Endless summer mornings have been finally brought to an end. Those mornings in which breakfast could gloat over infinity at will. That second cup of coffee just for the sake of it, because there’s no time pressure, is also over. So, as this is one of the worst parts for me about coming back to busy schedules, I’ve decided that it is not over, not a bit of it. I plan to continue enjoying that blissful prelude called breakfast, which is as pleasant as it is necessary for our health during the rest of the day. And that is the aim of this irresistible blueberry breakfast cake: no one leaves home without a smile on his or her face.
But rest assured: you won’t need to get up at dawn to enjoy such an exquisite bite. This cake keeps in perfect condition for days, so you can make it ahead of time during the weekend, the night before, or whenever you just need to unwind and do a little delicious baking. Its simplicity is directly proportionate to its delicacy; it won’t be easy to find a cake as extremely rich, tender and moist as this one. But if you do, please, let me know immediately…
Obviously, I’m not being the most unbiased observant here; my penchant for blueberries is common knowledge. But the thing is that there must be something about this little fruit that has conquered so many people’s hearts. To start with, there’s their flavor —just a perfect sweet/sour touch, one of their greatest assets. Besides, they are so easy to eat that once we start, it’s almost impossible to stop and resist the temptation to finish off the whole lot in one sitting. As for their proprieties, there’s nothing but benefits, but I’m pretty sure I’ve already told you about this before. And to top it all, they barely have calories. What’s even more? They’re said to have negative calories, that is, we burn more calories eating them than the ones that are in the fruit itself. So, there’re few excuses left not to introduce them to our daily diet, aren’t there?
Yet, there are nonetheless trade-offs. Depending on where you may live, they can be really hard, sometimes even impossible, to find. In the event of your living in one of these places, you will find an additional difficulty: they are usually exorbitantly expensive, not to mention the fact that most likely they will be cultivated blueberries (wild blueberries, smaller and much tastier, are almost a fantasy). Even so, in most recipes we can use either fresh or frozen blueberries, the latter (not recommended in the current recipe), being much thriftier and equally tasty as well as beneficial than the fresh ones.
And one last reminder. I think I already told you about the adventure of wild blueberry picking. But in case you missed it the first time, you can check it out here (in Spanish). If you belong to the lucky one’s group, where blueberries grow by handfuls along any pathway, rest assured that this one writing here is green with envy…
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (only the yellow part)
- ? cup (175 g) sugar (plus extra sugar for dusting)
- ½ cup / 1 stick (115 g) unsalted butter
- 1 egg (L)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (260 g) all purpose flour, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
- 2 cups (280 g) fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven (electric) to 350º F / 175ºC and place oven rack in middle position of the oven.
- Grease and flour a rectangular pan (8"x12" / 20x30 cm or similar). Set aside.
- Once our blueberries are washed, drained and dry, gently mix them with ¼ cup (30 g) of the flour (pay special attention not to break the fruit or it will dye your batter); this way they won’t sink to the bottom of the pan during baking. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the remaining flour (1 ¾ cups / 230 g) together with baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk until combined. Set aside too.
- In another bowl, mix sugar and lemon zest, rubbing with your finger tips so that the lemon oils coat the sugar. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl) beat butter at medium-high speed until soft and creamy.
- Add sugar and lemon zest and beat for 3-4 more minutes until light and fluffy. With a rubber spatula, scrape down batter from paddle, sides and bottom of the bowl. Repeat as necessary along the way.
- Next, add egg and mix at medium-low speed until totally incorporated.
- Add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Now it’s time to add dry (see point 4) and wet ingredients (buttermilk) alternating like this: we start with ? dry ing., next ½ buttermilk, ? dry ing. again, last ½ buttermilk and final ? dry ing., mixing after each addition just until dry ingredients are moistened. Batter should be still a bit lumpy, (that's fine, don’t try and smooth it) these lumps will disappear during baking. As a result, we will get a rich and dense consistency.
- With a gentle hand, fold in blueberries using a rubber spatula until well distributed.
- As the baking soda starts working as soon as it gets in contact with acids and liquid, immediately pour batter into greased pan and smooth surface with a spatula. Now sprinkle with some sugar (1 tablespoon will be fine, but if you think you need some more, go ahead!).
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and a cake tester or skew inserted in the middle comes out clean. If it doesn’t, check every 2 minutes until finally it does. Do not over bake.
- Let cool inside pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Keep covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- ‘Breakfast’ also means ‘snack’, ‘tea’, ‘elevenses’…
- If you’re an individual version person, do not hesitate to turn this cake recipe into a muffin recipe version. Mind you, watch baking times as in this case it would be much shorter; check after 18 minutes inserting a cake tester or skewer in the center and repeat every 2 minutes until it comes out clean.
- If I were you, I'd buy an extra bunch of blueberries, lest a few "make a detour" during the cake preparation (like in my case)...