Blueberry breakfast cake made with fresh blueberries and lemon zest and super moist from buttermilk. It's quick and easy!
We've had a busy summer already, and it's only half over. But it's all been the fun kind of busy so that makes it ok. We spent a weekend at Lake Blue Ridge at our friends' house. About 20 of us were there, and there was so much laughter my sides hurt the next day. We ate pork carnitas, roasted poblano cheese grits, the most amazing guacamole, cinnamon rolls and bagels with smoked salmon and capers. Along with banana pudding, cakes, chocolate chip cookies and lots of other goodies. We drank lots of wine. And lots of beer. And lots of water. And we were only there one night!
But what a day and a night! Even a one night getaway can provide the rejuvenating that you need when life is overwhelming. The peace of nature surrounded us, enveloping us in the warmth of God's love that is multiplied by the company of good friends. We took a sunset boat cruise, watching the huge orange ball slowly descend over the mountains, and finished with sparkling fireworks over the water. We woke the next morning to the soft, low sounds of spa music drifting through the kitchen and enjoyed our morning coffee on the back deck overlooking the lake. And then we spent the day frolicking in the cool lake water, while the temperatures around us soared to record-breaking heights. It seemed as though we were in our own little world, with memories and hilarious stories to carry us over the next few days.
The next week several of us girls went back to the same lake house, sans men, and enjoyed a few days of just girlfriends—a week that our hostess, Joan, calls Girls Gather from All Around. Joan has a group of friends who date back all the way to first grade and another group of her college friends, who all get together annually, along with some of us later-in-life friends. It's a grand time!
She is amazing and inspiring and we are blessed that she shares her joie de vivre with us!
Again, we ate. Too much. And we drank. A lot. And we laughed. All day. We had morning inspiration by Joan, with readings and thought-provoking talks. We prayed together. We laughed together. I cried because I got a letter at home from Casey that made me sad because I missed him so. There's no better place to cry than surrounded by 18 girlfriends. They'll fix you right up!
We enjoyed the spa music each morning, so much so that I've started that peaceful ambiance in my home each morning. Thanks, Joanie! Is there anything better than gathering with a bunch of girlfriends for a few days? No topic is off-limits or too risqué, no makeup is necessary, just plenty of wisdom, laughing and fun times. We were surrounded by the beauty of the lake and the mountains, by the sunset each evening, and by the inner beauty of each woman that comes with years of living, loving, and in some cases, losing. We lifted spirits, chased away doubts, learned new skills, encouraged each other and laughed with each other and at each other. Because we all take ourselves too seriously and nobody can get away with laughing at you like a true friend.
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Here's what we ate the night that Tracy and I were in charge of dinner: salmon with roasted jalapeño and cilantro pesto, marinated vegetables, Tracy's white salad and a chopped Caprese salad. For dessert, we had a strawberry cheesecake with chocolate ganache, but that's still a work in progress so no photos.
Joan has a great organization plan for the week in which she hosts multiple women coming and going on different days. Some stay for the whole week, some just for a day, some for two or three days. She sends an electronic invitation and asks for dinner captains for each night. Everyone brings something for breakfast and multiple salad type dishes for lunch. Everyone pitches in to help clean up and to get the house cleaned at the end of the week. So, while it certainly is labor intensive for Joan and I'm sure she's exhausted by the end of the week, everyone tries to help out as much as possible so there's not a complete burden on one person.
And, lest you think I was just teasing with the title of this post, here's the recipe for the blueberry breakfast cake that I contributed to Girls Gather 2012. It's slightly less sweet than most cakes, with a little tang from buttermilk and delicious, fresh blueberries!
Blueberry Breakfast Cake
Start by tossing 2 1/2 cups of blueberries with a tablespoon or so of flour. Set aside another 1/2 cup of blueberries with no flour.
Now just set those aside while you make the batter for blueberry breakfast cake. In a small bowl or on a sheet of parchment paper, sift together 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, with mixer at low-speed, cream 10 tablespoons unsalted butter with 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until creamy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape bowl frequently. Reduce speed to low and add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating a full minute after each addition. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. .
With mixer on low-speed, gradually add flour, alternating with 1 1/4 cup of buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape bowl occasionally with spatula and beat just until batter is smooth. Using spatula, gently fold in the floured blueberries.
Spread batter evenly into prepared 9x13 inch dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries evenly on top of the batter. At this point, if you want to add a streusel topping then you would sprinkle it over the batter. I don't usually add the streusel because I don't want more sugar and calories and I like the cake being less sweet.
Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack before serving. You could also add a lemon glaze over the top for a little extra oomph if you like. Just take a cup of confectioner's sugar and stir with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Enjoy this Blueberry Breakfast Cake at your next gathering!
- 3 cups blueberries, divided (2 1/2 plus 1/2)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter and lightly flour a 9x13 inch baking dish or metal baking pan. Toss 2 1/2 cups of blueberries with a tablespoon or so of flour.
- Set aside another 1/2 cup of blueberries with no flour.
- In a small bowl or on a sheet of parchment paper, sift together 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, cream 10 tablespoons unsalted butter with 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat until creamy, 3-4 minutes, scraping bowl frequently.
- Reduce speed to low and add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating a full minute after each addition. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.
- With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, alternating with 1 1/4 cup of buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Scrape bowl occasionally with spatula and beat just until batter is smooth. Using spatula, gently fold in the floured blueberries.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared 9x13 inch dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries evenly on top of the batter. If adding streusel topping, sprinkle over batter.
- Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan on wire rack before serving. If adding lemon glaze, drizzle on cake after cooling.
- In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and salt. Work in cold butter with fingers just until mixture is crumbly. Refrigerate topping while making cake.
- In small bowl, stir together 1 cup confectioner's sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
Adapted from Good Housekeeping's Blueberry-Buttermilk Coffee Cake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 16 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 357Saturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 4g