Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blueberry Loaf Cake

I watch an educational program called “Growing Up with Chinese.” A couple of weeks ago, I watched an episode where one of the characters, Lan Lan, had a birthday party. All of her classmates came and ate blueberry cake. I spent the rest of the episode thinking about blueberry cake and not Chinese. I have eaten cakes and muffins with blueberries daintily sprinkled throughout, but I wanted a cake where the batter itself was blueberry. A lemon blueberry yogurt cake recipe was the starting point for my blueberry loaf cake.

The cake ingredients are 1 pint blueberries, 1 ½ cups and 1 tablespoon flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, 1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, zest and juice of 1 lime, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and ½ cup vegetable oil. The ingredients for the crumb topping are 3 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ cup walnuts, ¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes, and 2 tablespoons butter.

I began by simmering the blueberries on medium heat for 15 minutes. As I mentioned, I didn’t want whole blueberries sprinkled about the cake, but I wanted a cake that was infused with blueberry flavor. I also wanted to have some of the moisture from the blueberries to evaporate. After simmering for 15 minutes, there was a cup of macerated blueberry goodness. I tragically did not take any pictures of this process.

While the blueberries were preparing for their debut, I combined the flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut flakes and whisked them together.  You my wonder why I used 1 1/2 cups and 1 tablespoon of  flour because that is a reasonable question.  The author of the lemon blueberry yogurt used a tablespoon of flour to coat her whole berries before stirring them into the batter.  I didn't realize the purpose of this random tablespoon of flour until after my cake had finished baking.

I then combined the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lime zest, lime juice, vanilla, and vegetable oil. I used a bowl that was much too small so I had to carefully whisked these ingredients together.

I added the thick blueberry sauce and liquid mixture into the flour. I combined all the ingredients and then poured the dough into a greased loaf pan. What pretty purple batter!

For the crumb toping, I mixed the cold butter, flour, and brown sugar with my hands. I then added the coconut flakes and nuts.

I sprinkled the crumbs onto the purple batter.
The cake baked for 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I have a glass loaf pan, and with this pan I always cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer then recipes suggest.
What a lovely color of purple! It kind of reminds me of taro. This cake is incredibly moist with a surprisingly subtle blueberry flavor. The coconut flakes give the cake a nice chewy texture. The walnut and coconut crumb topping is delightful. Having experienced Chinese cakes, I can honestly say this blueberry cake far surpasses the cake Lan Lan and her friends ate because my cake has twice the sugar and fat.

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