Blueberry pudding cake is one of those desserts where you swear the first time you make it that the recipe is wrong. You may look at the pan after you pour in all that boiling water and say to yourself, “There’s no way this is going to work.” I thought exactly the same thing, but it does work. During the long stay in the oven, the boiling water combines with the thick batter, creating a kind of crunchy cake topping that floats on top of the juicy blueberry filling. It’s rustic and homey, almost like a cobbler, and tastes best served warm with some vanilla bean ice cream or gelato.
Michael’s mom made this for us last summer, and we all liked it so much we couldn’t wait to make it when blueberry season came around again. The preparation is very easy and it only takes a few minutes to put this luscious dessert together, then the oven does all the real work.
Make it Dairy-Free or Vegan
With a few easy substitutions, you can make this dairy-free or vegan. I have not tested this recipe with gluten-free flour.
[Updated August 9, 2011.]
Blueberry Pudding Cake
- 8-inch square baking pan, greased
- 2 medium mixing bowls
- 2 cups blueberries (fresh or thawed from frozen)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups granulated sugar (divided)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup lowfat milk (or dairy-free milk)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted, or dairy-free butter)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 350° F/175° C.
- In one of the bowls, toss the blueberries with the cinnamon and lemon juice. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
- In the other bowl, whisk together the flour, ¾ cup sugar, and baking powder. Stir in the milk and melted butter. The batter will be very thick. Spoon over the blueberries.
- In the same bowl, stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch and sprinkle over the batter. Slowly pour the boiling water all over the pan. The water will rise up and pool, but it will combine with the batter as it cooks.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until the cake tests done and is golden and a little crunchy on top. Serve warm with ice cream.