Lemon + Sugared Blueberry Coffee Cake

I had to share this one…almost identical to the sugared cranberry coffee cake I did a few weeks back…but with the lemon and blueberry thing happening. This feels fresher…almost like health food. Which is where my mind is at this January 1st. Blueberries are a super food, right? Hope you all have a lovely, happy, healthy, sugar-y, cozy and lazy day.

INGREDIENTS

For the Sugared Blueberry

  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups of whole fresh blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (for rolling the cranberries…you can also throw regular granulated sugar in your Cuisinart and pulse until it gets ground up a bit)
  • As an aside, you could just use fresh blueberries and forgo this step. If you don’t have the time, don’t let this keep you from this cake.

For the Coffee Cake

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cups sour cream
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 lemons zested (about 2 tablespoon)
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugared blueberries
  • ½ cups sugared blueberries for decorating the top of the cake (after the schmooey)

For the Streusel

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Sugared Blueberries

  1. Make a simple syrup by heating the granulated sugar and the water together. You can do this on the stovetop or in the microwave. Stir until your sugar is dissolved. Let cool a bit so that the heat doesn’t pop your blueberries.
  2. Pour the simple syrup into a bowl.
  3. Add the cinnamon, lemon zest and juice.
  4. Pour in the blueberries. Cover and let chill in the fridge overnight or at least eight hours. Occasionally stir so that you make sure everyone is getting equally sugary.
  5. Fast forward in time about eight hours…Drain the blueberries. Save any liquid for a boozy cocktail
  6. Roll the blueberries in the superfine sugar and set them on parchment paper to dry. Should take about two-ish hours. These can sit in an airtight container for a couple of days.

For the Cake

  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (butter, anyone?) and flour a 10-inch Bundt cake pan.
  2. Mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix the streusel ingredients: brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter. I like to use a pastry blender for this. You want to make sure the butter is pretty well blended. There should be a nice crumb happening…a couple larger bits of butter are just mighty fine. Set aside.
  4. Put the butter and the sugar in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until nice, light and fluffy. A quick side note…I often reference my stand mixer or my Cuisinart. When I was in China, I had neither and I used my guns (i.e., my arms that don’t get nearly as much exercise as they need). So don’t fret when I make the equipment reference. Make do with what you have in the kitchen.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, on a low speed until mixed. Then add the lemon zest, vanilla, sour cream and buttermilk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl (and the bottom) to make sure everything is incorporated. Take a big whiff. Smells pretty tasty, doesn’t it?
  6. Sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the egg-butter mixture and mix until just combined.
  7. Using a spatula, very gently fold in the blueberries. I said GENTLY. You want them evenly distributed, but moved around as little as possible. Otherwise they’ll bleed.
  8. Pour half the batter into your prepared Bundt pan. Sprinkle ¾ of the streusel around the pan and then pour the remaining half of the batter. Sprinkle the top with the remaining streusel. Don’t stress out if you didn’t get these proportions just right. I often get a little too excited and put too much in first and then the streusel-cake-streusel at the end seems too thin. Trust me, it’ll be just fine.
  9. Bake for 50 minutes, but start watching your cake around 45 minutes. You don’t want any jiggle and you want a cake tester (in my house, that would be a toothpick) to come out clean. Minus puncturing any blueberries in there.
  10. Let this baby cool! Don’t get impatient here…I implore you. Let that little bundle of goodness rest and simmer down. If you serving this the next day, wait until the cake and pan are cool to the touch and then wrap them tight like nobody’s business. Set in a cool, dark place to hang out.
  11. Mix the glaze ingredients together until there are no lumps and the schmooey is thick enough that it will stop in its’ tracks as you drizzle it over the cake.
  12. Here’s where you get crafty. Is your cocktail in your hand? Now start throwing sugared blueberries at your cake and just see where they land. Or you could get all OCD and make them equidistance around the cake. I’m just sayin’.

This is my version of DIY: Add ½-1 tablespoon of the lemon-blueberry simple syrup to a glass of champagne…and throw some sugared blueberries to float on top. Ganbei.


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