Food blogger Heather Christo has a secret family recipe for blueberry coffee cake, perfected over generations, which she says will “make your house smell like heaven.” Here’s how to make it on your next lazy Saturday morning…

The Best Blueberry Breakfast Cake You’ll Ever Have
by Heather Christo, author of the blog Heather Christo Cooks and the cookbook Heather Christo’s Generous Table

I’ve always had a love affair with coffee cake. It started when I was a kid and my grandparents would visit from the Midwest. I loved Grampy best, because every single morning he was always up at some ungodly hour hitting the local Italian bakery for donuts, bear claws and big slices of coffee cake topped with icing and streusel. Or sometimes he would even just stop by the local Safeway and bring home an Entenmann’s Crumb Cake. Later, in college, I got into a daily habit of eating the coffee cake at Starbucks. I said daily. I mean, I’m not claiming I was discerning about coffee cake; I’m just saying that I ate it all, and I loved it.

My mother, however, was discerning and she believed in “scratch only!” baked goods. Of all the things she made, my favorite by far was my Great Aunt Ruth’s Coffee Cake, which my mom made on Saturday mornings. Coffee cake made the entire house smell like a beautiful symphony of cinnamon and sugar, laced with a little tangy buttermilk. The four of us kids would squabble over who got seconds. Ah, childhood.

I have kept that great love of coffee cake alive today with my Buttermilk Blueberry Coffee Cake, which I bake on Saturday mornings as often as I can for my husband two little girls. Great Aunt Ruth’s recipe is here in spirit, but I have created my own version with incredible flavor and the perfect moist texture. I added blueberries because they bring some brightness to the cake, although I think it would be easy to sub in raspberries or blackberries.

One more note: This is totally perfect for a brunch. You can make it ahead of time, it’s a really beautiful presentation, and your house will smell like heaven.

Recipe: Buttermilk Blueberry Coffee Cake with Brown Butter Vanilla Glaze

You’ll need:

For the cake:
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the glaze:
4 tbsp. butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 10-inch bundt pan (with a removable bottom) with baking spray.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until well incorporated. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat until fluffy. Then add the sour cream and beat until the batter is smooth and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, and then add the dry ingredients to the batter and partially mix together. Add the buttermilk and beat until you have a smooth batter.

Remove the mixing bowl of batter from the mixer, and, using a spatula, gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake at 350F for 55 minutes, or until a skewer just comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before turning over onto a cake plate. While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze.

In a small pan, melt the butter and continue to cook on low heat until the butter has turned a dark golden brown color. When it reaches this color, (but before it burns!), set aside. In a small bowl add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and then whisk in the brown butter. Thin out the glaze with the milk, and whisk until the glaze is smooth and runny.

When you have turned the cake out onto a cake plate, drizzle the glaze over the top. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Thank you, Heather!

P.S. More best recipes, including olive oil cake, lemon cake and coffee cake.

(Photos and recipe by Heather Christo of Heather Christo Cooks. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)