Blueberry Cake

The Recipe: A moist simple cake dolloped with gently cooked fresh blueberries that turn thick and jammy in the oven. No mixer required!

The Conversation: There are so-so many old-fashioned blueberry cakes, many with funny names! What should I call mine? Spoiler Alert: I'm going with plain Blueberry Cake.

Blueberry Cake ♥ KitchenParade.com, jammy blueberries baked into a simple, rustic cake. No mixer required!

This easy blueberry cake / blueberry dessert needs a name! I consulted the dictionary of all the summer fruit desserts – aka Serious Eats – and remain thoroughly confounded. But I did learn what my blueberry cake is NOT.

Blueberry Cake with ice cream ♥ KitchenParade.com, jammy blueberries baked into a simple, rustic cake. No mixer required!

It's not:

Blueberry cobbler – with its biscuit topping
Blueberry crisp – with its crumb topping
Blueberry betty – with its buttered breadcrumb topping
Blueberry buckle – where the berries sink to the bottom
Blueberry boy bait – so good! with its cake-y texture
Blueberry coffeecake – I love Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake, also more cake-y
Blueberry slump or blueberry pandowdy – with biscuit or dumpling toppings
Blueberry kuchen – a yeast cake with a crumb topping
Blueberry grunt – stewed fruit with a biscuit or dumpling topping
Blueberry pudding cake – with blueberries mysteriously ending up underneath

Blueberry Cake ♥ KitchenParade.com, jammy blueberries baked into a simple, rustic cake. No mixer required!

So what in blueberry heaven is this summery dessert? this simple blueberry cake embedded with jammy blueberries? I have no idea.

Except, naturally, DELICIOUS.

My recommendation is that you just put one in the oven and send someone for ice cream – right now's not too soon because blueberry season is fleeting and the summer shouldn't close without making a Blueberry Cake at least once.

And dare I say? This northern soul who was raised on hand-picked wild blueberries clearly needs to find more blueberries?! Because isn't that some long list of rustic, unpretentious blueberry desserts?!

Swoon, hand-picked wild blueberries with vanilla ice cream ♥ KitchenParade.com

You'll Like My Blueberry Cake If ...

... you appreciate simple cakes made with pantry ingredients
... you don't have access to or don't want to drag out the mixer
... you need a make-ahead dessert
... you've got an abundance of blueberries
... supper's going to be a little skimpy


BLUEBERRY CAKE

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes 1 cake, serving 8
(see ALANNA's TIPS for pan-size ideas)

    BLUEBERRY JAM-ISH
  • 1/3 (66g) cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (zest the lemon first for the cake batter)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 cups (454g, about 1-1/2 pint baskets) fresh blueberries

    CAKE
  • Baking spray, for the pan
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (225g) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 114g) salted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Zest of a lemon

  • 1 cup (125g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1-3/4 teaspoon baking powder

    FOR SERVING
  • Vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, optional but pretty heavenly

PREP Heat the oven to 375F/190C. Spray a baking pan with spray.

BLUEBERRY JAM-ISH In a medium saucepan, stir together all the ingredients except the blueberries, then gently stir in the blueberries. Bring to a boil on medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, let simmer for two minutes; a few berries may pop but what you're looking for is something "jam-ish" – a slight thickening and softening, not as thick as jam but moving that direction. Remove from heat, it'll thicken a little more as it cools a bit.

CAKE While the jam cooks, in a large bowl, whisk the egg and milk, then whisk in the melted butter, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest. In a smaller bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and baking powder. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

BAKE Scrape the cake batter into the pan and level. With a spoon, dollop the Blueberry Jam-ish over the batter, the cake turns out prettier if you leave some batter exposed. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean of cake batter. Let cool slightly.

TO SERVE Serve warm or at room temperature. Ice cream or whipped cream are optional. What are you crazy? Say yes to ice cream! Or whipped cream!

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS We love Blueberry Cake warm out of the oven. But if you cover and refrigerate the leftover cake, it'll still be moist and wonderful even a couple of days later. Does it even improve, slightly? Maybe! You can gently rewarm the cake or or just serve it cold.

VARIATIONS I think this would be wonderful (and very colorful!) made with a mix of rhubarb and blueberries. Or strawberries! Or peaches! Or apricots! Or any fruit that gets thick and jammy when gently cooked.

ALANNA's (and CHRISTINA's) CAKE SIZING TIPS For sheer prettiness, I bake my Blueberry Cake in a fluted deep-dish ceramic pie pan, it's the area/volume equivalent of a 9x9 cake pan. For an 11x17 baking dish, double the recipe. For a 9x13, increase all the ingredients by half except the egg; for 1-1/2 eggs, you could whisk two eggs and use 3/4 of the whisked amount. Or better yet, you could follow the guidance of the queen of recipe sizing, my sweet friend Christina from the sweet food blog, Dessert for Two. With Christina's recipe for Strawberry Cake for Two, she shares her secret when facing that "how to halve an egg conundrum". Her secret? She doesn't halve an egg. Instead, she adds an extra egg yolk to cookie dough and an extra egg white to cake batter. Sweet, yes? I'm a geek for stuff like this! (Boo hoo, Christina is soon leaving St. Louis, albeit for a very good reason, to live closer to family while raising her own family. She's not gone yet but is already missed!)

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 293 Calories; 12g Tot Fat; 8g Sat Fat; 58mg Cholesterol; 204mg Sodium; 43g Carb; 2g Fiber; 28g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 6 & PointsPlus 8 & SmartPoints 14 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 1/3 of a serving (1g protein). FYI, follow the link to the inspiring recipe below for information on how other cooks have lightened up the recipe.
Adapted from what Gourmet magazine in 2005 called Blueberry Pudding Cake. I first made this cake way back in 2005 but last year rediscovered the recipe with my sticky-pad notes while pouring through boxes of old Gourmet (sniff-sniff) magazines in the basement. Yes, boxes as in plural, as in multiple boxes, none of which I seem capable of giving up.

More Blueberry Heaven

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake Summer Corn Bread with Fresh Blueberries Blueberry Cheesecake Pie

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