We’re huge lemon cake fans here!
I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for ways to creatively pair almost anything with its tangy and zesty flavor. And when it comes to pairings, what could be better than fruit?
Nothing! Well, maybe ice cream but that’s for another time.
Getting back to the topic at hand, we’re going to be exploring all the types of fruit that work best with lemon cake. We’ll take a deep dive into flavor profiles for each fruit we recommend, tips on how to pick the best ones and much more.
What makes fruit such a perfect complement to lemon cake is the balance it brings to the dessert. Lemon cake, while sweet, is also acidic and by picking the right fruit, you can tone down the strength of the acid in lemons and make for a much more enjoyable experience.
With that said, let’s dive right in because whether you’re a lemon cake lover (like me) or just looking for creative ways to add a touch of flair to your dessert, this guide has everything you need – even if you didn’t know you needed it!
Ready to find that perfect pairing? If so, read on…
Table of Contents
Popular Fruit Pairings to Serve with Lemon Cake
Without a doubt, there are some fruits that would be considered “classics” when it comes to pairing with lemon cake. What sets them apart is that they’ve stood the test of time and for good reason. Each of one them is ideally suited to complement the tanginess of lemon cake.
These tried and true options include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Let’s take a closer look at what makes each of these tasty fruits shine as a perfect pairing for lemon cake.
Sweet, juicy and bursting with flavor, strawberries are at the top of most dessert lover’s list. Strawberries are more sweet than acidic and so this has the effect of calming the tartness so often present in lemon cake. An easy way to prep them is to simply wash a serving of strawberries, hull them out and dice them up into bite-sized pieces. To serve, simply sprinkle them on top of your cake and you’re good to go!
Next up, blueberries. These small but mighty berries are packed with flavor and add a lovely pop of color to your lemon cake.
Blueberries are subtly sweet and when combined with their satisfying mouth feel, they pair perfectly with the zesty taste profile of lemon cake. Preparing them couldn’t be simpler. Wash a serving size and (pro tip), toss them with a sprinkle of flour. Doing this helps the berries clump together nicely when adding them to your cake.
Visually, the dark, rich color of blueberries will really pop against the bright yellow of your cake.
Another perennial fav as an addition to a serving of lemon cake are raspberries. Tart, yet lightly sweet, they add a lovely contrast to lemon’s naturally tangy bite. To use them, simply wash a handful and them arrange them on top of your cake. Besides being delicious, they add a touch of class that can’t be matched.
Last but not least, blackberries. Dark and juicy, these delectable berries add a hint of natural sweetness that balances out the acidity of lemon cake nicely. To use them, rinse a serving size quickly making sure to hull out the berries as well. Similar to blueberries, blackberries add a burst of dark color to offset the brightness of lemon cake.
|Strawberries||Sweet and juicy with a calming effect on the tartness of lemon cake||Wash, hull, and dice into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle on top of cake.|
|Blueberries||Small, mighty, and packed with flavor that pairs well with the zesty taste of lemon cake||Wash, toss with a sprinkle of flour, and add to cake. Dark, rich color pops against the yellow of the cake.|
|Raspberries||Tart, lightly sweet, and add a lovely contrast to the tangy bite of lemon cake||Wash, and arrange on top of cake. Adds a touch of class.|
|Blackberries||Dark, juicy, and add a hint of natural sweetness to balance out the acidity of lemon cake||Rinse, hull, and add to cake. Burst of dark color offsets the brightness of lemon cake.|
Unique Fruit Pairings to Serve with Lemon Cake
Now that we’ve touched on the most conventional (and widely used) fruit for pairing with lemon cake, it’s time to venture out a little. If you’re the adventurous type, then what we’ve got in store for you next will elevate your lemon cake game to all new heights!
Let’s start with coconut.
This tropical fruit may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about lemon cake pairings, but trust us, it’s worth a try. Coconut has a unique combination of creamy and sweet that adds an exotic twist to your cake. If you’d like to give it a go, we recommend opting for shredded coconut. Sprinkle it generously on top of your lemon cake and dig in!
Mangoes are another unique fruit pairing that works well with lemon cake. They’re sweet and incredibly juicy which provides the perfect contrast to lemon’s tang. For an elegant presentation, peel your mango and then dice it. Once you’re done, sprinkle the mango on top.
Pineapple might seem like an odd choice but this exotic fruit adds a decadent combination of sweetness and delicate acidity. To prep, simply chop a serving of pineapple and sprinkle it on generously. Once you get a taste of this combo, you might never go back to anything else – you’ve been warned!
|Coconut||Unique combination of creamy and sweet adds an exotic twist to lemon cake||Use shredded coconut and sprinkle generously on top of cake|
|Mangoes||Sweet and juicy, provides perfect contrast to the tanginess of lemon cake||Peel and dice, sprinkle on top of cake|
|Pineapple||The addition of exotic fruit lends a delightful blend of sweetness and subtle acidity to lemon cake||Finely chop a portion of pineapple and sprinkle it generously over the cake|
Tips for Choosing the Right Fruit to Serve with Your Lemon Cake
Now that you’ve got plenty of ideas, the last thing you’ll want to do is make sure that you pick the very best fruit you can for your pairing. In this section, we’ll give you some tips on how to choose the best fruit for your lemon cake and create a beautiful (and scrumptious) presentation.
Choose Ripe, Fresh Fruit
This should probably go without saying but the most important thing is to choose ripe and fresh fruit. Ripe fruit not only tastes better but it will look more visually appealing next to your cake. When choosing your fruit, take care to avoid any indications of spoilage. This would include things like bruising, mold or soft spots.
Balance Flavor and Texture
While we covered this concept with specific fruits earlier, the key is to never lose sight of the fact most lemon cake recipes will be quite tangy. For this reason, it’s a good idea to try to find fruit that complements this flavor profile instead of competing against it. The last thing you want is to have a doubly acidic dessert – yuck!
Don’t Forget about Presentation
Most loyal readers of this blog know that we’re big on presentation since making a meal look appetizing is just as important as the ingredients used to prepare it. The same holds true when pairing fruit and lemon cake together. Do your best to get creative when arranging the fruit. Don’t stop at simply tossing it on top – experiment with designs like a spiral pattern (or other shapes) to really make it pop on the plate!
When Possible, Opt for Fruit That’s In-Season
We’ve already touched on picking the freshest fruit possible to truly make your choice of pairing epic, it’s best to opt for fruit that’s in season.
For example, strawberries are in season during the spring and summer. Blueberries are best during the late spring and early summer. Raspberries are a well-known summer fruit. Last, but not least, blackberries are best enjoyed in the late summer and early fall.
You might bristle at this suggestion, but there’s something magical about adding the perfect fruit at the perfect time that only Mother Nature does best.
|Choose Ripe, Fresh Fruit||The most important thing is to choose ripe and fresh fruit, avoid any indications of spoilage, like bruising, mold or soft spots.|
|Balance Flavor and Texture||Search for fruit that enhances the tangy taste of lemon cake, rather than conflicting with it.|
|Don’t Forget about Presentation||Make an effort to be imaginative when arranging the fruit, try various designs such as a spiral pattern to make it stand out on the plate.|
|When Possible, Opt for Fruit That’s In-Season||Opt for fruit that’s in season, like strawberries in spring and summer, blueberries in late spring, Raspberries in summer, blackberries in late summer and early fall.|
Hi, I’m Jenny. I have many interests and, some would say, eclectic passions. A few words that best describe me? Hmm, well… Amateur surfer, professional traveler, food lover and writer extraordinaire. Oh, and lover of all furry, four-legged creatures!