When you hear “muffins,” you assume “breakfast,” right? But muffins are one of those American “breakfast” foods that are desserts masquerading as breakfast. I don’t know whose idea this whole “cake for breakfast” thing was, but a quarter serving of fruit does not a wholesome breakfast make. Blueberry muffins for breakfast are like raspberry pretzel “salad” at Thanksgiving. It’s like the naming system in Bible times. I was reading this recently:
“In Judaism, a name is not merely a conglomeration of letters put together as a convenient way to refer to someone. Ideally, it is a definition of the individual – a description of his personality and an interpretation of his traits. It may even be a portent of the person’s future, or perhaps a prayer that the person bearing this particular name shall live up to the potential expressed in the name.”
So to land this: You might have great intentions in nicknaming me Harim (“with pierced nose”), but just because you call me that does not mean I am going to get my nose pierced. And you can persist in calling muffins “breakfast,” but it’s not necessarily true. That is, assuming you feel that you should be eating wholesome, healthy things for breakfast instead of cake with a few bits of fruit tossed in.
Eating healthy things for breakfast is a belief that I do not always ascribe to, especially on even-numbered days of the week. I think that if I had unlimited time, I would eat dessert for breakfast every day, just to make sure I got my daily dessert serving in. And so comes the inspiration for this cake.
Three glorious layers of baked blueberry pancake batter enrobed in sweetly tangy cream cheese frosting that ended up tasting like a bakery-style blueberry muffin. It is the second installment of cake I developed for my dear cousin’s baby shower. Breakfast-themed cakes galore, including a Nutella mousse cake, because, as the commercials will tell you, Nutella is made with skim milk, which, of course, makes it breakfast-appropriate.
Blueberry Muffin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Cake adapted from Averie Cooks
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream (I used some sour cream + some greek yogurt)
9 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups frozen blueberries, tossed with a few tablespoons of flour to coat
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 3 8-inch round pans with a round of parchment. Grease and flour the parchment, tapping out the excess.
In a large bowl, whisk together the first six dry ingredients. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the next five wet ingredients (through vanilla). Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon or folding with a spatula until just combined. It will have some lumps. Don’t overmix.
Gently fold in the frozen blueberries. Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for 30-50 minutes until center is no longer jiggly and the cake is domed and golden. I checked my cakes at around 30 minutes and found that they were getting a little too brown before they were set, so I covered them with foil for the remainder of the baking time. Your baking time will totally depend on if your blueberries are fresh or frozen and how much water they release, so just watch them.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the cream cheese frosting:
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces butter, room temperature
6-7 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until well-combined and fluffy, about three minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until incorporated. Add the extracts, then beat on high speed until light and fluffy, three or four minutes more. Frost as desired.