Blueberry cake

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I had one of my bigger disasters when I first made this cake, about three years ago. First, in my naiveté, I made the cake with frozen blueberries. This is a bad idea because the colour bleeds from the blueberries as they melt, so you end up with a blueish tinted cake that does not look too appetising; it tastes fine, though. Second, I made the full recipe and put it in a pan that I thought would be appropriately sized. However, the cake rises quite a bit—no surprise, considering the amount of baking powder—so as it cooked, it started to leak out of the pan like volcano lava. Cake all over the oven, cleaning is a pain. But I learned from my mistakes, and now this is one of my favourite cakes—both to make and to eat. I look forward to making it in the spring as soon as the price of fresh blueberries falls from infinity to something reasonable.

Because the cake calls for baking powder, and not baking soda, you can replace the sour cream with the same amount of yogurt. This is quite convenient for me, as I always have some yogurt in the fridge, along with all the other standard cake ingredients that this cake calls for.

The recipe is from the cookbook entitled “The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook,” a wonderful cookbook with cakes that are… ahem… not too healthy, but super tasty. The only thing I always change in any of the recipes of this cookbook is to reduce the amount of sugar.


For the cake

175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120g caster sugar
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder (one pack)
140ml soured cream or yogurt
125g fresh blueberries, plus extra to decorate
cream cheese frosting (see below)
icing sugar, to decorate

For the cream cheese frosting

150g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and dust with flour a 25-cm ring mould.
2. Put the butter and sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, flour and baking powder until well mixed. Add the soured cream or yogurt and mix well until everything is combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Gently stir in the blueberries by hand until evenly dispersed.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared ring mould and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the mould before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

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5. When the cake is cold, put it on a serving plate, cover the top and sides with the cream cheese frosting and decorate with more blueberries. Dust with a light sprinkling of icing sugar.

For the cream cheese frosting:
1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
2. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

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