Hello, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Since we had no prior obligations, we were able do whatever we wanted on Saturday and Sunday. First up was a visit to one of our favorite summer spots, Minnehaha Falls. This beautiful little park in Minneapolis is full of trails, waterfalls, bike paths, and best of all, Sea Salt Eatery. I really don’t complain much about living in Minnesota, but if I have one gripe (no, not the weather), it’s that we’re so far from the ocean and all of that amazing seafood. Sea Salt eases the pain a bit. They offer amazing, fresh seafood. Stopping in for the ridiculously tasty fish tacos and a catfish po’boy was a great start to the weekend. It’s the little things like this that make me happy.
Aside from fish tacos, we also ate plenty of this amazing blueberry coffee cake. I baked this up the night before so we could enjoy the relaxing morning at home while the kids played in the living room. Coffee cake is one of my favorite things– this one is gorgeous, and so is this one. Today’s blueberry version is one of my son’s very favorite things that I bake. He loves it. The beautiful thing about this cake is that it is just as brilliant with fresh blueberries as it is with frozen. Which makes it perfect to eat throughout the winter. When organic frozen blueberries are on sale, I generally stock up for smoothies and this cake. And blueberry season is just around the corner (thankfully) so, fresh ones aren’t far off!
As usual, I’ve swapped out the all-purpose flour in this recipe for a whole grain version. It works well here. It gives the cake a bit more substance. The lemon zest brings a bit more life to the blueberries and the addition of walnuts to the crumb topping supplies a nice bit of texture to each bite. I will warn you to keep a close eye on this cake near the end of the baking time. Be careful not to over-bake it, as it will be a bit more dry than it should be. When a toothpick inserted into the center comes out crumb-free– it’s done. It keeps well for days covered with aluminum foil and sitting at room temperature. Hope this coffee cake becomes a family favorite in your house, too!
The Recipe: Blueberry Coffee Cake
(Makes an 8×8 cake)
For the Crumbs:
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, chopped
5 tablespoons room temperature butter
For the Cake:
2 cups and 2 teaspoons white whole wheat flour (10 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
zest of 2 small organic lemons, or 1 large
6 tablespoons room temperature butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature (*see note)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (*see note)
2 cups fresh or frozen organic blueberries (do not thaw)
Note: It’s important to use room temperature eggs in baked goods. Eggs at room temperature add more volume to your finished product. Place your eggs in a bowl of warm water for about 10-15 minutes, they will then be room temperature and ready to use. Don’t have any buttermilk? No worries. Don’t just add regular milk as a substitute, as the baking soda in the cake will only be activated with an acid, therefore leaving you with a flat cake. To make a 1/2 cup of buttermilk add 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar to 1/2 cup of milk. Stir and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a square 8×8 pan with butter.
To make the crumbs: In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, and salt with a whisk. Using a fork, mash in the butter. When it is mostly uniform, gently mix in the walnuts. Put into the refrigerator until ready to use.
Prepare the blueberries by putting them into a medium bowl and gently tossing them with 2 teaspoons of the flour. Set aside.
To make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and lemon zest by rubbing it together with your fingers. When it is fragrant and combined, add the butter and beat together with the sugar using the paddle attachment for about 3 minutes on medium speed, or until it is light and pale in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minutes after each one. Then add the vanilla extract. The batter may look curdled at this point and that’s ok — it will smooth out. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in two additions. Starting and ending with the flour. Be careful not to over mix. Gently fold in the blueberries using a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Add the crumb mixture to the top. Gently pat the mixture into the batter. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool. Keeps well for days at room temperature covered with aluminum foil. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours
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