The Best Blueberry Cake I Ever Ate!

Bowl of blueberries

We’re upta camp and my husband invited our neighbors over for a cup of coffee. “You should make them something delicious with those blueberries we got,” he said. “Something like the blueberry buckle my mother used to make.”

I turned to Facebook to see if anyone had a recipe to share and hit the jackpot with one for blueberry crumb cake that my friend Lee found on the blog Smitten Kitchen, by Deb Perelman. Deb had me before I even looked at the recipe. Here’s what she said:

“My theory is that everyone needs a perfect recipe for blueberry crumb cake, or at least everyone who loves blueberries, cake, summer and making people happy with summery blueberry cakes.”

Her crumb cake recipe was adapted from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts. You can read about Deb’s adjustments on her blog. I will simply share her ingredients and instructions and my absolute delight at its deliciousness. It was divine!

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Topping:
5 tablespoons (40 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup, 2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine
Pinch of salt

Cake:
2 cups minus 1 tablespoon (i.e. 1 3/4 cups + 3 tablespoons or 240 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup, 2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint or 2 to 2 2/3 cups, 12 to 16 ounces, or 340 to 455 grams fresh blueberries, clean and dry
1/2 cup milk, whole is ideal, any kind should work
1/2 cup (55 grams) walnuts, chopped medium fine (optional)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Heat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch round baking pan (with at least 2″ sides) and dust it lightly with flour; line it with a round of parchment paper.

Prepare the topping by mixing the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt, then cutting the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and zest together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture until just combined, followed by 1/2 the milk; repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk, finishing with the dry mixture. The batter will be very stiff, but don’t fret. Fold blueberries into cake batter until evenly distributed.

Scoop cake batter into prepared pan and smooth so that it is flat. If using walnuts, scatter them on top. Sprinkle with prepared streusel. Bake in heated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out batter-free. You can let the cake cool complete in the pan on a rack, or just cool it in the pan for 20 minutes before flipping it out onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper lining, and flipping it back onto a plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if using.

Blueberry crumb cake batter

I used a 9″ by 9″ square pan and did not add nuts or dust with confectioner’s sugar. I also used soy milk. If you don’t eat sugar, try substituting maple syrup. As I mentioned in my post about Jane Johnson’s Recipe for Maple Walnut Rhubarb Crisp, according to maple syrup expert Tim Herd:

“You can substitute one and a half cups of  pure maple syrup for each cup of granulated sugar and add 1/4 teaspoon of  baking soda for each cup of syrup used.  When maple syrup is substituted for all the sugar in a recipe, reduce the amount of liquid used by one half.”

Kudos to my friend Lee for finding the Blueberry Crumb Cake recipe and to Smitten Kitchen for making it accessible.

Squares of blueberry crumb cake

If you have any delectable blueberry recipes to share, please do.

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane Atwood was the health reporter on News Center 6. She's now a regular guest on the Morning Report. Before she became a health reporter, Diane was a radiation therapist/dosimetrist at Maine Medical Center. In 2000, she left the world of reporting to manage marketing and public relations for Mercy Hospital. In 2011, she decided to pursue a longtime dream of being a freelance writer and launched her award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.