Let Them Eat Cake..Blueberry and Lemon Cake

The weather in Melbourne has been winter like, not spring like at all at the moment.  I think we’re going to skip Spring this year and head straight into Summer, a very hot one I believe.  So to my surprise I found myself cooking winter style dishes this weekend.  We’ve been so busy lately it was nice to have a slow weekend to relax and the weather being cold always makes that easier to achieve.

On Friday night I cooked a big pot of Chicken and Vegetable Soup, the kind my Irish Mother made when I was growing up and still makes.  We had homemade pizza’s on Saturday afternoon, more of the soup on Saturday night and tonight (Sunday) slow cooked lamb shanks in red wine, meat stripped from the bone (one of which Charlie is now enjoying in the backyard as I write) and mixed through fettucine.  Of course we needed something to come after all these savoury dishes.

That something was this cake, we love a bit of cake in this house.

This Blueberry and Lemon Cake is adapted from a Donna Hay Blueberry and Yoghurt Loaf I spied on her facebook page on Friday afternoon.  It looked divine and alot of people were commenting they’d made it 3 or 4 times.  This is my healthy version using extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, I used a lighter, fruity olive oil, honey – a natural sugar,  instead of refined white sugar and spelt flour in place of normal white flour.

I made the cake on a Saturday afternoon and as there’s only three of us here now, thought it would last for ages.  It was demolished by noon Sunday with requests for another one!  Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it.

Blueberry and Lemon Cake

150ml extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup (140g) thick greek style yoghurt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (225g) wholemeal or white spelt flour, sifted or whichever plain (all purpose) flour you like.
2 tsp baking powder
125g fresh blueberries, extra to serve
icing (confectioner’s) sugar for dusting

Firstly heat your oven to 160 C which is 325 F.

You can use any kind of tin you like, a loaf tin or 20cm round or square tin.  I used a 20cm ring tin.
Line the bottom of your tin with baking paper and lightly grease the sides.

In a bowl place olive oil, honey, yoghurt, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest and combine with a whisk.
Sift the flour and baking powder into this mixture and whisk again until well combined.

Fold blueberries through very carefully taking care not to break them up and turn the mixture purple.  Pour the mixture into your tin, smooth the top and bake for around 40 minutes.  It may need longer depending on your oven and what kind of tin you use.  If using a ring tin, it will take approx 40 minutes but check it after 30 minutes.  A loaf tin will take an hour to bake.  The cake is cooked when golden on top and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack to cool.  When cool dust with icing (confectioners sugar) and place extra blueberries on top.

Variation

Follow the recipe above but replace the 125g fresh blueberries with 125g mixed frozen berries and 1/2 cup coconut.  Bake in a loaf tin lined with baking paper and greased on the sides of the tin with a little butter in a preheated 160C oven for approximately 60 minutes.  Cake is cooked when it’s golden on top and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.  When cool dust with icing sugar and top with extra mixed berries.

Try serving a slice for dessert with custard or toasting a thick slice for breakfast.  It’s a very versatile cake.

Love to all.

Catherine x

20 Comments

  1. tina @ colourliving

    I'm sorry to hear the weather isn't good. You know we had no Spring this year and a rather warm Summer for UK standards.

    I LOVE that you made a healthy version – thank you so much. Will now go and buy a 20cm ring tin and surprise O with it!

    Craving the Chicken & Veg soup and that cooked Lamb sounds divine (makes Charlie happy:-)

    Thought you would enjoy

  2. Catherine Bedson

    Hi Tina, oh that's interesting, our weather is probably going to follow suit. Love that you're going to make the cake to surprise O, I hope he likes it. Oh the John Lewis ad is gorgeous, so beautiful. Is that Lily Allen singing? Have a lovely week xxx

  3. Anastasia

    it looks so good – I like how you've changed up the ingrediants to make it a little more healthier…olive oil works well in cakes! and I love honey…so natural, fragrant and delicious. Im going to give this a go for sure!

  4. noreen

    hello catherine! it snowed here last night, so i'm in full-on winter cooking mode. don't you love to cook and bake when you are not in a hurry? your cake looks delicious, but it's your irish mother and her soup i'm interested in. is it a recipe? my mom's irish (well, dad, too), but we weren't soup people. stew more likely.

    yesterday i made clam chowder

  5. Catherine Bedson

    Hi Noreen, really! How exciting first snow of the season. Yes love cooking and baking when I've got lots of time to linger over it, usually a Sunday is a good day for that. I've got a recipe for Mum's soup that is very close, I'll post it on the blog next week. So glad you're making healthy adaptations to your recipes, it's so worth it and if nothings mentioned the

  6. mel

    It's funny, when ever there is a relapse in the weather, I always sneak in some of the last seasons recipes too, especially winter cooking – always the best I find. The blueberry cake looks delicious and good to see that it worked just as well with the oil. Hope you're having a lovely week. Mel xx

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