Travel and Food Writing Class – Recipe for a Blueberry Coffee Cake

My very last assignment for my Travel and Food Writing course! (Actually, my last assignment that I’ll be working on is finishing my longer piece about my Competitours adventures!). This past week we learned about following a proper recipe format and avoiding common mistakes such as listing ingredients out of order, or missing an ingredient entirely! Once the recipe has been completed, the final touch is to add an entertaining ‘headnote’ and introduction to entice people, including our instructor, to actually make the recipe!

Blueberry Coffee Cake: The Surprising Addition to any Potluck Party

Potluck parties are a mixed bag – you can be treated to all sorts of interesting and delicious food, but I know I’m not the only one who has complained about some lackluster or downright inedible items. I shouldn’t complain; I’m grateful to enjoy sampling a variety of creations while only having to devote a meagre amount of time to cook up a single dish. On one occasion, I was excited to bring a new fruit cake recipe that I had just nabbed from a local bakery and was disheartened when someone else said they were bringing a coffee cake. “Coffee cake?” I scoffed internally, “you can’t be serious”. They’re often dry, stale and incredibly boring. Well, imagine my surprise when out of sheer politeness, I served a tiny piece onto my plate and took a gamble. As I bit into this incredibly moist slice of cake, the mix of juicy blueberries, crunchy pecans and alternating swirls of crispy, sugary cinnamon flavours hit me full force the way Anton Ego of Pixar’s Ratatouille film must have felt when learning his meal was prepared by a rat (similarly shocked, but in this case, positively!). In that moment of surprise and delight, I knew I had to ask for the recipe. I now embolden you to go forth and be that surprise at potluck parties and beyond! Oh and put that cake in a bundt pan – it always looks so much more polished.


As adapted from the open-sourced recipe site


  • 1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 mL) white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1 5/8 (385 mL) cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 mL) teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup (125 mL) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) confectioner’s sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch Bundt pan.


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended.
  4. Fold in blueberries.
  5. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the batter in the pan.
  7. Spoon remaining batter over the top, and then sprinkle the remaining pecan mixture over. Use a knife or thin spatula to swirl the sugar layer into the cake.
  8. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the crown of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Cool in the pan over a wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate, and tap firmly to remove from the pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Let me know your favourite recipe below and also, if you end up making this!

Other Travel and Food Writing Assignments:

– Restaurant Review: Enjoy a variety of Spanish flavours with tasty tapas at España
– A Weekend in…: A Weekend in Las Vegas

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