In the perfect Blueberry Cake we need to achieve a balance – if you add in too many whole Blueberries into the batter they will just sink to the bottom during baking, while not adding in enough blueberries to the cake it will lack a Blueberry taste, and be disappointing. So the perfect cake uses a fresh blueberry compote to swirl into the batter (before baking) as well as whole blueberries. This baking technique, and the recipe itself, is adapted from an American Blueberry Muffin recipe, and therefore the texture is ‘heavier’ than a traditional English sponge cake, but it is also a lot softer, with a lovely little bit of sweet gooiness to it. And as you can see in the photo the addition of the blueberry compote swirled in is a stroke of magic, it really does add the blueberry taste (and colour) into every bite.
Note: You can bake this mixture as a cake, as recommended here, or as individual sized muffins (it is a muffin batter after all); but the benefit of baking it as a cake is that you can slice through it to serve, revealing the lovely blueberry compote swirled throughout it.
Blueberry Cake Recipe
For The Simple Lemon-Sugar Topping
- 35g sugar
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
For The Muffins
- 250g blueberries, picked over clean
- 200g sugar (plus 1 tbsp)
- 400g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 120g unsalted butter (plus 10g) – melted
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp of water
- 100ml milk
- 100ml plain natural yoghurt
- 2 tsp vanilla essence (extract)
Grease a large loaf tin with butter and set aside. For the simple lemon-sugar topping just stir together the 35g of sugar with fine grated lemon zest in small bowl and set aside.
For the blueberry compote: In small saucepan, over medium heat, add half the blueberries, 10g of butter, 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of water. Cook gently, mashing the berries with the back of a wooden spoon several times, and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened, (after about 5 minutes). Then transfer the compote to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
Dry ingredients: sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, and sprinkle in the baking powder, and sea salt.
Wet ingredients: Melt the butter, then whisk the sugar and eggs together in a medium sized mixing bowl, until thick and creamy. Then slowly whisk in the melted butter and vegetable oil until combined. Finally whisk in the milk, plain yoghurt and vanilla essence (extract) until everything is fully mixed and light.
Combine the ingredients: Fold in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and then add the remaining whole blueberries. With gentle folding, rather than mixing, the Cake Batter might still be lumpy, with few spots of dry flour, but do not be tempted to over-mix.
Preheat the oven to 190C
Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin and gently swirl in the cooled blueberry compote into the batter using a chopstick or skewer in a figure of eight motion. Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the top.
Put the loaf tin into the oven and Bake until the cake top is golden and firm, for 50 to 60 minutes, at 190C. Start testing the cake after 50 minutes with a skewer, push it into the centre of the cake to see if it comes out hot and mainly clean. In this type of cake the centre may be ‘sticky’ in places, adhering to the skewer, so test in several areas, what we do not want is ‘raw’ uncooked batter.
When done remove the cake from the oven and cool the Blueberry Cake in its tin for 30 minutes, then carefully run a cooks spatula around the cake edge and tip the cake out of the loaf tin and transfer to wire rack or plate to completely cool before slicing and serving.