Make Ahead

Brooke Dojny's Blueberry Snack Cake with Toasted Pecan Topping

June 18, 2021
18 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This cake is a study in textures. It has just enough cornmeal to give it structure and a yellow tint, without weighing down the batter. It bakes up lofty and tender, with a crackly sheen on top dotted with pecans. Adapted very slightly from The New England Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, 1999) —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup
    1 tablespoon sugar, divided use

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole or lowfat milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Using an electric mixer or a food processor, cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest and process or beat until smooth. Spoon the flour mixture into the processor or bowl and pulse or beat just until the flour is incorporated. If the batter is in a food processor, transfer it to a large bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the blueberries over the batter and gently fold them in, just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle with the nuts and then with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  5. Bake until the nuts are deep brown and a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. (The cake can be wrapped well and stored at cool room temperature for 1 day or frozen.)
  6. Cut into squares or wedges in the pan to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • caroberts77
  • Änneken
  • Theresa
  • Bluejade
  • Dianecpa
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

37 Reviews

Christine's C. September 13, 2021
I love Brooke's recipes. Her New England Cookbook is one of my most used cookbooks of all time. This recipe is really delicious!
WillowBrookCooks September 4, 2021
Very nice cake. Couldn't really be easier. The corn meal and the lemon zest distinguish it. I made it with very plump blueberries so I didn't use the full amount and think it would be delicious with other fruit too. Definitely a keeper recipe for use throughout the year.
Supgirl September 13, 2020
I used the scale weights from the book. I doubled the recipe for a 9×13 pan. My coworkers loved it. Both pans were eayen quickly. Rave reviews. This one is a keeper.
caroberts77 September 25, 2019
Made this for a co-worker's birthday the other day. Recipe was really easy, loved the cornmeal. I used the Genius Recipes book version of the recipe, which had the weights listed alongside the cup measurements. It called for 300 grams of blueberries, I stopped at 200 because it started to seem like an overwhelming amount of berries. Like, not enough other ingredients to bind everything together. I also used turbinado sugar for the topping, really nice crunch. I baked it in an 8" round cake tin and used parchment strips to get it out later. Baked it about 10 minutes longer than stated above, but it really could have used at least another 5-10 on top of that. The very center of the cake was not all the way done. Not dangerously underdone, but texturally, it needed some more time. Will definitely make this again.
Linda D. February 25, 2019
Yum! Thank you!
Änneken August 10, 2018 favorite nuts and berries in one luscious easy cake. Awesome recipe! I brought the cake to work and co-workers came running into my office when I told them what I had made. Huge success!
cindy September 7, 2015
This Will be my go-to for blueberry coffee cake. LOVED it! Dusted the blueberries with flour. Will try with other fruits next time.
Kerry G. July 20, 2015
This one is a keeper. I added finely chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup brown 3/4 white in batter, and used demerara sugar on top. also increased zest to 1 tsp. I think it would be lovely with chopped crystallized ginger.
Theresa May 16, 2015
Very nice...baked this substituting some frozen local apples I still had in the freezer from last fall instead of the blueberries. No other changes.My husband and I had a piece still warm from the oven. Delicious, with nice crumb and just enough sweetness. Will make this again with other seasonal fruit and berries. Oh...and we are at 7,300 ft. , no issues with sinking cake with this recipe.
Bluejade August 22, 2014
I like this cake a lot and have made it several times. Dusting the blueberries with flour before putting into the batter helps a lot. My husband is not so crazy about the cornmeal so I am going to sift it beforehand. But I like the crunchiness. It tastes better with the pecans on top but it can be made without. Maybe granola put into a blender would be good as a topping too.
Laura July 19, 2014
This was delicious -- light, with a crisp topping and great blueberry flavor. And it was so easy and quick to make! All of my blueberries sunk to the bottom, which I'm not sure I mind, but next time I might try dusting them with flour and making sure they are towards the top when I put the batter in the pan. I will definitely make this again!
Raisa B. July 18, 2014
This cake is so good!
LG July 14, 2014
This cake was awesome and very simple to make I split the sugar half brown and half white. I plan to make it again with blueberries and peaches.
Dianecpa September 8, 2013
I just made this for the third time and I used Italian plums! Quartered and pressed into the top, then sprinkled with pecans and sugar.....delicious!
Bluejade July 25, 2013
A great recipe for fresh or frozen blueberries. Dusting the berries with flour is a good Idea, as suggested in comments. I like the lemon aspect of the cake more than the cornmeal.
Barb W. July 10, 2013
This came out so yummy- I can not believe how wonderful- I subbed in black walnuts on the top. It was worth heating up my kitchen for ...and in todays temperature that is saying alot!!!
Lisa21012 June 5, 2013
Any ideas about how this could be veganized?
Jacquie C. July 28, 2013
I'd try 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (in place of the eggs), 1/3 cup solid coconut oil (in place of the butter) and almond milk (in place of the dairy milk). I haven't tried it so I can't guarantee anything, but that would be my first attempt!
bluejeangourmet May 28, 2013
we are just getting the first of lovely Texas blueberries and my fridge is full of them--can't wait to make this!
Fran M. April 21, 2013
I made this in Sept using frozen wild blueberries, it came out great. My girlfriend's 3 sons gave it a 3 thumbs up. Her husband also enjoyed it. I loved it.Thank you for sharing.
SSSV January 6, 2013
Any tips for making this at high altitude (5900 ft)?
LeeLeeBee January 24, 2013
I made it several times at 5300 feet with no changes.