Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake | Alexandra's Kitchen (2024)

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4.9 from 458 reviews

//By Alexandra Stafford onJune 29, 2011 (updated April 21, 2023) Jump To Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

If you’re looking for a delicious, seasonal, berry cake recipe to add to your morning-treat repertoire, this buttermilk blueberry breakfast cake is perfect! The batter can be made ahead of time and stashed in the fridge, allowing you to bake the cake off in the morning. What’s more? It freezes beautifully!

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake | Alexandra's Kitchen (1)

Buttermilk is magic. It turns everything into gold: super-moist, super-delicious gold.

This morning I awoke needing a simple, summery, cake-like-but-not-dessert-like breakfast treat. One of Ben’s friends had crashed here last night, and I thought it only appropriate to treat him to a proper breakfast.

In other words, I was craving sugar and carbs. The truth is I’ve been craving sugar and carbs and a cake like this for months. But seriously, who doesn’t need a good, seasonal, berry cake recipe in their morning-treat repertoire?

Nobody. And I think I’ve found the recipe that fits the bill: buttermilk blueberry breakfast cake. On an old photocopied sheet of paper in my mother’s hand writing, I spotted a note: “Baby Boy’s Favorite.”

Oh Baby Boy. Baby Boy is my younger brother, my parents’ favorite child, and one of the most satisfying people to cook for. If it was Baby Boy’s favorite cake, it would soon be mine, too. This cake is delectable! I think you’ll like it, too.

(And if you’re looking for more fruit options, this cake is so good with cranberries.)

PS: Divine Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Five Favorite Recipes Made with Buttermilk

  • One-Bowl Buttermilk Birthday Cake
  • Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Simple Rhubarb Compote
  • Tartine’s Buttermilk-Blueberry Scones
  • Joanne Chang’s Buttermilk Biscuits with Maple and Sea Salt
  • One-Bowl Buttermilk Pancakes

Bonus: Favorite Buttermilk Dressing for Slaw

How to Make Buttermilk from Scratch

Scale this recipe up as needed.

  1. Place 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup.
  2. Fill cup with milk (2% or whole is best) until it reaches the 1/2-cup line.
  3. Let stand for five minutes. Use as directed.
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Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.9 from 458 reviews

  • Author: Alexandra’s Kitchen
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 to 16 pieces
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This cake is a long-time family favorite. My mother made it for my siblings and me when we were young, and every time I pull it out of the oven, clichè as it sounds, I am reminded of summer mornings in my childhood kitchen. It’s simple, adaptable, and make aheadable 🙂

Over the years, many questions have been asked, which I’ve answered as best as I can in the comments. I’ve answered a few FAQs in the notes below the recipe as well.

Also, if you’re new here, welcome!You’ve landed on one of the two most popular recipes on Alexandra’s Kitchen, the other being My Mother’s Peasant Bread, which led to the creation of my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs, which includes 40 simple bread recipes and 70+ recipes for eating them up. (If you love baking, you’ll love this no-knead bread.)


  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons | 4 oz | 113 g ) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup (214 g) sugar (set aside 1 tablespoon for sprinkling)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (I like 1.25 tsp)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over
  • ½ cup buttermilk, see FAQs below


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, cream the butter with the lemon zest and the 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add half of the flour mixture to the batter, and stir with spatula to incorporate. Add all of the buttermilk. Stir. Add remaining flour, and stir until flour is absorbed. Fold in the blueberries. (Leave excess flour from the blueberry bowl behind.)
  4. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar—I prefer this 8-inch pan because I like the thicker pieces) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. If you have parchment paper on hand, line the pan with parchment on top of the butter. Spread the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes — a 9-inch pan will be done in closer to 35 minutes; an 8-inch pan usually needs 40 to 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary, especially if you’re using a smaller pan such as an 8×8-inch. It’s not unusual for this cake to take 50 minutes, so just be patient.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.



  • Can this be made ahead of time? Yes. Prepare the batter, spread it into the prepared baking pan, cover it with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge. In the morning, if time permits, bring it to room temperature for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar, then bake as directed. It may need more time if the batter was refrigerated.
  • Can this be doubled? Yes. Bake it in a 9×13-inch pan … like this pan from Pyrex. Increase the baking time but begin checking at the 35 minute mark.
  • What if I don’t have buttermilk?Use 2% or whole milk or make your own buttermilk: place 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Fill cup with milk until it reaches the 1/2-cup line. Let stand for five minutes. Use as directed.
  • Can this be made gluten free? Yes. I like Cup4Cup and King Arthur Flour gluten-free flour mixes, but use whatever you like, keeping in mind that all gluten-free flours absorb liquid differently, so you may need to adjust to get the batter to the right consistency.
  • Should the batter be thick? Yes. As with all baking, I highly recommend using a scale to measure the flour. I have this one, which costs under $11.
  • Can I bake this into muffins? Yes. Follow the baking directions on this post.
  • Can I use frozen berries? Yes. No need to thaw.
  • What other fruit could I use? Really any fresh fruit or berries. Around the winter holidays, I make this cranberry-orange buttermilk breakfast cake.
  • Can this be frozen? Made ahead of time? Yes! Let cool completely, then wrap well with plastic wrap or other airtight wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature the night before serving. Reheat at 350ºF for 15 minutes before serving. If you are not freezing it, store it at room temperature for a day. Refrigerate if storing for more than 1 day.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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    3,568 Comments on “Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake”

  1. AnonymousReply

  2. KimReply

    This is so yummy. The only changes I made was to cut the lemon peel into the sugar with a fork (to flavor the sugar) before adding it to the butter. I also added a 1/2 tsp of nutmeg because I love a hint of that flavor with blueberry desserts.

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Yum! All sounds fantastic 🙂

  3. BridgetReply

    Great recipe. Super simple. I made it the night before and baked in the morning. Turned out perfect. Every recipe I’ve made of yours has been 5 stars!!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      So nice to hear this, Bridget 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks for writing and thank you for your kind words.

  4. Diane SparksReply

    This breakfast cake was so moist and delicious. I did not have a fresh lemon so I used 1/2 tablespoon of dried lemon peel. I added the baking powder, salt, and vanilla to the batter before the flour. I did not sift the flour. I used 2% milk and Vinager for the buttermilk. I did have to bake it for 55 minutes. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear, Diane! Thanks so much for writing and sharing all of your notes 🙂

  5. CherylReply

    I have made this a few times, even subd out the blueberries for choc chips and didn’t add the lemon zest, it is always a hit 10/10.

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear, Cheryl! Thanks for writing and sharing these notes 🙂

  6. JenniferReply

    This was amazing!! This cake was moist, flavorful and looked pretty too. It was the perfect addition to our Easter breakfast. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear, Jennifer! Thanks for writing 🙂

  7. GigiReply

    The recipe was easy to make. I did find the batter was very stiff even though I subtracted the 1/4 cup flour for tossing the blueberries.

  8. MaryReply

    So moist! I added some nuts, used the vinegar + milk trick. So good, especially with the touch of lemon.

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear, Mary! Thanks for writing 🙂

  9. CorrieReply

    Hello, I used frozen blueberries in this recipe and found that they sank to the bottom of the cake. In the recipe you stated no need to defrost, should I have mixed them with additional flour before putting in cake?

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Hi! Sorry to hear this. I don’t mix them with additional flour — just the 1/4 cup flour called for. What type of flour did you use and did you use a scale to measure?

  10. Deb GerometteReply


  11. SuzanneReply

    This looks so good! What a great combination of flavors!

  12. Janet GReply

    My family devoured this blueberry buttermilk cake! All I heard was positive reviews on how moist , tender and light this cake was. They were swooning over how delicious it was and why I had not baked something similar for them sooner! Their delight is my joy! I can confidently say that this will be on a rotation of recipes that I have to bake frequently. Thank you for sharing a delicious recipe with us!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear, Janet! Thanks so much for writing and sharing this 🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. PegReply

    I baked for Motger’s Day yesterday and experienced some confusion with the amount of butter called for in recipe. I used 1/2 cup. It states 1 cup in the ingredients and refers to 1/2 cup in the other recipe instructions.
    If I make again, I may opt for 1 cup. It was a little dry and cakey with 1/2 cup. What is the correct butter amount?
    Thank you, Peg

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Hi! Can you let me know where you are seeing the 1 cup? The recipe calls for 1/2 cup and that’s how it is listed in the ingredient list. Not sure where you are seeing the 1 cup, but I’d like to delete it to avoid any confusion.

      This is how it’s listed in the ingredient list:

      ½ cup (8 tablespoons | 4 oz | 113 g ) unsalted butter, room temperature

  14. JamonReply

    Hi there, I made this last night and I just wanted to say this is so good! I brought some of it to work for some team member to try and they say the same thing! Thank you for sharing this recipe, it’s gone straight into my home cook book and will bake again and again

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear! Thanks for writing 🙂

  15. AmyReply

    Hi there! I see you recommend glass baking dishes. Wondering if this would bake the same in a metal pan or if you think it is best to use glass.

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Hi! Apologies for the delay here. You can definitely use metal. Just keep an eye on it… it might cook more quickly.

  16. AmyReply

    Absolutely delicious! I have made it twice in two days. Everybody loves it! Moist and full of flavor. Will be a go-to recipe!!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear, Amy! Thanks for writing.

      • SusanReply

        I’ve made this recipe many, many times. It is a well-loved staple in my family. I’m sure I will continue to make it for a very long time. Thank you!

        Sometimes, I divide the batter and make it into muffins. It makes 12 muffins, and I freeze them separately so there’s they are there when we need to bite of something sweet and fruity. Yesterday, I decided to make a raspberry version of the cake, and it is a success! I used lime zest instead of lemon zest. One half teaspoon of almond extract instead of the vanilla. Raspberries, of course. On top I sprinkled shaved almonds along with the sugar. It was a pleasant change of pace.

        • Alexandra StaffordReply

          Oh yum! That sounds lovely. And the raspberries have been so good recently. I love them in my morning muesli and my neighbor’s yard abounds with them… I will try your variation soon!

  17. LisaReply

    I made this today and everyone loves it! The blueberries burst when you bite into them and its not too sweet which is great. I baked it in my large toaster oven and it saved my kitchen from getting too hot. It worked perfectly. I was a little lazy lol and didn’t weigh some of the ingredients and it still came out delicious! Thank you for another fabulous recipe. Tonight I’m making your Greek chicken. Yum!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear, Lisa! Thanks so much for writing and sharing all of this. This is a family favorite here, too 🙂

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