheese. I’m going to have to try that out because cream cheese frosting is one of my favorites.

  5. I hope you (and the Bun!! – OMG Congrats!) get some rest soon!! This cake looks divine also. But not half as adorable as that little bump you got going on. Seriously girl, you’re too cute for words!

    1. I didn’t have an ounce of leftover frosting so I’d definitely recommend doubling it or making another half recipe :)

  6. This looks delicious! And it’s so pretty!

    Today is the 4th night in a row that I have not been able to fall asleep. I stay awake for hours trying to fall asleep and last night I finally gave up and read a book. However, I’m not pregnant, I have just always had a hard time sleeping. So…..maybe this isn’t helpful. But I do know from having a pregnant sister that everything is a phase and you aren’t the only one. You’ll be sleeping soon :D

  7. Aww, seems like you’re adjusting well to pregnancy already, Audra! Thanks for sharing this fun adventure with your readers! I can TOTALLY see how this cake was gone so quick. I could devour a dozen slices by myself! Such a perfect summer treat.

  8. I can TOTALLY relate! With my first little guy I was up ALL night with insomnia and I wanted to sleep all day. I would literally let the dishes and laundry pile up during the day when I was too tired to do anything about it anyway and I would save it for the wee hours of the night when I just couldn’t stay in bed :) I bet the neighbors thought I was insane

  9. I like how rustic this cake looks. The unfrosted sides look so different and pretty :)

  10. I am dying over the whipped cream cheese frosting! It is so fluffy and I bet it tastes amazing! This is the perfect summer cake :)

  11. This was my first time baking from your blog and i loved this cake so much i had to let you know! i’ve tried countless ‘birthday cake’ recipes trying to find something fluffy and delicious and this one was the absolute best! i just made it for my daughter’s birthday party and it was a total hit with 4-year olds and parents alike. i used significantly less sugar in the frosting just because i’m always looking for ways to cut back on the sugar my daughter eats without her really noticing and it totally worked. the lemon and cream cheese gave it plenty of great flavor and the cake itself was perfectly sweet. thanks for posting!

  12. This looks spectacular! Has anyone tried making this with peaches instead of berries? I live in Colorado, and the Palisade peaches are in peak season right now. I might just give it a try tomorrow, but I’m wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the matter?

  13. I have just made this cake and the frosting but I have a question, did you just put the fruits on the top layer or did you put fruits on all the layers? Oh by the way I love your site!!!!! I have made many many if your recipes.

  14. This cake is gorgeous! I’m baking a naked layered cake for my brothers wedding and this looks scrumptious!
    I really need the cake to have a golden brown look on the edges but so far all the recipes I’ve tried are too light.
    Do you think it’s the pan I’m using? What kind of pans do you use?

    1. I used 2 very heavy duty 9-inch non-stick pans made by Farberware. I buttered, floured and used parchment as directed. Mine came out beautifully brown on the sides. I think I baked mine about 23 minutes, which was probably a tad too long (they were the slightest bit dry, so 20 minutes should be plenty.) I live at altitude, so that may have had an impact. The cake looked very pretty and was delicious!

  15. Hi Audra! I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and finally made this cake last night. It turned out great! I used 3 8’inch cake pans for 3 layers, and I think my oven may be a little hot because I took them out after 16 mins and they were already done. Thanks for the recipe!

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