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blueberry lemon cake of great happiness

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By Jen White · August 21, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Meet my favorite blueberry cake.  It's got a great texture thanks to chopped almonds scattered throughout, it's not overly sweet, and it's really easy to make--you don't even need a mixer.  If you like blueberry muffins in the morning, this cake makes a great substitution, but it can also be tonight's dessert thanks to its pretty sugar-sprinkled top.  And I'll go ahead and tell you that it works beautifully with vanilla ice cream, although you probably already guessed that.

I first met this cake ten years ago, in an issue of Cooking Light.  Over the past decade, I've made it many times, altering flavorings a bit, augmenting the amount of butter, trying different additions (the original calls for pecans and orange zest).  I've completely forgotten about it for long stretches, maybe even going three years without the slightest thought of it--but when I remember it, I'm so happy.  This cake makes me happy.  It is the cake of great happiness.

blueberry lemon cake of great happiness

  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds (I buy sliced almonds and chop those)
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350.  If you have a 9" springform pan to use, grease it and dust the insides with flour.  If you don't have a springform, use a regular 9" round cake pan, and grease and flour it, then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. Place melted butter in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time.  Stir in buttermilk, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, vanilla, almond extract, and baking soda, mixing well.  Switch to a spoon and stir in the flour just until combined.  Fold in blueberries and almonds, then pour or spoon batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (If you used frozen blueberries, it may take a little longer and the cake will be juicier.)  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove outer ring of springform (or invert cakepan to remove cake).  Sift powdered sugar over the top while it's still warm, so some of the sugar can soak in.
  4. Happiness.


makes 8 happy wedges

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