Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Blueberry Muffin Cake (AKA "Trouble Cake")

Not “trouble” because it’s difficult or laborious to make, but “trouble” in that this cake is SO good, it’s dangerous to have around!

This recipe comes from the terrific pastry chef, David Lebovitz, who adapted it from a wonderful baker, Zoe Fran├žois. And now I give it to you. 

I had just frozen an extra pint of blueberries when I felt the urge for cake come over me (this happens quite often!). I had saved this recipe back in April & when I realized I had ALL the ingredients in-house, I knew I had to make it. 

It has all the qualities of the best blueberry muffin you ever tasted: an obscene amount of blueberries, a tender crumb, cinnamon, and walnuts. David adds cornmeal to the batter which gives it a nutty texture that I love. 

You’ll see in the notes a few suggestions from David about serving it (whipped cream, etc), but I don’t think it needs anything. The cake stands alone.

After it came out of the oven and cooled, I cut myself a generous “test” slice, and at the first forkful, uttered the words “OMG, this is trouble!” 

As this is blueberry season, I encourage you to make this cake now. You will not regret it.

Happy Baking!

Blueberry Muffin Cake



1 C (130g) AP flour

1 C (200g) sugar

1/2 C (60g) almond flour

1/4 C (40g) cornmeal, or whole wheat (or AP)

1 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

10 TB (5oz, 140g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temp

2 large eggs, room temp

1/2 C (125ml) whole milk, at room temp (I used half-n-half since I did not have whole milk)

1 t vanilla extract

Zest of one lemon

2 C (330g) fresh blueberries (if using frozen, see note)


1/2 C (60g) chopped walnuts or pecans (untoasted)

 3 TB sugar

1/2 t ground cinnamon

Pinch kosher or sea salt

2 TB (1 oz, 30g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Butter an 8” round cake pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper about 16” round. Smear it with softened butter, then line the inside of the pan with it, buttered side up, so it covers the bottom and up to the sides of the pan, which you’ll use later to help lift it out of the pan*. Press the paper up against the sides to flatten and smooth away any wrinkles.
  3. To make the cake, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix on medium speed until the butter is in small pieces, about the size of peas. Add the eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon zest, and mix just until the batter is smooth but avoid overmixing and overbeating it. (The batter can also be made in a food processor by mixing all the above ingredients together until smooth.)
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Cover the top with blueberries and use a butter knife to swirl the batter and blueberries together very slightly, just enough to distribute the blueberries and embed them a bit in the batter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  5. While the cake is baking, make the topping by mixing the chopped nuts, cinnamon, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle the topping over the cake, place the pieces of butter in various places over the top of the cake, and bake until the cake feels just set in the center. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean, about 15-20 minutes. (The original recipe said 25 minutes but I found it baked faster so the time will vary.)
  6. Let the cake cool completely in the pan, then remove it to serve.
  7. Serve the cake on its own, or with plain or slightly sweetened yogurt, ice cream, or whipped cream.

Notes: If using frozen berries, don’t defrost them before baking but use them frozen. Tossing them with 1 TB flour before strewing them over the top will help keep them from being overly generous with their juices, and also keeps them from sinking to the bottom.

*I used round parchment from Kana, which has built-in cake lifters (very convenient).

See handy parchment lifters?

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