Blueberry-Lavender Coffee Cake Recipe

You can never really go wrong with a coffee cake. Whether you serve this blueberry-lavender beauty for brunch, tea time, or dessert, there's just no time where a tender, crumb-laden coffee cake wouldn't be welcome. This dense cake is enriched by butter and sour cream (the latter a beloved coffee cake secret ingredient), and sports a jammy layer of bursting blueberries nestled below a lofty layer of crumb topping almost equal in height to the cake layer. 

A fragrant addition of lavender flowers gives a unique and unexpected twist, while fresh lemon juice in the lavender-infused glaze and a hint of zest in the cake batter bring a welcome note of acidity that balances the perfumed glaze and sweetness of the topping. 

Recipe developer Katie Rosenhouse raves, "Altogether, this coffee cake is everything it should be, and more. This sophisticated cake would be just as fitting for your next dinner party as it is for a cozy brunch at home."

Gather the ingredients for blueberry-lavender coffee cake

To make this classic cake with a springtime twist, you'll mainly need pantry staples. All-purpose flour, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, and baking soda make up the bulk of the cake batter and crumb topping. Sour cream is added to the batter for additional richness and moisture. In a pinch, you can substitute the sour cream with Greek yogurt for a similar effect. The zest and juice of a fresh lemon add a nice acidity that balances the sweet and floral flavors in the cake.

The cake batter is topped with fresh blueberries (feel free to use frozen, but without defrosting) and a sprinkling of dried lavender. (Make sure you're using culinary-grade flowers.) The cake is finished with a quick lavender glaze for a touch of additional color and flavor, along with a dusting of confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Step 1: Line a cake pan

Line a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and parchment paper. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the crumb topping

Make the crumb topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat 1 ½ cups flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¾ cup butter until mixture resembles wet sand.

Step 3: Transfer crumb topping to a bowl

Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Step 4: Preheat the oven

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Step 5: Beat the butter and sugar

In the same stand mixer bowl, beat remaining ½ cup butter with granulated sugar until smooth.

Step 6: Add the eggs

Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined with the creamed butter and sugar. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition if needed.

Step 7: Add the wet ingredients

Add 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, ½ cup sour cream, and lemon zest. Beat to combine.

Step 8: Add the dry ingredients

Add 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Beat just until no flour remains visible.

Step 9: Add the sour cream

Add remaining ½ cup sour cream. Beat until batter is smooth.

Step 10: Coat the blueberries

In a small bowl, toss blueberries with remaining 1 tablespoon flour to coat.

Step 11: Transfer batter to the pan

Pour cake batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Step 12: Add the blueberries and lavender

Top with blueberries and 1 teaspoon lavender flowers.

Step 13: Add the crumb topping

Add crumb topping in an even layer.

Step 14: Bake the coffee cake

Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 15: Cool cake on a rack

Transfer to a wire rack and cool in pan for at least 1 hour.

Step 16: Make the glaze

Make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir to combine confectioners' sugar, remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon lavender flowers, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Step 17: Adjust consistency and color of the glaze

If the glaze is too stiff, stir in a splash of water or milk. Repeat if necessary until you get a pourable consistency. Add food coloring if desired.

Step 18: Garnish the cake

Drizzle glaze over cake and sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon lavender and additional confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Step 19: Serve the cake

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Can I make this coffee cake with frozen blueberries?

If you're making this coffee cake when blueberries aren't in season, don't hesitate to grab a bag of frozen blueberries at the supermarket — this cake can be made with either fresh or frozen. If using fresh blueberries, make sure to give them a taste before using. If the blueberries are a little too tart, sprinkle in some sugar when coating the blueberries with flour for additional sweetness. If bland, add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten them up.

Use frozen blueberries straight from the freezer. While rinsing frozen blueberries before using makes sense for batters where they'll be folded in (to help keep their color from leaching into the batter), for this recipe you can proceed with the directions exactly as written, without any rinse needed. They'll bake into a jammy layer just as well as fresh berries will, and make it possible to enjoy this delicious cake year-round. 

Can I make this blueberry-lavender coffee cake ahead?

This blueberry-lavender coffee cake can be baked and stored, covered, at room temperature for up to two days before serving. For longer storage, refrigerate, well-wrapped, for up to five days, or freeze for up to two months. Consider freezing in individually-wrapped slices for quick thawing (particularly when storing leftovers), so you can always have a slice of cake ready to eat when you want one. If chilled or frozen, bring to room temperature or warm lightly in the oven before serving.

If you'd like to bake the cake fresh the day of serving, but want to get ahead of the prep, you can make the crumb topping and glaze in advance. Prepare the crumb topping as directed, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Bring to room temperature before topping the cake and baking as directed. You can also make the glaze in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature before drizzling over the cake.

How can I switch up this coffee cake?

This coffee cake recipe can be adjusted to suit your tastes, the season, or the occasion at hand. Feel free to substitute the blueberries with any fruit you prefer, whether fresh or frozen. Raspberries, strawberries, peaches, apples, pears, cherries, and more will all bake up into a lovely filling for this cake. Thinly slice any larger fruits before layering onto the batter. For a rich take, skip the fruit entirely and fold chocolate chips into the batter before topping with crumbs. 

You can also adjust the spices and seasonings to taste. Pair your chosen fruit with spices to match: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, or nutmeg. Swap the lemon zest for orange or lime zest, and pare down the acidity of the glaze by using milk in the place of lemon juice for a sweet finish. You can also add chopped nuts, oats, or seeds into the crumb topping before baking. 

Blueberry-Lavender Coffee Cake Recipe
5 from 17 ratings
Bursting with fresh blueberries and accented by floral lavender notes, this crumb-topped coffee cake will impress no matter what time of day you serve it.
Prep Time
1.42
hours
Cook Time
1
hour
Servings
10
Servings
Blueberry-lavender coffee cake slice
Total time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups softened unsalted butter, divided
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream, divided
  • Zest of ½ lemon + 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons culinary grade dried lavender flowers, divided
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
Optional Ingredients
  • Purple food coloring
  • Additional confectioners' sugar for dusting
Directions
  1. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Make the crumb topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat 1 ½ cups flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¾ cup butter until mixture resembles wet sand.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  5. In the same stand mixer bowl, beat remaining ½ cup butter with granulated sugar until smooth.
  6. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined with the creamed butter and sugar. , Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition if needed.
  7. Add 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, ½ cup sour cream, and lemon zest. Beat to combine.
  8. Add 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Beat just until no flour remains visible.
  9. Add remaining ½ cup sour cream. Beat until batter is smooth.
  10. In a small bowl, toss blueberries with remaining 1 tablespoon flour to coat.
  11. Pour cake batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  12. Top with blueberries and 1 teaspoon lavender flowers.
  13. Add crumb topping in an even layer.
  14. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  15. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 1 hour.
  16. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir to combine confectioners' sugar, remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon lavender flowers, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  17. If the glaze is too stiff, stir in a splash of water or milk. Repeat if necessary until you get a pourable consistency. Add food coloring if desired.
  18. Drizzle glaze over cake and sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon lavender and additional confectioners' sugar, if desired.
  19. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 663
Total Fat 29.5 g
Saturated Fat 17.2 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 130.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 94.2 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 57.5 g
Sodium 328.8 mg
Protein 7.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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