Some days I'm so glad I did all that work during the summer months to stash goodies while they were in season so I can eat them when they are not. Yesterday was one of those days. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, all I can think about is pumpkin, apples, stuffing, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and squash, all while wearing my wool socks, slippers, and two sweaters...it's just kind of nice to have a somewhat summery diversion right about now.
So, instead of making an apple cranberry coffee cake, I decided to make a blueberry one. And it was great because yesterday was one of the few recent days where the sun was shining and 49 degrees (F) felt positively balmy. Not quite summer, but it tasted like it, and that counts.
As with all my desserts, there is no processed sugar in this coffee cake (or is it a buckle? I'm not really sure, to be honest). I used raw honey to sweeten both the cake and the topping. The thing to remember when using natural sweeteners, especially honey, is that after it is baked into something, that something needs to rest so the honey can do its sweetening thing. That means this: don't eat this cake warm right out of the oven because it won't be very sweet just then. Wait at least 30 minutes or until it has cooled completely. Or better yet, make it in the evening and wait to eat it until breakfast the next day. It's even better topped with vanilla spiked Greek yogurt or whipped cream.
For those of you just beginning to cook, or are just learning how to manipulate recipes, this coffee cake is a basic alteration of a classic coffee cake recipe. Feel free to use it as a base, but alter the fruits and flavorings. For instance, for an apple coffee cake, simply replace the blueberries with the same amount of finely diced apples, swap the raw honey for pure maple syrup, replace the almonds with pecans or walnuts, use vanilla extract instead of almond, and add a little cinnamon to the batter. Or, you could also use cranberries or raspberries instead of blueberries, and orange zest instead of lemon. It's pretty much fool proof; you'd have to try really hard to mess it up. For as much as I love trying new recipes, I often come back to this one (with variations) when I'm looking for an easy, healthy coffee cake to just whip up without having to think too terribly hard about it, and I know it'll always turn out just right.
Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake
- 1/2 c sliced or chopped raw almonds
- 2 Tbs raw honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1 c unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tsp grated lemon peel (preferably from an organic lemon)
- 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder (such as Rumford)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 c raw honey
- 1/4 c butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp pure almond extract (such as Simply Organic Almond Extract)
- 2 c fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 375F. Oil and flour a 9 inch baking pan.
In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flours, lemon peel, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and honey until smooth.
Blend in the egg, buttermilk, and almond extract until just mixed.
Pour the honey and buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Mix well.
Gently fold in the blueberries.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Sprinkle the almond topping evenly over the batter.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool. Serve topped with whipped cream or vanilla yogurt.