I love just about anything with fresh blueberries. Recently I couldn’t escape a hankering for a blueberry coffee cake. Instead of searching for a recipe online, I turned to the shelf of old family, church and club cookbooks in our kitchen. I flipped page after page and finally found what I was looking for—Fresh Berry Coffee Cake—in the middle of a cookbook released in 1990 by a North Carolina chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America. I didn’t even know such an organization existed, but I’m glad it does because someone in it liked this blueberry cake enough to submit it for publication.
You can bake this cake in different kinds of pans. We opted for our springform pan, even though we usually reserve that for cheesecakes, so it would be easy to slice and serve. And we added a quarter cup of chopped pecans to the top for an extra touch of Southern flavor and crunch, something the original recipe didn’t include. The all-around verdict on that decision: good choice.
When you check out this recipe, you may look back at our photo and wonder what happened to the crumble topping that traditionally makes it a coffee cake. We did, too! It sunk into the cake instead of staying on top. Maybe it had something to do with our use of a springform pan. Maybe it was something else. (Please let us know if you have ideas.)
Regardless, it’s a delicious blueberry breakfast cake no matter the presentation, and we’ve had several requests for the recipe since first posting a photo of the finished dish on our Instagram feed. We’re happy to oblige! We’re going to need quick access to this one anyways because we’ll be making it again the next time we have fresh blueberries in our kitchen.
What You Need:
For the cake
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sour cream (We used heavy whipping cream because it’s what we had in the fridge. And it seemed to produce just as much moistness.)
1/3 cup milk
1 ½ cups blueberries
For the topping
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, softened
What You Do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then combine your flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
2. In another bowl or in your electric stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, and mix well after each. Add vanilla and cream, and mix well. Alternate adding flour mixture and adding milk, beginning and ending with the flour mix.
3. Grease your baking pan. Add half the batter, top with the blueberries, then add the remaining batter.
4. For the topping, or in our case the crumbly mix-in, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle it over the batter.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean from the center. If you want to add the crushed pecans, add them to the top of the cake for the final 5 minutes or so of baking. That helps ensure they don’t remain on top and over-brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes and serve warm.
The original recipe yields nine servings, each with an estimated 368 calories, according to the cookbook. In my blissful blueberry-altered state, this recipe is worth every one of those calories, whether it resembles what I consider a traditional coffee cake or not!