A giant carton of blueberries has been beckoning me all week to make blueberry coffee cake. Finally, today we had a chance after naptime. (I slept; Carter didn’t.)
Prep time can make or break baking with kids. Because all kids, mine included, have limited attention spans, I like to get out all of a recipe’s ingredients and any required gear before having Carter join me. Time was short today, so I even made the streusel topping in a mini food processor beforehand, rather than by hand with Carter, who doesn’t like noisy appliances (hence, I tend to give by-hand instructions).
I also put out small bowls to measure ingredients over, in case of spillage. Ok, I actually I do that when it’s just me, too, but it’s an extra good strategy when you have a 4 year old pouring salt into a 1/4 teaspoon.
Carter’s favorite step, aside from eating the coffee cake, is sprinkling and spreading the streusel topping.
This recipe comes from Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas. (I had the pleasure of working with Lou when I edited Hallmark’s Home for the Holidays—an absolute steal bargain priced at $10.) Her original recipe’s streusel topping calls for 1 cup of chopped walnuts. It also recommends baking the coffee cake in a 350°F oven for 35–40 minutes, but I’ve had better success with a higher temperature and longer bake time, so you keep a close eye out for doneness. (Alternatively, Lou told me she likes to use a convection oven when she’s not timing for a book.)
You can also bake this in a regular round cake pan, but it’s easier to get out of a spring-form one, which does not have to be expensive. I use a Wilton springform pan ($15).
Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or low-fat plain yogurt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter and flour a 9-inch spring-form pan.
To make the streusel topping: In a medium bowl or a food processor, combine butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut butter in with a pastry blender or your fingers, or process, until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla, and beat by hand until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat until smooth. Fold in the berries. Turn into the prepared pan and spread streusel topping evenly over the batter.
Bake 40–45 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes, then remove the pan sides and let cool completely.
Adapted from Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet, and Savory by Lou Seibert Pappas