Soft, sweet, packed with blueberries and covered by a blanket of streusel topping, this melt-in-your-mouth blueberry coffee cake is the best way to enjoy cake for breakfast. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Blueberry Breakfast Cake
Remember when brunch get-togethers were a thing? Holiday breakfast gatherings with extended family? Potlucks? Actually leaving the house? This blueberry coffee cake was my go-to for occasions like this for years.
Guaranteed to impress and to bring people back for seconds, it always received rave reviews and recipe requests. I’m looking forward to having an occasion to bake it again sometime soon, but until then Zach just has to indulge me (or sometimes reign me in) as I insist on blueberry coffee cake for breakfast every few days.
It may sound humble at first (how glamorous is coffee cake, anyway?), but with its juicy blueberry spangled interior, its soft, plush, melt-in-your-mouth crumb, and the thick blanket of crumbly, buttery streusel topping. It joins the ranks of other crowd pleasers like my French toast casserole, blueberry muffins, and sticky buns. Don’t wait for a special occasion to make it, though, I’m sure you can find an excuse to whip up a pan. And then make sure you let me know what you think of it!
What You Need to Make Blueberry Coffee Cake
This recipe is pretty straightforward with (mostly) basic ingredients, but let’s touch on a few of them before we begin.
- Corn starch. Corn starch is a versatile ingredient that I use in so many of my recipes for different reasons. Here, it provides a soft, plush, melt-in-your mouth crumb.
- Cream cheese. This is my secret weapon for blueberry coffee cake! It encourages a dense, tight crumb (the batter is very thick and heavy) and adds softness, moisture, and a subtly tangy flavor the complements the blueberries like nothing else.
- Buttermilk. The buttermilk is not here to react with baking soda (we’re not using any!) or any other acidic ingredient, not in this instance. Instead, it’s a thicker and more flavorful liquid that adds a subtle tang and moisture to the cake. If you don’t have it you can substitute regular milk (whole or 2%) but keep in mind the cake may not be as moist.
- The streusel ingredients pictured above on the left are also fairly common (butter, sugar flour, salt), but I do things a bit differently than you may be used to. More on that below.
This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Blueberry Coffee Cake
The cake is simple and can be made with either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer.
- Cream together butter, cream cheese and sugars then beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
- Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, corn starch, baking powder, salt) then alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the batter, stirring until completely combined.
- Carefully stir in blueberries.
- Spread into greased 13×9 baking pan.
Tip: While it’s not impossible to over-mix this cake, it’s much more difficult to do so with this recipe than it is with many of my other cakes (like my vanilla cake). It’s actually more likely you’ll accidentally under-mix, so make sure your butter and cream cheese are well creamed and your flour is thoroughly incorporated!
How to Make Streusel for Coffee Cake
I make my streusel the easy way, no pastry cutter or ice cold butter required. It’s simple and I think it has a better, more buttery taste than classic streusel…
- First combine flour, sugars, and just a pinch of salt.
- Add melted butter (make sure it’s not too hot!)
- Use a fork to toss the ingredients together until all of the flour/sugar mixture is moistened. Don’t overdo it! It should be clumpy! Over-mixing yields a paste-like streusel.
- Use your hands to crumble/scatter over the blueberry cake.
Once everything’s assembled, all that’s left to do is bake your blueberry coffee cake.
Tip: I typically bake this cake in a metal pan. You may use a glass pan instead, but keep in mind it will most likely take longer to bake.
Frequently Asked Questions
My coffee cake is infused with cinnamon flavor. It also uses more brown sugar and vanilla (both of which I reduced in this recipe as I thought they bullied the fresh, vibrant flavor of the blueberries too much and I wanted flavors that complemented them instead). This recipe was designed so that the blueberries really shine! I also use a touch more cornstarch to help absorb some of the excess moisture from the berries.
This cake also takes a bit more time to bake, thanks to the added bulk from the berries.
Yes! Do not thaw them. Keep in mind some frozen blueberries (particularly those labeled “wild”) tend to bleed in the batter. It won’t affect the tase but it will give you some pretty lavender swirls in the cake.
Yes, most berries (blackberries, raspberries) or even cherries would work well here. You can even use strawberries, but I would recommend quartering them first and the cake won’t keep quite as long.
Yes you can, but keep in mind the baking time will be reduced (I’d start checking at 40 minutes). Another option is to sprinkle the surface of the cake with granulated sugar for a sweet, low-maintenance topping.
I usually don’t add a glaze to my blueberry coffee cake because it’s perfectly fine without it. However, if you’re craving a pretty white drizzle, just use the simple glaze in my classic coffee cake recipe (no changes needed).
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Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
Blueberry Coffee Cake
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened (113g)
- 8 oz cream cheese softened (226g) (use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese)
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar (250g)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar tightly packed (50g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (335g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk ¹ (120ml)
- 2 ¼ cup blueberries² (330g)
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and lightly grease and flour a 13×9 baking pan.⁴
- Combine butter, cream cheese, and sugars and use an electric mixer (or a stand mixer) to cream together ingredients until well-combined, light, and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat on medium-low speed until combined, pausing to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.
- Add about ¼ of the flour mixture and stir on low speed until just combined. Add about ⅓ of the buttermilk and stir until combined. Continue to alternate adding flour and buttermilk until all are added and mixture is completely combined.
- Use a spoon or spatula to stir in the blueberries.
- Spread batter into prepared pan (batter will be thick) and prepare streusel, if using.
- To make streusel, whisk together flour, sugars, and salt. Drizzle in melted butter and use a fork to stir/toss together until mixture is clumpy but combined (all the butter should be absorbed). Do not use butter that is too hot and do not over-mix or the mixture will be like a paste! It should be clumpy and crumbly.
- Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter.
- Bake on 350F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center yields moist crumbs or no crumbs.
- Allow to cool before cutting and serving.
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My blueberry coffee cake was originally published on October 26 2015. Photos have been updated, a video has been added, and the recipe has been modified to be more clear, to include metric measurements, and to use a more classic streusel topping.