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 | 1,507 comments

Comments (1,507)

  1. Made this a couple of weeks ago and loved it! Am making again for Easter morning tomorrow. I want to make muffins with this recipe. Has anyone tried that and how long did you bake?

  2. This was EXCELLENT. I will definitely make this again!

  3. I tried to double the recipe and the dough was very thick…not sure if it will come out. Also, step 3 did not print on your printer friendly version…skipped right to 4, so I’m not sure if that would have made a difference in the consistency of the batter…?

    • Linda — what a nuisance! I’m sorry step 3 didn’t print out for you. I think I need to look into other printer-friendly options. Sorry about that. I can’t say if it would have made a difference in the consistency. So often recipes say to do this — alternate with the wet and the dry ingredients, but I wonder if it really makes a difference or if it’s just so that it’s easier to stir. I hope it turned out well for you.

  4. Easter brunch here we come! I used frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries), substituted 1 cup of flour with 1/2 cup milled flax seed and 1/2 cup wheat germ. Hopefully it will still be just as delicious!

  5. I just had this at my sister’s for Easter Brunch and it was AMAZING! I am going to make this for my co-workers. It’s an excellent treat. Brunch was great! Thanks Cathy!

  6. Made yesterday for my family, I used half the blueberries the recipe called for and added fresh strawberries. Turned out great!!!

  7. I made this yesterday using frozen raspberries and it turned out great! (Just had to add a little extra baking time). Thanks for the delicious recipe! :)

  8. Just made this tonight, the dough was very thick, I wasn’t expecting that and it rose up well. Seemed like a lot of blueberries to me, but I tasted it and the cake is very moist and delicious. I may reduce the amount of blueberries I use the next time so they don’t overpower the cake, but overall, I think it is a great recipe. The real test will come in the morning when my 16 year old eats it. :-)

  9. Mmmm…made this for Easter breakfast with a streusel topping…it was absolutely amazing! I ate 2 more pieces of it for breakfast this morning while I was at work. My co-workers are in love with it too! I love to bake in my kitchen and I’m always looking for new yummy things! Thank you so much for posting this…I am definitely making again!!!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! My absolute favorite. Baking it up right now as muffins.

  11. cake is in the oven right now I used black berries and mixed peel we’ll see how it tastes meals wonderful

  12. This looks amazing! Going to make it tonight. I am also wondering if frozen blueberries would work ok.

  13. So its in the oven now…. I used whole wheat flour… It was a really stiff batter. I added a little more buttermilk. I wanted to try this “cake” but after losing 50+ lbs since the first of the year i wanted to make it a bit healthier. I have never used whole wheat flour before I think that is why it was so stiff. Looks and smells great…. Fingers crossed it comes out well!!

    • Stacey — What an accomplishment! I am very impressed. Keep it up. THanks for the whole wheat flour suggestion. Also, the batter is indeed very thick — it’s not just because of the whole wheat flour. Hope it turned out well for you!

  14. I have everything on hand to make this but my butter is salted. I think I’ll try it and cut down on the Kosher salt. Hope it’s good.

  15. This looks fantastic! What do you use for your vanilla extract? Have you ever tried making your own vanilla? It’s cheaper than buying the good stuff and even cheaper than the imitation vanilla. What kind do you use?

  16. The pictures are amazing. We have a raspberry patch and will be trying it both ways!

  17. The entire fam loved this for breakfast this morning; delish & easy! I used thawed frozen berries to save some $$ & the only thing I would have done differently is rinsed the berries & dried them before putting the flour on – the batter was VERY purple, but it still tasted great!

  18. Do you think you can make the batter ahead of time and pop it in the oven the next day?

    • Leslie — Yes, definitely. I made the batter the night before and baked it off in the morning. I didn’t store it in the pan I baked it in, but according to one commenter, you can butter a baking dish, put the batter right in, and store it over night. It baked off just fine.

  19. This sounds so delish! I just came across it on Pinterest ;) and followed it here… I printed it out by copy and pasting it into Notepad. That worked very nicely. My mom used to make something like this – I know I’ll love it!

  20. So excited that I found a link to your page. Just made the cake this morning, and it was wonderful and moist. So tasty!

  21. This looks great! I plan to make this to take to work next week, but would really prefer to make it as muffins/cupcakes just so it’s easier for single servings & so I don’t have to leave my dish…has anyone tried that yet & did it turn out okay? Recommended bake time?

  22. OMG OMG…love this. so similar to the one I put on my blog from Mom’s archives…check it out: http://www.myjudythefoodie.com/2012/02/blueberry-brunch-cake/

  23. When you made these as cupcakes did you spray the paper wrappers to grease them?

  24. Can you use frozen blueberries?

    • Becky — yes. I have not done so, but many of the commenters have with great success. Don’t stir too much they warn — the batter turns purple — but otherwise, the cake turns out really well.

  25. As others have said, I found this on Pinterest, and am SO glad I did. We just made it, and yum! Our house smelled so good, my daughter could barely wait out the 15 minute cooling period. I subbed in 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour for a little fiber. It was a very stiff, but added around an ounce more buttermilk. I also used 1/2 frozen, 1/2 fresh blueberries. It took 10 extra minutes in the oven, but the outcome was not affected. Thanks again for the delicious-ness!

  26. To save yourself from having blue batter, just plop the blueberries on top and push them into the batter.

  27. natalie….can i subtitute the buttermilk with sour cream? just look at the pic, i cant wait to try ur recipe, thanks for sharing

    • Lina — I would imagine sour cream would be a fine substitute — it’s got that tang. I’ve never tried it, so I can’t say for sure. I imagine the texture might be altered slightly, but I can’t imagine much. Report back if you give it a go.

  28. Lina, you can substitute milk with a 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice for buttermilk. Let it curdle for a couple minutes, then blend.

    For every cup of milk, 1 tbsp lemon juice = sour milk

  29. Would I need to make any adjustments for high altitude?

    • Liz — I’m so sorry, I have no idea. This batter is very similar to a muffin batter — it bakes beautifully as muffins in fact — so, do you ever make adjustments when you bake off muffins? If you do, I would make those same adjustments with this cake.

  30. I am not sure if this has been mentioned already but i wanted to know if this was something that could be baked the night before (to be heated up for morning tea the next day) or if it is best made just before eaten.


    • Felicity — Yes, it definitely can be baked ahead of time — some commenters have mentioned that it tasted great baked a day in advance. I’m definitely partial to serving it the day it is baked, but you can always mix up the batter the night before and bake it in the morning. This works well. Some commenters have even stored the batter right in the pan that they baked it off in and said it worked perfectly.

  31. I just made this with my two year old, it’s in the oven and looking awesome! This is the second time I made it…the first time didn’t go as well. I used frozen blueberries straight from the freezer, when the cold berries hit the batter it turned into purple cement. So it took longer to cook so by the time the middle was done the outside was darker than I wanted, still yummy though! This time I thawed the frozen berries overnight (fresh blueberries are awfully expensive here). And I rinsed them so all that juice wouldn’t turn everything all purple and they were room temp. I think it solved all the probs I had last time.

    Thanks for the great recipie it will be a regular in our house now!

  32. This recipe is wonderful!
    I discovered you via Pinterest about 6 weeks ago, & have baked this breakfast cake several time since. The only change I made was using ¾ cup of buttermilk (via Paula’s suggestion; dishingthedivine.com) so that the batter would be a little easier to work with. I used fresh strawberries (cut into small pieces) once, but the cake seemed mushy — I probably should have cooked it a little longer.
    Blueberries are the best; they are my favorite anyway. The cake turns out fluffy & moist; my husband loves it so much he eats most of it, before the rest of us even get a piece!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Pam — thanks so much for the tip on the buttermilk. I have blueberries and strawberries and buttermilk on hand right now … hmmmmm. So glad you are liking the cake. It definitely is easily adaptable to whatever you have on hand.

  33. I looked through lots of the comments, but couldn’t find an answer to this one — hope it doesn’t sound too stupid. So, the batter is pretty hard to stir once most of the flour is added, I am skeptical about adding the blueberries WITH the 1/4 c of flour they were tossed in. Do you add that flour or discard it?! Hope you read this soon…!!!

    • Beth — not stupid at all. I usually scoop the blueberries out of the bowl into the batter leaving the excess flour behind (which I then discard). Honestly though, I’ve done it both ways and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Hope that helps! Let me know if I can answer any other questions.

  34. This recipe looks amazing!!! I wonder if anyone has a suggestion about how to substitute for the egg. My daughter is allergic to eggs. She can’t even have egg substitutes because they too contain egg product. Any suggestions would be awesome. Thank you.

    • Jennifer — Thank you for answering Krista’s question. I’m afraid I can’t be of more help — I didn’t know that egg substitutes contain egg product?! That’s annoying.

      Krista — I hope one of these substitutions works out for you. Report back if you give one a go.

  35. @Krista – picked this up off Pinterest:

    For each egg, substitute one of the following in recipes. These substitutes work well when baking from scratch and substituting 1 to 3 eggs.
    1 tsp. baking powder, 1 T. liquid, 1 T. vinegar
    1 tsp. yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
    1 1/2 T. water, 1 1/2 T. oil, 1 tsp. baking powder
    1 packet gelatin, 2 T. warm water. Do not mix until ready to use.
    I believe I have heard of people using the first one, not sure about the rest. Hope this

  36. I just made this yesterday to have for breakfast today because we have a lot house guests. So easy and delicious! This recipe came together so fast and the cake is light and flavorful. Thanks for sharing!

  37. This looks like a really good twist on our frequent weekend-morning blueberry pancakes!

    @ Krista: chia seeds make a good egg substitute, I have used them successfully. http://alternativestoeggs.info/egg-replacements/chia-seeds/

    @ Lina: not sure about sour cream, but I use plain yogurt interchangeably with buttermilk. If it’s a thicker yogurt, I mix it 1:1 with milk, a thinner yogurt just needs a splash of milk to thin it out a bit.

  38. mine is sitting on the stove cooling (and hopefully still cooking a bit) now! I start a new job tomorrow and wanted something that I could eat quickly for breakfast so this was right on time. The batter was quite thick and it seems like it takes a bit to cook in the middle but it looks yummy! I don’t have toothpicks but when i stuck the knife in, it came out with some batter on it. I think the next time I’ll put it in a slightly larger pan so it’s not as dense in the middle can can bake more evenly. Can’t wait to try it!

  39. The sunday school class loved it!!!! I used splenda because my husband can’t eat sugar …always double the amount when I use splenda. I mixed up the night before and placed in prepared pan with cake baking spray. . Baked in the morning before church. Be careful with the frozen blueberries. Fresh blueberries here were going to cost me $13.00 for aprx 4 cups. Let the frozen one become room temp. I made the same mistake and turned it to clay. It was very hard to mix berries and spread in pan without making mush out of the berries…But it was so good. I added 1/4 cup of buttermilk to the top when added the sugar to help moisten it back up. I think discarding the excess flour in the blueberry mix would have been the key. I will have to make this again on my husband demands. Don’t know what the cold temp does to it but it must make the difference or maybe it was because I doubled the recipe.

  40. I baked a Gluten free version of this today and it was wonderful! I just replaced the flour with a rice flour blend. Great recipe, thanks!

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