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 | 1,505 comments

Comments (1,505)

  1. this is such a wonderful cake. my coworkers, friends and I really enjoy it. :)

  2. do you use all purpose flour or self-rising?

  3. thanks so much! will make them tonight!

  4. I’m such a recipe follower. I forgot to but a lemon for the zest, now what? Can I just skip it. Worried it won’t be the same:-(

  5. I made this today, but I didn’t have lemons so I skipped the zest. I will try to do it with the zest next time. I had a ton of frozen blueberries and had this recipe saved on pinterest so thought i’d give it a try. I unthawed the blueberries and followed with the rest of the ingredients. My oven can cook fast especially when its hot out so I watched it while it baked. The bottom part got brown, but not the top for some reason, but it tastes good. I felt like I wanted more than sugar on top so I made a lemon glaze while it was still hot poured it over the cake. I could see myself making this many times and playing around with different fruit. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. I make this cake so often and I never get tired of it! Awesome recipe!

  7. I have made this several times already!! LOVE it!!

  8. Can you substitute the buttermilk for almond milk????

    • Amy — I don’t know. I vaguely remember one commenter writing in saying she had in fact used almond milk but I can’t say for sure. I bet it will work though I can’t promise it won’t affect the final texture/flavor of the cake.

    • Amy, I bake with almond milk most of the time (though I used real buttermilk for this one). You should be able to do the vinegar trick with the almond milk and it will work out well enough. :)

  9. It does not mention when to add the buttermilk in the directions – I assume with the egg? Thanks!

  10. Never mind – I found it!

  11. I love this cake! I was thinking about making it into mini muffins for a party. How would you suggest I adjust the cooking time/temp? Thanks so much!

  12. This was absolutely delighful! As we say in MN – “This one’s a Keeper!”

  13. Just made this but I sprinkled White Sparkling Surgar instead of regular sugar! Very, very yummy! Tks for the recipe!

  14. Could this be easily doubled? In a 9 x 13?? I’ve made it twice and it’s been a huge hit?

  15. I made this the other night with half whole wheat flour and half white and it was still delicious. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe!

  16. Hello, I am a food juckie and I just started my food blog for all lovers of food,especiallyy for Africans who love d european dishes and deserts. I will like to publish some of your articles on my blog with credits to you.

  17. The whole Family LOVED this! I think I finally have a winner. :)

  18. I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with SUPER crumbly cake! None of the pieces will stay together. What did I do wrong?

    • Cassie — Let’s see. What kind of pan did you bake it in? And did you use buttermilk? Did you use all-purpose flour?

      • I baked in a dark nonstick 9×9 square pan, I added the buttermilk and used bleached enriched all purpose flour. I didn’t sift the flour before using. I made this twice and it was really delicious, but crumbly both times!

    • I made this cake and it was absolutely delicious, but I had the same problem with it being VERY crumbly. Did you find out a solution?

      • Irina, hi, sorry to hear this. Let’s see, how are you doing the mixing? By hand or with a mixer? A crumbly texture can be caused by overbeating. Also, did you cut the cake before it had cooled for at least 15 minutes? That’s a possibility, too.

  19. Hi there! I have made this cake a couple times and it always turns out delicious! It is a huge crowd-pleaser. Yesterday, I doubled the recipe and made a vegan version, using powdered egg replacer, soy milk, and Earth Balance vegan butter in place of the original ingredients. It came out fantastic! The taste and texture were the same as I remember from the other times I have made it and everyone really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for such an easy and delicious recipe!

    • Mita,
      What type of powdered egg replacer do you use? My son is allergic to milk and eggs and it is so hard to find recipes like this without them. I would love to make this for him. Thanks!

      • Robin — I use Ener-G egg replacer. I am not an expert in this arena by any means, so Mita, please chime in, but I have had success with this brand. It keeps for a long time in the freezer.

  20. I have made this several times, now, and it is a big hit every time. It is just a perfect showcase for fresh blueberries! The cake is tender and the nip of lemon is just right! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  21. Any advice for making adjustments for baking at high altitude? Thanks!

  22. Such a wonderfully delicious cake! Found on pintrest and absolutely love it! Made multiple times even more a breakfast pot luck at work :)

  23. OMGoodness! This cake is WONDERFUL! My 1st time zesting a lemon & it worked! Kudos to you for putting together just the right ingredients for the perfect dish…one my entire family loved. My husband honestly ate half the pan…no joke!

  24. This was absolutely delicious! Followed the recipe as it says(with help from my kids), came out wonderful. I did have to bake it a bit longer, almost 50-55 mins. Kiddos and hubby(does not care for breakfast) devoured it, will go in my recipes, thank you!

  25. Just made this – had hand-picked blackberries to use, so substitued those for the blueberries and then used almond extract instead of the lemon zest! YUMMMMMIE! Thank you!

  26. I just doubled this and made it into cupcakes and it is delicous. I didnt double it corretly, so I’m hoping that next time it will be even better, but the flavor is fantastic. I used frozen blueberries.

  27. I had blueberries and buttermilk that I needed to use. I searched pinterest and finally decided on this recipe. I am so glad I did. This is a fantastic recipe! So so moist and the generous amount of blueberries makes this over the top! Wonderful! I made sure I put this in my favorites. I does have to bake longer, an hour for me. But is so worth the wait.

  28. This was absolutely WONDERFUL!

    I had to change up the recipe because we do not eat dairy because my son is really allergic (different than lactose intolerance).

    I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread instead of butter. I used 6 ounces of Greek-Style Coconut Milk Yogurt and 2 ounces of coconut milk (not the full fat canned version, the refrigerated version which is thinner) in place of the buttermilk. The refrigerated version is mostly water-based so it doesn’t do well as a true dairy milk replacement in baking.

    The recipe came out delicious and is definitely a keeper. I personally like a little more lemon flavoring, so I think next time I will double the zest. :)

    • Summer — wonderful to hear all of this! So, was your version totally vegan? Or were there eggs? Wonderful substitutes to know about nonetheless. Thanks so much for sharing!

  29. I am making this for our church coffee and rolls. Can I make it the day before or do you not suggest that? Thanks for the recipe!

    • You can definitely make it the day before but it is best fresh. The batter can be made the night before, and then the cake can be baked off in the morning…not sure if you have time for that? If you don’t, I suggest baking the cake in the evening, letting it cool to room temp, wrapping in plastic wrap and storing at room temperature unit serving. Hope that helps!

  30. I made this today for breakfast and it is delicious! Definitely going into my permanent recipe rotation. Thanks for sharing!

  31. This is in the oven now and the batter alone smelt awesome. Just wondering if the berries can be substituted with strawberries? Cuz i have huge bags of frozen ones in the freezer.

  32. Do you think you can do this in a bunt pan???

  33. oh goodness, THANK YOU for sharing this! I just made it and it is THE best blueberry cake I have EVER had!!

  34. Has anyone tried to freeze this? Or do you think it would freeze okay? I was thinking about cutting and freezing in individual servings so I could just grab one out of the freezer for the kids before school. Any thoughts?

    • I have never tried freezing the cake, but several commenters have and had great success. The key seems to be to wrap it well, and to not freeze it for too long — I wouldn’t freeze it for more than 2 months or so.

  35. I have never left a review on a recipe before, but your blueberry breakfast cake might be the best thing I have ever baked! I was a little nervous about using the lemon zest since I have had a few bad past experiences with it, but it was wonderful! My husband loved it and said it tasted liked a treat from Starbucks and we ate the whole pan in a day. 2 days later I had to make more. So I just want to thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

  36. Made this today and it is delicious!

  37. Found your recipe via pinterest this morning, and gosh was this delicious! I replaced the lemon with almond extract, (due to lemon allergies) but left everything else the same. Super yummy, thanks!!!!!

  38. Someone mentioned thawing the frozen blueberries….would you recommend that or use frozen solid! I’ve made pies like this but I don’t want the blueberries to turn the batter blue……suggestions?

    • I suggest using the berries frozen. It’s easier, and there is much less risk of turning the batter blue. Just use the frozen as you would the fresh — toss them with a little bit of the flour (as instructed) — no need to thaw. Hope that helps!

  39. I was wondering how bad it would be if I used salted butter? If ok, should I reduce the amount of kosher salt? Thanks. Can’t wait to make it!!

    • Angela — so sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you — I was out of town for about a week. Personally, I don’t think salted butter would be bad to use at all. I rarely use it, but when I do, it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I would reduce the amount of salt by a quarter teaspoon at the very most.

  40. Just made these. The batter does appear to be rather thick. Am skeptical. I followed the directions to a “t” which is rare for me. I’ll comment once done! Am having company in the morning. Wish me luck!

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