High Altitude Baking: Fabulous lightened version of my best blueberry coffeecake, made fluffy with egg whites.
I had a ton of blueberries this week, and ate them every morning with some cantaloupe sprinkled with lime juice and mint. Sometimes with a mound of yogurt, sometime not. Very healthy. Very virtuous. Very delicious.
But then I started thinking about blueberry coffee cake. By Wednesday, fluffy, streusel-crusted coffee cakes filled with blueberries were all I could think about. But when I started looking at some recipes, I couldn’t get past all the butter and sugar in them. I wasn’t looking to have dessert for breakfast. OK, sometimes I am, but not this time.
And I wasn’t looking to create something edgy with some hip ingredient only found in special stores in Mongolia. I wanted something my great-grandmother Mamma might have made.
So I cut the amount of butter I found in many recipes in half. I added back in 1 tablespoon of (not too edgy) coconut oil so it wouldn’t be too dry. Then I cut the sugar in half for the cake part, but made a traditional streusel with oats. Next I tackled the texture. I like an airy coffee cake, so I separated the eggs, and whipped the whites to a moderately firm peak, and folded them in at the end. The result was the best coffee cake I’ve ever made.
I know it’s not as healthy as the cantaloupe and berries breakfast, I won’t lie, but it’s a much healthier version for when you want to splurge.
A Few Cooking Notes:
This was developed for baking at high altitudes (7000 feet above sea level). If making at sea level, make the following changes:
1. Use 1 egg yolk instead of 2 (but use 2 egg whites)
2. Use the full 2 cups of all-purpose flour for the Coffee Cake
3. Use 1 full teaspoon EACH of the baking soda and baking powder for the Coffee Cake
4. Omit the yogurt in the Coffee Cake
5. Bake at 350˚F (not convection bake).
My Best Blueberry Coffeecake
Makes one 9″ round coffee cake
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or split with ground cardamom)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs (separated)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon yogurt
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup apricots (or more blueberries)
Preheat oven to 350˚F, convection. Butter a 9-inch square pan or a 9-inch springform cake pan.
In a small bowl, mix Streusel Topping ingredients together with a fork or pastry cutter until combined. Set aside.
For the Coffee Cake, beat butter, oil, and sugar in a large mixing bowl of a standing mixer until fluffy. I use the paddle attachment. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk and yogurt.
Mix the dry ingredients into the butter and egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk, stirring just until combined. I use the lowest speed of the mixer. The batter will be thick.
Add the blueberries and apricots and fold them into the batter using a rubber spatula.
Whip the egg whites to a moderate peak using a hand mixer (the peaks should droop a little when you scoop the whipped egg whites with the beater and turn the beaters upside down). Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter in thirds using a rubber spatula. Little pieces of egg white should be visible in the batter. You don’t want to fold them in too much.
Pour the batter into the buttered baking pan. Sprinkle with the Streusel Topping.
Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving. This coffee cake is great warm or room temperature.