I seem to be posting a lot about sweet baked goods these days. Some winters, it was hearty stews that got me through the cold weather. This year, I’m turning to baking to warm up my kitchen. But I promise, next time, I’ll write about something savory. That may not be for a while, however. Project: Kitchen Face-Lift is kicking into high gear. I suppose I could write about toaster-oven cooking or the cheapest take-outs in Park Slope. Stay tuned…
Warm in the kitchen with blueberries and spice
Today I’m compelled to write about this blueberry coffee cake. It’s homey, lightly spiced with cinnamon, and just enough of a treat on a crisp morning when you’d rather linger inside. It shares some similarities with my blueberry yogurt muffin recipe. In both, I use frozen blueberries (for the ease of it and because they’re off season) and some cultured dairy (for moisture and lift). But this coffee cake is a little denser and richer and the crumb topping definitely makes it more of an indulgence.
Pantry- and freezer-stable ingredients make it easy
What really excites me about making this coffee cake is its practicality. All of the ingredients in this recipe keep for a long time. They’re pretty versatile ingredients too, so it makes sense to keep them in stock for other purposes. That way, you don’t have to tromp out into the cold to make this cake. Take the powdered buttermilk, for example, which I’ve been experimenting with a lot lately. No more buying a quart of fresh buttermilk for a single batch of biscuits or waffles or cake and then scrambling for ways to use the leftover milk before it goes bad.
Of course, if you have fresh buttermilk, you can absolutely use that. In place of the powdered buttermilk and water, add in ¾ cup fresh buttermilk as you would the water.
Makes one 9 x 13-inch cake
Preparation time: About 1 hour
For the crumb topping:
¾ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
For the cake:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for buttering pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup water
2 cups frozen blueberries (if it’s blueberry season, use fresh and reduce baking time slightly)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan.
- Prepare crumb topping: In a mixing bowl incorporate all ingredients together until mixture forms large, clumpy crumbs. It’s easiest if you use your hands. Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, buttermilk powder, and cinnamon.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until lightened, about 3-5 minutes with a stand mixer, longer with a hand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the water in two additions. With each addition mix just until ingredients are incorporated.
- Gently fold in blueberries. Spread cake batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly on top.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack or cutting into slices directly in the pan.