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Blueberry Tea Cake

Who hasn’t got dreamy memories of licking spoons and waiting expectantly by the oven to have yet another taste sensation? Sadly, now that we are so busy juggling work-family-life balances, treasured baking recipes, handed down through the generations, are a thing of the past. Baking, rather like letter-writing, has become something special, yet it doesn’t really need to be overly complicated. You can bake with few ingredients very successfully. A constant abundant supply of home-baked goodies isn’t realistic for most of us, but it’s a shame to miss out on the inherent joy of a homemade treat–an instant shortcut to a moment of domestic bliss.–Bill Granger

LC No Frosting Required Note

This lovely, lovely tea cake–a.k.a. dessert masquerading as breakfast or afternoon snack or anytime you crave something sweet–is so moist and perfectly balanced and just plain irresistible that it could do without the sweet-tart lilt of cream cheese frosting if you’re in a hurry. Author Granger suggests the time-pressed instead rely on a lemon drizzle, made by mixing a little lemon zest and the juice of a lemon into confectioners’ sugar and then, ahem, drizzling it over the cake.

Blueberry Tea Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • Heaping 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking dish
  • Heaping 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (you can easily make your own by blitzing granulated sugar in the blender until finely ground but not powdery)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 pint (about 2 cups) fresh blueberries
  • Scant 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • For the frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (you can use that remaining 1 tablespoon for buttering the baking dish)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice from 1/4 lemon
  • 16 ounces confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  • Make the blueberry tea cake
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Butter 9-by-13-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper, allowing the excess paper to hang over the edge of the pan.
  • 2. Combine the sour cream and baking soda and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • 3. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the sour cream mixture and beat just until combined.
  • 4. Place the blueberries in another bowl and toss with just a couple spoonfuls of the flour. Sift the rest of the flour over the butter mixture and sift the baking powder over the top. Gently fold just the dry ingredients together, then fold them into the batter, mixing just until combined. Gently fold the flour-coated blueberries into the batter, being mindful not to overmix.
  • 5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, either by using the parchment paper as handles or by inverting the cake onto a wire rack and then inverting it again.
  • 6. Frost the cooled blueberry tea cake, if desired, or serve it plain if you prefer.
  • Make the frosting
  • 7. Beat all of the ingredients except the sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually mix in the sugar and beat until smooth. Use immediately.
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