Blueberry Coffee Cake is one of my family’s favorite morning treats. Rich and buttery cake with vanilla notes filled with slightly tart fresh blueberries, and finished with a cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom scented pecan/brown sugar topping, is about as good as it gets.
I love that I can whip this cake together with very little effort and pop it in the oven and have it baking while I am working on the rest of breakfast. If we have guests visiting, they wake to the smell of freshly baked coffee cake – pure heaven!
For this cake, in the photos you can see that the blueberries sank to the bottom … I forgot to toss them in flour to keep them suspended in the batter. It only takes a minute and it really helps keep them more in the center of the cake. This is especially helpful if you are making this gluten-free because the batter is softer, without the structure of the gluten to help with suspension.
If you are only baking gluten-free occasionally, feel free to use a commercial blend such as Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, King Arthur’s Measure for Measure, or Pamela’s. They are perfect for periodic projects. But if you find yourself baking regularly, you can save money by making your own blend. I love being able to reach over, grab my bucket of flour, and make anything I want at the spur of the moment.
This blueberry coffee cake can be made without the fruit or you can use golden raisins if you prefer. Try adding a little fresh lemon or orange zest, or other flavorings that you like. It is very flexible and easy to customize to your family’s favorite choices.
Enjoy this Blueberry Coffee Cake this weekend and definitely put it on your list for holiday breakfasts when your house is full of family and friends again. They will thank you!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Blueberry Coffee Cake:
- Topping: brown sugar, gluten-free flour blend, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, unsalted butter, pecans
- Cake: fresh blueberries, gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla
Can I use frozen blueberries?
Yes, you can! Don’t thaw them, just throw them in frozen after tossing with the 2 tbsp flour and they will be perfect by the time the cake is finished baking. You will need to add a little extra baking time to offset adding frozen fruit to the batter. It should take about 5 minutes longer for this recipe.
How to make Blueberry Coffee Cake:
- Topping: Combine the sugar, flour and spices in a food processor and pulse, then add the butter and process until mostly incorporated; add the pecans and pulse until chopped (you can also do this by hand if you prefer)
- Cake: Whisk together the flour, xanthan (if using), baking soda, baking powder, and salt, then set aside
- Rinse the berries and pat dry before sprinkling with 2 tbsp of flour and tossing until coated; set aside
- With a mixer, beat the butter until smooth, then slowly add the sugar while beating and mix for 1 minute; add the eggs and mix until light and creamy, then scrape the bowl well
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix in, then half the sour cream, and another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, remaining sour cream and remaining flour, mixing between each addition; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla, and mix until smooth
- Pour 2/3 of the batter into a buttered baking pan (9×3-inch round or 9×13-inch rectangular) and spread into an even layer; top with the flour-dusted berries and cover them with the remaining batter
- Sprinkle the topping over the whole surface and bake until raised and golden and a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes; cool 10 minutes before cutting for serving
Vanilla paste is a secret ingredient used by pros that is available to home cooks. It is the seeds of the vanilla pod suspended in a sweetened gel that gives your baked goods an extra pop of vanilla flavor in every bite. You also get the specks of vanilla in your finished products which is a sign of great flavor ahead.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Food processor
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Kitchen scale
- Parchment paper sheets
- Pastry cutter
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
Blueberry Coffee Cake (Gluten-Free)
This is a rich and buttery cake with vanilla notes filled with slightly tart fresh blueberries, and finished with a cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom scented pecan and brown sugar topping. It is about as good as it gets and the perfect way to kick off your day.
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, optional
- 2 tbsp (28 g) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1-1/2 cups pecan halves or large pieces
- 2 cups (240 g) plus 2 tbsp (for berries) gluten-free flour blend or sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (if your GF blend doesn't already contain it)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (about 150 g) fresh blueberries
- 8 tbsp butter (1 stick; 113 g), slightly softened
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (230 g) sour cream, stirred
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x3-inch round cake pan or 9x13-inch baking pan. If you will be removing the cake from the baking pan for serving, line the pan with parchment paper with two sides hanging over the edges to use as a sling to lift the cake out of the pan.
- Make the Topping: Combine the brown sugar, flour, and spices in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter and process until mostly incorporated. Add the pecans and pulse until nuts are chopped. Alternately, you can do this by hand by chopping the nuts and cutting the butter into the seasoned brown sugar/flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two knives in a medium bowl.
- Make the Cake: Place the flour, xanthan gum (if using), baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
- Rinse the blueberries and pat very dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with the 2 tbsp of gluten-free flour, toss well to coat, and set aside.
- Beat the butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth (or you can use a hand mixer). With the motor running, slowly add the sugar and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the eggs and mix until the mixture comes together and is light and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to get any unincorporated bits mixed into the butter mixture.
- Mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then alternating with dollops of sour cream, add remaining flour in two additions mixing well after each addition. Begin and end with the flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again and mix well. Add the vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into the corners with an offset spatula. Top with the flour-dusted blueberries, then cover them with remaining batter. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter.
- Bake the Cake: Bake until the cake is raised and golden, and a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes in the pan before cutting and serving. If transferring to a platter, cool to room temperature before carefully using the parchment to lift the cake from the pan.
- NOTE: If using frozen berries, do not thaw, dust with flour and add them fully frozen. Add about 5 minutes to the bake time to compensate for the cold ingredients.
- Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Adapted from a Gale Gand recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 629Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 415mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 4gSugar: 13gProtein: 12g
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What can i sub for the sour cream to make it dairy free
How can i make this dairy free?
Hi Mary – You will need to use an alternate for the butter in the topping (I like Earth Balance sticks) and the sour cream in the cake. I am not dairy-free so I don’t have a recommendation for the sour cream, but there are lots of options if you search for “dairy free sour cream”. I haven’t tried these substitutions so I can’t guarantee it will turn out, but I’d love to hear if you come up with solutions that work! Good luck!