Blueberry breakfast cake: comfort me with berries...

blueberry breakfast cake

Custard pie. Noodle kugel. Rice pudding. Hot milk cake.

What do all of these foods have in common?

Comfort, right? While perhaps not at the top of your culinary Hit Parade, they’re easy to eat. Plus, they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Comfort food is, perhaps, best characterized by what it’s NOT:

Assertively flavored. Crusty. Blazing hot, nor icy cold.

Fusion.

A good comfort food is plain and simple. It soothes, rather than provokes.

A bite of comfort food sliiiiiiiides down your throat without effort, and feels good in your tummy.

Think macaroni and cheese – not goat-cheese-stuffed pumpkin ravioli in a pistachio and caramelized onion infusion.

Awhile ago, my mom asked me if I’d ever heard of a baked blueberry cake that was made with ricotta cheese and served for breakfast. She’d baked it, loved it, and lost the recipe. Could I find it?

Well, I happened to remember the cake; Mom made it for me once. It was almost baby-food-like in its smooth, soft texture, and unassertive, vaguely vanilla-cinnamon flavor. It definitely went down easy.

So I was happy to aid in the recovery effort.

MUCH Googling resulted in some “close but no cigar” cakes; nothing was exactly as I remembered.

But heck, isn’t that what I do here at King Arthur, make up recipes? I took a little of this one, some of that one, a tip from a third, and cobbled together the following Blueberry Breakfast Cake.

If you’re expecting trumpets to sound in a triumphal salute to cutting-edge cuisine when you take a bite of this… forget about it. Your  response is less likely “WOW!” than “Ahhhh….”

And that’s OK. There’s a time and place for those brand-spanking-new Jimmy Choo stiletto heels… as well as for your 20-year-old slippers.

When you’re in the mood for slippers, slip into a piece of this cake.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan; it should be at least 2″ deep.

Combine 3 large eggs and a heaping 1/2 cup sugar in a mixing bowl, beating until smooth.

Add the following:

6 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta
1 cup sour cream (low-fat is fine)

Beat until well combined.

Whisk in the following:

3/4 cup (3 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

And here’s a great secret ingredient, beloved by professional bakers: Buttery Sweet Dough flavor.

While it’s optional, 1/2 teaspoon adds wonderful buttery, vanilla-y flavor.

If you don’t have it, substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. And/or a couple of teaspoons of grated lemon rind, or 1/8 teaspoon or so of lemon oil.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Scatter 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, atop the batter.

Like this.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

The batter will rise a lot; it’s important you use an 8″ pan that’s at least 2″ deep. If yours is shallower, substitute a 9″ round pan.

Remove the cake from the oven; it’ll sink. That’s OK.

Also, you’ll notice many of the blueberries have migrated to the center of the pan. Servings from the center will be packed with blueberries, while those around the edge will be more vanilla-cinnamon cake, fewer berries. All good.

Sprinkle the top heavily with cinnamon-sugar, if desired.

I think the cinnamon-sugar adds a nice touch.

Let the cake rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, to firm.

Cut the cake in wedges. Dust each serving with a bit more cinnamon-sugar.

Or use a biscuit cutter to cut elegant-looking rounds. Hey, comfort food is still comforting, even in fancy dress!

Refrigerate any leftovers; reheat individual servings briefly in the microwave.

You know, those individual servings you sneak out of the fridge at 10:30 p.m. because you had a rough day and you just need a little bit(e) of comfort…

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Blueberry Breakfast Cake.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. samanthajanderson

    Do you have to use blueberries or do any berries work?

    I haven’t tried any other berries, but I suspect others would work. Raspberries or strawberries might tend to get too soggy, that would be the only thing I’d worry about… The cake is already very moist, and any extra berry juice might make it pretty messy. What did you have in mind? PJH

    Reply
  2. flybynite

    Oh My Goodness! Blueberries are my absolute favorite, and coffee cakes runs a real close second. This looks wonderful and will be my first bake this weekend. Thanks You!!!!

    Reply
  3. JuliaJ

    Is the batter thick enough so it won’t ooze out of the removable bottoms of your bite-size cheesecake pan? (Or maybe I’ll just try a muffin tin to make individual little cakes…)

    Julia, looking at the thickness of the batter in the blog photos – I don’t know, what do you think? I don’t think it would ooze, but I’d certainly put the cheesecake pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet, just in case. Great idea, by the way… PJH

    Reply
    1. Janice Kessler

      I’m giving this whirl in a springform (I think mine is 9in) and after 25 minutes of bake time it’s still doing well. I still have quite a bit of time to go, but so far…no ooozing.

      I added Fiori di Scicilia and some lemon peel. It smells amazing. I really can’t wait to try it. I’m dividing the the cake into four quarters, giving three quarter piece to my various neighbors and saving one quarter for me and my husband (and he’ll only have a little piece, so it’s mostly just for me).

  4. skeptic7

    Would this work with whole wheat flour? It seems more like a cheese cake than a coffee cake.

    Haven’t tried it with whole wheat; I’m thinking it might be too dense. It’s somewhere between cheesecake and soufflé, I’d say; not nearly as dense as cheesecake, but not as light as a soufflé, either. PJH

    Reply
  5. Gertilda

    This looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try it. I’d like to make it portable, for a road trip coming up that starts in the early morning. Do you think this recipe would work if I baked it in small canning jars for individual car-friendly servings?

    You’d cut the baking time back, for sure… but I think it would work. Reheat when you get there, it’s better warm. Good luck! PJH

    Reply
  6. "food grrrl"

    good morning. this looks terrific. wondering if you could brown the butter first and leave out that artificially flavored gunk. also, is the cinnamon-sugar you sprinkled on top the only added cinnamon (didn’t see it in recipe)? thanks.
    The Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor is buttery with hints of vanilla and citrus. Browning the butter will impart a nuttier taste. I think that sounds very good, actually! There is no other cinnamon in the recipe other than the topping. Let us know how it goes! Elisabeth

    Reply
  7. ann

    Could I use cream cheese instead of ricotta or cottage cheese?? If so how would I substitute it, how much would I use?? Thanks. This recipe looks amazing and yummy.
    I believe this substitution would make the cake too heavy and dense. The texture would be changed. If you try it, let us know how it goes. Elisabeth

    Reply
  8. carol

    Your canning jars should work fine.

    If you wanted to make them small, couldn’t you just use custard cups? I bake all kinds of things in them. I have collected them over the years in all shapes and sizes. I started using them for apple cake because it was just two of us at home and the reheating of the whole cake was not working, and reheating portions wasn’t either. One day- inspiration struck! I pulled out the custard cups, spread them on my half sheet pan (covered with parchment), sprayed with your non-stick spray. They were perfect!

    And I just watch the tops as I bake.
    I think that would be a fabulous idea, Carol. Decrease the bake time for sure. Check just after 20-35 minutes. Continue baking if necessary until tester comes out clean. Elisabeth

    Reply
  9. littlechef

    Can you use yogurt? ??
    In stead of sour cream or cottage cheese
    Thank you

    littlechef

    Yes, you can – I’d suggest full-fat or low-fat, though, rather than nonfat. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  10. ericrx

    So what was your Mom’s verdict after trying it? :)

    She hasn’t tried it yet! I may have to go down to Florida myself and make it for her… PJH

    Reply
  11. cartvl219

    Hmmmm! Last time I got my hair cut, my stylist was telling me about something his mother made. (He’s a North Carolinian, born and raised.) She called it Sweet Potato Pudding Bread. He has no written recipe and as a boy didn’t pay that much attention to the making of things but he remembers fondly the crispy edges. It was baked in a large shallow rimmed pan, probably like a jelly roll pan. After talking to his sister, he tried to make it – without much success.
    I did a web search using his name for it and also tried Sweet Potato Strata. No luck. I wonder if this could be made using cooked diced sweet potato and flavoring with vanilla or maybe the Buttery Sweet Dough flavoring.

    I think that it is certainly worth a try. If you do add diced sweet potatoes, you may need to increase the pan size to a 9″ X 13″. Give it a try. Frank @ KAF.

    I don’t think this is what he’s looking for; it won’t develop crisp edges, and it’s not bread pudding. How about something like this simple bread pudding recipe, substituting cooked, cubed sweet potato for the dried fruit? PJH

    Reply
  12. ebmozo

    I’m going to try this for breakfast this weekend! I was thinking of adding a cinnamon streusel topping over the berries so it will be a contrast of soft, juicy and crunchy. As a dessert, it is certainly comforting but as breakfast, it could be called over-the-top fancy (I mean, as opposed to the daily oatmeal that the folks back home are used to!). Thanks a lot for the recipe, KAF never disappoints!

    Beware too much topping; this delicate cake is already prone to sinking in the center, due to its load of fruit. Perhaps sprinkle the topping on with maybe 10 minutes left in the baking time? That might work… Good luck! PJH

    Reply
  13. anna mid-maine

    Baked for 55 min. in 9-inch pan, used frozen blueberries, yogurt in place of sour cream, no cinnamon-sugar topping…enough sugar in it already. Quite tasty, a bit sweet, may try reducing the sugar a bit next time. Added to breakfast menu rotation, no more difficult than baked oatmeal.

    Reply
  14. bgwilson

    PJ, what is hot milk cake? Tell us more!

    It’s an old-fashioned type of cake made with hot milk – milk you heat on the stove with butter till the butter melts, then you add it to the rest of the ingredients. It makes a cross between a regular yellow cake and sponge cake. Lazy Daisy Cake is a good example of hot milk cake; it’s one of the first cakes I ever baked myself – and I LOVE it to this day… PJH

    Reply
  15. katiekt

    I have this cake in the oven right now, and a 9-inch round pan is almost not big enough. The cake is rising above the edges of the pan, and I have placed a baking sheet underneath to catch any spills; but I think the pan will contain the cake. Hope so. I have baked the cake for 21 minutes one way and 21 minutes turned halfway around, and the edges are almost firm, with the center still fairly soupy. I am trying 12 more minutes, or 54 minutes all together. Stay tuned …

    Reply
  16. cupcake360

    I used Greek yogurt in place of the ricotta and sour cream, and used frozen cranberries tossed with 2 tbsp sugar. I did no used an additional cinnamon sugar topping. It was delicious! It almost had a cheesecake-like taste and texture. The cranberries stayed put and did not settle out in the middle.

    Reply
  17. Stephanie

    I’m sitting here eating a piece right now. I made it today using ricotta and homemade Mexican Vanilla. Moist, almost sponge-like. I used a square pan since I didn’t have the required round and had to bake it 55 minutes. Delicious!!!

    Reply
  18. Holly

    Made this yesterday for dessert. Baked it in a 9″ spring form pan with parchment in the bottom.When quite cool I put it on a cake plate, served at room temp, not really warm, with a choice of whiipped cream or ice cream. Delicious. Voted the best blueberry dessert yet!

    Reply
  19. adawnd69

    This recipe is very simple to put together and tasted delicious! It also doubled well into a 13×9 glass dish. Do not cover with foil tightly while still warm. We had to transport to coffee hour at church and covered over with foil to keep it warm, but that was a mistake! It got a little rubbery and the cinnamon sugar crunch was lost. But it was still tasty!

    Reply
  20. zeebee

    i like the idea above to make this in individual custard cups. how full do you recommend i fill those? i think i have 8oz ramekins.
    A good rule of thumb is to fill your pans no more than half full to allow for rising room. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  21. robinwaban

    PJ – I grew up on Lazy Daisy cake. Love, love, love it. However, we never put coconut on top. I really miss those days and wish the people I shared it with were still around.

    Reply
  22. Deb V.

    Hi. I love this!!! I have made it five times already. It’s hubby’s new fave dessert. The first time I made it as is. I have also subbed sour cream for low-fat Greek yogurt and another time with cream cheese. All amazing! Good warm, room-temp, and chilled the next day. I will try it with homemade cranberry sauce and orange extract when the weather cools down a bit. Thanks for sharing all the great recipes. :-)

    Reply
  23. Jacque

    I was wondering if I could substitute Hi maize flour blend for the 3/4 cup flour to make this higher in fiber? Also, could you use fat free cottage cheese or does it need to be lowfat? Thanks so much for these blogs!!! I enjoy all of the different twists that people try for any given recipe. Thanks again!
    Yes, you sure could sub in the hi maize flour blend for the all purpose flour. Yes, to the fat free cottage cheese also. We are so pleased you enjoy the blogs. Elisabeth

    Reply
  24. Saverio

    I have been eying this recipe for a long time now – I made it yesterday – already, there is no more left – I have tons of fresh blueberries left – I did however add in 1 tablespoon of lemon zest – I have to make another one now….great recipe

    So glad you enjoyed this. It’s creamy and comforting, isn’t it? You’d best freeze some of those wonderful fresh blueberries, so you can enjoy this again about 6 months from now! PJH

    Reply

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