This Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake has a soft crumb, melt-in-your-mouth almond streusel topping and juicy bursts of blueberry tang.
If there was one cookbook that defined my childhood, it would be Jean Paré’s Muffins & More.
The tattered, brown cookbook covered with old-fashioned photos and the bespectacled face of Ms. Paré herself was a mainstay in my childhood kitchen, the go-to cookbook for my mom’s baking exploits.
For those who’ve never seen this cookbook, and the rest in the Company’s Coming series, they’re pretty much what you’d expect from a white Canadian lady cooking in the 80s: nothing ‘out there,’ just plain jane homebaked creations. They’re the types of recipes a grandma would go crazy for.
Today’s recipe, Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake, is a slightly altered take on one of the most popular baked goods my mom made when I was a child, and still does up to this day.
My mom’s coffee cake was a sure sign company was indeed coming, or, we were going to visit family friends. This wasn’t an everyday food, but a treat. Covered in confectioners’ sugar drizzle, it was a dessert.
If I was lucky, I’d be offered the old Pyrex bowl and wooden spoon to lick up the remaining batter, always with a sprinkle of the brown sugar topping of course. As an early riser just like my mom, I was usually the recipient of the bowl as she whipped up the recipe on a sunny Sunday morning. My brother, the night owl, rarely got the bowl, much to my childish pleasure.
For my Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake, I added some much-needed vanilla and almond extract as well as slivered almonds and a good amount of frozen Quebec blueberries. But that sweet and brown sugary crumb topping and familiar confectioners’ sugar drizzle stays the same.
When I make the recipe, there are no little ones running around clambering for the bowl. The cats don’t care. The boyfriend doesn’t enjoy dough or batter (I know, right?). More for me.
So I sit down with a good book, a wooden spoon in my hand, and enjoy.
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Total Cost = $4.34 (Budget breakdown below recipe)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup milk*
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 and ¼ cup frozen blueberries
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup salted butter, softened
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. blanched slivered almonds
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar
- A few drops of milk, enough to work it into a pourable paste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 8 x 11 inch casserole dish or cake pan with cooking spray; set aside. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Add vegetable oil, milk, and both extracts and combine well.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just barely moistened. Add in frozen blueberries and gently stir until combined and the batter is moistened. (Do NOT overmix.) Pour into prepared baking pan.
- In a small bowl, mix all the topping ingredients except for the almonds, using your hands to really combine the butter with the other ingredients. Once everything is cohesive, sprinkle evenly in small chunks over the top of the batter. Scatter almonds on top. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Let cake in its pan cool completely on a cooling rack.
- While cake is cooling, combine confectioners' sugar and a few drops of milk in a small bowl. Keep adding drops of milk and stirring until the mixture resembles a thick, pourable paste.
- Once cake has cooled, use a spoon or a piping bag to pipe drizzle on top of the cake. Let set, then cut into pieces.
Adapted from Jean Paré’s Muffins & More cookbook.
2 cups all-purpose flour = $0.36
1/2 cup granulated sugar = $0.20
1 tbsp. baking powder = $0.24
1/2 tsp. salt = $0.01
2 large eggs = $0.30
1/4 cup vegetable oil = $0.08
3/4 cup milk = $0.48
1 tsp. vanilla extract = $0.07
1 tsp. almond extract = $0.08
1 and 1/4 cup frozen blueberries = $2.00
1/3 cup all-purpose flour = $0.06
1/3 cup brown sugar = $0.09
1/4 cup salted butter = $0.18
1 tsp. cinnamon = $0.07
2 tbsp. blanched slivered almonds = $0.50
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar = $0.25
Why it’s Cheap
As one of the ol’ standbys in baking, a coffee cake such as this one is made of ingredients you’re likely to have in your house. And if you do need to go to the store? We only use 2 tablespoons of the more pricey ingredients such as slivered almonds, which you can pick up from a bulk bin.
Make it More Budget-Friendly
Swap unsalted butter for salted if you have it around, and feel free to use any type of milk in the recipe. As well, you can leave out the almond extract if you’re not a big fan of almond flavouring.
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