My life has been chaotic for the last six months and now that the dust has started to settle I’m trying to get myself back on track. One of the ways I see myself doing that is trying to post more often on my blog. I missed not doing my regular posts but dealing with health care issues was so much more important. Now I am trying to put one foot in front of the other in an attempt to establish my new normal and begin to incorporate some of the things that brought joy into my life before everything started. This blog is certainly one what to do that.
I made this recipe the other day and posted some pictures on Instagram and Facebook and got so many comments about sharing the recipe that I felt compelled to blog it faster than I thought I would. I made this recipe mainly because I had a ton of blueberries that I needed to use (Lord only knows why I bought so many) and I also had several bars of cream cheese.
I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised at the outcome. What I liked the best about this coffee cake is the addition of the cream cheese layer. It provides a nice moistness to the cake and really kicks the cake over the top. So let’s talk blueberry cream cheese coffee cake…
Lesson Learned 1 – This cake requires you to be organized: This cake has 3 separate processes, that being making the cream cheese filling, making the cake batter and making the streusel topping. It requires a little more equipment to get the coffee cake put together. I recommend you use a separate hand mixer and bowl to make the cream cheese filling. Then I recommend making the streusel topping so you are ready to top the cake once you’ve assembled the layers. Use your stand mixer to make the cake batter. Try to measure everything out for all three processes before you begin. That way the processes will run smoothly. It really isn’t a hard cake to make. It just has a few more steps than most.
Lesson Learned 2 – The cake batter is thick: This batter creates a nicely dense cake that is balanced out by the cream cheese layer. But a dense batter can be a challenge to spread around when it comes time to put it in a pan. I’ve learned over time that when you work with a dense batter it’s better to drop it in the pan in spoonfuls all around the pan. That way when it comes time to spread the layer most of the batter is already in place and you can spread the batter around more easily.
Lesson Learned 3 – Vanilla bean paste versus vanilla extract: When I’m making a recipe where I want to really kick up the vanilla flavor I use vanilla bean paste. The paste has a syrup-like consistency and it measures out the same way as vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste is richer and more flavorful. It is also much more expensive. But if you can afford it I highly recommend using it. But only use it for special recipes. Using it in things like cookies doesn’t really make a difference. But using it in something like this recipe or a creme brulee really enhances the flavor of the dish.
Lesson Learned 4 – Arranging the blueberries in the layers: This cake requires two blueberry layers, one on top of the cake batter layer and one on top of the cream cheese layer. When putting in both layers be careful to not let any of the blueberries touch the sides of your spring form pan. If you do you’ll find it difficult to clean the sides of the pan after baking. If you don’t you can still clean the sides of your pan, it’s just a little more difficult even though the pan has been greased.
Lesson Learned 5 – Depending upon your oven, you may have to cook the cake longer than the allotted time: Now as you know I live in high altitude so everything tends to have to cook for longer periods of time and/or higher temperatures. This recipe calls for the cake to cook for 45 minutes. I had to cook mine for 1 hour. Just keep an eye on it after 45 minutes and you should be fine.
Lesson Learned 6 – Someone asked me if you could substitute raspberries for blueberries: I don’t see why not. Raspberries tend to cook just like blueberries. They release their juices in a similar way. So try it with raspberries. I bet it will be delicious.
And that’s it. I guarantee you will love this cake. Try it and let me know what you think…
Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake...
Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (you can substitute vanilla extract)
1 1/4 cup blueberries, divided
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
5 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 Tbs. butter, very cold and cut into chunks
Preheat your oven for 350. Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of pan. Set the pan aside.
Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until creamy. Add egg white and mix just until combined. Set aside.
For the streusel topping combine sugar, flour and chilled butter in a bowl. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly and and the crumbles are pea sized. Set aside.
For the cake batter, stir together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg, egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly combine the two mixtures beginning with part of the flour mixture alternating it with the sour cream mixture, then the flour mixture followed by the sour cream mixture finishing with the flour mixture. Take a spoon and transfer this batter in spoonfuls around the base of the pan. Smooth the batter around the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of blueberries over the batter. Spread the cream cheese filling on top of the blueberries (drop in spoonfuls just like the cake batter and spread) and top with the remaining blueberries. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the blueberries. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top starts browning too quickly cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Put the pan on a cooling rack and run a knife around the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes and then loosen the ring of the spring form pan. Remove the ring and let the cake continue to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in remaining cake in the refrigerator.