We are babymooning in Hawaii right now!
What happens on a babymoon?
You sit by a pool and eat. And then waddle to the beach, eat some more, and apply more sunscreen. You space out, look over at Eggboy and his stack of newspapers and you ask what’s happening in the world today? And he tells you about some fun storyline about an obscure sports championship that’s going on or a record that’s about to be broken or discovery that might have just been made. Or he shows you John Mayer’s latest Instagram Story. Then you plan your next meal.
Then you come home, put the car seat in the car, and have a baby!
Or something like that?? (I dunno, Molly of last week wrote this, Molly of this week is not here right now.) My point is, even though I’m totally away this week, I wanted to leave you with this blueberry cake because I made it recently and the only thing that stopped me from eating it all was visions of failing my gestational diabetes test. I made it for Eggnephew Cliff’s baptism!
When I asked Eggsis what kind of cake I should make, she said blue! And I said, …berry?? And we got really excited. Blueberries have become kind of a default craving of mine since they go so well with my top craving of cream cheese. And I love that they work so nicely as a natural food coloring, even though their color skews more purple. This cake is a variation of my go-to rich buttery vanilla cake, which is the richest densest cake in all the land, and I’ve added some flavors that play nicely with blueberries: lemon zest for brightness, cream cheese for tanginess, and cinnamon for a muffin-like warmth. I also like using unrefined coconut oil in this for the faintest coconut flavor, it’s not overpowering and really lovely. It’s a lot like eating a party version of a blueberry muffin. I decorated it with marzipan cutouts inspired by those wooden toy letter blocks because… babies.
Even though I haven’t tried it yet, I imagine that this recipe would be tasty with other fruits and berries. A strawberry cake or raspberry cake would be delicious. Or a mixed berry cake!
wild blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting
makes one 3-layer, 8-inch cake (the cake pictured has an extra layer since I needed to make it bigger to feed all of Cliff’s friends)
4 c (520g) + 1 tb all-purpose flour, divided
1 tb baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 c (300g) heavy cream, room temperature
1/2 c (120g) sour cream, room temperature
1 c (225g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c (100g) unrefined coconut oil, soft but not melted
2 1/4 c (450g) sugar
zest of 1 lemon
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tb vanilla bean paste or extract
1/2 tsp almond extract, optional
1 1/2 c (210g) frozen wild blueberries
1/2 c (70g) frozen wild blueberries
2 tb water
1 c (225g) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c (168g) cream cheese, softened
4 c (480g) powdered sugar
a pinch kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
3 tb heavy cream
to make the cake layers: preheat the oven to 350ºf. grease and line the bottoms of three 8” cake pans with parchment and set aside.
in a large bowl, sift together the 4 cups of flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, and then lightly stir in the salt and set aside. in a large measuring cup, whisk together the heavy cream and sour cream and set aside.
in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, coconut oil, sugar, and lemon zest on medium high for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. add the vanilla and almond extract, if using. reduce the mixer to medium low and add the dry mixture and cream mixture in 3 alternating additions, mixing until just combined. toss the frozen blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour and fold them in (don’t rinse the blueberries). distribute the batter evenly between the cake pans, and spread it out evenly (don’t be alarmed if the frozen blueberries cause the cake batter to firm up, that’s ok!).
bake until the tops of the cakes are starting to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs on it; begin checking for doneness at 33 minutes and try your darnedest not to let it over-bake. let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
to make the frosting:
combine the frozen blueberries with the water in a medium saucepan and heat over medium for about 10 minutes, stirring and mashing occasionally with a rubber spatula, until the blueberries have broken down and released their juices. strain the juices through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl or measuring cup, using your rubber spatula to mash the blueberries and wring out any juices that they’re still holding onto. you should get around 3 tablespoons of liquid (if it’s much more than that, discard any excess or reserve it for another use).
in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese until creamy. gradually add the powdered sugar, and then mix in the salt, vanilla, blueberry juice, and heavy cream. mix until creamy.
to frost the cake, level the top of the layers and then stack them up with a layer of frosting in between. frost all over and decorate as desired! enjoy!
photos by chantell and brett!