Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Custard Cake…the prettiest simple spring cake! Easier than you’d think to make…and most importantly, so delicious! The sweet lemony poppyseed cake acts as a boat that holds a light creamy vanilla custard and sweet blueberries that burst in the oven. If you love lemon poppyseed cake and you love a crème brûlée, this combination is just for you! Finish this simple, fresh, and exciting cake off with a dusting of powdered sugar. Every last crumb is SO GOOD. Enjoy for brunch, as an afternoon snack, or for dessert – truly delicious. Bonus? It’s so pretty…with very little effort.
Oh, this cake! You guys, I do know I say this very often, but I am really so excited about this one. When I set out to make this, I was not sure it would really work. I was very worried it could require multiple rounds of testing, and even then, not end up working.
But to my surprise, everything worked almost perfectly the first time around. That almost never happens with baking recipes, but I was so happy it did! The funny thing about this cake is that it was inspired by two very different recipes, an old school blueberry cake I found on Pillsbury and my recent crème brûlée.
Not exactly sure how I put two and two together, but it worked! With Easter coming up, followed by Mother’s Day, this feels like the perfect cake for both!
As I mentioned above, the cake itself was inspired by a brunch-style cake created by Pillsbury way back in the day. As you guys know, I’ve been into retro recipes lately. I’ve been doing more and more research on vintage recipes and it’s taking me in all directions.
What I love about the retro Pillsbury cake is the center. It was filled simply with blueberries. It sounds delicious as is, but something about the center of the cake inspired me. Then I thought about doing a crème center with blueberries on top. And when I say crème, I mean the creamy custard you’ll experience in crème brûlée. So delicious brûlée…plus lots of blueberries!
It sounded too delicious to not at least test it out. So even though I was pressed for time, I tested the idea.
And now here we are! It just goes to show you that you shouldn’t knock something until you try it, you know!?
Start with the cake. It’s simple but made special with fresh lemon zest and poppy seeds. Mix your wet ingredients with the dry, then beat in a little sour cream to keep the cake very moist.
Now, the key to this cake is to create a bit of a “bowl” for the custard and berries to bake up in…or actually, it’s kind of like a “nest”. You’ll
spread the batter out into a springform pan, then push it up the sides to create room for the custard and berries.
It’s simple, and honestly kind of fun to do!
Now make the crème center
Mix the eggs with a bit of sugar, then pour the steaming cream into the eggs. The key here is to be constantly whisking the yolks with the hot cream. You don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs!
Add the custard to the “nest” you created, then sprinkle on the berries.
Bake it up and about forty-five or so minutes later your cake is done! The longer you bake the cake, the more set the custard becomes. And on the same note, the longer you chill the cake, the more set the custard will become. I love mine on the creamy, but runny side, so I like to chill for an hour or so.
And that’s it…simple, pretty, perfectly sweet, so creamy inside, but with just the right amount of sweet, lemony, poppy seed cake surrounding all that creaminess…SO GOOD!
Perfection beyond belief. Hope you guys all enjoy this fun spring/summer cake!
Looking for other spring cakes, try these:
Strawberry Chamomile Olive Oil Cake with Honeyed Ricotta
Hydrangea Flower Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Strawberry Chamomile Naked Cake
Lastly, if you make this Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Custard Cake
Calories Per Serving: 594 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, use Meyer if you can
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries thawed and drained
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
- powdered sugar, for dusting
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9 or 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper, butter the parchment paper.2. To make the cake. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and 1 tablespoon vanilla until combined. Add the flour, poppyseeds, baking soda, and salt, and beat to combine. Beat in the sour cream until just combined. Spread the batter over the bottom and 1 1/4 inch up sides of the prepared pan, creating a boat for the custard. Making sure batter on sides is 1/4 inch thick and you have an even layer of batter on the bottom (see above photos).3. To make the custard. Whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl until combined.4. Place the cream over medium heat and gently warm until steaming. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. In a slow stream, whisk about 1/2 cup of the cream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so they don’t scramble. Whisk in the remaining cream. Pour 3/4 of custard into the center of the cake, reserving the remaining 1/3 cup. 5. In a bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, and flour. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of berries over the custard. It's going to be jiggly. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently pour over the remaining custard, then sprinkle on the remaining berries. Bake another 20 - 25 minutes until the sides of the cake are deep golden. The custard should be pretty jiggly in the center. If you want a looser custard, bake a total of 45-48 minutes.6. Let cool, then release the cake from the mold. Refrigerate 1-2 hours or until ready to serve. The colder your cake is, the more set your custard will be. When ready to eat, generously dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar and enjoy!!
I have now made this recipe 4-5 times and while it is delicious, I agree the cake part is dense, and I’d say on the dry side. I find that the texture makes it difficult to make a “boat” in the pan. I do think the flavors are spot on: subtle lemon and blueberry flavors that go great together, and perfectly sweet. Some might prefer it sweeter but not me.
Next time I will tweak the cake part and try either a 1/4 to 1/2 c more of yogurt/sour cream or try butter. I also like to use the lemon juice in the custard. I squeeze it in after mixing in the rest of the custard ingredients. You can never have too much lemon IMO 😁 Thank you for this favorite recipe of mine!
Amazing!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was tasty for you, thanks a lot for giving it a try! Let me know if the cake texture changes for you:)🥑🥝 xT
How big is the pan you’re using
The recipe calls for a 9 or 10 inch springform pan:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx
When you say to line the pan with parchment, do you mean just the bottom, or fully up the sides as well?
You are just going to line the bottom:) Let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT
Can this be frozen? If not, how long will the cake keep?
I probably wouldn’t freeze just because it might affect the custard. This is good in the fridge for up to 4 days. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan
Just made this cake last night! It turned out amazing. I do like a more set custard, so I just baked for 2 extra minutes with foil over top and chilled overnight.
Not on the sweet side which we love! Definitely will make this a regular dessert! Thanks for another amazing recipe Tieghan.
5 star rating!
Happy Sunday!! Thanks for giving the recipe a try and your comment, love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan