Blackberry Lemon Coffee Cake…. or Sour Cream Walnut Cake


First of all, I just have to say that Glee makes me very happy. It has nothing to do with coffee cake – I just happen to be watching it while I write. It’s the wedding episode. Finn’s mom is marrying Kurt’s dad and Sue is marrying herself. The cast does the awesome (or supremely cheesy, depending on your perspective) song and dance down the aisle. Finn & co sing a song for Kurt and Finn invites him to dance. It’s just so much fun!  I also love the fact that, partly because of shows like Glee, homosexuality and same-sex relationships won’t be the taboo, hush-hush, completely misunderstood subject for my girls that it was for my generation. They also shed a huge light on bullying and other important issues, spontaneously breaking into song along the way. What more could we want?!

And, no, Ella and Hailey do not actually watch Glee. They’re 4 1/2 for pete’s sake! They’re in bed.

Okay… on to the recipe already. I apologize for not having step by step pictures of this one. I made it during a very busy 4th of July weekend and just didn’t have time. I’m glad I photographed the finished product though because it turned out great and is well worth sharing.

To make the Blackberry Lemon Coffee Cake, I modified the recipe I used for coffee cake at the Treehouse years ago, which was originally my mom’s Sour Cream Walnut Cake. She made it in a 9×11 Pyrex pan and it was my brothers Mike and Pat’s favorite but, frankly, I wasn’t a huge fan. It wasn’t chocolate, it had walnuts in it (they tear up the inside of my mouth) and I really resented that they would actually choose it for their birthday cake some years. We didn’t have that many chances to have cake and why they would waste the opportunity was beyond me. So, when we needed a coffee cake for brunch at the Treehouse, I made it with pecans instead and baked it in a bundt pan. It never made it to the dessert cart but was very much enjoyed alongside an omelet and fruit bowl. Recently, my brother Mike made it very clear to me (because he is the oldest brother, thus the supreme authority) that the Treehouse version was not the same, implying that it was greatly inferior, actually. Whatever. Trust me, it looked super weird with birthday candles sticking out of it.

I’ll give you the instructions for the nutty version as well…. It’s quite nice in the fall when you don’t have access to fresh blackberries.

Blackberry Lemon Coffee Cake…. OR Sour Cream Walnut Cake

1/2 cup butter 
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour 
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
for Blackberry version add:
2 TB fresh lemon juice 
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, ripe but still slightly firm
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
GLAZE (Blackberry version)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TB fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray a bundt pan (or 9×11 Pyrex) with cooking spray.
Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually, add eggs to butter and sugar and mix well. Add sour cream, then flour mixture and vanilla (as well as lemon juice and zest for blackberry version) mixing well after each addition. 
Measure blackberries or combine filling ingredients in a separate bowl
Spread half of the cake batter on the bottom of prepared pan and top with all of the blackberries, then, evenly spread remaining batter over the berries.

If making the nutty version,  sprinkle half of the filling mixture over the first layer of batter and repeat so that the remaining filling mixture is actually the topping. 

Bake @ 40 – 50 min. Toothpick or sharp knife should come out clean. You might check it at 30 min if you’re making the 9x11in pan.

Make the glaze for the blackberry version by whisking together butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest. If you need to thin it out, add a bit more juice.  Drizzle over slightly warm coffee cake.

To the outside world, we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other’s hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.  ~Clara Ortega