Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake…

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…

Cake Layer

First Layer Of Blueberries

Cream Cheese Layer

Second Layer of Blueberries

Cake With Streusel Topping

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake...

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

Cream Cheese Filling:

1/4 sugar

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

Coffee Cake:

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

1 egg yolk

3/4 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla bean paste

Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

3 Tbs. butter, very cold and cut into chunks

DIRECTIONS:

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 and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly mix in the flour mixture alternating it with the cream cheese finishing with the flour mixture. Take a spoon and transfer the 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.

 

 

 

Blueberry Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake…

I needed something quick and easy that would use the blueberries I recently purchased. How about a coffee cake? I looked through various recipes in search of what I could adapt and found one that used ingredients I already had in the house. As with most baking recipes, I had to adapt the ingredients for high altitude (and I will include that in the recipe) but I also decided to add a cinnamon streusel topping to the coffee cake, and I can tell you that was the best accompaniment to the recipe. This coffee cake takes no time to put together and judging by how it was devoured when I took it to work, it’s a great way to have something homemade, sweet and delicious without a lot of fuss.

Here are my lessons learned when making this:

The correct consistency of the batter...

The correct consistency of the batter…

Lesson Learned 1 – Don’t be afraid to trust your gut: As I mentioned earlier, I adapted this from a recipe I found in a Taste Of Home magazine. I new I would have to adapt the recipe for high altitude, but I also think there may have been a misprint in the recipe as it did not, in my estimation, include enough milk. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of milk. When I added that, along with the butter and egg mixture, the batter was still very dry and even slightly powdery. I knew that wasn’t right. So I began adding more milk and testing the consistency of the batter. I suggest at sea level you start with 3/4 cup of milk and check the consistency of the batter. You can always add a little more but you can’t take it away.

Because I added 4 additional tablespoons of flour (2 for each cup, a standard high altitude adjustment) I knew I might have to add a little more milk. As it was I had to double the amount of milk (I used 1 cup) and that shouldn’t be the case. So I am writing the recipe with the suggestion of using 3/4 – 1 cup of milk. As you can see the cake turned out beautifully, but would not have if I didn’t make the adjustment and trust my gut. So don’t be afraid to adjust the milk if you think the batter doesn’t look right.

IMG_5071

The butter, sugar and egg mixture…

Lesson Learned 2 – The egg, milk and butter mixture will look lumpy, and that’s ok: I am including a picture of what the egg, milk and butter mixture looks like before you add it to the dry ingredients. It looks lumpy and that’s the butter. Don’t let that bother you. It is supposed to look that way. If you don’t want to drag out your hand mixer, you can actually combine all of these ingredients at one time by hand using a whisk, which is what I did. Just make sure the butter is at room temperature before you combine all of them. It won’t work if the butter is not soft. If you choose to use a hand mixer, beat the butter and egg together first and then add the milk. Either process will work.

The consistency of the streusel

The consistency of the streusel…

Lesson Learned 3 – Making a streusel: I’ve always struggled with making a streusel. Most recipes say to either use a pastry cutter and cut the cold butter into the flour, or use two knives and do the same thing. I’ve never mastered it with knives and it seemed that every time I used the pastry cutter the butter would just stick to the blades. What I learned this time is, with patience, (what a concept) the pastry cutter actually works. The first few times I had to scrape the butter off the blades, but after a short while the butter became more incorporated into the flour and soon I was cutting the butter into the flour and got the desired pea-sized consistency necessary for a good streusel. So be patient. It actually works.

If you want something sweet that is quick and easy to make this is the recipe for you. Enjoy!

Blueberry Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS: 

2 cups flour (plus 4 Tbs. for high altitude)

3/4 cup sugar (2/3 cup for high altitude)

2 Tbs. baking powder (1 Tbs. for high altitude)

1/4 tsp. salt

1 extra large or jumbo egg, room temperature

3/4 – 1 cup milk (start with smaller amount and add more if needed)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2/3 cup fresh blueberries (if using frozen add to batter frozen)

2/3 cup pecans, chopped

Vegetable shortening to grease the pan

1/2 tsp. flour for dusting the blueberries (if using fresh blueberries)

CINNAMON STREUSEL TOPPING:

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbs. ground cinnamon

1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan with shortening. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Slowly add small portions of additional milk to the batter if the the consistency of the batter appears too dry.

Dust the fresh blueberries with a small amount of flour and stir until the berries are slightly coated. Fold the blueberries and pecans into the batter. Spread batter into the prepared pan.

For the streusel, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon into a bowl. Cube the cold butter and cut it into the flour/sugar mixture until the mixture reaches a pea-sized consistency. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter.

Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least one half hour. Cut and serve.

Coming out of the oven...

Coming out of the oven…

Blueberry Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake...

Blueberry Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake…

Servings suggestion: With a dollop of whipped cream dusted with cinnamon sugar...

Servings suggestion: With a dollop of whipped cream dusted with cinnamon sugar…