I made a simple cake for tea the other day, a Dorie Greenspan cake – Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake. Blueberries were on sale that week – $1.99 a pint – and they were sweet not tart. Eating them with (or in!) cakes is my favourite way of eating many blueberries at one go!
This cake is called a plain cake – “no crumbs, streusel, nuts, icing or filling” – but it is not plain in taste. It is very moist, with blueberries in almost every bite, and has a strong caramel flavour from the brown sugar. There’s also a hint of cinnamon.
Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake
adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar (I didn’t pack it)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 pint blueberries – fresh, preferably, or frozen
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter an 11-x-8-inch baking pan and place it on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and the 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they form firm, glossy peaks.
Put the butter and sugar in the mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat 2 minutes more. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, then all of the milk and then the remainder of the dry ingredients, adding each new batch as soon as the previous batch has been incorporated.
Using a large rubber spatula, stir in about one quarter of the stiffly beaten egg whites. Gently fold in the rest of the whites. Still working with a light hand, fold in the blueberries, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it is golden and a thin knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before dusting the top with confectioners’ sugar and serving warm. (I served mine the next day and warmed it up in the microwave.)