Blueberry Coffee Cake a.k.a. "Boy Bait"

Blueberry Coffee Cake a.k.a. "Boy Bait"

Last Sunday, after doing a big shop at the supermarket for the week, we realised that we forgot to pick up biscuits for breakfast. But I’ve bought blueberries, so I thought I’d bake something for breakfast then. Two weeks ago I’ve made banana oat chocolate muffins, so I wanted to try something new; muffins are too boring.

I Googled “blueberry baked goods” and came across this recipe for “Boy Bait” – intriguing name. I had all the ingredients and all the time in the world (since schools are closed due to Coronavirus), so I decided to give it a go to testify this “bait”. My oh my, the cake is so soft and moist, less dense than cheesecake but more moist than sponge cakes; and the streusel topping makes it even better I joke you not.


“Coffee cake” in the US means “a cake or sweet bread flavoured with cinnamon or topped/filled with cinnamon sugar, eaten usually with coffee”, so this recipe actually does not consist of any coffee/caffeine.

The recipe originates from 1954 at a baking contest. A 15-year-old Chicago girl named Renny Powell submitted this blueberry coffee cake recipe and won second place. The cake was named in honour of its power it had on the young suitors in the 1950s.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12


For the cake
• 250g flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• pinch of salt
• 113g softened butter
• 100g sugar
• 1 egg
• 125ml milk
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• 100-200g blueberries

For the streusel topping
• 50g sugar/light brown sugar
• 30g flour
• 30g chopped walnuts
• 1/2 tsp grounded cinnamon
• 45g cold butter


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease your 9-inch circular/square baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In Italy, there’s no baking powder, so I substituted baking powder with the same amount of lievito per dolci.
  3. In another bigger bowl, mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Then add the egg, milk and lemon zest.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients and the wet mixture. The batter will be quite thick/sticky.
  5. Gently fold in the blueberries and spread the mixture evenly in the greased pan.
  6. With a food processor, blend all the ingredients for the topping for 3 seconds. You don’t want the streusel to be too fine. You can also do this by hands and cut in the butter with knives.
  7. Finally sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter and pop it in the oven for 40 minutes.


• You can also prepare the streusel topping first and refrigerate it until the batter is ready.
• I only had&used 100g of blueberries and it turned out fine, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough blueberries. You can also replace blueberries with raspberries, blackberries or cranberries
• For those who have a huge sweet tooth, you can also add glazing for added sweetness. Simply mix 50g powdered sugar with very little milk until you get the drizzling consistency; I’d say no more than 2 tbsp.
• Leave out the nuts in the streusel topping if someone is allergic to nuts. It wouldn’t affect the outcome.

We couldn’t wait until morning to enjoy this cake, so we shared a slice after dinner. It was lick-the-crumbs-off-the-plate good!

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