Although I’m a big fan of corn on the cob and barbecues and watermelon, this coffee cake is somehow one of the recipes that most reminds me of summer. It’s a simple dessert that my Mom likes to make when we have blueberries, but it’s not attached to any particular summer event/meal/birthday or anything. It’s more of a “oh we have blueberries and it’s a nice night, let’s have a cake” cake. To me at least, it embodies everything good about a cool evening after a hot July day.
As a blueberry hoarder this time of year, I’m pretty selective about what I put them in (usually it’s the freezer so I still have some in February, like some weird fruit squirrel). I don’t like wasting the beautiful treasure of ripe berries on anything that doesn’t showcase them for all they’re worth, so it always takes some convincing for me to meter out some of my blueberries (that could be in pancakes instead) for any old muffin or cake recipe that comes along. But this coffee cake definitely makes the cut; the cake itself is not particularly sweet or distracting, it mostly just makes room for the little bursts of purple flavor and carries the sweet crumb topping that ties it all together. I like a piece of this cake either with a glass of milk in the evening, or a cup of black coffee in the morning (home roasted, of course).
Try this out! It’s a quick and fairly light dessert you can take over to a friend’s house, or enjoy with your family. It also probably holds up pretty well with vanilla ice cream or similar. Let me know how you like it!
Blueberry Coffee Cake Recipe
For the cake:
1/4 cup butter (room temperature/slightly softened)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 – 2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter (cold)
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Now, the next step is awkward, so feel free to adjust because I’m not sure what the original recipe was hoping for. I think you’re supposed to alternate the milk and the flour, mixing as you go until it all comes together. I added all the flour, then somehow got the milk involved, and it felt pretty clumsy. Regardless of what you do, the batter is pretty thick for all those delicate blueberries to handle as they’re folded in. If you come up with a better solution let me know.
Once the milk and flour and everything are mixed in well, gently fold in your blueberries. If you’re patient and do your best not to smash them up too much, you can usually get away with a pretty composed final product. Spread the batter into a greased 8″x8″ cake pan or similar.
Put it in the oven to bake at 350°F. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon for the topping, and cut in the cold butter with a fork or pastry blender. It should be crumbly, not a paste. After the cake has been in the oven for about ten minutes, pull it out to sprinkle on the topping and return it to the oven. I find this helps the crumb topping stay more “crumbly” and avoid melting into the cake too much.
The total baking time should be about 40-45 minutes. Test the cake with a toothpick when it’s getting toward the end; if it comes out clean, it’s cake time.