Ava and I had a playdate on Monday with my friend, Lisa, and her 11-week old adorably happy baby girl, Avery. She's going back to work next week so we were lucky to set up a mid-week playdate with the girls. And YES, we're well aware the "playdate" was for the mommies and not for the babies at this point! Ha!
I made this Blueberry-Lemon Coffee Cake from Cooking Light to bring to her house to share and she loved it so much that I left her a generous amount to have later. It was my first time making this coffee cake, but the recipe was highly rated by online reviewers so I was sure it would be a good choice. I've saved it in my meal planning software since the 2005 issue so it's been one of those recipes that I've been waiting to make for the right occasion to share it.
The cake was super moist and had tons of almond flavoring with the use of the almond paste and sliced almonds in the topping. Fresh lemon was subtle and complimented the blueberries nicely. I used both fresh lemon juice and grated peel in the batter. I used frozen blueberries and folded it in at the end. Frozen blueberries helps keep the berries whole without breaking them apart when you're folding them in.
I liked that the cake was not too sweet, but it allowed the natural flavors to come to life. The entire coffee cake has 3/4 cup of sugar. Instead of milk, I used lowfat buttermilk since I'm such a fan of buttermilk in cake/muffin batters. It's a fantastic recipe and a reliable one to make to share with friends for entertaining or just a special treat at home.
About Almond Paste: I bought my almond paste a few years ago and I never used it. I had to rehydrate it in the microwave by adding a tiny bit of water and cooking in the microwave on 60% power for about 4 minutes total, a minute at a time. I checked it and used a fork to mash and mix it. It was rock hard when I first took it out, but it worked just fine and blended well in the batter.
Make-ahead tip: The night before, I measured the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl next to the Kitchen Stand Mixer so it was ready to go in the morning. Luckily, baby Ava was really quiet playing in her bouncy seat while I baked the coffee cake and then she feel asleep to the lull of the stand mixer no doubt!
Don't forget to check out my Kitchen Work Zone Organization blog post for suggestions on making your kitchen as efficient as possible.
I have a couple small pieces left that I'm sure won't be around to long because it's so yummy!