21 July 2014

Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake

A coffee cake contains no coffee and does not require the company of a cup of coffee when being ingested. That shouldn't stop you from making it and eating it, though. Just make sure you have plenty of coffee available. Not because it requires it, just because coffee should always be readily available. Coffee is the best. Did I mention coffee? Coffee.

Where was I? Ah, right, the coffee cake: A simple, non-yeasted (although there are versions that contain yeast) cake that is quick to whip together and contains mostly ingredients you probably have in your fridge and pantry anyway. A great alternative to pancakes or whatever other breakfast foods you might be cooking on a Sunday morning, it can also be served as a snack with your afternoon coffee. Mmm, coffee.

This version has blueberries, but they could easily be replaced with any other kind of berry you like (raspberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries, or a mix).

Blueberry Coffee Cake

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
zest of one lemon
8 oz (about 2 cups) fresh blueberries


3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour

1. Start by heating the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl (or using a stand mixer with the flat beater), whip together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, milk, and lemon zest to the butter mixture and mix until combined.

5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix together swiftly. Make sure you don't over mix this - it's important not to start developing a lot of gluten. Some clumps of flour is perfectly fine.

6. Mix in the blueberries and pour the batter into the prepared pan, ensuring the top is smooth and level.

7. Melt the 3 tbsp of butter and pour into a small bowl. Add the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup flour and mix until crumbly.

8. Sprinkle the crumbled topping over the batter and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

9. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool at least 15 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the cake and remove the edge of the springform pan.

10. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in plastic wrap or foil at room temperature for up to three days. I like to reheat a slice of cake in the microwave for 15 seconds at ~50% power.

05 July 2014


It's the 4th of July, and what's more American than lemonade? Lemonade with vodka, of course! I posted a recipe for lemonade five years ago, and while it's still viable, I've made some changes and updated it a little bit. Living in Southern California now, local lemons are available more or less all year, and they make a drink like this even better!

Happy Independence Day, everyone!


1 1/2 cups freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 cups granulated sugar
8 cups water

1. Stir the sugar and one cup of the water together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has melted into the water, about 2 minutes.

2. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.

3. In a large pitcher, mix the remaining 7 cups of water with the syrup and lemon juice.

This lemonade will keep in the fridge for at least a month. Mix it with vodka or maybe some bourbon and some fresh mint leaves. You could always drink it plain on the rocks as well, but where's the fun in that?