Every year in late August, blueberries enter my house by buckets or boxes. This year was no exception, and I face the Gathering of the Bird season with 20 pounds of fresh, locally-grown blueberries in my refrigerator and freezer.
As usual, the fresh blueberries weren’t in the house one hour and I started making cake. The recipe I use has been in my family for decades. My mother made the cake for me and my siblings when I was a young girl. Where she got it and how long she had been making it before I arrived on the planet is anyone’s guess. The recipe could be 70 years old – Mom is 92. Or it may be older, a recipe made by my grandmother in the 1920s. Either way, this recipe makes excellent blueberry cake.
Nova Scotia Blueberry Cake
In a small bowl, mix together:
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
In a larger bowl, mix together:
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of cream (or 2% or whole milk)
SMALL INTO LARGE
In the small bowl that is now empty, put 1 1/4 cup of blueberries (fresh is best, but I use frozen when they are out-of-season) and sprinkle with a light dusting of flour. Toss the bowl around a bit to coat the berries with flour. This dusting prevents the blueberries from settling to the bottom of the batter in the first 10 minutes of baking.
Take these dusted blueberries and gently fold them into the cake batter. Don’t over mix or you’ll squish your blueberries. The cake will still taste good, but you’ll have blue blueberry cake instead of white blueberry cake.
PANS AND BAKING TIME
Scrape the batter into a well-greased pan. I use a 9-inch round pan, but a square will do the same job. I’ve also used 8-inch square pans. The only difference is the thickness and cooking times.
For a 9-inch round pan, my oven cooks the cake in 30 minutes. If I use an 8-inch pan, it takes 40 minutes. My oven cooks faster than the average, so you may need to add a few minutes to yours. Just check for doneness with a toothpick.
As with baking all cakes and cookies, set the oven on 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
As much as you want to cut into that cake, let it cool for 20 minutes before making the first cut.
A few in my family believe the recipe is made better by adding 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to the butter mixture. Personally, my taste buds can’t tell the difference.
Tip to Enhance Appearance
As they say, “Presentation is everything.” To enhance the appearance of this cake, once the batter is in the pan, take a handful of blueberries and spread them on top. Even if there were no blueberries inside the cake, this makes it appear as though it is jam-packed with them.
If you try the recipe, let me know if it tastes as good I think it still does.