recipe: old-fashioned blueberry coffee cake

September 11, 2012


The other weekend we had friends come over to our new apartment before a beach day. Since they were only stopping by for a little bit, I thought it would be good to make a coffee cake. I’ve always loved my Mom’s coffee cake best, but it’s good to mix it up every once in a while and try something new. I was intrigued with this recipe because it used a couple of interesting baking ingredients, panko bread crumbs and cornmeal. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome!

Old-Fashioned Blueberry Coffee Cake from Bon Appetit Sept. 2012 {print here}
makes 8-12 servings


Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) blueberries (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • Special equipment:

    An 8x8x2-inch metal pan


Crumb Topping

  • Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in nuts. Add butter; using your fingertips, work butter into dry ingredients until large, moist crumbs begin to form. Set topping aside. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with parchment paper; set aside. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat 3/4 cup sugar and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until mixture is pale and fluffy, 3–4 minutes longer.
  • With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients to bowl in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Pour half of batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Whisk remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly over batter in pan. Spoon remaining batter over; smooth top.
  • Toss blueberries with panko in a small bowl; scatter evenly over batter. Sprinkle crumb topping over blueberries.
  • Bake cake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55–65 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.


This recipe is probably best made the day before because it does have a long baking time, and you’re supposed to let it cool completely before eating. If you want to eat the coffee cake at 8am I’d make it the evening before, but if you’re planning on it for late brunch you’ll probably be fine! I loved the soft, cakey texture, the rich flavor of the fresh blueberries and the nutty and sweet crumb topping. Coffee cakes are always a win in my book!
If you try this recipe let me know what you think!
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