Blueberry Cake with Oat and Almond Streusel

There have been blueberries from our CSA sitting in our fridge for over a week now.

There are so many things wrong with that sentence.

I’m obsessed with blueberries, a blue-mouthed (and handed) theme that goes all the way back to childhood.  One significant memory I have was when my family went blueberry picking one July in western Mass.  It was an incredibly hot day, with the sun beating down on our backs as we walked around the blueberry bushes; coffee cans hanging off our necks from long, shredding twine.  An hour later my mother found me underneath one of the bushes, coffee can in between my legs, grabbing berries by the fistful; some for me, some for the can.

The following weeks my mom would go through her rotation of blueberry recipes.  Pancakes, cobbler, and then there was coffee cake with streusel.  The streusel was my favorite part.  Buttery, crunchy, a bit of spice from cinnamon, piled on top of a blueberry coffee cake that wasn’t too sweet and had a bit of tang from the sour cream she would swear was “the secret.”

When I rediscovered our blueberry stash at the back of our fridge today, I knew what I had to make.  Unfortunately, a cake that normally is made with a stick of butter, was out of the question.

I’m always weary of substituting butter for olive oil, but lately I’ve been lucky.  I also lucked out in that my substitution for my mother’s “secret” sour cream addition, of greek yogurt, also worked.  I should just go to Mohegan and spin their roulette wheel, betting it all on 00.  No, maybe not.

I couldn’t take all the butter out of this recipe (the streusel needs it, there was no way around it), but I still got what I wanted: lots of crunch from the toasted, gooey pockets of cake from the batter being nestled up against the blueberries, and a lovely not too sweet taste, with tang from the yogurt I added.  It almost made me want it to be a rainy day; curled up on my kitchen chair with a cup of tea in hand and the cake cooling on the table by an open window.  Almost.

Adapted from Eat, Live, Run


For the streusel

Half cup oats (I used old fashioned)

Quarter cup brown sugar, packed

Half cup slivered almonds, toasted

Quarter cup all purpose flour

Half teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the cake

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Half teaspoon baking soda

Quarter teaspoon fine sea salt (I use Diamond)

Three quarters of a cup of sugar

2 egg whites

2 cups yogurt (I used 2% Chobani)

Quarter cup plus 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

2 cups fresh blueberries


Two medium mixing bowls

One large mixing bowl

A spatula

A whisk

A 9 inch cake pan

Parchment paper or butter and flour to grease down the pan

Place the oven rack to the middle position in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Place all streusel ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir well to combine.  Make sure that the melted butter has covered all the ingredients.  Set aside.

In the larger mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, yogurt, olive oil, and sugar.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl (and underneath the ingredients) to ensure that all ingredients have been well combined.

In the second medium mixing bowl, add the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk together until combined.

Line the cake pan with parchment paper (or butter and flour it).  Pour half of the cake batter into the pan.  Smooth it out so that it’s evenly distributed in the pan.  Spread out half a cup of blueberries on this cake batter layer.  Pour in the second half of the cake batter into the pan, and smooth it over the blueberry layer so that it’s evenly distributed.  Cover this top layer with the rest of the blueberries, and then the streusel.

Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for one hour.