Lemon blueberry coffee cake with crumb topping

This recipe may be a link in my six degrees of separation from Oprah Winfrey. It comes via my great friend Kathleen, by way of Kathleen’s friend who has some connection to Oprah Winfrey’s private chef. Who knows? All I can tell you is that this moist coffee cake with a classic crumb topping is good enough for Oprah, or anyone else lucky enough to be around when this is warm out of the oven.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • Zest from 1 lemon (2-3 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)


  1. Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
  2. Butter and flour a 8″ or 9″ square glass baking dish.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugars, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Add oil and lemon juice. Mix until flour is fully incorporated into a crumbly texture like wet sand with clumps.
  5. Remove 1 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside to use as the topping.
  6. In a smaller bowl, combine plain yogurt or sour cream, egg, vanilla, baking powder and baking soda. This mixture will expand as the baking powder and soda react with the yogurt, so make sure the bowl has some extra room.
  7. Add the yogurt mixture to the crumb mixture and beat with a mixer until smooth.
  8. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle blueberries evenly into batter and top with reserved 1 cup of crumb mixture.
  9. Bake 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool and dust with powdered sugar.


  • Larger version (9″x13″ baking dish): 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cups brown sugar, zest from 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups blueberries. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of crumbs for topping.
  • No-lemon version: Skip the zest. Substitute orange juice, milk or extra oil for the lemon juice.
  • You could bake this at 350 degrees F (eg if you want to bake it with something else, like an egg strata). Cook time will be less – check it at 35-40 minutes.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.