The blueberry tea cake was made at school one day, mainly to use up some blueberries we had taking up space in our too small freezer. I’d thought muffins, but the teacher in our class had his heart set on a blueberry cake. I keep a few cookbooks at work, a rotating selection, for a co-worker who also likes old cookbooks, so I turned to them to find a recipe. I found one that sounded good in Anyone Can Bake, a cook book put out by the Royal Baking Powder Company in 1928.
My edition is very tattered and well used; nearly every page has spatters and dog-eared corners, but it’s full of delightful recipes. Some were originally published with the book, but many more were hand written or pasted into the book. The blueberry cake recipe I found calls for just common ingredients, and luckily we already had everything we needed on hand in our class kitchen. As I was starting to bake, I was interrupted by a 9-year-old immigrant student, so I let her take over.
Even with her limited baking experience, this young lady was able to make a very delicious cake, though it was a bit hard for me to just stand back and let her pour the batter in to the cake pan without help, since the batter was going everywhere. I took a deep breath, reminded myself that the mess is part of the learning process, and let her do it her way. The cake came out perfectly.
It was moist, tender, and the flavours were well-balanced. A little on the sweet side, but not excessively so. We used a mix of blueberries and raspberries in the cake we made. The other change we made was to bake it in a standard 8″ x 8″ pan, so it was a bit thicker than the original, but oh so good. Everyone who tried it liked it, and I plan on making it again once my berries are ripe.
Blueberry Tea Cake
- 5 tablespoons shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons Royal Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries
Cream shortening, add sugar, beaten eggs and milk; sift flour and baking powder and add, mixing well. Stir in the blueberries, which have been rolled in a little of the measured sugar and flour. Bake in a shallow greased and floured pan in moderate oven at 375 F, about 25 minutes. Break in small pieces and serve hot with butter.
Makes one sheet cake 12″ x 8″ x 1″.