High Country Baking: Blueberry breakfast cake
High Country Baking
Have plans for the first day of the year? We do. We try to make it as special as New Year’s Eve by doing outside activities we love, seeing people we love and eating food we love.
Of course, we don’t want to spend much time cooking, so I look for recipes that come together quickly, like this breakfast cake. Once the ingredients are assembled, it takes about 10 minutes to get it in the oven, and you can make it a day before serving. Brimming with blueberries, flavored with vanilla and lemon, and mildly sweet, it makes the morning meal shine.
Blueberry breakfast cake
Make in an 8-inch shiny metal springform pan. Adjusted for altitudes of 7,000 feet and above.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, spoon and level
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, preferably superfine
- Slightly less than 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 generous teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoon sour cream, Greek yogurt or whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- Powdered sugar, optional
Glaze ingredients, optional
- At least 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- At least 2 tablespoons cream or milk
- Lemon juice or lemon oil, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center position. Grease your pan with a baking spray that contains flour and set it aside. Unlock your springform pan, flip over the bottom so the lip faces down, and relock the pan. This will make it easier to cut the cake once it’s baked.
Cut the butter into small pieces, place them in a microwave-safe bowl or 2-cup measure and heat in a microwave oven at low-medium temperature until melted. Set aside to cool slightly. While the butter cools, put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine well.
Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla to the melted butter, whisk to blend thoroughly, then stir the mixture into the dry ingredients, stopping as soon as a batter forms. Fold in 1 cup of the blueberries, scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth and level the top. Sprinkle the remaining half-cup of berries over the top, and gently press them into the batter. Tap the pan on a counter once or twice to dislodge any air bubbles, and bake until the top is light golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes, though start checking earlier. If the top colors before the cake is done, tent it with aluminum foil.
Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes, then run an offset spatula or knife around the inside of the pan, pressing toward the pan not the cake, and remove the pan side. If you aren’t going to glaze it, you can top the warm cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and serve it. Or you can cool it completely, glaze it (if using), cover and store it in the fridge up to three to four days. Rewarm pieces in the oven or microwave.
Glaze, if using: Put the 1/3-cup of sugar in a small bowl, add the cream and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add lemon juice/oil to taste, then whisk in either more cream or more sugar until the mixture is thick but still slides easily off a spoon. Check to see if you want to add more lemon juice/oil, then drizzle the glaze decoratively over the cooled cake and let it set.
Editor’s note: This recipe is a variation of one published by “Fine Cooking Magazine.”
Vera Dawson’s column “High Country Baking” publishes biweekly in the Summit Daily News. Dawson is a high-elevation baking instructor and author of three high-altitude cookbooks. Her recipes have been tested in her kitchen in Frisco, where she’s lived since 1991, and altered until they work at elevation. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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