There are infinite cake recipes and infinite GOOD cake recipes. Then there are GREAT cake recipes. This one, from Yotam Ottolenghi, is one of those. It may not be the biggest cake out there — it doesn’t serve a ton of people. But it’s one you’ll want to make again and again. It has a really tender and moist texture, a lively lemon flavor and blueberries too. I love this cake so much I’ll be making this without the fruit when blueberry season is long gone. Many of the blueberries will sink to the bottom (sorry, even if you coat them first in flour, which I did) but if you follow the directions and reserve some to place on the top after the cake’s been baking for 15 minutes, they won’t sink. Scout’s honor.
Make sure to leave the cake in the oven for the entire time mentioned in the recipe to allow it to rise properly and not sink in the middle. Just cover with a tented piece of aluminum foil if it starts to get too browned. Let it cool and drizzle with a lemon glaze. You’ll find it hard to stop eating slice after slice, I promise.
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- ½ cup (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons/150 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 1 scant cup/190 grams granulated or superfine sugar (caster sugar)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or more juice as needed)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (vanilla essence)
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- ⅔ cup/90 grams all-purpose flour (plain flour), sifted
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup/110 grams almond flour (ground almonds)
- 1 ½ cups/200 grams fresh blueberries
- ⅔ cup/70 grams confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius.
- Grease a 9- or 8-inch/21-centimeter loaf pan with butter, line it with a parchment paper sling and butter the paper. (I didn't use the parchment paper but just buttered and floured the pan.)
- Set the pan aside.
- Place butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Beat on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light, then lower speed to medium.
- Add eggs in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times as necessary.
- The mix may split a little but don’t worry: It’ll come back together once you add the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and almond flour.
- With the stand mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until no white specks remain.
- Fold in about ¾ of the blueberries by hand, then scoop batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining blueberries over the top of the cake.
- Return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, until cake is golden brown but still uncooked.
- Cover loosely with foil and continue to cook for another 25 to 30 minutes (less for a 9-inch pan, more for an 8-inch pan), or until risen and cooked, and a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and set aside in its pan to cool for 10 minutes before removing cake from pan and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
- When cake is cool, make the icing: Add lemon juice and icing sugar to a bowl and whisk together until smooth, adding a bit more juice if necessary, just until the icing moves when you tilt the bowl. Pour over the cake and gently spread out.
- The blueberries on the top of the cake may bleed into the icing a little, but this will add to the look. Let icing set (about 30 minutes), slice and serve.