Easy Blueberry Coffee Cake

This lemon blueberry coffee cake is rich, and sweet, and has the most delicious crumbly topping for a classic, old-fashioned cake you’ll love! It’s moist and tender with just the right amount of lemony flavor. The best part is that you only need 5 ingredients to make it!

top view of blueberry coffee cake

This Pillsbury old-fashioned blueberry coffee cake recipe is also known as ‘boy bait’, thanks to a 15-year-old girl from Chicago named Renny Powell, who gave it that clever name in 1954 for its habit-forming effect on young men. She took second place in the Pillsbury competition that year, and this recipe has been a classic ever since then!

And if you’re looking for other delicious blueberry treats, try out my quick and easy blueberry muffins, homemade blueberry pie, or my lemon blueberry poppy seed bread with lemon glaze. 

vintage recipe from 1979 PIllsbury cookbook

This recipe was found in the antique recipe binder I purchased at an antique shop.  The little booklet titled “Sweet and Easy” from Pillsbury was published in 1979.

Why I Love This Recipe

  • Easy to make: This blueberry coffee cake recipe is simple and straightforward. You only need five basic baking ingredients. Plus, the prep time is quick, allowing you to have a delicious dessert ready in no time.
  • Convenient: With a total time of just around an hour, this recipe is perfect for those unexpected guests or when you’re craving a sweet treat. Just pop it in the oven, and in 35-40 minutes, you’ll have a tender, moist coffee cake ready to enjoy.
  • Classic: This recipe is a true crowd pleaser and has been a family favorite for years. The combination of sweet blueberries and a crumbly streusel topping makes it a hit every time.
  • Delicious: The end result is a delicious, rich, and moist cake with a crumb topping that’s to die for. The fresh blueberries add a burst of flavor, making it the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee or as a dessert.
ingredients to make blueberry coffee cake

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Key Ingredients

  • Lemon Cake Mix: The lemon cake mix is the base of this blueberry coffee cake recipe. It provides the cake with a sweet, tangy flavor that compliments the blueberries perfectly.
  • Butter: The butter, which should be softened to room temperature, adds richness to the cake. It also helps to create a tender texture and a golden-brown crust when baked.
  • Milk: Milk is used to moisten the dry ingredients and helps create a smooth, pour-into-the-pan batter. It also contributes to the overall flavor and texture of the cake.
  • Eggs: Eggs are crucial for binding the ingredients together. They also contribute to the overall structure of the cake, helping it to rise in the oven.
  • Blueberries: The canned blueberries are the star of this blueberry coffee cake. They add a burst of freshness and sweetness to every bite. Make sure to drain them well before adding to the batter. And of note, this is not blueberry pie filling. You are looking for blueberries canned with water or juice.

Equipment

  • Large Bowl – This is where you’ll combine your dry ingredients, like the cake mix and softened butter. It is also where you’ll add the milk and eggs to create your batter. A good, sturdy bowl is a must-have in any kitchen.
  • 13×9 Pan – You’ll need a 13×9 pan for this recipe. This is where you’ll pour in your batter, evenly distribute the blueberries, and sprinkle the crumb topping. Make sure to grease and flour your pan before adding the batter to prevent your cake from sticking.

How to Make

Preparation

Begin by preheating your oven to 350˚ F. Then, take a 13×9 pan and grease it well, following up by dusting it lightly with flour. This will help make sure that your blueberry coffee cake doesn’t stick to the pan.

crumble topping in bowl

Step 1 – Prepare the Crumb Topping

In a large bowl, combine your cake mix and butter. Mix them together until the texture becomes crumbly. Reserve about 1 ¼ cup of this crumb mixture. You’ll be using it later for a delightful streusel topping.

coffee cake batter in bowl

Step 2 – Make the Cake Batter

Now, to the remaining crumb mixture in the bowl, add milk and eggs. Beat this mixture on high for about 2 minutes. The result should be a smooth and creamy batter. Pour this batter into your prepared baking pan.

blueberries on coffee cake batter in baking pan

Step 3 – Add the Blueberries

Next, you’ll want to drain your canned blueberries. Once drained, spoon them evenly over the batter in the baking pan. Sprinkle your reserved crumb mixture from Step 1 over the top of the blueberries. This will create a delightful crumb topping as the cake bakes.

top crumble topping on bluberries

Step 4 – Bake the Cake

Place your pan in the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. You’ll know your blueberry coffee cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once baked, allow your cake to cool or serve it warm, based on your preference. Your blueberry coffee cake is ready to serve!

Expert Tip

  • Crumble using your hands: Crumble the butter into the cake mix using your hands.  This is an efficient way to distribute the butter into the cake mixer.
slice taken out of coffee cake in baking pan

Variations

  • Mixed Berries: If you’re a fan of mixed berries, this variation is for you. Simply replace the canned blueberries with an equal amount of fresh strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. The mixture of different berries will give your cake a unique, tangy twist.
  • Try it with Apples: For a fall-inspired twist, try replacing the blueberries with canned apples. The sweet and slightly tart flavor of the apples pairs wonderfully with the buttery crumb topping. Just make sure to drain the apples well before using.
  • Switch up the Cake Mix: If you’re looking to change up the flavor profile, swap out the lemon cake mix for vanilla. This will give your blueberry coffee cake a classic, comforting taste that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
  • Turn Into Muffins: For a fun, portable version of this recipe, try baking the batter in a muffin pan. These blueberry coffee cake muffins are perfect for breakfast on-the-go or for a quick snack. Just adjust the bake time to around 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

What to Serve With

  • Start your morning with a slice of this delightful blueberry coffee cake, paired with a steaming cup of coffee. The sweetness of the cake and the bitter notes of the coffee create a harmoniously balanced breakfast.
  • Looking for a delicious dessert? Serve a slice of this cake warm with a dollop of whipped cream on top. The creaminess of the whipped cream enhances the tender crumb of the cake and elevates the overall taste.
  • This blueberry coffee cake also makes a fantastic afternoon snack. Enjoy a slice with a cup of your favorite tea, be it a robust Earl Grey or a soothing chamomile, for a perfect mid-day treat.
  • For a delicious variation, serve your blueberry coffee cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cold ice cream melting into the warm cake is a match made in dessert heaven.
  • This cake also pairs well with a glass of milk. Whether it is a late-night snack or a wholesome treat for the kids, a slice of blueberry coffee cake and a cup of milk is a combination that never fails.
slice of blueberry coffee cake on plate

Recipe FAQs

Can I use fresh blueberries instead of canned ones for this blueberry coffee cake recipe?

This recipe has not been tested with fresh blueberries. Fresh can sometimes release more moisture, but that might be okay like when you make blueberry muffins. I just can’t give you a definitive answer until I’ve tested it. If you have made this recipe fresh, please leave a comment and let us know how it goes!

How do I know when the cake is done baking?

The best way to check is by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it, your cake is done.

Can I use a different fruit for this recipe?

Definitely! This recipe is very versatile. You can replace blueberries with raspberries, blackberries, or even strawberries. Just make sure to adjust the quantity accordingly.

How can I make the cake more tender?

For a more tender cake, make sure that all of your ingredients, especially butter and eggs, are at room temperature before you begin. Also, when mixing the dry ingredients into the wet, be careful not to overmix as it can result in a tougher texture.

Can I use a different type of cake mix?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of cake mixes. A vanilla cake mix could work well with the blueberries, adding a nice contrast to the tangy fruit.

Storing and Reheating

  • Refrigerate: To store leftovers of your blueberry coffee cake recipe, let the cake cool completely. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This cake will keep well for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Unfortunately, freezing this cake isn’t recommended as it could cause the crumb topping to lose its crunch. 

Serving Size

  • What to Expect: This blueberry coffee cake recipe makes a tender, rich cake that’s enough for 8 servings. 
  • How to Scale: If you want to make more than eight servings, you can easily double the recipe. You’ll need to use a larger bowl for the dry ingredients and a stand mixer for the batter to make sure that everything is well combined. Also, make sure to use a large pan for your cake.
slice of blueberry coffee cake on plate
Created by: Lynette Rice

Blueberry Coffee Cake


Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 20 slices
20 slices
This lemon blueberry coffee cake is rich, sweet, and has the most delicious crumbly topping for a classic cake you’ll love! Tried and tested!

Equipment

  • 9×13 Inch Baking Pan

Ingredients
  

  • 15.2 oz lemon cake mix
  • ½ Cup butter softened
  • Cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 16 oz canned blueberries drained

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350˚ F. Grease and flour a 13×9 baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and margarine until crumbly. Set aside 1 ¼ Cup crumbs for the topping.
  • To the remaining crumbs, add the milk and eggs. Beat on high for 2 minutes. Pour into the baking pan.
  • Drain the canned blueberries and spoon the blueberries evenly over the batter. Sprinkle with the reserved crumbs.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool or serve warm.

Notes

Expert Tip: Crumble using your hands: Crumble the butter into the cake mix using your hands.  This is an efficient way to distribute the butter into the cake mix.
Refrigerate: To store leftovers of your blueberry coffee cake recipe, let the cake cool completely. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This cake will keep well for up to 3 days.
Freeze: Unfortunately, freezing this cake isn’t recommended as it could cause the crumb topping to lose its crunch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg

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