Oh hello! What did you have for breakfast this morning? A sad dry granola bar? Maybe a chalky smoothie? Let me recommend something a little different for this weekend. Something with a little more oomph. Something with a hit of tart blueberry and some buttery streusel!
I picked up a pint of Michigan blueberries last week before we headed home and let me tell you, they don’t disappoint. Blueberries typically fall to the bottom of my Berry Barometer (patent pending), unless they are freshly picked, plump, and full of actual flavor. More often than not, grocery store blueberries are kinda mushy and flavorless so when I saw those little blue gems at the farm stand I had to pick up a pint!
While I mulled the best use of said berries, I was reminded of the America’s Test Kitchen Marbled Blueberry Bundt Cake which takes the berries and processes them into a loose jam-like state which is then swirled through the cake. Instead of pockets of blueberry bombs, you end up with a more distributed, less blobby blueberry filled baked good.
I took a cue from the Test Kitchen recipe and then combined it with an old Martha Stewart crumb cake recipe I had buried in my bookmarks from years ago. Because what is coffee cake if not weighed down with at least a half pound of delicious butter streusel? Clearly I am #teamstreusel and if you aren’t, then this isn’t the coffee cake for you. Combine these forces and the result is a dense pound-cake-esque coffee cake with beautiful swirls of blueberry hiding under the delicious powdered sugar dusted streusel. It’s killer with coffee and also makes a pretty good afternoon snack.
We are hitting the road this weekend for a much anticipated beach vacation and I think this would probably make a pretty decent car snack too….as long as you have a napkin to catch the crumbs!
Blueberry Swirl Crumb Cake
For the filling
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp no sugar needed fruit pectin
pinch of salt
3 oz fresh blueberries
1/2 tsp lemon zest, plus 1 tsp juice
For the cake
4 C All-Purpose Flour, plus some for the pan
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 C Buttermilk
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C packed light brown sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 C (two sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350F. Spray a quarter sheet pan (9 x 13 x 1 in) with nonstick spray and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. Take a piece of parchment paper and place in the bottom of the pan, with edges hanging over to create a sling. Fasten the paper to the edges of the pan with tiny binder clips (this seems silly but it’s actually a genius move. Just do it!).
For the filling: In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, pectin, and 1 tsp salt. Take blueberries and either process them in a blender/food processor or use an immersion blender in a cup to blend until mostly smooth (there’s not many berries so if you need to add more, you could easily double this and use the other half for an ice cream topping!).
Take one heaping tablespoon of blueberry puree and add to the saucepan with the sugar, pectin and salt. Add lemon zest and whisk over medium heat until the sugar and pectin have dissolved and the mixture is starting to simmer. Transfer mixture into medium bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Add remaining blueberry puree and lemon juice and stir to combine. Set aside while you prep the cake.
For the cake:
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1.5 C (of the 4 C of AP flour), sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until mixed. The batter will be slightly stiff, but should be be spreadable.
In a separate large bowl, combine the remaining 2.5 C of flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir with a rubber spatula until evenly mixed. Pour in the melted butter and stir until the magic of streusel starts to form and all the sugar and flour is absorbed. You should be able to pinch clumps of it and create different sized streusel pieces. Set aside.
Dollop blobs of the batter into the prepared sheet pan and using an offset spatula, spread evenly to fill the pan. Drop teaspoons of blueberry mixture onto the batter and taking a sharp knife, drag through the dots to swirl the blueberry mixture evenly throughout the cake.
Evenly scatter streusel over the top of the cake, covering up the whole cake. There will be lots of streusel. At some point, you might question how much streusel is necessary? Ultimately it’s up to you, and any leftover streusel can be frozen and tossed in the freezer and used for spontaneous fruit crisps or muffins! I prefer a 1:1 cake to streusel ratio on this cake, so GO BIG OR GO HOME.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating at the halfway mark, until the streusel has started to brown and a toothpick entered comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing in. Serve with a cup of coffee and a good book.
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