Historical Recipe: Blueberry Cake

Are you a breakfast person? I know some people aren't. I love breakfast and have a weird fascination with it. I hoard breakfast recipes, and yet what do we usually have for breakfast? Eggs or cereal. *sigh*

I was excited to come across this wonderful 1941 cookbook featuring the famous singer, Kate Smith. This entire cook book is an advertisement for Post brand foods, and Grape Nuts have a starring presence in many of the recipes. I plan on trying a few of them soon! In the book, Ms. Smith talks a lot about the benefits of eating enough fiber as in this example below:


I had some blueberries languishing in the back of my fridge (what is wrong with my family??) and knew I had to use them soon. So, when I saw this recipe for Blueberry Cake, I thought it was the perfect use for my sad blueberries!

It was a simple recipe with easy ingredients, and it went together much like a coffee cake - where you alternately add the flour and milk to the creamed sugar mixture until you have a rich, thick batter. Then you fold the blueberries into that which is really hard! I didn't want to squish any of the blueberries. If you use fresh, your cake will remain white. If you use frozen, like she suggests you can, your cake will be more streaked with purple.
Blueberry Cake, ca. 1941

I didn't wait for it to cool down after I took the cake from the oven. I dug right in, and oh boy! Was it delicious! Nice, rich flavor with the yummy punch of blueberries and a nice texture. I think in these modern times, people would try to "fancy" this up with a crumb topping or ice cream or crazy stuff like that. Just don't do it. The beauty is in the simplicity. It doesn't need a thing!

Blueberry Cake yumminess!

This is one that would definitely be worth trying. But since Kate Smith says this should be for breakfast, don't even think about serving it for a dessert!!


A neat historical note: I love that she mentions Bird's Eye frozen blueberries. I wrote my History capstone course paper on the advent of the frozen food industry in 1939 starring Bird's Eye Foods. In 1941, the brand was only 2 years old! Frozen, or "frosted foods" as they were referred to, revolutionized the American menu and challenged the idea of only being able to eat things seasonally. It's a very cool piece of history! :-D

Comments

  1. Looks fantastic!! I have a similar recipe that has been a favorite for years--but of course, it includes a powdered sugar/lemon juice glaze! Blueberry cake is the bomb! Love the tidbit about Bird's Eye!!

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