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Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake

April 18, 2013
by Shannon Hepburn

Turning on the on the oven offers the tiniest bit of comfort. This breakfast cake comes from Deb Perelman’s newly published cookbook Smitten Kitchen.  Her blog of the same name is a terrific site and worth a visit if you’ve never been.  I’ve only slightly adjusted the recipe by adding more lemon zest (because I like it) and subbing Butterworks Maple Yogurt for sour cream.  Deb offers specific instructions about the streusel topping and still mine turned out a bit dusty rather than streusel-y. I’m thinking next time I may skip the topping completely.  The cake is great all by itself.

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons table salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup yogurt
  • 2 cups blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
  • streusel topping
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350' and line bottom of an 8 inch square pan with parchment, then either batter and flour the bottom and sides, or coat them with a nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl, and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with sugar in large bowl until pale and fluffy, for at least 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions, then add the vanilla and zest. Add a third of flour mixture, all of yogurt, and another third of the flour, beating until just blended after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix the remaining third of the flour mixture with the blueberries. Fold the blueberry-flour mixture gently into the cake batter.
  3. Spread the cake batter in the prepared cake pan. Use your original dry ingredients bowl to combine the dry topping ingredients with a fork. Mash in the butter with your fork, fingertips, or a pastry blender. (Note, do not disregard the importance of this step, or you will spend 10 more minutes of baking time wondering why the streusal layer will not turn golden brown and many attempts later figure out why.. it’s this step)
  4. Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and the tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on rack for 5 minutes. Run the spatula around the edges of the cake to loosen it, then flip out onto a cooling rack.