This luscious cake is tender and light, the berries are juicy and tart, and the whole shebang goes together in minutes.
I’ve had pudding cakes on my mind for quite a while now, so when I was leafing through old issues of Gourmet Magazine recently and saw the fabulous Blueberry Pudding Cake on the cover of the July 2005 issue, I knew the time had come. I had fresh blueberries and the other ingredients are kitchen staples.
Of course I tweaked the recipe a bit, adding a good hit of lime and a caramel note to the sauce. And then my blueberry sauce didn’t sink through the batter as the original recipe said it should, so I tweaked the procedure for the sauce as well. The result was a hit with all four tasters. The only grumbling I heard was over the lack of ice cream accompaniment. Next time, I’ll make sure to have that on hand.
Blueberry Pudding Cake recipes abound on the web. Some put the berries on the bottom of the baking dish and cover them with batter, while others (like this one) put the batter on the bottom and the berries on top. Some berry mixtures are simply blueberries and sugar, while others (like this one) are more of a whole blueberry sauce.
However, there is actually nothing pudding-like about this particular combo of tender, light cake and whole blueberry sauce. Unlike true pudding cakes, this cake does not separate into a cake and a pudding layer.
Instead, the sauce oozes its way into the cake during baking and then steam from the sauce helps produce an exceptionally moist and tender cake. If you are hankering for a true pudding cake, check out Parsley, Sage & Sweet: Magic Blueberry Coconut Lime Pudding (Custard) Cake.
Inspired by the Blueberry Pudding Cake on the cover of Gourmet Magazine July 2005.
Let’s be honest here, Blueberry Lime Pudding Cake isn’t going to win any beauty contests. It’s a homey, AKA homely, cake, but what it lacks in sophistication, it more than makes up for in flavor and soul satisfying appeal. The cake is tender and light, the berries are juicy and tart, and the whole shebang goes together in minutes. No creaming of butter and sugar for this simple cake. It’s easy on the cook, and your guests will love it.
Testing Note The original Gourmet recipe calls for cooking the blueberries in the syrup for 3 minutes. That reduces them to a sauce, which in my tests did not sink into the batter. I changed the process to make almost a caramel of the sauce, to which I then enrobed the blueberries. Because they were still whole when they went onto the batter (and thus heavier than the batter), they sank into it.
Make Ahead If you make the cake earlier in the day and let it cool completely at room temperature, you can simply rewarm it for a minute or so in the microwave.
Serving Note You can spoon or cut portions of the cake from the baking dish onto a serving plate, but it’s more attractive to scoop a few spoonfuls helter-skelter into a bowl, turning the browned portions to the top so they show here and there. Don’t be afraid of breaking the cake up; it’s supposed to look casual and homey.
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup water
finely grated zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 cups (10 ounces) fresh blueberries (in a pinch, frozen berries also work)
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour (4½ ounces)
½ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
premium vanilla ice cream
lightly sweetened whipped cream
- In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, lime zest, lime juice, and cornstarch. Whisk to completely dissolve the cornstarch. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer for 1 minute, just until mixture is reduced slightly and has the texture of a thin caramel sauce. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the blueberries to coat them with sauce. Reserve.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and whisk very briefly, just to combine. (Over mixing will toughen the cake.) Batter will be wet and lumpy; that’s perfect.
- Butter an 8- by 8-inch baking dish. Scoop batter into it and level it with a flexible spatula.
- Spoon blueberry mixture in clumps over the batter, leaving batter clear between the clumps and around the sides as much as possible.
- Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, until cake is set and golden brown around the edges. The sauce will be bubbling.
- Set cake on a wire rack and cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
More Fabulous Comfort Cakes from LunaCafe
- Blueberry Cobbler with Maple, Lemon & Sour Cream Cornmeal Biscuits
- Fresh Apricot Ginger Peasant Cake
- Lime & Vanilla Scented Rhubarb Clafouti
- Spiced Green Apple Lemon Clafouti
- Spiced Pumpkin Sour Cream Upside-Down Coffee Cake
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- Parsley, Sage & Sweet: Magic Blueberry Coconut Lime Pudding (Custard) Cake
- The Daily Dish: Blueberry Pudding Cake
- The Way We Ate: Blueberry Pudding Cake
Copyright 2013 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.