Coffee cake is one of my favorite indulgent breakfast treats, and over the years I’ve tried quite a few variations. None of them have been quite as decadent as this one though. Not that I’m complaining… It turns out something pretty fantastic happens when you add a cheesecake-like layer to your coffee cake and top it all with a sweet, summery blueberry sauce.
Who’d have guessed?
I don’t know if it’s just me, but the fruit this summer has been so amazing! I’ve been obsessed with peaches, cherries, strawberries and raspberries, stocking up on a ton of them each week when I go shopping. Mostly, I’ve been content to eat them as is, but there have been occasional baking projects too.
I usually do the most baking with blueberries, but they’ve taken a bit of a back seat this summer. I’ve actually had this coffee cake on my radar for a while, and though it can be made with frozen berries, I’m glad I got the chance to make it with summer’s best before it was too late. The recipe does have a few components so it will leave you with a sink full of dirty dishes, but it’s worth it. The coffee cake isn’t as sweet as you might expect, and the contrasting textures are really wonderful. It would be the perfect addition to a brunch menu, a definite crowd-pleaser!
Blueberry-Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
adapted from Sunset Magazine
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the blueberries and apple juice in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer the mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries release their juices. Stir the cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water together in a small bowl until incorporated, then add to the blueberry mixture. Stir, and continue simmering until the blueberry mixture thickens. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Mix on low to combine. Add the butter and continue mixing on low to cut the butter into the dry ingredients – the mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/3 cup of the mixture and set aside. To the remaining mixture, add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest and beat on low to incorporate.
In a large measuring cup, whisk the yogurt, vanilla and 1 of the eggs together until combined. Add to the mixer bowl and beat to combine, mixing just until incorporated (the batter will be thick). Transfer to the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Add the cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, the remaining egg, and the lemon juice to the bowl of the stand mixer (use the same one you used for the batter, no need to wash it). Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth. Pour over the batter in the pan, leaving about 1/2-inch border around the edges. Gently spread the cooled blueberry mixture over the cream cheese, leaving a small border at the edge. Stir the almonds into the reserved flour/butter/sugar mixture, then distribute it over the surface of the cake, concentrating most of it around the edges of the batter.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned, and the center just barely jiggles when the pan is gently shaken. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then remove the edges of the pan before cooling to room temperature.