Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Lemon-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

I swear buttermilk is magic. I’ve dwelled on this before. Buttermilk seems to turn everything to gold. Super-moist, super-delicious gold.

Anyway, I needed a simple, summery, breakfasty, cake-like-but-not-dessert-like recipe to make this morning. One of Ben’s friends had crashed here last night, and I thought it only appropriate to treat him to a proper breakfast. In other words, I was craving sugar and carbs. The truth is I’ve been craving sugar and carbs and a cake like this for months. But seriously, who doesn’t crave having a good, seasonal, berry cake recipe in their morning-treat repertoire?

Nobody. And I think I’ve found the recipe that fits the bill. On an old photocopied sheet of paper in my mother’s hand writing, I spotted a note: “Baby Boy’s Favorite.” Oh Baby Boy. Baby Boy is my younger brother, my parents’ favorite child, and one of the most satisfying people to cook for. If it was Baby Boy’s favorite cake, it would soon be mine, too. This cake is delectable! I think you’ll like it, too.

Lemon-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

mise en place

Lemon-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Lemon-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Serves 6-8

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk***

* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top
*** To make homemade buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Fill cup with milk until it reaches the 1-cup line. Let stand for five minutes. Use only 1/2 cup of the prepared mixture for the recipe.

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Cake with Anthropologie Oven Mitt... fave new kitchen accessory

29. June 2011 by Alexandra Stafford
Categories: Baking, Breakfast, Olallie Cafe recipes | 1,549 comments

Comments (1,549)

  1. I made this yesterday for breakfast, and it was sooooo delish! I used frozen blueberries and only let them thaw as long as it took the butter to come to room temperature. My husband commented on how moist it was but thought it had too many blueberries LOL! I disagreed. My daughter and her friend thought it was very yummy, too. She had a funny way to describe it, but I’ve forgotten now. Oh well, it was delicious!

  2. Our community group had breakfast for supper last night, and I always use them as my “test kitchen”. Your recipe is what I used last night. I doubled the recipe, used a little more lemon zest than double (because I like lemon), and used 2-1/2 tsp of vanilla paste. Put the batter in a 9×13 pan and baked it for approximately 50-55 minutes; however, I did have to tent it with foil after 30-35 minutes. It was delicious, and everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing your family’s recipe. Can’t wait to try your lemon bars!

    • I love lemon, too, and love the idea of adding more zest to this, and I love vanilla paste, too. Only just discovered it! So happy you liked it. Thanks for the tips on doubling/tenting/etc. Thanks for writing in!

  3. This was delicious! I made it for my students to munch on for a quilting class and it ended up being my dinner while stuck in my car for 9 hours and 30 minutes! Yep, I was caught in the snowstorm that hit Atlanta on Tuesday! Renaming it Snowstorm Blueberry Cake!

  4. This looks delicious! Do you know if you can substitute heavy cream for buttermilk?

  5. Do you think this would work in a loaf pan? Looks yummy!

    • Lisa, I’m worried about it being a little too dense, but you certainly could try. I think it will take at least an hour to bake if not longer. And I wouldn’t fill the loaf pan higher than 2/3 or 3/4 of the way high — ideally I would split the batter between two loaves. Hope that helps! It is so good.

  6. Can you make it the night before?

    • Yes, absolutely! Mix up the batter, spread it in buttered baking dish, and bake it off in the morning. You might need to bake it for 5 to 10 minutes longer. Good luck with it!

  7. This cake. AMAZING!! It basically made all my dreams come true. Awesome recipe! Thanks Alexandra! :)

  8. This looks delicious, I plan to make it this weekend for a brunch I’m hosting. I’m in the UK though and our flour is different! We have plain or self-raising, what sort of flour did you use? Hopefully the internet can then tell me how that translates to the UK.

    • Jessica, hi! I use plain (all-purpose) flour. Hope that helps! So funny, every time I find a Nigella recipe on the internet or even my cookbook, it often calls for self-raising flour, and I am forced to improvise. I should have a bag of that stuff on hand.

  9. Delicious! I whipped up all the ingredients together last night and popped in the oven this morning. I did add about 1/4 cup more of buttermilk and used fresh blueberries. There was no color running and the cake came out awesome! Since I let it sit in the fridge overnight, it did need about 15 more minutes in the oven. I put foil over on the last 5 minutes or so. Thanks for the wonderful recipe! This one is a keeper!

  10. This tastes wonderful and is easy to make. It is going on my list of breakfast favorites.

  11. I made this in a bundt pan, having to add extra buttermilk and an egg because when I followed the recipe, it was the texture of biscuit dough. It was incredibly dense and looked like it never fully cooked in the middle. I don’t think I’ll be making this again.

    • Lisa, I’m sorry to hear this. The dough definitely is thick, but it shouldn’t be the texture of biscuit dough. What kind of flour do you use? And how do you measure — with a scale or cups? It sounds as though you have a heavier hand when you measure the flour.

  12. Made it this morning, absolutely fabulous! Both of my picky children loved it! Will definitely be making this again :-)

  13. Just made it, so yummy. Husband made the suggestion of cinnamon sugar on top, have you tried? I liked it as made.

    • So happy you liked this, Brandy! I have never tried adding a cinnamon sugar topping, but it sounds yummy. You could always experiment by adding it to half of the cake? Several commenters have gotten creative with various glazes drizzled overtop, but I always just make it just as my mama made it :)

  14. I’ve been making recipe recipe or a while now and it never fails me! Fresh berries, frozen berries, prepared in advance or baked right away! Wanted to make it for a breakfast with my girlfriends tomorrow morning but I didn’t have blueberries. Or lemons. (Ha)! So I’ve got a strawberry orange cake in the fridge ready to be baked in the morning. I did make my own butter and buttermilk out of heavy cream so I can’t wait to eat it! I expect it to be outstanding!

    • Wow! That is amazing. Homemade butter and buttermilk should make it beyond outstanding! Love hearing about all of the variations. So happy you like this one. Thanks for writing in.

  15. I found this recipe on Pinterest and have been waiting for a very long time to make it. When I found that I had all the ingredients this weekend I knew I had to try it. It was beautiful! So moist and yummy. I had a problem with the kosher salt, though. It didn’t dissolve at all and so we got some very salty chunks throughout. :( Could I use regular table salt? And if so would I need to change the amount?

  16. Great recipe. I was just browsing the web and came across your recipe. Had all the ingredients and made this for dessert after supper. It turned out so nice we started eating it before supper was ready. Definitely a keeper. I used frozen blueberries and it was divine. Thank u sooo much for sharing your recipe with us.

  17. Does anyone know if you could substitute all-purpose flour equally for gluten-free all purpose flour – the same amounts or what might be the equivalent? Also has anyone tried raspberries for Blueberries?

    • I haven’t tried but many people have had success with their own g-f flour mixes as well as store bought varieties (c4c, Bob’s, Hodgson, King Arthur, etc). And you can essentially use any fruit. Good luck with it!

  18. Can cake flour be used for this recipe?

  19. I’ve made this before and this is delicious! I’m getting ready to make it for a bridal shower but I want to do muffins instead of one large pan. I know to decrease the baking time, but does this recipe work okay for muffins otherwise!? Any suggestions?

  20. This little gem of a cake is my personal go to treat when I need a lift ~ I love everything about it. Everybody asks for the recipe and it disappears like magic. Thanks for sharing !

  21. Please tell me if and how much table salt I should use– instead of kosher salt. Excited to try this delicious recipe and yes,buttermilk is magical!

    • I used just under the amount called for… since kosher salt is a lot thicker I thought that it was better to be safe than sorry – first time baking though but it came out great.

    • so sorry for the delay in getting back to you — I’ve been out of town! I would use 3/4 teaspoon table salt.

  22. I was really scared there for a while because mine took almost 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake through… but it came out delicious. This recipe, however, was really difficult to follow (I guess a law degree doesn’t prepare you for baking) – I had to guess some of it – because I feel like it skipped some steps (like when to add the butter and sugar mix to things, when to add the egg and vanilla, and to which and which first. I just kind of threw them altogether into a bowl and mixed. This is the first time I am baking something from scratch and I’m relieved that not only is it edible but also delicious. Thank goodness for a foolproof recipe!

    • So happy to hear that it turned out well for you, Linet! And I am sorry about the confusing instructions. I will take a look right now and see if I can make them more clear. Thanks for writing in!

  23. Heyyy Alexandra im just in love with your recipes!! Im from Colombia and i would like to know if i can use Philadelphia cheese cream besides buttermilk or can you please give the name of the buttermilk you use!!

    • Natalia, hi! I don’t think that Philadelphia cream cheese is actually going to work. If you can’t find buttermilk, I suggest just using whole milk or making your own buttermilk:

      To make homemade buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Fill cup with milk until it reaches the 1-cup line. Let stand for five minutes. Use only 1/2 cup of the prepared mixture for the recipe.

      Hope that helps!

  24. Hey I was wondering if I could use strawberries instead of blueberries. I only have strawberries on hand right now and don’t feel like running to get blueberries lol

  25. pls. send me updates via my e mail………………..thanks……love your site……thank you…….dolores

  26. I made this this morning for my daughter who loves blueberries! Even the boys of the house wanted more and loved it! Wonderful recipe.

  27. This is really really really good. The texture is incredibly light and the balance of the tart lemon and sweet juicy blueberries is perfect. I made it with homemade butter (started off being whipped cream and I overbeat it, so I kept going until it was butter) and homemade buttermilk (can’t make butter without getting buttermilk!) And probably a bit more lemon than specified, because as far as I’m concerned, blueberries and lemon were made for each other. I will make this over and over again. It is DIVINE!

  28. I have made this recipe several times now, and it is always just perfect!! Everyone I serve it to loves it! In fact, it’s in the oven now for Easter brunch tomorrow. I’m trying the frozen blueberry route rather than fresh this time, so we’ll see how it turns out. Thanks for the recipe and also for the “homemade buttermilk” tip- I do it every time!

  29. Just finished the recipe and I bake a lot- this batter is chunky and runny, I’m sure it will taste great, but it’s not as I thought t would be…. Plus it doesn’t like like very much – hope it feeds 6-8

  30. I’ve made this recipe twice this week I just can’t get enough of it! It so moist everyone in my house has enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing your family recipe.

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