In our family, you can never have too many blueberry recipes. My husband and my daughters are big fans of anything filled with their juicy sweetness. One of my favorite breakfast treats is this Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake Recipe with Crumb Topping.
This blueberry buttermilk breakfast cake is a delightful and flavorful baked treat that combines the sweetness of blueberries with a tender, buttery cake base and a crunchy, crumbly streusel topping.
Whether enjoyed as a breakfast indulgence or a delightful afternoon snack with a cup of coffee, this easy coffee cake is a delightful combination of fruity sweetness, comforting flavors, and a delightful crunch.
Why is Buttermilk Important in This Recipe?
Buttermilk serves several purposes in this tender blueberry coffee cake.
- It provides moisture to the batter, resulting in a moist and tender coffee cake. The acidity in buttermilk helps break down the gluten in the flour, leading to a more tender crumb texture.
- Buttermilk has a tangy and slightly acidic taste that adds a pleasant and subtle tang to the coffee cake. It enhances the overall flavor profile and helps balance the sweetness of the cake.
- Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which reacts with baking soda and baking powder in this easy recipe, creating carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles help the cake rise and give it a lighter texture.
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make a substitute by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and let it sit for a few minutes to curdle. Although it won't be as thick as store-bought buttermilk, this homemade buttermilk substitute can be used in coffee cake recipes with similar results.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Juicy Blueberries - The blueberries provide a natural sweetness that balances with the overall taste of the cake and offer a delightful pop of flavor in every bite.
- Crunchy Cinnamon Streusel - It's a combination of butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. It forms a crumbly and slightly crunchy layer on top of the cake, adding an enticing contrast of textures, and is truly irresistible.
- Great for Breakfast or Dessert - is there ever really an incorrect time to serve a blueberry coffee cake? Trust me - nobody will be complaining when you serve this irresistible cake.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Kosher Salt
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Unsalted Butter
- Large Eggs
- Vanilla Extract
- Ground Cinnamon
- Fresh Blueberries
*For specific ingredient amounts, please scroll down to the recipe card.
- Frozen blueberries - Swap out the fresh blueberries for frozen ones, but don't thaw them. It will make the coffee cake soggy.
- Sour Cream - Use one cup in place of one cup buttermilk. However, sour cream is thicker. Thin the batter with a little milk if needed.
Step 1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour a 9"x13" pan.
Step 2. Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
Step 3. Beat sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Step 4. Beat in eggs 1 at a time until just combined. Stir in vanilla.
Step 5. Beat in flour mixture and milk alternately, in about 3 additions, until combined.
Step 6. Fold in blueberries. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
Step 7. For the streusel topping, combine flour, sugars, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over top of the batter.
Step 8: Bake 45-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the top is golden brown.
Step 9: Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Storage and Freezing
Wrap the coffee cake tightly with plastic wrap, place it in an airtight container, and store it at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freeze the coffee cake by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and placing it in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature.
For easier serving and thawing if frozen, cut the cake into individual slices before wrapping it in plastic and placing them into a freezer storage bag.
To enjoy the coffee cake at its best, reheat individual slices in the microwave or oven before serving. This helps to restore the cake's texture and enhances its flavors.
Don't have buttermilk on hand? You can easily make your own at home. Just combine 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and add enough regular milk until it measures 2 cups. Stir to combine, and then let it sit for 10 minutes until thickened.
A note about baking - For this recipe, I baked it in a ceramic baking dish. If you bake this blueberry crumb cake in a metal pan or glass pan, you may need to adjust your bake time. Start checking the cake for doneness at the 45-minute mark.
Although very similar, buckles are characterized by a cake with any fruit. Whereas coffee cakes are any cakes that are intended to be served with coffee. Blueberry Buckle has a denser texture compared to coffee cake. It is often made with thicker batter that incorporates blueberries throughout, but tend to sink to the bottom during baking, creating a jammy layer at the base of the cake. The fruit in a coffee cake is suspended throughout when the cake is baked. The other major difference is that coffee cake is usually topped with a streusel mixture. Buckle recipes sometimes have a topping, but it isn't a component of the traditional recipe.
Although many recipes for coffee cake include a glaze made from powdered sugar, they don't get a traditional frosting spread over the top, like a regular cake does.
It's personal preference, but I suggest serving this cake at room temperature or slightly cooled out of the oven. Pop individual pieces into the microwave and heat for 10-20 seconds until warmed if needed.
Either! It is perfectly acceptable to serve the cake for breakfast or brunch. In addition, it makes a great snack to satisfy that craving for something sweet and can also be served as a dessert.
There are two main reasons your coffee cake may be dry. The first is overbaking. Rely on visual cues such as a golden-brown top and a toothpick inserted into the center, coming out with a few moist crumbs (not wet batter). The second is measuring ingredients incorrectly. Add too much flour and not enough liquid, the cake will be dry and crumbly. Make sure to spoon and level your flour instead of scooping it, which can cause an excess amount.
If the coffee cake is sinking in the middle, there are two reasons that are most common. The first is that the cake is underbaked. If the cake is not baked long enough, it may not set properly, causing the center to sink. Make sure to follow the recommended baking time in the recipe and perform the toothpick test to check for doneness.
The second is that the pan may be too small. This coffee cake recipe makes a generous amount of batter and it bakes up TALL. We used a deep 9"x13" baking dish. If you have a dish handy that's even slightly larger, we would recommend that as well. Start checking for doneness at the 45 minute mark if you are using a larger pan.
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Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake Recipe with Crumble Topping
- Large Mixing Bowl
- hand mixer
- 9"x13" pan
- Pastry blender (optional)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups blueberries
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar packed
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour a 9"x13" pan.
- Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Beat sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined. Stir in vanilla.
- Beat in flour mixture and milk alternately, in about 3 additions, until combined.
- Fold in blueberries. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
- For the streusel topping, combine flour, sugars, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over top of the batter.
- Bake 45-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, and the top is golden brown.
- Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.