Ina’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

I’m willing to bet you know who Ina Garten is and why her modern-day comfort food recipes are so popular. Uncomplicated and reliable are the main two reasons. I’ve admired Ina for many years and grew up going to The Barefoot Contessa, her well-known specialty food store in the trendy East Hampton beach community. And in honor of my four-year blog-aversary, this is what I’ll be making tomorrow.

Ina's blueberry coffee cake

Garten sold Barefoot Contessa to two of her employees — the manager and one of the cooks — in 1996. Ina has many well-loved recipes, but perhaps one of my all-time favorites is Ina’s blueberry coffee cake. Loaded with brown sugar streusel topping and packed with fresh blueberries, honestly, what’s not to love?

Ina's blueberry coffee cake

Although the original recipe is perfect the way it is, I made a few tweaks, such as yogurt instead of sour cream, and skipping the nutmeg and I prefer to bake it in a slightly smaller 8-inch cake pan to give this beloved coffee cake extra height and a bit more streusel per bite. Sour cream is often described as a “secret ingredient” in baking, and trust me, it has its place. I stand by it in my blueberry muffins, but prefer Greek yogurt in this recipe because the yogurt gives the cake a slightly lighter crumb. To me, lighter crumbs allow for a better balance with the heavier brown sugar streusel topping. As I’ve mentioned before, baking is all about balance.

Ina's blueberry coffee cake

The Baking Benefits of A Streusel Top

  • Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness and a rich flavor to the streusel topping due to the molasses present in it. The brown sugar also helps to add moisture to the topping.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds more sweetness and helps the streusel topping crisp up slightly once it is baked.
  • All-Purpose Flour: This is used in a small amount to help bind the mixture together and give it a crumbly texture.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon’s only function is flavor and can be left out completely or substituted with other spices if desired.
  • Butter: Coats the mixture in fat to help create the crumbly texture by adding moisture. Without the fat, the streusel mixture would be extremely dry.

Ina's blueberry coffee cake

Although I’ve made my changes, I still refer to this as Ina’s blueberry coffee cake and it remains a favorite go-to weekend breakfast cake in my house. Like my Bisquick coffee cake, I’ve been making this recipe for years with no intentions of stopping.

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

2 thoughts on "Ina’s Blueberry Coffee Cake"

  1. Avatar photo Michael Stokes says:

    Made this it was delicious will be a staple in my home 😄.

    1. This made my day. Thank you for reading my blog, trying my recipe, and sharing such kind thoughts. Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2024!

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