Blueberry Almond Breakfast Cake

Blueberry almond breakfast cake is delicious any time of day! A light buttermilk blueberry cake with an almond streusel topping, perfect for breakfast or as a not-so-sweet dessert.

slice of blueberry cake with almond streusel on a blueberry themed dessert plate

I debated what to call this for a little while.

A coffee cake?  This could be a blueberry almond coffee cake because the defining characteristic is a streusel topping, which we have.  But I don’t even drink coffee.

And if you really want to get technical, a coffee cake is traditionally made with yeast.

I see the term “snack cake” used a lot for cakes like these.  I’m not sure if it’s a regional thing, living in Philly, but snack cakes are 100% convenience store-style dessert pastries.

Think Twinkies, Devil Dogs, or here in Philly, it’s Tastykake.  I can’t get on board with a not-as-sweet homemade cake being called a snack cake.

So instead, we’re going to go with breakfast cake, because who doesn’t like cake for breakfast?  I know I sure do, especially when it’s a blueberry almond breakfast cake!

What’s so great about this blueberry almond cake: it’s simple and quick.  It’s perfect for a morning brunch, a little something to leave out for overnight guests, or a not-as-sweet dessert alternative.

Whatever you call it, it’s easy and delicious – and that’s what really matters!

one slice being cut out of a large blueberry almond coffee cake

Easy Blueberry Coffee Cake

The base of this cake is a super easy blueberry cake made with buttermilk. It’s made in just one bowl using an electric mixer in under 5 minutes.

Making the cake is straightforward. Cream together butter and sugar. Add in an egg, vanilla extract, and some almond extract for a little extra almond flavor. Add in flour and buttermilk, alternating between the two.

While “blueberry” and “almond” are featured in the title of this blueberry almond cake, I’d argue perhaps the most important ingredient here is the buttermilk! Buttermilk is one of my favorite ingredients in baking — let’s learn why, with my favorite subject, kitchen chemistry.

Kitchen Chemistry

The acidity of buttermilk makes cakes light and tender.  It both reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide, provided extra lift and leavening to the cake, and also breaks down tough strands of gluten.  The end result is a cake that is both more moist and more tender than one using regular milk.

Either fresh or frozen blueberries can be used, but keep reading for some if you plan on incorporating frozen blueberries!

cut squares of blueberry almond breakfast cake sitting on a square springform pan

Almond Streusel Topping

We’ll top the blueberry breakfast cake with a crunchy almond streusel topping (just like a classic coffee cake).

Mix together melted butter with flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon until the texture is sandy. Using your fingers, sprinkle the mixture all over the top of the blueberry cake.

Finally, we’ll top with almonds. I like to use slivered almonds because they provide some extra crunch, and I like the texture contrast with the soft, fluffy cake.

Sliced almonds work wonderfully too, especially if you don’t care for quite as much “crunch” in your streusel!

The sliced almonds toast a little quicker in the oven, so if you find the almonds are getting darker than you’d like, tent the cake with foil for the last 20ish minutes of baking.

side view of squares of blueberry buttermilk coffee cake with an almond streusel

Questions and Substitutions for Blueberry Almond Cake

What is the best pan to use for this blueberry almond cake?

Any 9-inch square pan will work, but I like to use a square springform pan, like this one. Taking the sides off the pan make cutting and serving the cake so easy! If substituting a round cake pan, use a 10-inch round pan.

Does this cake need to be stored in the refrigerator?

No, this cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Can this cake be frozen?

Yes. Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Bring cake to room temperature overnight.

Can other berries be used instead?

Blackberries or raspberries are a perfect swap for the blueberries in the recipe.

What can I use instead of almond for the streusel?

Allergic to almond or don’t like it? Leave the almond extract out of the cake batter and replace the slivered almonds in the streusel with another type of nut or unsweetened shredded coconut.

Can frozen blueberries be used instead of fresh?

Yes, but frozen blueberries are more likely to dye the batter a blueish-purple hue. Use the berries straight from frozen and toss with 2 tablespoons of flour before adding to the batter. The flour will help absorb extra juices released from the frozen berries.

slice of cake with juicy blueberries on a blueberry themed dessert plate

Tips and Tricks for the Best Blueberry Almond Breakfast Cake

  1. Use real buttermilk, if possible.  Mixing milk with lemon juice or vinegar doesn’t have the same thick texture and tart flavor, so using real buttermilk will improve the texture and flavor of the cake.
  2. Use room temperature ingredients. For the best texture, the butter and egg should warm up to room temperature before using.
  3. Fresh or frozen blueberries can be used.  If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw first but do toss with two tablespoons of flour before mixing into the batter.
  4. Not into blueberries?  Substitute any other berries!  This is delicious with raspberries or blackberries.
  5. If the almond streusel topping starts to get too dark while baking, tent the pan with foil. I usually start to check with 20 minutes left to bake and tent if necessary.

More Blueberry Desserts:

Almond Blueberry Breakfast Cake: a light buttermilk blueberry cake with an almond streusel toping, perfect for breakfast or as as a not-so-sweet dessert. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #breakfastcake #coffeecake #blueberrycake

Blueberry Almond Breakfast Cake

Yield: Serves 16
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

A light buttermilk blueberry cake with an almond streusel topping, perfect for breakfast or as a not-so-sweet dessert.

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (148.5 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (320 grams) blueberries, patted dry
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) buttermilk

For the Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (106.5 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons (70.6 grams) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (57 grams) slivered almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.  Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter or coat with non-stick spray.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract, continuing to beat until combined.  Reduce speed to low and add in half the flour, the baking powder, and salt, mixing just until no streaks of flour remain.  Mix in the buttermilk, followed by the remaining half of the flour, just until combined.  Fold in the blueberries by hand.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin, spreading into an even layer with a spatula.
  4. To make the streusel topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a small bowl, mixing with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse sand.  Sprinkle in an even layer over the batter, followed by the slivered almonds.
  5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing into 16 squares.

Notes

Cake can stored at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap cooled cake in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil and store in the freezer.  Bring cake to room temperature overnight.

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Blueberry Almond Breakfast Cake: the best easy and moist buttermilk blueberry cake with an almond streusel toping, perfect for breakfast or as as a not-so-sweet simple dessert.