Blueberry Boy Bait

When I first heard the charming title of this dessert in Cook’s Illustrated, I knew I had to try it. My husband and I love simple desserts. Even though we enjoy making something elaborate once in a while, there is something so comforting about a scrumptious coffee cake with a burst of blueberries in every bite. Blueberry muffins are one of my favorites, and this tender and moist coffee cake is just as wonderful.

The original recipe was first introduced in a 1954 Pillsbury Bake-Off in the junior division. Renny Powell, a teenager from Chicago, was 15 years old at the time and named it Blueberry Boy Bait because it was such a useful tool to attract boys:). Cook’s Illustrated adapted the original recipe by substituting butter for shortening and increasing the amount of blueberries.

And even though we all know that food is only part of the key to a man’s heart, it’s nice to be able to show some loving care by taking a warm blueberry coffee cake out of the oven to enjoy together with the drink of your choice, in my husband’s case, a nice glass of milk. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 inch baking pan with baking spray.

Whisk 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and brown and white sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low until incorporated. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the batter, mix until combined. Add half the milk. Follow by half of the remaining flour, mixing each time. Add the rest of the milk, mix and add the rest of the dry ingredients.

Alternating adding the dry ingredients with the milk will make the texture of the coffee cake light and fluffy with an even crumb throughout.

In a separate bowl, toss 1/2 a cup of blueberries with a teaspoon of flour.

When the blueberries are coated in flour, the flour absorbs some of the liquid that’s released by the fruit. This prevents the blueberries from leaking purple juice all over the batter and turning it all into a purple mass and also from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

Gently fold the blueberries into the batter using a rubber spatula. 

Transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly.
Sprinkle another 1 cup of blueberries on top of the cake. Mix 2 teaspoons of sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the cake.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.

Blueberry Boy Bait
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour, + 1 teaspoon
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar, + 2 Tablespoons for topping
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, for topping, optional
  • 1½ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with baking spray.
  2. Whisk 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and brown and white sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low until incorporated.
  5. Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the batter, mix until combined. Add half the milk. Follow by half of the remaining flour, mixing each time. Add the rest of the milk, mix and add the rest of the dry ingredients.
  6. In a separate bowl, toss ½ a cup of blueberries with a teaspoon of flour.
  7. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter using a rubber spatula.
  8. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle another 1 cup of blueberries on top of the cake.
  9. Mix 2 teaspoons of sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the cake. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

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