Blueberry spice cake with walnuts is layered with gooey blueberry jam and cream cheese frosting, and topped with walnuts and fresh berries for the perfect bite. A great cake for spring!
I don’t think I’ve made a cake in at least a decade. Not a real, layered, frosted one, anyway.
I’m just not a cake person. I do eat cake on occasion, but when I am in possession of one for one reason or another, I eat a slice, enjoy it, and promptly forget it’s there. It feels like such a commitment to haul out a whole cake or pie and cut a slice that requires a plate and fork. I’m more likely to make things like banana bread that are basically cake but masquerade as breakfast, that you can eat with your hands on a paper towel.
So I could’ve made this into muffins or something but it really just begged to be pure, unadulterated cake. And this one… well, after shooting photos and eating the first slice this afternoon, I told my coworker that although I promised to bring some in, there may not be any left come Monday.
This blueberry spice cake is inspired by one we had recently after a wonderful dinner at the home of our friends Michael and Hope (who just had a baby this week! Yay!), and is adapted from a spice cake recipe from my sister’s mother-in-law/my godmother. Her cake has walnuts and raisins, but I subbed out the raisins with blueberries instead.
I’m new to this cake-making thing, but apparently it’s customary to have an occasion for making a cake. One does not just simply make a cake like one makes cookies or pork chops, for example.
My coworkers asked, was it Mike’s birthday? No. Well then what was it for? It had to be a Something-cake. And it wasn’t a birthday cake, so what was it?
We decided it was an I Love You cake. It’s just because I love Mike, and Mike loves blueberries, and Mike’s been having a bit of a rough week, so I told him I’d build him a cake (Pedro-in-Napoleon-Dynamite-style – I hope someone gets this reference so I don’t feel like such a complete nerd).
I somehow got it in my head that not only was I going to attempt a layered cake, but I would do FOUR layers, not two. It’s layered first with blueberry jam, then cream cheese frosting, and then more blueberry jam, and it’s all gooey and moist and spicy and tart and it’s really just perfection.
The cream cheese frosting is totally delicious but is quite soft. It just doesn’t harden very much in the fridge so make sure you stick toothpicks in the sides or something to keep plastic wrap from sticking to it, or maybe you regularly make cakes and have some kind of cake storage that’s better than my toothpick-and-plastic-wrap method.
I topped it with fresh blueberries (essential!!) and some crushed walnuts for decoration. I love getting a bite of the gooey blueberry jam and spice cake with the super creamy frosting and then a nice pop of fresh berry along with it.
With applesauce in the cake and fresh fruit on top, it’s practically a health food, too! Amiright?
What are you waiting for? Some kind of special occasion? Psh!! Make this blueberry spice cake right now! It’s spring and you’ve got to take advantage of those berries!
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Blueberry Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cake
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries
- 2 cups applesauce
- 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup cooking oil
Cream cheese frosting
- 2 8-oz blocks cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 12 oz blueberry jam
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- Chopped walnuts
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9" cake pans.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, cloves, salt, and cinnamon. Add walnuts and blueberries and toss to combine.
- In another bowl, mix applesauce, brown sugar, and cooking oil.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and remove from cake pans.
For the frosting
- In a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter and mix until smooth on a medium speed.
- Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing for a few seconds on a medium-high speed each time to combine. Start tasting after 3 cups of powdered sugar - if you like it, you don't have to add all 4 cups.
- Add in vanilla and mix again to combine.
- Cut off the rounded tops of the cakes to level, then cut each cake in half horizontally to make 4 total layers.
- Put a small dab of frosting in the center of your cake stand or serving dish to hold the first layer of cake in place. Place the first layer of cake.
- Pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the top of the first layer, then fill with half the blueberry jam. Add a second layer of cake and spread thickly with cream cheese frosting. Place the third cake layer on top and repeat the step for the the first layer (with the jam). Top with the final layer of cake and frost the outside with cream cheese frosting.
- Pipe additional decorative frosting around the top and bottom edges of the cake, and decorate the top with blueberries and crushed walnuts.