I always (over-indulgently) let the kids choose what kind of birthday cake they want. This year Henry picked “blueberry cake with chocolate frosting” which sent me in a bit of a panic. I mean, that’s not usually something you see, and I wasn’t really feeling like I had the time to invent a recipe and try out several iterations (or give a bunch of 6-year-olds an untested made-up cake).
When I was scouring the internet for recipes, I ran into a few for blueberry lemon pound cake, which sounded so good, and also sounded like something that Henry would really, really love. So I did what any normal mom would do and dropped major hints that blueberry lemon pound cake would be better than cake with chocolate frosting, and Henry agreed.
Henry’s party was fun, I guess. Somehow 6-year-olds are a whirling mass of early sassiness and competing emotional needs, and parts of the party were a bit of a drama fest. By the time we got to cake, I was so tensed up that I robotically cut hugely enormous pieces for each kid, until Dave caught me (and saw his available cake portion rapidly diminishing) and squawked, “What are you DOING?” Yeah, a kid doesn’t need a 4-inch piece. Whatever.
I will say that it was delicious cake, and made even better because, just as we started to make it, our neighbor magically appeared with a huge container of blueberries he’d just picked from the giant blueberry bush in his yard. You make the cake in a bundt pan, and then brush it with sugary lemon syrup afterwards. (Sugary lemon syrup: that’s probably all you need to know.)
Next year: no party, maybe. If we can get away with it. Might just go to Storyland instead, or something.
Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake (from epicurious.com)
For the cake
- 1/3 cup milk
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup freshly grated lemon zest
- 3 cups picked over blueberries, tossed with 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
For the syrup
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Make the cake:
In a small bowl whisk together the milk, the eggs, and the vanilla. Into a bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, and the salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter with the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, and the zest until the mixture is light and fluffy, add the flour mixture alternately with the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating the batter after each addition until it is just combined, and fold in 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries. Spoon one third of the batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (3-quart) bundt pan, spreading it evenly, and sprinkle 1/2 cup of the remaining blueberries over it. Spoon half the remaining batter into the pan, spreading it evenly, and sprinkle 1/2 cup of the remaining blueberries over it. Spoon the remaining batter into the pan, spreading it evenly, sprinkle the remaining blueberries over it, and bake the cake in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until it is golden and a tester comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, poke the top immediately all over with a wooden skewer, and brush it with half the syrup. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, invert it onto the rack, and poke it all over with the skewer. Brush the cake with the remaining syrup.
Make the syrup while the cake is baking:
In a small saucepan combine the lemon juice and the sugar, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and remove the pan from the heat.