Huguenot Church Blueberry Brunch Cake

Recipe Pin
1 hour 20 minutes
8 generous slices

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Huguenot Church Blueberry Brunch Cake is quintessentially old Charleston, this recipe emanating from an 1871 archival reprint from the Huguenot Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

A large vanilla cake on a plate, with blueberries and blueberry sugar.

Huguenot Church Blueberry Brunch Cake is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a light dessert. This cake required a few adjustments from the original recipe. This was in an effort to lessen the density and give it a more moist crumb. Often, the best recipes are the old recipes, tested in and altered in home kitchens with what was available. No exotic ingredients, no fancy kitchen gadgets to stir your bowl or knead your dough. Huguenot Church Blueberry Brunch Cake is that ‘best old’ recipe. And, with a tweak here, and a substitution there, it is now a “must cake” for your culinary bucket list.

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Huguenot Church Blueberry Brunch Cake is a lightly sweet coffee cake bursting with juicy ripe blueberries and a hint of lemon in the glaze. Additional coffee cakes to try include my copycat method for Entenmann’s Coffee Crumb!

Upon moving to Charleston back in 2005, I set out to find a place of worship. Among many repasts I attended at churches here in the Holy City, a recipe for a Blueberry Tea Cake caught my attention. It was buried in a reprint of an 1871 article at the Huguenot Church. Recalling the story, it would read that “the parishioner who presented her Blueberry Tea Cake at the June 18th gathering was asked to share her directions for making the cake, as it was so well received.”

Cake and Brunch

I would like to think this cake might make a very nice gift from the kitchen for somebody who needs a pick-me-up.

Brunch is that delightful once-in-a-while event that bridges breakfast with just about everything else.

My Mom is the person who took down the recipe. It would be relegated to her kitchen box until found again recently. I have now finally prepared this cake, and its turnout was quite delicious. A few adjustments were made to give it some additional moisture. Blueberry sugar added to the finished glazed cake in addition to the fresh blueberries makes it pop visually. I am happy with it as I present it here. I have photographed this cake alongside the original recipe written in my Mother’s hand. It seemed fitting.

Cake and Brunch

Additional breakfast recipes and Brunch inspiration comes by way of these creative recipes for:

A large vanilla cake on a plate, with blueberries and blueberry sugar.

Huguenot Church Blueberry Brunch Cake

Jenny DeRemer
Huguenot Church Blueberry Brunch Cake is quintessentially old Charleston, this recipe emanating from an 1871 archival reprint from the Huguenot Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
3.60 from 10 votes
Servings: 8 generous slices
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 generous slices
Calories 418 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon quality vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh ripe blueberries, cleaned and dried
  • ½ cup fresh buttermilk

Ingredients for Lemon Glaze

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 cups Confectioner's sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice with pulp

Ingredients for Blueberry Sugar

  • 5 – 6 very ripe blueberries, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions
 

Prepare the Blueberry Sugar

  • In a small bowl and beginning with only 5 berries, mash slightly using the tines of a fork.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and mash with the fork. Add the next tablespoon of sugar and mash some more. Sugar should be a beautiful purple color, and the grains be loose and not mushy. If to dry, add an additional blueberry and mash. If too wet, add additional granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Set aside.

Prepare the Lemon Glaze

  • Combine butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice in a glass measure cup and whisk until smooth. Place in the microwave to heat for 10 seconds. Whisk again to eliminate any lumps. Set aside.

Prepare the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Lightly grease and flour an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.
  • Set aside 1/3 cup of the fresh blueberries that will be used to garnish the cake after baking.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, toss the remaining blueberries with 2 tablespoons flour and set aside, making sure your berries are dry.
  • In a small bowl combine 2 cups of flour, salt, and baking powder.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter, lemon zest and ¾ cup of sugar. Beat for several minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla just until incorporated.
  • Alternate adding ⅓ of the flour mixture and ⅓ of the buttermilk to the creamed butter and sugar, beating on low until incorporated. Repeat adding another 1/3 of the remaining flour, then another 1/3 of the remaining buttermilk until both are incorporated. Repeat one last time with remaining 1/3 of each. Remove the bowl from the mixer. The batter will be very thick.
  • Gently fold in the floured blueberries and any extra flour into the batter using a rubber spatula. Take care not to break the blueberries.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake in a 325°F preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean
  • Allow the cake to rest for 30-minutes before removing the sides of the pan.
  • Once sides have been removed, place cake on the plate or platter from which you plan to serve it. Allow cake to finish cooling all the way.
  • Pour lemon glaze onto the center of the top of the cake and allow to drizzle down the sides and in any cracks in the top.
  • Garnish with fresh blueberries and sprinkle liberally with the blueberry sugar.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingsCalories: 418kcalCarbohydrates: 100gProtein: 5gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 279mgPotassium: 98mgFiber: 2gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 691IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 2mg
Did you love this recipe?Leave a comment and Let me know how it was!
3.60 from 10 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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10 Comments

    1. Hey, hey Sabrina! Thank you, and yes, it was shockingly a really tasty 100 year old recipe. I swapped buttermilk for whatever “uncut warm milk” was according to the original recipe and cut the sugar in half, instead opting for the blueberry sugar on top. I hope you are doing well! x – Jenny

    1. HILLARY! With the shutdowns, all I have done is cook and bake! This one is a keeper for sure, and the recipe is over 100 years old – crazy that it was (more or less) clear to follow. I hope you and your family are doing well! x – Jenny

        1. Maggie, unfortunately, this method did not do well when tested with frozen blueberries. The batter is dense, so fresh berries seem to stand up better.