Lemon-Blueberry Coffee Cake


There was a time during my misspent youth in which I made (and ate) a LOT of coffee cake. But given the choice between another hypertensive crisis and coffee cake, the choice is clear:

It’s time to develop a healthier coffee cake recipe, right?

And that, my friends, is how I spent a Friday night in my Uptown New Orleans home: with bourbon, the Highwomen playing in the background, and surrounded by a notepad and pantry ingredients.

Without the added fat of oil or butter, this was never going to get the lift of a fluffy coffee cake, but the guilt is also minimal. A slice is under 250 calories, and you can easily adapt this with a scoop or two of vanilla protein powder (and just account for the uptick in calories there). You can also use a cup-for-cup GF flour blend to make this gluten free, too. Best part? You can double this recipe for a crowd with minimal effort.

A quick note: if you are using frozen blueberries, you’ll want to toss them in a couple of tablespoons of the flour of your choosing before adding them to the batter, less they make your cake a very delicious Smurf.

(En)Lightened Lemon-Blueberry Coffee Cake

(serves this family of five easily)

Coffee Cake:

  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour (don’t have spelt? just sub in white wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups blueberries

Oatmeal Streusel:

  • 1/4 cup raw rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted ghee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff and set aside. Mix the streusel ingredients in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, and then add the milk, applesauce, and blueberries, mixing thoroughly. GENTLY add the egg whites and carefully spoon the batter into a lightly greased baking dish (8×8″ is your best bet) with a spatula.

Sprinkle the streusel on top, and bake for 30-40 minutes (until the center is set).

This will be a little dense. But you get coffee cake, and in this house, that’s a win.

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