I went blueberry picking with my family a few weeks ago in beautiful Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Since we don’t really have “pick your own” in NYC, I try to take advantage of the gorgeous produce at the local farms near my family’s home every chance I get. The blueberry bushes at Solebury Orchards were brimming with perfectly ripe berries, practically falling off their stems , ready to be picked. With little effort, we had 6 full quarts of plump blue berries, certainly more than we knew what to do with.
For the next couple weeks, I ate blueberries for breakfast with cottage cheese or yogurt, for lunch in a fruit salad, and out of the carton for dessert, since they’re so sweet on their own. Even though I probably would have no trouble devouring them just as is, I knew I wanted to turn them into something baked, sweet and delicious.
Just around that time, my family and I were invited to spend a weekend at the beautiful beach house of a close family friend. I always like to bring something sweet and homemade when I’m staying at a friend’s home, and since I had so many blueberries left in the fridge, I had to make something with them as the star ingredient. I figured a coffee cake would be perfect, since it can be eaten for breakfast or dessert (or as my friend Catherine said, “or for lunch, or a snack, or dinner, really any time works for me.”) She’s totally right. Coffee cakes are the perfect excuse to eat cake for breakfast (it’s practically in the name, right?) but they’re also perfect to have as an afternoon snack or for dessert. This cake was a big hit – it’s incredibly moist from the sour cream and the streusel center makes every bite crumb-tastic. Plus, yummy blueberries makes it sort of healthy, right? Antioxidants anyone?
The original recipe called for half the amount of crumb, but being a crumb-lover, I doubled it and think it was a good choice (no judging here for the amount of butter in this recipe). If you prefer to be more conservative on the crumb, half that part of the crumb recipe and it will still turn out delicious. Also, I’ve made this cake without the berries and it’s just as tasty, but why not take advantage of berry picking season while it lasts!
Blueberry Coffee Crumb Cake
Adapted from Ina Garten
For the cake:
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups sour cream
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
For the crumb:
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed, for about 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula until the batter is completely mixed. Fold in the blueberries until evenly mixed.
For the crumb, add the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, slat and butter in a medium bowl and pinch together with your fingers until they for a crumble. Mix in the walnuts if using.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly with a knife or offset spatula. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture evenly on top of the batter. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spreading it out evenly, and scatter with the remaining crumb on top.
Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let the cake cook on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.
Cake will keep for 3-4 days covered in saran wrap at room temperature.