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Ginger’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

Hi everyone, and greeting from my home kitchen! I wanted to share a recipe with you which, for my family, is a definite comfort food. I have made this cake using so many variations on the ingredients that I thought it would be the perfect recipe to share, because we are certainly all having to get creative in both the kitchen and our lives right now! Feel free to use different combinations of flours, different fruits, different extracts, or even throw in a handful of nuts.

Ginger's blueberry cake
Photo: Katia Dermott

But before we begin, I’d like to give a shout out to all of our local farms keeping their farm stands open! I had the good fortune to help my husband make a delivery of Thirty Acre Farm sauerkraut to The Milkhouse Farm & Dairy in Monmouth last weekend. While I was there, I bought a gallon of yogurt, fresh milk, chicken and duck eggs, as well as an assortment of frozen beef and pork. You can always call your local farmers to ask if they are open and what their hours are. Most farmers’ markets have websites listing names and contacts of their vendors, as well.

Now. Onto our recipe (this is a great project to do with your kids, too, by the way—I had the assistance of my 11 year-old daughter, Nina, and my oldest daughter, Katia, who is an art student at MECA in Portland…she’s the one behind the camera).

Be sure to read all the way through for suggestions on substitutions and variations. This cake is also a great way to get creative and use up the bottom of a bag of walnuts in your pantry, or some frozen blackberries you might have hanging around from last summer.

A final note: I would love to hear how your adventure in creating this cake went and any suggestions you may have! You can email me at gdermott@mainegardens.org.

Ginger’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

  • Makes one 9 by 13 cake
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks of butter cubed at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar plus 2T reserved to sprinkle on batter before baking
  • 1 ½ t kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 4T canola oil
  • 3T maple syrup
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 2 ¼ t baking powder
  • ¾ t baking soda
  • 1 ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  1. Method:
    Begin by preheating your oven to 350 and positioning a rack to the center position. Grease a glass baking dish or use a 10” round cake pan (Note: cooking time may vary if using metal or different size pan).
  2. Cream your butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until very creamy and well combined, 3-5 minutes. Scrape your bowl and paddle down with a spatula.

    cracking eggs

    Photo: Katia Dermott

  3. Crack your eggs into a small bowl and add them to the creamed sugar and butter mixture. Mix on medium until well combined, light and fluffy, scraping twice in the process, about 4 minutes. (You can use one duck egg in place of two chicken eggs, if you have them).
  4. Pour oil and maple syrup into the mixing bowl and mix on medium until well combined, scraping once in the process. You can use any vegetable oil in place of canola here, which will change the overall flavor of your cake, but it is still delicious! I have used safflower, olive, and rice bran oil before with success. Also in place of maple syrup, you can use honey…even better if you have a jar of honey in your pantry from our CMBG apiary!

    CMBG honey

    Photo: Katia Dermott

  5. Next, you can mix in the vanilla to your batter. I am all out of vanilla extract in my pantry, but I did have some vanilla beans soaking in vodka that a friend had brought me from Madagascar years ago. I scraped three vanilla beans by slicing them open lengthwise along one side to create a “boat,” being careful to not slice all the way through. I then used a spoon to scrape from one end to the other. This yielded about ½ teaspoon of paste, which is about the equivalent of 1T of extract. Another option would be to use about ¼- ½ teaspoon of almond extract in place of the vanilla which, if using almond flour, will add a nice flavor.
  6. In a separate bowl, hand-whisk together the dry ingredients. Because one of my daughters is gluten-free, we used King Arthur Gluten-Free Baking Mix) as an all-purpose flour substitute, which is our absolute favorite substitute for just about any recipe. We do like to use almond flour as well, but you can substitute cornmeal, buckwheat flour, or whole wheat flour for this ¾ cup portion in the recipe.

    Photo: Katia Dermott

  7. Measure out 1 ½ cups yogurt (we used The Milkhouse Farm & Dairy) into a small bowl. You can also substitute or combine a mixture of yogurt with sour cream, crème fraiche, mascarpone, or ricotta (our favorite is Latkins Gorges basket ricotta, which you can currently buy at the farm store in Waldoboro, ME, or order online).
  8. Spoon the dry ingredient mixture into your mixing bowl, add the yogurt, and mix until just combined. Remove mixing bowl and gently fold to combine with a spatula. At this point, if you want to, add a handful (roughly ½ cup) of chopped nuts, fold to combine. Scoop into prepared baking dish, smoothing to fill the dish. Distribute your fresh or frozen fruit over the batter. We used frozen blueberries here, but you can use any fruit. We have used peaches or chopped apples and added a little cinnamon to the batter for a variation. Or try blackberries and add ground ginger to the batter. Feel free either to fold fruit in or spread evenly over the top of batter and sprinkle with remaining sugar before baking.
  9. Bake your cake for 55 minutes, or until the center springs back, or toothpick comes out clean. Because of the yogurt, this is a moist cake—be careful not to over-bake.

    \completed cake
    Photo: Katia Dermott

    ~Ginger Dermott, Manager of Food Services