Too many blueberries? Throw them in this unfussy cake.

By Margaret Eby
July 10, 2020
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If you went a little overboard at the farmer’s market, or picked way too many berries at a U-Pick farm, or even have blueberry bushes in your garden, you may find this time of year that their bounty is overwhelming. At least that’s what I hear—I live in a Brooklyn apartment with no outdoor space to put a grill, let alone a blueberry bush. But every summer, a friend in Maryland ends up with so many blueberries that she calls me for advice. After you’ve exhausted all the usual routes—blueberry muffins, freezing giant bags of blueberries, making blueberry popsicles, giving them away to blueberry-less neighbors—what on earth do you do with all that fruit? This year I have a good answer for her: Make this one-bowl blueberry cake

Caitlin Bensel

In the summer, I particularly appreciate the kind of baked goods that only dirty up one bowl, and this is one of those. Well, two bowls if you use another to make the glaze, but that’s optional. The cake itself uses ingredients you likely already have and comes together very quickly. Since the recipe uses oil, you don’t even need to spend time creaming butter. You basically just combine everything but the blueberries with a hand mixer, and then fold in 1¾ cups of blueberries into the batter. Scrape all that into a loaf pan and bake for an hour and 15 minutes. The hardest part of the whole thing is convincing yourself to turn on the oven in the summer, but the payoff makes it worth it. 

Once your cake is baked, you can put together an easy citrus glaze to pour over the top. That’s another quick situation. You just combine powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl with a whisk. Pour it over the cake once it’s had time to cool—otherwise, the glaze will melt and roll off hot cake, leaving you with cake in a puddle of glaze. That’s it. You did it. You made the cake.

You can use the same basic formula if you happen to have other berries on hand. I imagine this would be wonderful with blackberries or chopped up strawberries. Once you’ve got the hang of the basic one-bowl batter, you can experiment with whatever berry you have too much of, whether that’s from your backyard or the supermarket.