Introduction: Blueberry Country Coffee Cake
Crunchy cinnamon-and-sugar streusel plus a classic homemade coffee cake. The perfect pastry to accompaniment to coffee, tea breakfast pastry, or as an afternoon snack. This is the perfect cake for Sunday mornings reading the paper. Be prepared, it won't last long. This coffee cake is made with fresh blueberries and the highest quality ingredients.
Step 1: Cake Ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. + 2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Crisco Vegetable Shortening, or unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, large
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest, finely grated
11/2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
2 - 3 cups (heaping cups) fresh blueberries
For accuracy in ingredients, be sure to use dry measuring cups for flour and sugar. Spoon flour, sugar, and shortening into the cups and level with the straight edge of a small offset spatula or knife. Extra flour makes it dry; extra sugar or leavening causes a cake to fall.
Never scoop flour directly from the canister with the measuring cup. This packs flour down and increases the amount in the cup.
Step 2: Note:
One thing I’ve learned over the years is to have ingredients ready before making anything. I premeasure ingredients and assemble them in the order needed. That way, if I get interrupted with a phone call or something, I’m less likely to make mistakes and God knows I’ve made them! One November, the day before Thanksgiving back in 1982. We were to go to my husband’s parents home (4 hours away) for dinner. So, being the baker I was back then LOL, I had decided to make 2 pumpkin pies. I made my own piecrust from scratch, rolled it out & put in pie pans at 10:30 PM. When my husband came home from work that later that evening, he asked what I thought about moving. I was preparing to combine the pumpkin ingredients, thinking he was joking, I asked him what he meant. He said we need to get boxes because his job was transferring him to Georgia in 2 weeks. I was shocked, and needless to say, not thinking clearly. Pies were done baking well after midnight. The next evening at my in-laws, pies being served, my mother in-law looked puzzled, my father in-law just quietly laid his fork down, my husband asked me what I put in the pie. Confused, I took a taste on my piece of pumpkin pie. And oh my God, I had forgotten to add sugar, I had baked a SQUASH pie, ugh! Never made THAT mistake again!
Step 3: Oven:
Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
Note:Pre-heating oven, allows you to put the coffee cake batter in the oven as soon as it's prepared.
Step 4: Cake Pan:
Grease a good-quality 8”x8” or 9”x9” square cake pan or 9” round springform pan (pan with tall, straight sides) with Crisco Vegetable Shortening and dust with flour and line bottom with parchment paper.
Note:Choose aluminum pans with a dull finish, the metal absorbs and conducts heat efficiently. Avoid shiny pans, which deflect heat, and dark metal pans, which cause the outer edges of the cake to cook more quickly than the center and overbrown, rendering the cake dry and tough.
Rinse blueberries,, sort out the imperfect blueberries, drain to dry!
Step 6: Dry Ingredients:
Combine, sifting into a bowl the flour, baking powder and salt. Sifting evenly disperses the salt and baking powder.
Step 7: Mixer Bowl:
Beat Crisco Shortening (butter) at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. This can take from 1 to 7 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until light and fluffy.
Step 8: Sugar:
Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until light and fluffy.
Step 9: Eggs:
Add eggs, beating just until the yolk disappears. Overbeating the egg may cause the batter to overflow the sides of the pan during baking or create a fragile crust that crumbles and separates from the cake as it cools.
Step 10: Flavorings:
Add lemon zest and vanilla extract, beat just to evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Step 11: Dry Ingredients/Milk:
With your electric mixer speed on low, add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl, alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. This will help to ensure that the dry and wet ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Mix just until blended after each addition. Do NOT OVERMIX: Overmixing the batter increases the amount of gluten, thus creating a tough, rubbery cake.
Step 12: Into the Cake Pan:
After the blueberry coffee cake batter is mixed, put 2/3 of the batter on the bottom of the prepared cake pan..
Step 13: Blueberries:
Sprinkle the rinsed and dry blueberries evenly over the blueberry coffee cake batter. Carefully spread the remaining blueberry coffee cake batter evenly over the blueberries.
Step 14: Strudel Topping Ingredients:
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup butter, semi chilled
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
Step 15: Strudel Directions:
In a small bowl combine evenly the brown sugar and sugar until no lumps of brown sugar.
Add the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg, mixing until combined evenly into the sugars.
Step 17: Cutting in Crisco/Butter
With a fork or your fingers, cut in the butter, similar as you would for homemade biscuits or pie crust.
Step 18: Nuts:
Add nuts, mixing in evenly.
Chill the strudel topping until need, preventing butter to soften.
Note: I usually double strudel ingredients IF I’m using an 9”x9” square cake pan or 9” round springform pan.
Step 20: Strudel Topping:
Sprinkle the chilled strudel topping evenly over the blueberry coffee cake batter.
Step 21: Into Oven:
Place cake pan into preheated oven as quickly as possible, so the leavening will be fully active. Placing the blueberry coffee cake in the center of the oven and at least two inches away from the oven walls to promote even baking and allow maximum air circulation.
Step 22: Baking:
Bake the blueberry coffee cake 50-60 minutes, (times vary due to oven’s thermometer temperature accuracy). Keep the oven door closed until the minimum baking time has elapsed. If the blueberry coffee cake requires more baking, gently close the oven door as soon as possible after testing to prevent jarring and loss of heat—both can cause a cake to fall if it’s not done.
Step 23: Checking for Doneness:
Test cake after 50 minutes of baking for doneness, insert a long wooden toothpick into the center of the cake. It should come out clean, with no batter or wet crumbs clinging to it. If you see the sides of the cake pulling away from the pan, this is another sign of doneness.
If batter clings to the pick, the cake requires three minutes longer baking. Gently close the oven door as soon. Again, check the blueberry coffee cake doneness.
Step 24: Remove From Oven:
Remove blueberry coffee cake from the oven, place it in the pan on a wire rack, cool for 10 minutes away from drafts. This allows the cake to become firm enough to remove from the pan without breaking apart. Allow blueberry coffee cake to cool completely before frosting, wrapping, or storing.
Step 25: Garnish:
When the blueberry coffee cake is completely cooled, sift confectioners’ sugar or top, or drizzle with with your favorite glaze. If glazing, allow glaze set for about an hour before slicing and serving.
Step 26: Vanilla Glaze(s):
11/2cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. butter, softened
2-4 tbsps. light cream
1 tsp. vanilla pure extract
In small bowl combine, mix ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. If too thick, add a little more cream to thin out. If too thin, add a tsp. at a time, more confectioners’ sugar.
Lemon Glaze: Substitute 2 tablespoons lemon juice for part of cream and add 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel.
Maple Glaze: Add 1/2 teaspoon maple extract or flavor.
Orange Glaze: Substitute orange juice for cream and add 1 teaspoon grated orange peel.
Step 27: Thank You Margaret!!
“LET ME FIRST SAY THAT THIS COFFEE CAKE IS ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!! I HAVE NEVER TASTED A BLUEBERRY COFFEE CAKE LIKE THIS BEFORE”. Margaret C.