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Monday, September 14, 2015

Anne's Blueberry Lemon Cake


The nights are getting colder and we've already had a night or two with light frost.  That means blueberry season is almost over.  Don has been diligently picking and our freezer is bulging at the seams with nature's free gift of blueberries. 

As Don picks, I freeze the berries so we'll have lots for the winter but I've also been using the fresh berries in muffins, pies and other desserts.  So far this year, though, I hadn't made a blueberry cake, which is odd as that's one of the first things I make. I have a recipe, I've been making for years but when we were at David's house during the Labour Day weekend, Anne had made her favourite Blueberry Cake a few days earlier and it looked good. Alas, there was only one piece left and I didn't get to taste it.  It looked nice and moist so I asked her for the recipe. 

I wasn't disappointed.  The cake is moist and packed with blueberries.  Anne mentioned that it would taste great with lemon so I added grated lemon peel and a little pure lemon extract for good measure.  I made the first cake (yes, I made two in one day) in a bundt pan and then I thought it would make a nice layer cake as well.  It turned out just marvelous as a layer cake, especially with a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.  The cake can also be baked in a 9x13-inch pan.

This is now my new favourite Blueberry Cake. Here are the directions for the layer cake but you can bake it in your favourite pan. 


Blueberry Lemon Cake
1 cup butter
1½ cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
Grated peel of 2 lemons, about 2 teaspoons
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 cups fresh blueberries or 2 cups frozen berries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or pan spray three 9-inch round cake pans.  Line with waxed or parchment paper for easy removal.  

In the bowl of your mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.  Add the lemon extract and grated lemon peel; mix to combine.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together.  With the beater on medium/low speed, add the flour in three portions to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.  Fold in the fresh blueberries.  If you are using frozen berries, the batter will have streaks of blue but this will not affect the cake and it is usually not very noticeable in the baked cake. 

Spread the batter into the prepared 9-inch round pans and bake the cakes for 30 minutes each or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean from the middle.  

Remove from oven when baked and let cool 10-15 minutes before removing from pans.  Cool cakes on a cooling rack.  Do not frost until completely cool.

Makes three 9-inch round cake layers.

The cake may also be baked in a 9x13-inch pan or tube or bundt pan.  Make sure the pan is well greased and floured for easy removal of the cake.

Bake 9x13-inch cake for 40 minutes.  Check the last few minutes to make sure the cake is not burning.

Bake tube or bundt cake 55-60 minutes.  Check the tube cake about 20 minutes before the expected baking time to make it is not burning.  If the cake looks as if it will be too brown when finished baking, lower the heat to 325 degrees to finish baking.

The bundt or tube cake can be served as is or with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a simple lemon glaze.  The layer cake can be frosted and filled with a plain Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, a Swiss Buttercream, or a Cream Cheese Frosting.   Or you can use the following Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting which was spoon-lickin' delicious!


Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting for Blueberry Lemon Cake
¾ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound icing sugar, about 4 cups approximately plus more if needed
½ teaspoon grated lemon peel
4 tablespoons lemon juice, approximately
Few drops lemon food colouring, optional

Beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.  Sift the icing sugar if it is lumpy.  Gradually add the powdered icing sugar a cup at a time.  If the mixture become too stiff start adding the lemon juice.  Beat in the lemon peel and the lemon juice.  Beat until very light and fluffy.  Add a few drops of yellow food colouring, if you wish.

If the frosting is too stiff add a few drops of lemon juice or water.  If the frosting is too thin beat in more icing sugar a tablespoon at a time.

Makes enough to fill and frost a three layer 9-inch round cake.  

 
Cream the butter and sugar until fuffy and light.  Then add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  You want a light and fluffy mixture.  Beat in the grated lemon peel and lemon extract.  Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and add alternately with the milk.

To alternately add flour and milk to a batter, start with one third of the flour.  Mix well and then add one half of the milk and mix well.  Continue with flour, milk and flour mixing well after each addition.  Turn your mixer to a low setting to mix.  You don't want a flour shower and you don't want to develop the gluten because that will make the cake tough.

When the cake batter has been mixed, fold in the blueberries.  Do this with a spatula or a spoon. These are the blueberries Don picked the day before.  If using frozen berries, do not thaw.  You won't need as many frozen berries as fresh but put in as many as you think the batter will hold.  

Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared 9-inch round pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.  When baked, cool thoroughly before frosting.  

While the cake is cooling, prepare the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.  Have the butter and cream cheese at room temperature. Beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the powdered icing sugar a cup at a time. If the icing becomes too stiff before all the sugar is added, pour in some of the lemon juice. Once all the sugar is mixed in, add the lemon peel and juice.  I added as much lemon juice as I could without making the frosting sloppy.  The frosting should be soft and billowy but firm enough to spread.  When all the ingredients have been added, beat everything until the frosting is light and creamy.  You can add a few drops of lemon food colouring if you wish.

When the cake is thoroughly cool place the bottom layer on the serving plate and frost. Repeat with middle layer.  I used just over half a cup of frosting between each layer.  Place the last cake layer on top and pile the remaining frosting on top.  Spread around the sides and over the top.  Decorate with additional fresh blueberries if desired.

Here's the first cake I made in a bundt pan.  It turned out beautiful.  I greased the pan well and then floured it.  After it cooled in the pan about 15 minutes it came out without any cake sticking to the sides.  I was quite happy about that.

Of course, I had to cut both cakes.  Delicious!
The bundt cake is great for anyone who doesn't like a sweet frosting.  I used a thin lemon glaze on the bundt but it would be delicious just as it is.

The layer cake is perfect for the sweet tooth.  

The last piece of layer cake.  
Good thing there's lots of bundt cake left. 

 

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