Blueberry-cardamom coffee cake

A rich and flavourful not-too-sweet treat!

As a kid I was really confused by coffee cake, because it never tasted like coffee. Little did I know the term simply meant a sweet cake – often flavoured with fruit and/or cinnamon – intended to be served with coffee or tea, rather than as a dessert after a meal. My mother made a delicious one quite often, loaded with walnuts and cinnamon; it seemed so decadent to enjoy a slice or two in the middle of the afternoon. This version is quick to make and while this cake batter contains less sugar than is typical, the topping balances out the sweetness perfectly.


Streusel topping:

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) very cold butter


  • 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
  • 2 cups (500 mL) fresh blueberries (you can use frozen but do not thaw before adding)


  • Make the streusel topping by combining the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a small bowl. Grate the cold butter into the dry ingredients then toss with your fingers or two forks until all the shards of butter are coated with the sugar mixture. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch (22.5 or 25 cm) spring form pan and clamp it into the pan. Grease the sides of the pan with butter. Set aside.
  • Note: if you don’t have a spring form pan, you can use an 8 or 9 inch (20 or 22.5 cm) square pan, but you may need to cook the cake a few minutes longer.
  • Prepare cake batter by whisking together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand-held electric mixer and large bowl), beat the butter, sugar and cardamom together until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  • Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beating continuously on low speed. Fold the berries into the batter using a spatula, taking care to not over mix.
  • Spoon batter evenly into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with the spatula. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the batter.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving (warm or at room temperature).
  • This cake is best served within 24 hours but will keep well for 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Slice and freeze for longer storage.

Serves 12 – 16

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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