I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I grew up on a raspberry farm - a real working raspberry farm. I think I know almost everything about growing berries and think I’ve cooked/baked everything possible with them. I love berry jams, jellies, muffins, cake, pies and cobblers.
As an adult, I’ve tried to grow different types of berries and have good luck with raspberries and strawberries and have made plenty of goodies with them. However, there is one berry that I my kids and I love, but do not have good luck growing in my city (Minneapolis, Minnesota).
I’ve done some research and learned blueberries need special growing conditions: a sunny spot, acidic and well-drained soil, and mild winter conditions. Sadly, my urban garden does not meet any of these requirements and I don’t know that there is much I can do to change the conditions of my garden and climate.
Since we can’t grow blueberries at home, my kids and I are always on the lookout for them when we are on vacation. I know there are wild blueberries in the woods near the border of Canada, where we often vacation, but we never seem to find them.
Last summer, our luck changed. We were on vacation on the Canadian border and were hiking in the woods. There were blueberry bushes everywhere and I could not understand why we hadn’t seen them in past years. The owners of the resort told us it was because the area was burned by wildfires a few years ago and now the blueberries were growing like crazy. The fire burned many of the trees and since the trees are gone, the blueberries have plenty of sun. I didn’t test the soil, but I’m guessing the acidity was right and it was well drained.
My kids and their friend Lulu picked blueberries for hours.
I asked them to pick enough to bake muffins when we got back to the resort, but most of them got eaten as they picked them. I don’t mind at all, eating the berries is the best part of picking them.
Luckily for me, since my kids ate all of our fresh blueberries, I found enough blueberries for my recipe, Blueberry Cake with Coconut Topping, at the supermarket. In many recipes, you can use frozen blueberries, but for this one I wanted fresh berries.
I washed my berries and set them aside.
First, heat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9- inch cake pan. I did not have a 9- inch pan, so I substituted a 8-inch pan.
Then combined the flour, baking powder and lemon zest in a small bowl and set the mixture aside.
Next, mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until it iscreamy. Then add the egg and continue beating until mixed.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter, sugar and egg mixture. I mixed this slowly until combined.
Gently stir in blueberries. It’s better to do this by hand than with a mixer. I don’t want the berries smashed.
Pour batter into pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and if you stick a toothpick into the center, it comes out clean.
Take the cake out of the oven and turn the temperature to Broil. Mix the topping ingredients: brown sugar, milk, butter, and coconut in a small bowl and pour the mixture on top of the cake.
Put the cake back in the oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes until the topping is bubbling. Remove from the oven.
While the cake is resting, make the whipped cream, or use aerosol whipped cream. To serve the cake, cut it into small squares and put a dollop of whipped cream on top, and maybe a few blueberries.
Hopefully when we go on vacation this year, the blueberries will be as abundant as last year and we can make this cake again. My kids loved this recipe, especially the blueberry and lemon flavors together. Maybe I can convince them to pick enough to bring some of them home, instead of eating them all!
Try Blueberry Cake with Coconut Topping for yourself, and let me know how you liked it.
Check back in a few days when Amanda will share her go-to dinner recipe.
Bridget is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.