Mom's Blueberry Coffee Cake

My mom's original recipe for a classic blueberry coffee cake, moist, delicious, a total keeper. Her coffeecake is summer simple and studded with fresh blueberries. (We also make it with frozen blueberries! Win!)
Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake, another easy summer recipe ♥, moist and delicious with fresh or frozen blueberries. Rave reviews!

  • "... my favorite thing to make when I have fresh blueberries." ~ Emily
  • "Just made this for supper: perfect." ~ Ali
  • "WOW! Perfect. That will be a standard in our house now." ~ Reyna
  • "It is sooooo good ... absolutely delicious!" ~ Cyndi
  • "My family has declared it THE BEST dessert I've ever made." ~ MamaFliz

The Motherlode of Mom's Recipes

Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake batter almost ready for the oven, another easy summer recipe ♥, moist and delicious with fresh or frozen blueberries. Rave reviews!

Somehow, my mom's recipe for blueberry coffeecake didn't make it into my recipe box. Thank goodness it made it into my sister's! Thank goodness my sister added it to our family cookbook! Thank goodness I made it myself so that now my mom's coffeecake recipe can find a home in recipe boxes all over the world!

May I be so bold as to suggest that this is the last blueberry coffee cake recipe any of us will ever need?

This is such a perfect coffeecake recipe. Both fresh and frozen blueberries work great so it can be made year-round. It's light and moist in texture. It's perfectly sweet, not too cloyingly sweet for breakfast, but sweet enough to call dessert. It's rich-tasting but as sweet baked goods go, quite healthful. I love the slight cinnamon crunch on the top.

If there's ever a reason to call your siblings it's this: What favorite family recipes are in their recipe boxes?

What's In Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake? Pantry Ingredients!

When I was a kid, "blueberry season" meant long hours in scratchy brush filling gallon ice-cream buckets with tiny wild berries while battling mosquitos as big as small bears along with the occasional four-legged bear. Now-a-days, I brace myself for a Sam's Club run: that's pretty tame "picking" but it's a wonder that cultivated fresh blueberries are plentiful and inexpensive for quite a few weeks.

During those weeks, blueberries are indeed a pantry ingredients, as are frozen berries during the rest of the year. How about you, are blueberries a "pantry" ingredient?

Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake, another easy summer recipe ♥, moist and delicious with fresh or frozen blueberries. Rave reviews!

  • All the Usual Wet Ingredients: butter + sugar + egg + vanilla
  • All the Usual Dry Ingredients: all-purpose flour (some whole-wheat flour works great too) + baking soda + table salt
  • For Moistness: sour cream (low-fat sour cream works fine; full-fat and low-fat Greek yogurt are good substitutes
  • And Doing-the-Happy-Dance Blueberries: fresh blueberries are extra good but nobody will complain about frozen blueberries
  • For the Simple Topping: raw sugar or plain sugar + a spice (cinnamon or cardamom or even a cinnamon-y blend or something like pumpkin pie spice)


A family favorite, for good reasons
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time-to-table: 90 minutes
Makes 1 9" round cake or 1 8x8 square cake to serve 8

Double the ingredients for a 9x13 pan
  • 1/4 cup butter (2oz/57g or 1/2 a stick), room temperature (see TIPS)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar (Splenda works too)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • About 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125g (all-purpose, 100% white whole wheat and 100% whole wheat all work fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • Scant 1 cup (4oz/113g) fresh or frozen blueberries (don't thaw frozen berries)
    TOPPING (don't skip)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) raw sugar or plain sugar (Splenda works too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (don't skip)
    ICING, optional
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Drop or two of vanillla

PREP Heat the oven to 350F/180C. Spray or lightly butter a 9" round cake pan or an 8x8 square pan.

Option #1: MY SIMPLIFIED "I'm in a cabin in the north woods" MIXING METHOD

COFFEE CAKE In a large bowl, mix the butter, 1/2 cup sugar and egg by hand with a wooden spoon until well combined, you should see no streaks of either butter or egg. Stir in the vanilla, sour cream and 1 tablespoon milk, again combining well.

Now this next step is an unconventional way to mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients but I've been doing it for years with simple cakes like this. First dump the flour, baking soda and salt on top of the wet ingredients; while they're still on top, use a fork to gently toss the flour, baking soda and salt together, without yet mixing into the wet ingredients below, the idea is to distribute the baking soda and salt throughout the flour so you don't end up with pockets of either one later. Once the three are mixed, then use the wooden spoon to sit together the butter mixture and flour mixture.

Gently stir in the blueberries.

Gently spread the batter in the baking pan, using an offset spatula or knife if need be.

Option #2: MY MOM's SLIGHTLY FUSSY "She was a home economist" MIXING METHOD

COFFEE CAKE In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, egg and vanilla with an electric mixer, then set aside.

Separately, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Mix in 1/3 the flour mixture, then 1/2 the sour cream, then 1/3 the flour mixture, then the remaining sour cream, then the remaining flour. The batter will be quite thick.

With a spoon, spread half of the batter in the pan, it will seem impossibly thin. Top with the blueberries.

Stir the 1 tablespoon milk into the remaining batter to thin, gently spread on top of the berries.


TOPPING Combine the 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

BAKE Bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is crispy and a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (For a 9x13, bake 30 - 35 minutes.) Let cool before serving. The cake is best the first day but keeps for three or four days, not that it will, if you know what I mean.

ICING My mom liked to drizzle a little icing over top too.

ALANNA's TIPS This is no towering crumb cake, it's just over an inch tall. But it's truly perfect, understated, sweet but not overly sweet, filled with blueberries dispersed throughout the batter (even in my mom's mixing method). If the butter is cold, cut it into cubes and warm in the microwave in ten-second increments until just barely soft. Don't melt the butter! Sour cream is good here, including full-fat sour cream, low-fat sour cream (I use either of these) and even non-fat sour cream. Greek yogurt is a good substitute, including full-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat Greek yogurt and 0% Greek yogurt (this is what I keep on hand and use). I love-love-love two spice blends from Penzeys, either one is an excellent substitute one:one for cinnamon or nutmeg. Check out Baking Spice and Cake Spice. My aunt made Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake for friends with fat-free sour cream, whole wheat flour and – get this – Splenda. She said it was "eaten up" even though there was rhubarb cake to compete! For a "red, white and blue cake" for the 4th of July, use all-purpose flour (this makes the cake itself a little whiter) and a mix of blueberries and raspberries (sorry, strawberries don't work). Mom's original method seemed slightly fussy, that's why I started making her coffeecake in my own less-fussy way. It is okay to mix-it-up with your mom's recipes? Apparently!
As Written Assumes full-fat sour cream & regular sugar, Per Serving: 230 Calories; 9g Tot Fat; 6g Sat Fat; 48mg Cholesterol; 281mg Sodium; 34g Carb; 1g Fiber; 20g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 11 & Freestyle 9

Freestyle-Friendly Assumes 0% Greek yogurt, Splenda and even skim milk, Per Serving: 200 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 41mg Cholesterol; 279mg Sodium; 21g Carb; 1g Fiber; 8g Sugar; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 8 & Freestyle 7

More Simple Cake Recipes

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna,
    I may have to try that. It sounds delicious!

  2. Anonymous7/01/2008

    Thanks for this recipe.

    But wild blueberries from Ontario are the best .. LOL

    Happy Canada Day

  3. Guaranteed!

    That's what my mother would have made this with -- : - )

    "No pickee, no eatee" my Winnipeg grandmother used to say as she pushed us into the bush with five-gallon ice cream buckets to battle bears and skeeters in search of blueberries in the Manitoba Whiteshell.

  4. This looks wonderful, Alanna. I love when you share cherished family recipes - and I LOVE coffee cake! Now all I have to do is hunt down some blueberries.

    Your grandmother's motto made me smile. And now of course I want to know - how many bears did you have to battle for your berries? ; )

  5. You think I'm kidding about the bears? The biggest bear in Minnesota was shot not far from where I grew up. At the cottage where we picked berries with Nana, a favorite evening's entertainment was to drive to the dump to see the bears.

    Even my folks had a bear in their year a few summers ago, the year there was a frost when the blueberry bushes were in blossom and so there were no berries and when there are no berries, there are hungry bears. Several bears were shot in town that year.

    : - ) See? You're not the only one with wild critters!

  6. Anonymous7/01/2008

    What is white whole wheat flour?

  7. Good question, Phyllis.

    White whole wheat flour is a whole-grain flour with higher fiber and gluten -- but not as high as regular whole wheat flour.

    My own experience is that some brands can be substituted 1:1 for all-purpose flour, others need a 50:50 mix. Unfortunately, I throw away labels when I put flour into the flour bin and so at this moment, I'm not sure which one is which. I'll report in when I figure that out again.

    But -- all-purpose will work just perfectly, it's all my mom would have used, for sure.

  8. Love Penzey's Cake Spice! I'm so glad I'm not alone in using the blends... I buy up King Arthur's White Whole Wheat whenever Trader Joe's has it in. I hoard, yes I do, heh
    I'm with your mom on the icing tho~ thanks for a great recipe! I'm searching for soemething to do with all of my Farmer's market finds.

  9. Anonymous7/02/2008

    To my dear friend and neighbor's daughter,
    This coffeecake of your mother's is my favorite thing to make when I have fresh blueberries. It's especially tasty for breakfast! (a little bit sweet)
    Happy 4th of July!
    Love, Emily

  10. Dear Emily,

    OH MY. I had no idea that you were on the Internet! I will miss you and our 4th of July visit / neighborhood potluck this weekend.

    xo Alanna

  11. Anonymous7/02/2008

    Just made this for supper: perfect.

    PS Used frozen berries. Want to try with rhubarb too.

  12. Anonymous7/07/2008

    Last night I made your mom's blueberry coffecake--WOW! Perfect. That will be a standard in our house now.

  13. Anonymous7/28/2008

    I went blueberry picking with my mom two weeks ago. We have tons of really ripe and juicy blueberries so I had to freeze most of them and was looking for nice recipes. I doubled your mom's coffeecake recipe and baked in a rectangular pan. It is sooooo good-no need for any glaze on top as the sugar/cinnamon combo is sweet enough in my opinion. My office mates are devouring it at this very moment...absolutely delicious!

  14. Anonymous1/15/2009

    I come from Duluth, MN. When my sister was a baby, my mother put her out in the back porch in her baby seat, and when she checked a little later, my baby sister hadm been joined by a bear.

  15. I just made this recipe, substituting apple sauce for half the butter, no-fat yogurt instead of sour cream and cut the sugar a bit. I used fresh picked wild mountain blueberries. My family has declared it THE BEST dessert I've ever made. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

  16. Anonymous11/10/2010

    I'm Entertaining out-of-town wedding guests tonight and wanted a WW/diet friendly desert. I settled on this because I have lots of frozen blueberries from the summer garden. I substituted non-fat yogurt and light stick butter -- smells and looks wonderful. My mother had a summer cake like this where she would nestle a half of peach (cut-side up) into the batter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the top; used almond extract rather than vanilla. Yum.



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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna