Blueberry Loaf Cake with Almond Streusel

blueberry loaf cake with almond streusel

So I think I might have solved the whole Monday blues thing and…it involves this blueberry loaf cake.

And lots of almond streusel.   Because, let’s face it, streusel makes everything better.  Correction!  Two layers of streusel make everything better.

I added a totally unnecessary (but oh, so lovely) layer of streusel right in the center of the loaf, just because I could.  I’m (not) sorry.

blueberry loaf cake batter

Is it just me or are great blueberry loaf cakes (or muffins) really hard to come by?  And yet, I seem to crave them all. the. time.

A few months ago, I finally had, in my very own kitchen, the perfect blueberry muffin.  It was soft and moist, chock full of wild blueberries with hints of dark molasses and sweet honey, and had the perfect crumb.  I ate one…and within minutes, was reaching for another.

ground cinnamon spice

Those perfect blueberry muffins were the brainchild of none other than Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel.  It all makes sense now.

I had recently bought the Bouchon Bakery cookbook and instantly gravitated towards their recipe for this classic baked good.  Had I finally found the perfect blueberry muffin?  I gathered the ingredients and got to work.

almond streusel

It was my first time baking something out of the book and whenever you are weighing ingredients to half grams, refrigerating batter overnight, and measuring eggs in liquid cupsyour expectations will inevitably be high.  This-better-be damn-good-if-I’m-going-to-go-through-this-much-trouble-for-muffins high.  

I was pretty invested in the muffins by that point, if you can’t already tell.  

blueberry loaf cake with almond streusel

Luckily, the muffins came out beautifully and they totally exceeded my expectations.  Except for a few minor details…

While I personally don’t mind breaking out the scale and weighing everything with precision (in fact, I personally love seeing grams and ounces in recipes), I don’t think its as convenient for most people, especially if they don’t happen to own a kitchen scale.

And, despite understanding the purpose of refrigerating the batter overnight (to absorb the flavors and hydrate the flours), since the batter was inevitably cold the next day, it made it very difficult to fold in the blueberries without bleeding the color into the batter.  

Plus, muffins that require 18 hours of planning don’t usually jive with most peoples’ schedules…

blueberry loaf cake with almond streusel

So I ended up tinkering with the recipe.  A lot.  Thomas Keller probably wouldn’t approve, but let’s just assume he won’t find out…

First off, I decided to turn the recipe into a loaf cake to make it a little more different and unique.  What’s better than muffins?  Muffins in loaf cake form.  I also left out the step to refrigerate it overnight, making it much easier to incorporate the blueberries–plus, I couldn’t discern any difference in the final baked good.  Plus, it means you can make this in just over an hour. 

In addition, I adjusted the streusel recipe, as well as many of the other ingredients to avoid the whole “1/4 cup + 1.5 teaspoon” egg measurement of the original.  Because, let’s be honest, that is just a pain in the butt.

blueberry loaf cake with almond streusel

The bones of the original recipe are still there, which in this case is a very good thing, but it now has the added bonus of being much easier to follow, execute, and and therefore, bake on a regular basis–as opposed to only special occasions.

Which, hopefully, will result in more of you making and enjoying the outcome!

Blueberry Loaf Cake with Almond Streusel

Yield: 1 (9 x 5 inch) Loaf

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

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Ingredients:

Almond Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 ounces cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces

Blueberry Loaf Cake:

    • 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons frozen wild blueberries (which have lower water content than regular)
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup + 1.5 tablespoons cake flour
    • 1/2 + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, softened just slightly
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
    • 1 tablespoon wildflower honey
    • 2 whole large eggs, room temperature
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temperature

Directions:

Prepare Streusel:

  1. Combine flour, almond meal, cinnamon, salt, and sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Add the butter, chopped into 1/4" pieces, and toss to coat. Using fingertips, break the butter into very small pieces, incorporating it evenly among the dry ingredients. If butter gets too soft, place in freezer for several minutes before continuing.
  3. Once streusel is ready, place in freezer and begin making cake batter.

Make Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Toss the frozen blueberries with the one tablespoon of all-purpose flour. Place in freezer.
  3. Add remaining all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together to combine evenly.
  4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat over medium speed for an additional minute, until mixture is fluffy and light.
  5. Scrape down the bowl using a spatula and add the honey and molasses, mixing over medium speed for another minute to incorporate.
  6. In separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla until. Turn the stand mixer over low speed and slowly add the egg mixture, scraping down the bowl once or twice, until just combined.
  7. Over low speed, add half the flour mixture and mix until just combined, followed by half the buttermilk. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk. Do not over mix.
  8. Remove bowl from mixer and using spatula, scrape down side and bottom of bowl, insuring that all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Remove (flour-coated) blueberries and streusel from freezer and using spatula, carefully fold them into the batter. Try to fold as little as possible to avoid color bleeding into the batter.
  9. Add about half the batter to the loaf pan--spreading it out lightly so it is in an even layer. Sprinkle half the streusel mixture over the batter.
  10. Add remaining batter on top and spread out a small offset spatula. Top with remaining streusel (it will be a relatively thick layer) and pat it down gently on the surface using fingertips.
  11. Bake at 350 F degrees (on center-rack) for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Allow loaf to cool (in pan) on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Using a knife, run along edges of loaf pan, and invert (carefully) to release the loaf. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

Best served the day of baking or wrapped in foil and placed in plastic bag for up to 2-3 days at room temperature.

Based loosely off of Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery Blueberry Muffins.

blueberry_loaf_cake_crumbs-1

Hmm…streusel crumbs.

   

26 Responses to “Blueberry Loaf Cake with Almond Streusel”

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    Angie@Angie's Recipes — April 15, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    A beautiful blueberry cake! The nutty streusel topping looks extremely tempting.

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:03 pm

      Thanks Angie! Glad you stopped by :)

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    Jackie l FoodWineFashion.com — April 15, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    This is just the most beautiful looking cake (and pictures) I’ve ever seen! My mouth is actually watering here. Can’t wait to try it.

    xo Jackie

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

      You’re so sweet! Be sure to let me know if you do. Also–be sure to let me know if you need any more Italy trip advice/suggestions!

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    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — April 15, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    Look at all those blueberries! And that streusel! Yep, this would totally cure my Monday blues. :)

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

      Hehe — glad I could help!

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    Leeann — April 15, 2013 @ 10:34 am

    This looks amazing!!! I love going blueberry picking at Butler’s Orchard in the summer and this loaf cake looks like the perfect recipe to use with my yearly haul!

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

      Thank you Leeann! I love berry picking–haven’t done it in far too long. I used to go to a farm when I was a kid and my mom, sisters, and I would literally pick buckets of raspberries. It was amazing. Definitely need to try to do that this summer!

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    SaltySweetSour — April 15, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    This looks amazing! Gorgeous pictures.

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

      Thank you, thank you!! :)

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    Meghan {For the Love of Dessert} — April 15, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

    I have a hard enough time waiting 15 minutes at the bus stop so 18 hour muffins are just not for me. I think that was a great update on your part! I’ve never baked with frozen blueberries, but that’s a great point about the water content! Noted to self for next time. :)

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

      Ha!! Your comment made me laugh out loud. So true–I have very little patience as well. While I totally get the point behind resting the batter, I don’t think it was missed in my own version. Definitely try baking with frozen blueberries, it works very well–and especially wild, because they are small and not very watery, which makes them have more flavor. Thanks for visiting!

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    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 15, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

    Such a gorgeous loaf, and your photos are lovely! I would have no problem scarfing this down for breakfast or dessert, piled with whipped cream and berries. Yum!

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

      Thanks Georgia! Yeah, its great for breakfast, because its not too sweet or indulgent, but it is a bit more special than an average (healthier) quick bread. Perfect for tea too! :)

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    PapaLos @ The Man, The Chef, The Dad — April 15, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

    It looks like an amazing loaf with some beautiful pictures.

    I love recipes like the blueberry muffin one you found. To think that something so simple as a muffin would have such a complex process to make, and would take some 18 hours to complete… to me it creates a depth that no flavor can top. And if the flavor IS there, it just puts it over the top.

    Thanks for the recipe and the story!

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

      Totally agree with you on this! It’s really fascinating to read cookbooks, especially by chefs like Thomas Keller. You learn so much, even if you don’t try out all the recipes. So glad you enjoyed this post, and thanks for visiting.

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    ashley - baker by nature — April 15, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

    Wow, this loaf is friggin’ gorgeous! All those blueberries…!!!! I’m totally trying this next time my Monday blues start to creep in.

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:16 pm

      Your comment made my day! Thanks Ashley! And I’m so glad you commented, because I always love discovering new blogs as well. Your puttanesca totally pulled me in the minute I laid eyes on it…

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    Connor — April 15, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

    Another delicious creation! I’m glad I get to benefit from all these experiments you do in our your kitchen :)

    • Laura replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

      Woops–I stand corrected. OUR kitchen!

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    Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen — April 16, 2013 @ 1:07 am

    What a beautiful loaf!

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    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — April 16, 2013 @ 7:05 am

    This looks and sounds so delicious, I love the idea of a streusel topping on a loaf cake!

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    Cate @ ChezCateyLou — April 16, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

    This cake would definitely cure my Monday blues! I wish you could have sent me a piece yesterday!!

    • Laura replied: — April 17th, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

      Thanks Cate! And so glad you stopped by. Wish I could send everyone the food I made on the blog, now that would be fun :)

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    Mr. & Mrs. P — April 16, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

    Beautiful photos!!! love the low mysterious lighting!!!

    • Laura replied: — April 17th, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

      Thank you!!!

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