If we cannot agree on politics, we can agree on something, and that something is blueberries. Young people like blueberries, old people like blueberries. Big-city people like blueberries and small-town country people like blueberries. Incidentally, bears like blueberries and, according to research conducted in my house involving blueberries that spilled onto the floor accidentally, dogs like blueberries.
I like blueberries in my oatmeal, which I eat every morning. When it’s blueberry season, I use fresh berries. When it’s winter, I use frozen berries.
When overnight guests come to stay with us, we like to make this special vegan blueberry coffee cake. It’s always a hit for vegan and non-vegan guests alike. The brown-sugary topping is what brings people around to second helpings.
Because the recipe is rather involved, I break the baking process down into parts. The day before I plan to bake, I put tother the topping ingredients in a bowl, cover the bowl and place it into the refrigerator until the next day. In another, larger bowl, I whisk all the dry cake ingredients together, the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I cover that bowl and set it on the counter. I take the ½ cup Earth Balance “buttery spread” out of the refrigerator, so it can soften overnight, ready for blending into the sugars.
This way, on baking day, everything else comes together quickly.
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup chilled Earth Balance vegan buttery spread, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup soy or almond milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole, fresh blueberries, washed and stems removed
- ½ cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread, softened
- ½ cup vegan sour cream (any brand)
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ cup plain, unsweetened applesauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 by 9 baking pan with cooking spray. Set pan aside.
- Combine topping ingredients in a small to medium-sized bowl until the texture is crumbly. It is fine that the vegan butter will not thoroughly blend in the mix. The bits of “butter” will melt into the cake as it bakes. Set the bowl aside in the refrigerator.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the soy or almond milk and the lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Place the clean blueberries in a small bowl or container. Remove one tablespoon of the whisked-together flour mixture and toss it with the blueberries. This will help prevent the blueberries from sinking into the bottom of the cake during baking.
- In a small mixing bowl, cream together the softened “butter,” the vegan sour cream, the brown sugar, the granulated sugar and the vanilla. Add in the applesauce to combine thoroughly.
- Add this sugar mixture to the dry cake ingredients. Stir until just combined. It will be a thick batter, not runny as with a typical cake batter. Fold the blueberries in carefully, being careful not to over-mix.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle and spread the topping mixture over top of the batter. Bake for 38 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.