It’s my mama’s birthday today! I celebrated with her in spirit by making a birthday cake that I know she’d love, even though we are too far apart to enjoy it together.
My mom has always preferred fruit desserts to the more decadent options, so I made her a blueberry cake – emphasis on the blueberries (I used six cups!). The blueberry filling bubbles up and thickens as the cake bakes, making a sauce and cake in one – the defining characteristic of a pudding cake.
I even made sure to use wild blueberries – the kind that grow in New Brunswick, where I grew up and where my mama still lives. They’re teeny tiny and unbelievably flavourful. And blue the whole way through! A far cry from the much less sweet, grape-sized (ok, slight exaggeration) high bush blueberries we get on the West coast that are green (GREEN!) inside.
Unfortunately around here we can only buy them frozen. But that’s ok, they’re still delicious!
You can make this cake with fresh or frozen berries – but if you do go with frozen, you’ll need to bake a bit longer and cover the cake with foil about halfway through as it browns quickly. To tell if it’s done, stick a toothpick in the centre and wiggle it around a bit under the crust of the cake to see if there is still wet batter in there. It will look done to the naked eye before it is actually done – don’t under-bake it.
The filling will also start to bubble out around the edges of the topping when it is ready. For that reason, I strongly recommend you bake it (or any sticky, bubbly fruit dessert) on top of an old baking sheet, to avoid a mess (or even a fire) in your oven.
Happy Birthday, mama! Love you!
- 6 cups blueberries
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 1-1/2 quart baking dish and place on top of rimmed baking sheet.
To make filling, toss blueberries with 3/4 cup sugar and corn starch; transfer to baking dish.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a standing mixer on medium speed, beat butter with remaining 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each and pausing occasionally to scrape down sides of mixer bowl. Beat in cream cheese and vanilla extract.
Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk; repeat, ending with the final third of flour mixture. Scrape batter over blueberry filling, spreading to edges with a spatula.
Bake 45-55 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean and the filling starts to bubble out. Check on the cake frequently and cover with foil if it is getting too brown.