Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake is a riff on cranberry breakfast cake, which is a take on rhubarb breakfast cake…which is a variation of peaches and cream breakfast cake… you get the idea. This blueberry coffee cake recipe has good bones.
This blueberry lemon cake screams welcome to spring!
Where do I start with this fabulous recipe? It’s a big fat moist buttermilk coffee cake / snack cake loaded with juicy blueberries and made with my special lemon sugar that gives it the most lovely citrus perfume. You can’t not love it 🙂
This cake bakes up nice and tall (nobody wants flat coffee cake) with a fluffy crumb.
The secret is to have your ingredients at room temperature (you can learn my hacks for doing this in a jiffy in my My Best Baking Tips for Layer Cakes post.) Once you know these little tricks all your baking will be better.
What is lemon sugar?
I make lemon sugar by processing granulated sugar with lemon zest (peeled in strips from the lemon.) The result is a pale yellow sugar that is incredibly aromatic and wonderfully citrussy! You can get all the details in my How to Make Lemon Sugar post.
- No worries if you don’t have a food processor, you can just finely grate the lemon zest and mix it into the sugar.
I’ve fallen in love with the bold impact I get from Sparkling Sugar
It’s a coarse decorative sugar with big glittery crystals. I sprinkle it on before and after baking for a really pretty finish and a nice crunch. A few companies make it, so go with what you can find.
This cake is amazing warm from the oven, but you can reheat it, one piece at a time, in a microwave for leftovers. You won’t be sorry you tried this one, promise 🙂
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Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake
- 1 cup (224 grams) granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon, peeled in sprips. You want only the yellow part, not the bitter white pith.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 g) butter at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- sparkling sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and line a 9x9 inch square pan with parchment paper.
- First make the lemon sugar. Put the sugar and lemon zest into a food processor and process until the zest is completely incorporated in to the sugar and it's pale yellow and fragrant. If you don't have a processor, just finely grate the zest and mix it into the sugar.
- Cream the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy, I like to go for a full 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. I do this in a stand mixer.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat each one well, and scrape down that bowl! Blend in the vanilla.
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
- Take about a tablespoon of the flour mixture and toss with the blueberries. Then add the rest to the mixer and blend until almost incorporated. Then blend in the buttermilk, just until everything is mixed, but don't over do it. Gently fold in the blueberries.
- Spoon the dough (it will be thick) into the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle some sparkling sugar over the surface if you're using. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it. I like to loosely cover the cake toward the end of baking to keep it from browning too much.
- I sprinkle more sparkling sugar on the cake after it comes out of the oven, and then let it cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
notes and variations
- frozen berries can be used in place of fresh. Don't thaw them first, use straight from frozen.
- other fruit like chopped apples, or even dried cherries or cranberries can be used.
- if you don't have buttermilk you can use milk or yogurt. You can also make your own buttermilk substitute by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and letting it sit for 15 minutes before using.
- if you don't have a lemon, use vanilla extract, or the seeds of a vanilla bean.