A delicious Lemon and Blueberry layer cake, decorated and lightly seasoned with Forsythia flowers, covered in a layer of lemon buttercream frosting! It’s a cake that tastes and looks like spring!
It’s Forsythia season! I’m usually not very much of a yellow person but when it comes to flowers, that’s a different story! I particularly love Forsythias because they bloom when everything is still bare and gray in the garden and it makes a welcome change after a long winter! Where I live, they are often the first flowers to brave the cold and burst into bloom. The pretty yellow blossoms announce that spring is here! As soon as the Forsythia bushes were covered in flowers, I had to make a cake to celebrate!
Forsythia: An Edible Flower
Did you know Forsythia flowers are edible? Well they are! You can not only decorate your food with them but you can eat them as well! I’m always so excited when the first bushes come into bloom because they are usually the first of the edible flowers to make an appearance where I live.
What do Forsythia flowers taste like? They have a faint floral flavor but nothing strong or over powering. In fact, if you’re new to edible flowers or unsure about trying a stronger floral flavor like rose or lavender, Forsythia is one to try!
As always, please use our own good judgment when eating edible flowers and always eat in moderation and small quantities if you have never had them before. This recipe uses some Forsythia flowers in the cake batter but it’s optional and you’re welcome to leave them out. It really won’t alter the flavor much.
Benefits of Eating Forsythia
However, take a look at the following list of benefits to eating Forsythia and you might change your mind! Forsythia is good for:
- Colds and flu – Because of its potent antiviral properties, Forsythia has been used to help fight colds and flu.
- Nausea – Forsythia sometimes helps to counteract Nausea.
- Earaches – Drinking a Forsythia tea can help to alleviate the pain of an earache caused by infections
- Skin conditions and wrinkles – The anti-bacterial effects of Forsythia make it a wonderful skin care product. Washing your face with Forsythia flower water can effectively reduce melasma (facial pigmentation), acne, and wrinkles over time!
- Inflammation – Forsythia compresses can reduce inflammation because of the flower’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Further Reading on Forsythia
If you’d like to read more about Forsythia as an edible flower, here are some articles that I found informative.
Forsythia Recipes to Try
Regardless of whether or not you decide to actually bake the flower petals inside your cake or not, I would definitely recommend decorating your spring cakes with them! You can even use them to garnish salads and give your greens some color! If you’d prefer, this cake recipe can also be made into cupcakes instead of a layer cake. Here are some other Forsythia recipes you can try:
Directions to Make the Cake
This recipe makes three cake layers. The cake itself is flavored with real fresh squeezed lemon juice and blueberries. It also features 1/4 cup of Forsythia flowers added to the batter as well! This part is optional though, so feel free to leave out the flowers if you’d prefer! Alternatively, you could add less than 1/4 cup. The first time I made this recipe, I used only 1/8 a cup of Forsythia flowers.
Make the cake and frosting according to the directions in the recipe at the end of the blog post. When the cake layers were cooled and ready to decorate, I filled them with lemon buttercream and covered the sides with a thin layer of frosting. Since I was going for a rustic look, I wasn’t too worried about making it perfectly smooth.
After frosting the cake, it’s time for the fun part! Gather branches of Forsythia flowers and wash them gently in water. After they have dried, you can either take the flowers off the branches or leave them on the branches depending on how you want to decorate the cake. I actually decorated the cake a few ways to see how it would look.
The first cake is circled with a wreath of Forsythia branches. I just took little branches and placed them on the cake plate, surrounding the cake. I finished it off with a few dainty flowers on top.
For the second cake, I used just the Forsythia flowers and placed them randomly all over the cake. It’s like a Funfetti Forsythia Cake!
The third cake, was a mix of the first two. A wreath of Forsythia branches around the bottom, and flowers all over the top.
Which way do you like the best?!
Be sure to let me know how your cakes turn out if you make this recipe! I’d love to see them!
A fresh lemon and blueberry layer cake with edible Forsythia flowers and covered in a layer of lemon buttercream frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups (13 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 4 large eggs (7 ounces), room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (storebought or homemade)
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
- 2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw if frozen)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Forsythia blossoms (washed and dried) plus more for decorating (optional)
- 1 cup of Butter (2 sticks)
- 5 cups of powdered sugar (or more if needed)
- ¼ cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon of lemon extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. (You may also use two 9-inch pans instead).
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer (or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), cream together the butter, sugar and lemon extract until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes (don't cut down the time on this step).
- Add the eggs and vanilla until well-combined, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined and a few dry streaks remain.
- Add the buttermilk and lemon juice to the batter, and stir by hand, folding the batter until just combined.
- In another bowl, toss the blueberries with the 2 tablespoons flour (see note above). Add the blueberries and remnants of flour to the batter. Toss in the Forsythia blossoms if using and fold in by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon until just-combined. Overmixing may result in a tough, dry cake.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until just baked through. The top will spring back lightly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out with moist crumbs but not wet batter.
- Let the cakes cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In a bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale and fluffy.
- Slowly add in confectioner's sugar, milk and lemon extract. Add more confectioner's sugar if necessary.
- Frost the cake as desired.