A few weeks ago, as I was going on about how much I like just about every color and shade of baked fruit desserts, the goofier the name — be it “grunt”, “slump”, “buckle”, or “betty” — the better, a reader named Shirley asked me if I’d ever tried anything called Blueberry Boy Bait.
And people, seeing as I unabashedly choose magazines for their covers and fawn over the titles of books (“I Was Told There’d Be Cake,” anyone?) that I have no interest in reading, let’s just say that although I had no idea what Blueberry Boy Bait was, I knew it would be made, in my kitchen, sooner than soon. [Well, actually I’d bookmarked it for August, when I believed blueberries to be in season, only to find them at my local greenmarket four days later where I proceeded to plotz from happiness. Bring on the boy-baiting!]
I mean, seriously, Boy Bait could have been blueberry gravy for meatloaf, garlic-pickled blueberries for a potato salad or any other unforutnate-sounding blueberry concoctions (though I now suspect it’s just a matter of time before someone emails me a blueberry gravy or pickled blueberry recipe; go on, bring it on, I guess I asked for it) and I probably would have still made it because: boy plus bait. If nothing else, the story would have had a great title.
Fortunately for all of us, but I’d say mostly Alex, me and the friends I fob my baked goods off on, Blueberry Boy Bait is delicious, a buttery, rich single-layer cake studded with fresh blueberries and swaddled in a sheet of cinnamon sugar. In fact, if you’ve been hanging around here for a couple months, you might even note its resemblance to a certain Raspberry Buttermilk Cake so let me be quick to point out what makes it noticeably different: It’s the butter. There’s a lot more of it. I’d dare say there’s so much more that cake is almost more buttery than it needs to be but I know that would be just impossible. Implausible. Or at least that’s what the boy in my house said before he reached for a second piece. Thus, I guess it worked.
One year ago: I finished a wedding cake!
Two years ago: Rosanne Cash’s Potato Salad
Blueberry Boy Bait
Adapted from Cook’s Country, which adapted it from the original
Like any recipe with a great name, this also has a great story, which was that in 1954, a 15-year-old girl stole the show (but only won second prize) in the junior division of an early Pillbury Bake-Off with a variation of this recipe, named, she said, after the effect it had on boys.
Cook’s Country magazine dusted this recipe off from the Pillsbury Bake-Off Dessert Cookbook and made a few tweaks to bring it more deliciously into the modern age: butter was swapped for shortening, the quantity of blueberries was doubled and some plain sugar was replaced with brown sugar. The result? Let’s just say you don’t need to be a boy to be lured in.
Serves 12, generously
2 cups (250 grams) plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces or 225 grams), softened
3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup (235 ml) whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)
1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.
For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)
596 comments on blueberry boy bait
Wow I’m first! This looks delicious and I have two boys in my life, one big and one little, who would LOVE this! Thanks =)
I have some lovely blueberries just waiting to be used in this…it looks delicious. But, do you mean shortening swapped for butter in your paragraph above?
Yes, butter. Fixed now.
mmm, this looks great! blueberries aren’t around here yet, but i’ll keep my eyes peeled with this in mind.
Fabulous. I love the title and should make it. Thanks.
My mom has been making a version of this forever! It is one of her regular desserts. Her’s has more of a crumbled layer of cinnamon sugar on top, much like the top of a coffee cake. America’s Test Kitchen also did a recipe with this same name earlier this year.
It is not blueberry season here in the northwest but we are knee deep in raspberries. I will soon be making your buttermilk cake with fresh raspberries. Can it possibly be better than making it with home grown frozen berries? We shall see!
I live in the NW and am going to try with huckleberries.
oh thank you! I was just contemplating making this with raspberries!
YES! I’ve been obsessed with frozen blueberries all winter, and now that they’re finally in season I’m DYING for something to do with them!
dear goodness this looks brill. I have to make cakes for lots of gatherings and have many variations on yoghurty blueberriness (yes it is a word) and this will just add to the repetoire. cheers
Ms Deb, you and I are scary on the same page. First, the watermelon lemonade, now this? I started my post on my own boy bait last night. And while everyone loves an everyday cake, I opted for Nigella’s boy bait–baked custard, quick blueberry jam, and meringue. Boy bait Brit-style, if you will.
All I can say is that I hope that all this like-mindedness doesn’t mean that I’m pregnant too. Like I really need an excuse to eat my weight in cake.
Very interesting cake!!And I love blueberries!!! Delicious!!
Yay…some friends of mine here in NC have blueberries growing in their front yard, and I was blessed with about 2 cups of fresh blueberries. Since I don’t really like to just eat blueberries but prefer to eat them baked into something delicious, this recipe comes at the perfect time! All I need is some milk (I’ve been out for days), and this cake is mine. And I suppose I can use it to “bait” my husband.
Love blueberry desserts. Can’t wait to try this one!
I’m gonna try this recipe tonight. It looks really good and I believe it tastes great. It remind me of raspberry buttermilk cake that you’ve made earlier. thumbs up!!
I just made something similar to this, a blueberry-banana cake. Delicious! Will have to try this one as well.
The name alone is a winner! Looks delicious and with that much butter you simply cannot go wrong.
Yum, I am definitely making this!
Just in time for blueberry season! Add a glass of lemonade and a porch, and this is why I love summer.
boy bait! cute. DELICIOUS LOOKING.
i like to make martha stewart’s buckle because it uses pints of blueberries. love it.
I have no idea how I am going to make all of the blueberry recipes I have bookmarked this year, but I know this: I am making this cake. Gooey, buttery blueberry cake? Is there anything more needed in life?
Looks like Blueberries strike again! I just made Gourmet magazine’s Blueberry Galette and can’t wait to post it! This looks like your Raspberry buttermilk cake! I made that too and it was more awesome than awesome!
ps- I just made your vodka pie crust recipe and it was a cinch! Thanks for the recipe!
Well, I’ve only made the raspberry buttermilk cake around 5 times in the last month so I suppose it’s time to give something else a try. Mmmm….. butter. Love it!
Yum! Those blueberries look soo yummy!
I’m no a boy but I’m completely sold on this – love buttery cakes and love blueberries, yum!
I need a boy, so I best get to baiting :)
Is it really “2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon” of flour? Or just 2 cups plus 1 teaspoon?
I have a boy in my house that can be baited with blueberries alone, I can’t imagine the effect this will have…
Can’t wait to try this! I have some blueberries hanging out in my fridge that are waiting to be eaten. And with this title, who can resist?
P.S. “I Was Told There’d Be Cake” was hilarious!
I cut this recipe out of the local newspaper ages ago, and have never made it but I need to now. Especially since blueberries in Texas are at their prime. What a great use for the little jewels! I could use some boy bait…do you guarantee this recipe? :-D
The name is awesome! I think I’m going to try this soon, our blueberries have been amazing these days!
Another great book title is “The Day We Got Drunk on Cake” by William Trevor. This recipe looks delicious, although sadly less intoxicating.
You had me at “Blueberry” what a wonderful creation!
This looks greatly delicious. I have a flat (free from a relative) of apricots on hand, do you think I can substitute the blueberries with apricots instead?
You had me at the name alone. Look so yummy and I can’t wait to try it. I wonder how well this would work with other fruits, but I LOVE blueberries so I think I would make it as is….
Wonderfully simple recipe. Love the name and yes I do the title thing, makes life interesting though you sometimes have to look inside and laugh, at yourself or the book. I would think the buttermilk would be better anyway, more richness for the berries.
this is my mom’s recipe! well, not hers originally, but a classic in our family…
as i’m a single lady, my roommates were confused by the name and thought i was making it to attract the gentlemen. nono, it’s just delicious and so easy for so much goodness. :)
i add lots more blueberries to mine, and mix them in the sugar and cinnamon before putting them on top of the batter. and i’d definitely recommend trying other fruits, as well!
I made something similar to this in a cooking class and it was so buttery and delicious I could hardly stand it. Thanks for reminding me! I will certainly try your version and maybe even with some raspberries. Yum.
My family has a similar recipe, but my mom calls it “Blueberry Buoy Cake.” What the hell?
i bought “i was told there’d be cake” for the same reasons. i love the story about the ponies.
love the blueberry shot!I’m sure this is another delicious recipe..
Wow! That looks like a pretty thick batter! The slices shown look to have a great crumb, but the blueberries look like they may have sunk to the bottom. Did they or was it just the ones that happen to be in the photo? I like that there aren’t so many blueberries in this cake. Some recipes load in too much of a good thing or am I just getting minimalist in my old age?
Susan — They sunk a little but I completely forgot to toss them with the flour leaving me to wonder if that’s what caused it or if even that teaspoon couldn’t have saved them. The blueberries are definitely on the sparse side — I might not even have minded more, but there was something nicely balanced about this.
Kim — Yes, now fixed.
The name is so cute! That is a super thick batter, I can imagine how rich it is!
Ok, it’s official. You’re the queen of my dessert world, especially lately with all the baked fruit creations. While I haven’t made the buttermilk cake or this, they’re both on my list. The bars were amazing, and your recipes are go-to in my book.
This name had me giggling! I’ve been wanting to make the raspberry buttermilk cake so badly and haven’t gotten around to it. I actually thought about cutting some of the sugar so I could eat it for breakfast :-) But I think this just bumped its way ahead, purely for the name! I think I’ll sub in some other berry, though, because I’m not much of a blueberry person, nor is the boy I plan to bait!
This looks so good, beautiful pictures! But am I the only one put off by the name… What decade is it??
It’s wildly dated! The recipe is from 1954 (75 years ago!) and I got a kick out of it.
65 years :)
Two sticks of butter? Yes! I had other plans for my blueberries but those plans have now changed.
Boy Bait! Funny. Although I could imagine it being ‘human bait’ – who could resist?
Amazing. So rich in blueberries and butter and…oh wow, my tastebuds are screaming!
Love, love, love blueberries. I have a couple of friends who give them to me every year if I’ll just come pick them. I’ve already made one trip. Got a couple more to go. Cobblers, buckles, doughnuts, cakes…love them all with blueberries. But I’ve got to admit I’ve never heard the term boy bait associated with food. Wow. That’s really funny!
Thanks for all the great recipes.
Would someone please explain why I’d want MORE boys in the house? There are enough dirty socks as it is. I’ll eat the bait myself, thank you.
I made this recipe and posted about it a few weeks ago. My family loved it. I am glad you know you enjoyed it also. It is a great recipe.
we saw someone do a lobster pot pie concoction with a blueberry reduction sauce on the next foodnetwork star last week. honestly, i thought it sounded questionable. but blueberry boy bait sounds yummy!
Oh my god, this looks so good.
Being a blueberry purist [I was spoiled growing up with easy access to wild Ontario blueberries, none in the world are better!] I will have to wait til I get some good ones to make this. But make it, I will!
there are two or three pickled blueberry recipes in The Joy of Pickling. i made the blueberry relish last week and it is excellent…we think it might be good with turkey instead of cranberry sauce.
Oh yay! This is supposed to be a record year for Quebec blueberries. I’ll be trying this out in approximately one month. Hope I can wait that long.
Well, our wild blueberries won’t be ripe for at least another month here in the U.P. of Michigan, but I have some from last year still in the freezer, so I’ll have to try this! I love your pictures.
These look great! I love blueberries. I made a blueberry crumb cake today that would go perfect along side your blueberry boy bait:)
i’ll be adding this one to my ‘to bake’ list.
i’ve recently made the blueberry crumb bars 3 times – i’ll try anything with blueberry.
What a great name! Will definitely be trying to bait up some boys with this one!! :-) Delish.
Looks so good. This is a must try. Now, would you imagine this to work with a stick and box kind of “boy” trap or more of a hidden rope snare? :)
It was meant to be – I had everything in the house to make these. I halved everything but the blueberries. Delicious!
i love looking at books in stores for their titles only, but can never seem to pick a one that i actually like. clearly you should NOT judge a book by its cover.
Wow looks so yummy! I am actually going blueberry picking with some friends next week and will put this on my list of what I will make with my thousands of blueberries!!
I’m making my grocery list right now so I can make this tomorrow!
This looks fabulous! Hmmm, I think I could serve this for supper with some scrambled eggs and iced coffee, don’t you think? We JUST found affordable blueberries (about $2 a pint, previously only seen for more than $10 a pint) here in my home in Asia, so this recipe looks like a great way to eat them! Thanks, Deb!
I don’t think “more buttery than it needs to be” is possible. But based on that, I need to make this immediately. Blueberries just so happen to be buy 1 get 1 this week too….
Oh, this looks like a winner! I love the story about how it got its name. I can guarantee that this will bait my husband and sons, along with several of my girlfriends.
Ha! What a great name for a dish. Wonder what kind of folks will find you on google now…
Ha – this has been on my to-make list for years – simply because of the name! It’s in a Nigella cookbook too – can’t recall which one though.
The cake looks tempting and the Sloane Crosley book is totally worth the read. Promise.
I have fresh-picked Mississippi blueberries in my freezer just waiting for this recipe. Yum!
Miss Deb –
I got a version of this off the internet about a year and a half ago and have been making it madly. The internet version has about 1/3 less butter and, you drop the bluberries onto the batter – like with your raspberry cake. It is light yet flavorful and divine. Anyway, it is such a fab cake, how could one more verison of it be bad?
Plus, feel no shame for a weakeness for things containing the word “cake.” There’s a diner we go to because on the weekends, before your get your meal – you get cake. And my poor husband knows, I wriggle in my booth, I stretch and squirm until I can be sure – yes. They have cake. The sheet pan is out of the oven and is being sliced, and all is well with the world.
I remember that recipe. My girlfriend (oddly enough) has been harassing me to make it for ages. I’m just not a blueberry fan, but I really should make it for her. It does look fantastic…
All I can say is thank you. I just made this and it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I’ll probably have to run about 5 miles tomorrow to make up for the amount of cake I consumed, but it’s so worth it. I guess I should be mad at you for introducing this to me, but I’m just in a state of euphoria. I did skip over the part about the 13X9 pan and was confused when everything started pooling out, but my only loss is a good bit of deliciousness and a clean oven. Don’t judge, it’s late. Thank you so much for posting this Deb!
Yum! Now I just have to wait for the berries on my blueberry bush to ripen in a couple of weeks.
My husband loves anything blueberry so I might just need to make this very, very soon!
I just had blueberries this evening — but in the form of a smoothie ^_^
I made the blueberry (or raspberry) buttermilk cake that’s been making the rounds lately, and I think all of us jump for something so easy and delicious. I can SEE the butter on this one, and agree with you–there’s hardly such a thing as too much.
i got teased at the grocery store for buying the two pound container of blueberries, but when i got home from work, this recipe was waiting for me! my house smells like heaven now, and the cake is wonderful. i used soymilk because that’s what I had, and it probably turned out a little bit more crumbly than yours, but i have no doubt it will be consumed. thanks!
I think that is hands down the best recipe name I’ve come across yet!
This caught my eye in the Cook’s Country magazine, but your photos really make it seem like an emergency that I make some of this RIGHT NOW. Ok, maybe tomorrow. Gotta love those America’s Test Kitchen magazines!
Looks delicious. I love how the berries bleed into the surrounding cake
This looks fabulous! I saw this recipe made on an episode of Cook’s Illustrated and have been meaning to make it ever since. Thanks for reminding me – I can’t wait to bake it up!
Yum, it looks delicious!
the name is like a challenge
to go ahead bake this for the sole feat of catching a boy!
I tried this tonight and it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!! I ate WAY too much of it! I spreading the recipe to all my friends! Thank you.
I just made the raspberry (well, strawberry) buttermilk cake last weekend, and loved it. It looks like I’ll have to try this one as well. Sigh.
Thanks for the inspiration!
Yum. YUM YUM!! I made the cherry brown butter bars (to wild acclaim) over the July4 weekend and was going to make them _again_ with blueberries but this is very very very tempting. Especially with buttermilk. Every baked good made with buttermilk is wonderful, and (IMO) substituting buttermilk for whole milk is never wrong.
Decisions, decisions …
Wow this looks great! I cannot wait to try it-LOVE cooking with blueberries:)
These look awesome. I’m going to make a special trip to the farmer’s market this weekend to see if I can gte my grubby little hands on some blueberries.
The blueberry buckle I made for the 4th had a similar effect on the boys!
Also, I defnitely read “I Was Told There’d be Cake” just for the title – but it turned out to be surprisingly good despite it’s disappointing lack of cake stories!
I think that this is a sign I should make this! It’s been on my “to cook/bake” list for ages. Guess it’ll have to be put on hold since I used up all of the brown sugar last night.
I made it last night. It tasted really good. I used dark brown sugar instead of light brown, so it came out darker. Great recipe! :)
I have been making a version of this for 25 years!! But mine is called blueberry buckle and uses only white sugar, with a sugar/butter/flour/cinnamon crumb topping. I have no idea where the recipe came from, but it is my all-time favorite summer recipe. I always have the ingredients on hand this time of year, since blueberries are plentiful in the northeast. FYI, I bake mine in a round springform and cut it into wedges to serve (with homemade vanilla ice cream of course)
Oh no… another recipe I need to make! You’re killing me! What do you do with all of your baked goods? Or perhaps a better question is, how do you bake so much and not have a heart attack from butter overload? I made two baked goods over the weekend (your cherry brown butter bars and some blueberry oat scones) and I already feel like there is way too much in the house.
did you use baking soda instead of the baking powder b/c you used buttermilk or did you just sub out buttermilk and nothing else? It’s almost blueberry season here so this will be good bait for convincing the boy and our little girl to pick lots of blueberries.
Latenac — I only swapped the milk for buttermilk.
Hi Deb – I starting making this when I saw it in Cook’s Country and honestly it is the most popular dessert I’ve ever made. (Yes, including World Peace Cookies.) I double the blueberries, and never bother to dust them with flour – always turns out fine.
BTW – I make this off season, using frozen blueberries, and it is great. I’ve also made it several times with other frozen berries – also great. Just an all around great recipe, big hit with everyone.
I made this back when the recipe first came out in Cook’s Country, and loved it, but then promptly forgot about it! So, thank you for reminding me, and I have 3 pints of blueberries in my fridge right now, thanks to a $0.99/pint sale at a new grocery that just opened, so I will be remaking this tonight!
Speaking of the Raspberry Buttermilk cake, thank you, thank you, thank you. I have made it twice now and it is simply divine. Light, fruity, with a little bitey, citrus zing…a perfect summer cake.
wow that looks AMAZING!
Oh this looks so good. Think I’ll try it for the grandkids. (That’s a good enough excuse–I do have one grandson.)
Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits, so I am hoping to get some blueberry bushes for my yard next year. It would be great to go outside and pick blueberries during the summer for a cake or a pie or just because.
I love this. Love the title. Love the story Love the way it looks. I’ve literally spent all of monday thinking about this – enough to come back to it today.
Believe you me, it’s been mentally added to my to do list. I’m pretty sure a gluten-free version (and maybe a wee bit less buttery version??) of this cake will be baked in my kitchen, boy or no!
I love, love, love, love, love, love this! The names is BRILLIANT! And what’s not to love about blueberries and boys and a girl can always use a little bait. I’m making this for my husband today! And sending it to all my single friends. Thanks.
Wow I love the unusual name! Do you think this Blueberry Boy Bait would work in muffin form? I’m thinking it could be a rather lovely weekend breakfast treat :D
Is this a hint that your going to be bearing a boy??????
ECJ — We have no idea what we’re having, going for the surprise (though 95% of the people who look at me declare “boy” with utter confidence).
Lucy — I don’t see why it wouldn’t.
@ECJ, I was just about to ask the same thing! :) None of our business really, but if it is true — ultra-cute way of revealing it.
I read ‘I Was Told There’d Be Cake’ and was less than impressed. I just feel like there’s better out there of the same quirky short-story genre, i.e. Sarah Vowell.
This cake is delicious. I have made it before and everyone always loves it.
I also made the raspberry buttermilk cake for Memorial Day but put blueberries in it along with the raspberries.
That was another delicious cake.
My daughter loved your pepper salad. Wants me to make it agian and loved the idea about soaking the red onions in the vinegar and water to make them milder.
Thanks for so many good rfecipes.
Wow-my Mom used to make this for my Dad to take to his office. My sister who lived in Memphis at the time sent her the recipe. This has definitely been around for awhile as my Mom has been cooking in heaven since 1975!
I remember it as being VERY yummy-will make soon. Thanks for the memory.
Not gravy, but I once had sweet potato fries with BLUEBERRY DIJONNAISE at a restaurant in Toronto and ohmygoodlord was it DELICIOUS!
I made a Blueberry Buckle last weekend (lured in by, yes, the NAME) and it was delicious … but this, this BOY BAIT … will have my boyfriend grovelling at my feet. I must make this immediately.
This looks excellent. I must confess that I have made the Raspberry Buttermilk cake a bunch of times (with blueberries) and it was beyond delicious. I once made The Raspberry Buttermilk Cake and accidentally added twice the amount of butter. It was still yummy and I suspect a little more like this Boy Bait cake!!
I wish – so dearly wish – that I had the recipe for an old Newfounland recipe that my grandmother used to make called Blueberry Grunt. My mother says that it was never written down, but I will continue to search, because it was so satisfying…..
Until then – thanks for continuing to be such a fantastic source of inspiration.
This could easily be named “dawn” bait…yummy…will you please send me some!!!
Funny, I just made your Raspberry Buttermilk Cake yesterday! With blueberries. My 2 yr old asked for seconds.
Mmmmmm, that looks yummy. My 3yr old is a blueberry freak! She was looking over my shoulder as I was reading this and promptly told me she wanted some of that!
Hi Deb – did you also make the blueberry/cinnamon/sugar topping? Your earlier comment seemed to refer to the blueberries in the batter, which sank a bit. But the photos don’t look like there was any of the topping. Or did that sink, too? In any event, this looks like a perfectly yummy breakfast (lunch, snack, dessert) cake.
16 T of butter. wow. that is astounding in this day and age. i bet its awesommmmm……
Hi, Deb – I finally had to comment when I saw this one. I recently went through my grandmother’s old cookbooks and recipe files. She went to culinary school and was fabulous in the kitchen, but we never got the chance to cook together. What was the first recipe index card I pulled out and giggled about to my mother?? Blueberry Boy Bait!!!! Absolutely making it now that it’s been SK approved. Thank you!!
Not to toot my own horn, but here you go: Blueberry Pasta</a.
That looks so delish I think it could bait just about anyone!!!! I’ll have to bake this!! It said breakfast to me….wouldn’t it be great in the morning with a mug of coffee? Call me crazy, but that’s what it said to me!!! -Chris Ann
thanks for this recipe Deb! I just made it with fresh peaches (I skipped tossing them in flour) and it worked really well. So satisfying!
I LOVE your blog, and could read your recipes all day! The pictures are amazing, and they truly inspire me. I have a list of recipes that I want to try, and have already made the Buttermilk Raspberry Cake, it was wonderful, easy and delicious. I bought blueberries to make your Blueberry Crumb Bars and now you posted this recipe, I am
struggling to decide which one to try.
Off to buy some frozen berries and whip this up. It looks fantastic, you blog is inspirational
I popped this in the oven before making dinner tonight. Hubby & I each enjoyed 2 squares right after our meal…not at all usual for us…but restraint was not possible. I’m already contemplating a big slab with a dollop of Greek yogurt for breakfast. This is going to be a very strong rival for my grandmother’s berry crumb squares…shhhh.
Ha! Nigella Lawson has a variation of this in one of her cookbooks, though she admits that all she really kept was the blueberries and the name — It’s sort of a cake topped with blueberries and meringue.
My Mom has the orginal Bake-Off book that the recipe was in. I remember looking at it many times but never made it, since Blueberrries (in the 60’s) were difficult to find in any grocery store in my area. We (my boyfriend and I) are going to Michigan to pick blue berries as soon as they are ready.
Oh…I rue the day I found this site. Went crazy today! Not only baked this wonderful buttery cake but made the herbed summer squash and potato torte. Also quite wonderful… the miniscule galley kitchen in my Alaskan island shack is now unbearably hot but worth every bite!
You have so many recipes which I like to try, and I cant decide which one to try first!!
Love the name – I think I saw it being baked on a cooking show at sometime in my cooking show watching career. I must make it for my cake crazy and blueberry crazy boys (and me!) – good thing blueberries are available now at the farm market. Thanks for the recipe!
Haha I’ve never heard of this before. Great name… you could probably add “Kirby Bait” to pretty much any recipe for me, though… “Chocolate cake Kirby Bait”… “Fettucine Alfredo Kirby Bait”… “Peanut Butter straight out of the Jar Kirby bait”…
My housemate made this cake this evening, and I just wanted to let you know it is totally awesome! Yum. :) Totally buttery and delicious, and I love the blueberries in a cake…reminds me of the blueberry buckle my grandma used to make (although this might be EVEN BETTER!) Thanks for sharing! :)
Deb: I love love your blog and have been tempted so many times! I have blueberries but i have cherries that need to be used first, do you think that they would work in this recipe? Can not wait to try this! My 4 and 2 year old will love it!
I am glad you posted this recipe. I have quite a bit of frozen blueberries and will definitely try this one out. The cake looks really delicious.
I am SO excited you’re going the surprise route! We did the same and likewise for most of my pregnancy people around me were 100% confident it was a boy. We kind of just started thinking it must be true. Our girl is now almost 14 months old! That moment of surprise when she was born – the anticipation of finding out! SO. Worth it! Planning be damned!
Yum! I’m going to bait my boy tonight only with raspberries since that’s what’s ready in the garden.
I made this last night for a picnic and WOW! Everyone loved it and only two pieces were left-my husband ate them for breakfast. I did double the amount of blueberries in the cake and I substituted buttermilk for the whole milk. My daughter wants me to make it again today!
I made this yesterday and it was wonderful. I substituted Fat Free milk for the whole milk (buttermilk), and used light butter to cut on calories. I worked out great, still very buttery, moist, and tasty, although perhaps lighter and fluffier.
Made it today – the first SK recipe i tried and it is a huge success! My batter was very runny/liquidy – probably made a mistake with the conversions since i use the european system – but definitly delicious! Since my vacation started just yesterday, i think i’m going to try a lot of SK recipies!! Thank you – beautiful website!!
I usually never comment until after I have made the dish you are suggesting. Not this time! I cant believe how amazing this looks, I am giving it a go as soon as I get home tonight! (I will let you know what happens tomorrow).
oooof. if only blueberries weren’t so expensive here. found this through a butterscotch ice cream recipe search — i am quite smitten.
I would totally make this based on the name alone haha. Good thing it’s also a tasty recipe!
Well Deb, you have become the Go-To person for me. I watch a number of shows, read cookbooks, and am known as a good cook amoung my friends and family. I woke up yesterday and saw there was a new posting for this delicious sounding cake. It was another rainy, gray day here in Boston and I whipped it up and carted it into work warm. WOW! DEElicious! A big hit, and verrry easy to make. I always give your site credit. Thanks again!
These look INCREDIBLE!
Blueberries have been on sale in our supermarkets for about a month now. Its been wonderful. Thanks for sharing a new and wonderful way to use them up! Plus if I hadn’t already baited my boy, butter would be the sure way to do it.
wow!!!!! i will definitely be makin gthese… and hopefully baiting some boys!!! looks incredible and i love your writing. your site is so beautiful and your food always looks delicious. thank you!!!
I saw this on Cook’s Country and tired it 3 times (I’ve used fresh, old starting to wilt, & frozen blueberries); I always get good feedback but the cake never looked tall and fluffy like on tv, however I am happy to say that my cakes do look like yours so maybe I am doing something right. Thankx!
Hey deb, mine is in the oven as I type. I flavoured it with lemon as I didn’t think I’d be so excited about the cinnamon flavour. Just added rind to the batter and the sugar topping. Will let you know how it turns out. Smelling pretty fine so far…
Thank you for the recipe! After I baked my Berry lemon cream bars I found out that July is national blueberry month so I bought some more. I was just waiting for a good recipe to try and here it is!
“though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great”
This is why I love your blog. Because only having buttermilk “on hand” is normal to you.
Making this today.
OMG – So, I’m cruising through my news feeds this morning when I see the title — Blueberry Boy Bait.
Hello! Screeching halt. Anything with “boy” and “bait” in it has to be made. My boy’s getting luuuucky! ;-)
Um, I wandered over here from PW after your visit. Just so you know. And like Sarah, I smiled over the buttermilk remark. Cheers.
I believe I am the 152 person to tell you that this must be made in my kitchen. TONIGHT.
Delicious! I just ate a little piece still warm from the oven. And a poll of the boys in my house made it unanimous. I added a little bit of vanilla paste to the batter just because I can never leave well enough alone. This recipe is a keeper ;)
Nice! I just put mine in the oven. No fresh blueberries thought, here in Mexico they’re hard to come by, so I used frozen ones. I’ll go check on it in 20 minutes or so. (The batter tasted yummy, I’m sure they’ll turn out great!)
Sarah — Was wondering when someone was going to smirk over that. My fridge is abnormal. My whole kitchen is. You should have heard me last week when I was getting ready for that morning show and they asked if I could bring serving bowls and I was like “I really don’t have any”. Seriously. I have two, at best. It’s always been enough. They probably now call this Stingy Kitchen.
Great recipe – results are light and fluffy! I too substituted buttermillk. I thought the blueberries looked rather sparse, so added 1/2 c. of frozen raspberries into the batter and 1/2 c. on top with the blueberries. Cut out 2 Tbl of butter, only used 1/3 c. of granulated sugar and 2/3 c. of brown sugar….still came out delicious and sweet!
Yes! I totally made this the other day. The Ladies Guild of Newport Rhode Island claimed it as their own sometime in the sixties, and then I found their Recipes from Newport fundraiser book and tried it myself. My fiance and I ate the whole pan ourselves in a single day!
Oof, what a blow! But so tasty.
substitute rhubarb for the blueberries and you have Moon Cake—lovely bumpy top. I’m still using my rhubarb, and will switch to blueberries later in the summer. And, I’m a sucker for clever wine bottle labels—the bottles just jump into my basket.
Made this last night and it was fantastic! I used heavy cream instead of milk (muahahaha), baked it in an 8×8 pan instead of the 9×13, and then proceeded to eat half of it. The 8×8 took about 8-10 minutes longer to bake and I only needed half the cinnamon sugar mixture for the top. It came out tall, rich and delicious – that’s good bait! ;o)
these look AMAZING so I went out and bought blueberries… Do you think these will freeze well?
My Mom has made blueberry boy bait for years. It works as a snack cake at tea, as dessert, it’s yummy for breakfast and can be a side dish at dinner. I bake it a lot when a new neighbor moves in or someone is sick.
this has been our favorite since i read it in the same Cook’s Country…passed through so many recipes before this one satisfied our tastes. oh my have to
make this again soon…will try your buttermilk tweak this time.
Made this today and it was fabulous but I used frozen blues which were ok to use according to the recipe but they sank. They were very large berries and I coated them with flour as suggested but still, they all wound up at the bottom…even the ones I put on top! I’m thinking that because they were frozen, they were too heavy in the batter…any thoughts?? BTW, great , great cake. Will make again !!
Can anything POSSIBLY have too much butter?! I guess I can imagine it, but…
That sounds really good. Hmmm…we have some blueberries – frozen and otherwise. Breakfast?
I made this today and like Kookie in London, my first instinct was to add lemon zest to play off the extreme buttery-ness. I added the zest of a large lemon before folding in the blueberries. Also made the topping with half turbinado sugar, half regular sugar to add a little more crunch to the crust.
Despite a thorough flouring, most of the blueberries (fresh) sank to the bottom and probably contributed to the cake sticking to the pan pretty badly when I flipped it over. Next time I’ll probably try the round springform pan that someone else mentioned.
Sure wish I was a friend or neighbor because I have totally been craving blueberries. Marvelous!
So I may have substituted dark brown sugar for the light the recipe called for…’cause it was all I had. No harm there.
And I may or may not have thought about replacing some of the blueberries with some fresh raspberries I snatched up at the market, and then right before putting the pan into the oven I simply added them in addition to the cup of blueberries already called for. Definitely no harm there either.
What a delicious (and equally dangerous! I believe I baited myself… I’ll be bringing most of this into work tomorrow!) recipe, thanks for sharing. Your articles are always exciting to read and it actually inspired my foodie roommate and myself to create our own “eating blog.” Many thanks!
ha! the name is so cute. Going to have to make these now! mmmm….
The name sounds catchy! Blueberries here I come!
The pictures alone drew me in. It’s in the oven baking as I type this. :)
I can’t wait!
Gotta try it!!! :)
Just a shame were I live blueberries are so expensive (even when in season) so I have to use frozen :(
Although this looks delicious, you should totally read I Was Told There’d Be Cake, if you haven’t. It’s funny and a good summer read!
I made this last year. It was smashing, but alas, I didn’t set any traps with the boy bait!
Hey Deb we don’t get blueberries where i live. is there any other fruit i could substitute for them?
Just made this. It it delicious and so beautiful to look at!
Thanks for this one, I usually boycott any recipe calling for sticks of butter (as I’m too lazy to look up the metric conversion) but this just looked too good to pass on. It deserved fresh blueberries, but even with frozen ones it was so light, fluffy and delightful. The kids loved it too once they got over their disappointment that the dark stuff wasn’t chocolate, but yuk – fruit!
Made this yesterday for a casual dinner with visiting relatives. It couldn’t have been easier, and was absolutely delicious.
I baked it in an 8×8 pan and a loaf pan because I wanted a square cake and didn’t want to convert the amounts (or end up with less cake). We did gild the lily and serve it with a dollop of whipped cream, but it certainly didn’t need it.
And I’ve heard it makes a pretty good breakfast, though I have no personal knowledge of this….
I love all the berry recipes in the summertime. Here’s a raspberry one that takes — I am not kidding — 10 minutes and looks like something you worked on for hours:
Will definitely try this one too!
This was a lovely little recipe that whipped up in no time! I added 2 cups of blueberries and used a mix of AP & cake flour, which made the cake more delicate but still delicious. I’m not sure how this can serve twelve–there was hardly any left for breakfast this morning!
My family and neighbors LOVE YOU and all of your delicious recipes :) I made this last nite and delivered it still hot from the oven to my eagerly awaiting friends. Scrumptious! I have received such love for so many of your recipes (the chocolate peanut butter cake made their jaws drop to the floor, and I swear it was gone in, er..like 15 minutes!), I just had to pass one of those big hugs on to you :)
Am I the only one who finds the name rather alarming?
This looks great. HATE THE NAME though that is not your fault (this is an old recipe name – some twit in the 1950s thought it was clever).
This is in the oven as I’m typing! I made it with frozen blueberries (we ate all the fresh ones from the yard) and in one 8’x8′ and one 9′ pyrex pie dish. It looks great and I can’t wait til the timer goes off in five minutes. Thank you so much! You’re recipes are always so delicious(:
I am hitting the farmer’s market tomorrow morning and makingthis asap! Looks sooo good and I love the name! Thanks for the post including photos.
Great recipe! Made it today and used evaporated milk, since my only fresh milk was skim. It turned out wonderfully! I also didn’t bother dusting the mixed-in blueberries with flour. It seemed (and proved to be) an needless step.
Thanks! i’m going to adapt this to a bag of amish cake base i have growing in my kitchen.
I have an old church cookbook from my grandma and there is a similar recipe in there, I’ve always wanted to try it. I think I have my inspiration :-)
mine is in the oven as I type, as well. I used reduced fat buttermilk (all I had), added a handful more blueberries (I have 2 lb tub!) and accidently added 1/2 c sugar for the topping, managed to blow a lot off (ha!) so we’ll see. I also used turbinado sugar for the topping instead of white.
Smells delicious! I’m excited :) And so are all my boys!
Holy yum! I made this tonight and it is just fantastic! So moist and flavourful! I added extra blueberries, which just made it better. I love how my entire apartment now smells of butter.
In the oven now …. can’t wait….
The kids and I picked over 20 pounds of blueberries today. Nigella has a version of this recipe as well, but I always seem to find it when fresh blueberries are just a dream. Can’t wait to give this a try!
Definitely this would be girl-bait (or rather, me-bait) but unfortunately, in this household, blueberries are the death knell for my boy (he’s allergic, and will go into anaphylactic shock). I know it’s really weird. But I love him anyway.
I made this last night to serve at a dinner at my friends looked at me and said, “Goodness, THIS IS A TEN!” It is so incredibly good AND so incredibly easy that I’m now making it AGAIN at this very moment…will probably find myself baking a THIRD helping this weekend….
I made this tonight. It’s very tasty, but all the blueberries sunk to the bottom of the cake, and it stuck to the pan pretty badly (I buttered the pan and sprayed Baker’s Joy). I don’t know if it would have affected anything, but I didn’t have whole milk or buttermilk and used 2% instead. It tastes really good but isn’t the prettiest thing I’ve made.
This is baking up right now! I love cardamom and added 1 tsp. to the cinnamon topping- another modern twist to this classic.
i made these last night for breakfast/ friday office breakfast club. it is so moist and very tasty. some of my berries sunk but the top ones made dimples and the sugar caramelized and made a crispy top. cute and very yum. i had it while it was warm. perfect! it’s been a long time since i used a 13*8 cake pan. Thanks to you, none of my baking pans ever felt lonely.
Now this is something i have never heard of. You’re a genius!
I made this today – have put pics on the Flickr site – so easy and wonderful, can’t wait to make it again with variations. Thank you so much for your blog and recipes, so much fun!
Oh and I used wholemeal flour too – came out well
The night I read this post, I made it. For breakfast – I would NEVER eat at 10:00 p.m. Heh. Well okay. Maybe I do. On occasion. Sometimes.
Of course I had to make my usual substitutions. All whole wheat pastry flour, raw sugar. It was excellent, though the blueberries sank to the bottom. Perhaps I need a thicker batter…
Thanks for the recipe!
Just pulled this beauty out of the oven. I’m so excited..Goina catch me a boy!I’m sure my husband will love it. Thanks for the great recipes. P-Dub turned me on to you and I lool forward to your posts just as much as I look forward to hers.
I had to wait an extra day to make this, because I didn’t have enough butter in the house. But I made it last night, and it was delicious warm. It’s still delicious at room temperature. I just don’t have a platter big enough for it, so it was a bit messy during the flip. We ate the ends that fell off, and decided those calories didn’t count.
The name caught my eye and the ingredients caught the attention of my taste buds. :) Made this yesterday after work in the 9 x 13 pan and, with only 2 of us here, it’s almost half gone already!. Since I had already eaten all the blueberries in the house, I used fresh raspberries from the bushes in the back yard. The cake is sooooo rich and delicious; I’ll be trying it again with blueberries.
What a great name for a cake. This cake reminds me of a cake my friend’s Czech mother used to make, except hers had a streusal topping. I’ve been hankering after blueberry cake lately. Now I now what to do with all the blueberries I plan on picking next weekend.
Smitten, I made this yesterday and had a few troubles. In short, it kind of fell apart coming out of the pan and being flipped back to right-side up on the platter. Also, all my blueberries sunk to the bottom. The taste, however, was marvelous.
Any ideas why things went (slightly) awry?
Our neighbor made this for us the other night! Yum! It went straight into our recipe file.
Made it today – I just had a little corner, we haven’t had our official dessert yet. Delicious! My batter didn’t seem as thick as yours does in the picture, I did use whole milk instead of buttermilk, don’t know if that made a difference, and my blueberries also all sank to the bottom for the most part. But no big deal – I’ll definitely be saving the recipe! Yummy!
I have made a recipe very close to this but with cranberries instead. My family asks for them year round.
I made this tonight – it seriously took me that long to have a good excuse of hosting our best friends for supper. At first I was a little bummed about the batter – it didn’t look as yummy as yours does in the picture, and as I was spreading the batter in the pan, I felt like my 1/2 c of blueberries in the batter didn’t go very far.
Then I licked the spatula.
Then I scraped the bowl out. And licked the beater.
Then I scooped some batter back OUT of the pan and ate that too. Then I finished the topping and popped it in the oven.
I had this baking while we were eating supper, and it smelled so yummy we were all distracted! I had prepared a homemade vanilla ice cream custard and turned my ice cream maker on (the cuisinart electric one is the way to go) as soon as I took the Boy Bait out of the oven, so the ice cream had churned completely by the time the Boy Bait was done cooling.
Warm Blueberry Boy Bait with homemade vanilla ice cream…I seriously don’t have the words.
I will definitely be making this again.
And my husband said his favorite thing about it was that it wasn’t so sweet that he couldn’t have a great big piece for breakfast in the morning!
i made this yesterday – and while it tastes good
when i turned it out of the pan – it completely fell apart..
maybe still too warm after the 20 minutes?
also wondering if you could use the batter of the Vanilla cranberry cake instead
which i adore!
great website! thanks for all the delicious food!
Just put this n the oven. I was really looking forward to making this recipe all week…had all the ingredients and measured them out beforehand and read the recipe a few times before moving forward.
However, I realized after the batter was in the pan that the brown sugar was not incorporated in the mix.
I think I was a was a little thrown off by the instructions to blend in the “sugars.” This is the second recipe from your website that i have tried to make where the directions were either incorrect or vague (Raspberry cake… buttermilk recipe was incorrect and wasted 2 cups of milk).
I LOVE your site and I must admit that I am a novice when it comes to baking. Is there something perhaps I’m doing wrong? Would love to hear your suggestions.
Amanda — There are two sugars in the recipe, and you add them at the same time. Sorry to hear that you’re struggling with the recipes; I make them exactly as I tell others to and if my results and the other commenters are any indication, both this and the Raspberry cake recipes work as-is. Did you make any changes to the recipe?
I made this last night–it’s too good! I saw this in Cook’s Country also, but as one other comment said, it took seeing your photos to really spur me on. I upped the blueberries quite a bit, probably 1 1/4 cups in the batter and 3/4 on top. These people who had trouble with it sticking, I’m wondering whether they tossed the berries with the flour? That’s what that small step is for. Plus I did not do the flipping out and turning back over step, but perhaps the ones who had problems with that may want to try lining the pan with foil with extra length off the sides for handles, greasing the foil, and getting it out that way. And Amanda, above, yes the brown sugar does go in the batter; it’s the additional 1/4 cup of granulated that’s listing under “topping” that goes on top. Thanks Smitten :)
yay, another cake! I’m making it tonight and plan to have it for breakfast this week. Just returned from a week at the beach with my husband’s family. Peaches were plentiful and I made four of your raspberry buttermilk cakes substituting in the peaches. HUGE hit. thanks for the great recipes!
So, I just showed this recipe to a friend who said it sounded “epically delicious” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s been stuck in my head pretty much since you posted it, and I scooped up some delish blueberries at my local farmer’s market this afternoon, ready to make boy bait happen at last. After a closer reading of the recipe, however, a mini tragedy struck. You see, I’m a broke college student whose kitchen (and 4 housemates) has been part of a lot of culinary ambitions (I made your pesto potato salad on Thursday-SO good!), but sadly enough, lacks an electric mixer. Do you think itd be at all possible to make this using a whisk and a good deal of upper arm strength or would it totally wreck it? Would love any input, and will be continue my quest for a borrowed mixer in the meantime. Thank you so much for your consistently drool-worthy recipes and photos!
Blueberries were on sale this week, so luckily an excuse to make this recipe!
I was surprised at the consistency of the cake based on Deb’s photos. Mine turned out much higher, but what I was really surprised at is how dense and heavy this is, almost like a blueberry version of a coffee cake. I did toss the blueberries in the flour, but they still all ended up on the bottom (but didn’t stick). They actually “melted” and made this blueberry “jam” on the bottom, which was delicious, especially if you warm this up a bit before eating.
I couldn’t imagine turning this out onto a platter without a disaster! The density and moistness of the cake most certainly would not allow it to be turned out without breaking apart.
The only disappointment was the sugar/cinnamon topping. It did not seem to do the cake justice. Not sure what to replace it with though. However, I still managed to eat a quarter of the cake by myself already!
Oh Deb! I made this cake at the weekend and give it 10/10! It was wonderful. I added the salt to the flour before realising that I only had salted butter in the house, but it worked wonderfully.
You saved my dessert problem for last Friday night. I went home Thursday and made this – I had everything on hand. It was a great end to our meal and tasted great one day later (actually, it tasted great all weekend).
Looking forward to trying the Zucchini Pizza. Thanks for staying on top of the farmers’ market offerings.
So I made this cake for a friend’s bday picnic and have to say its fantastic!
I have mild dyslexia so after reading the amount of salt 5x because I thought it was way too much, I proceeded to add 1 tablespoon of salt to my flour mixture. Not until the cake was in the oven did I realize that it said TEASPOON of TABLE Salt. crazy deb… BUT my friends thought that the saltiness complimented the sweetness great and loved it all the same. I’d probably use a bit less next time, maybe 1.5 teaspoons, because I liked it a bit salty, but a whole tablespoon was a bit much!
Thanks again for another AWESOME recipe!
CHRISSY – I too don’t have an electric mixer – I just left my butter out for a few hrs to soften up so that I could mix everything by hand. I simply used a fork to mix the batter and it came out perfectly moist and delish (besides the saltiness… but hopefully you realize it says teaspoon, not tablespoon)
Made this yesterday for the neighborhood picnic and it was the hit of the potluck. It is fabulous, easy to throw together (I added more blueberries) and I did not bother turning it out of the pan. When cooled, I cut it into squares and put it on the serving platter. No problem with sticking at all….used Bakers Joy spray. Great stuff! It will now become part of my baking “schtick” as my grown daughters say…
I’m sure this is a really annoying question, but is there any chance you could tell me where you go that greenish container that your blueberries are in? I’ve been looking for some for about a year now! I think they would be really cute to save and plant herbs in. :)
Amber — Not annoying. Greenmarkets and farmers markets tend to sell (and probably pick) produce in them. I agree they’re adorable. I found ceramic versions of them a couple years ago, which I mostly use for my own amusement, but they’ve since disappeared from the store where I bought them.
Britney — Definitely in the fridge for long periods. Can be out for a few hours, of course.
Jenny — Yes, but if you have 8-inch round pans with more than 2-inch sides, you’ll be best off. These used most of the 2-inch height of my 9-inch pans. (In an 8-inch square pan, you’ll have no problems.)
I made this the day after you posted the recipe
I made this the day after you posted the recipe! It was absolutely FABULOUS! I definite “keeper”!
I can’t wait to make it with raspberries. :-)
Thanks Deb-not-the-author! :-) I’ve subbed for an electric mixer before, but there’s something about Smitten Kitchen recipes–maybe its the perfect pictures of the finished product?–that makes me want to be *extra* sure I’m doing everything right.
Oh, and worry not, your salt mixup is nothing compared to my own tsp/tbsp flub that went down a couple months ago when I made Deb’s “Baked brownie, spiced up.” Apparently my brain had been so thoroughly muddled by my finals week that I added 2 tbsps instead of teaspoons of CHIPOTLE POWDER (and to a double batch, no less.) There may or may not have been tears. (See also: finals week.) I ended up make a non-idiot batch they next day and they were, of course, amazing, and weeks later, after watching Chocolat and having very specific cravings for that spicy Mayan chocolate so worshiped in that movie, my friends and I heated up the overspiced brownies I’d frozen in hopes of turning them into mole sauce or *something*, and suddenly, they were the best mistakes I’d ever made.
Made this and love it! And it is easy to make – my 3 1/2 year old son was “hepping” me make it. Ok so the topping wasn’t as even as it could have been….It make such a nice big cake that I brought in some small pieces to work today and now I’m being offered organic blueberries if I will make it again. I will – it’s yummy! Now I’m looking at all your cake recipes and they all look yummy – uh oh!
You published this just as I was trying to decide what desserts to bring to an outdoor party. Perfect! I doubled the berries also, and because my pan is very heavy, lined the bottom with buttered parchment, which definitely helped with removal. One thing I would say is to heed the “take out of the pan after 20 mins” instruction – the cake is so moist that, if it is allowed to cool all the way in the pan, it risks sogginess. (Not that the horde of locusts that descended and left me only with corner bits seemed to mind much.)
My office went wild over this —- it was great!
LOVED the name and had to try it right away…my first SK recipe. Accidentally added twice as much milk and ended up with a verrry moist cake and all my blueberries sunk, but everyone loved it and there’s hardly any left!
This was so so yummy–but I had a couple mild technical difficulties. . .First, my batter was much more liquid-y than the one you picture being spread in the pan. . .I went back and reviewed, and I didn’t miss any steps or ingredients. . .the butter was soft, but not melted, and the blueberries were fresh. . .any ideas about what I might have done?
Also, my blueberries all sank to the bottom (even the ones that were put on top). I suspect this might be related to the consistency of the batter, but I didn’t know if you might have another idea. . .
This one’s perfect with coffee =)
Jendorf- I made this last night and I think I had mild difficulties as well. The batter was not quite as thick as Deb’s picture either – what was your result? Mine turned out tasty but were a bit fluffier and “cake-ier” than I was expecting – from Deb’s picture I was expecting a more dense bar-type treat.
Any ideas on what went wrong?
Sorry if the picture makes this unclear — the Boy Bait is a cake. Definitely on the heavy, buttery side for a cake (so it even feels a little weighty when you pick it up) but it is a cake in crumb/texture. So, it sounds like your results are spot-on. Not sure why the batter is thinner than mine, but if you’re getting a moist, tasty cake, it’s all the way it should be in the end.
FANTASTIC cake – yes, it’s a bit weighty (which was a surprise when I went to remove from the baking pan) – but it’s not too sweat, very moist and the brown sugar makes a lovely change from your basic yellow sponge cake.
I made it for my MIL on Sunday – served it with a nice puddle of creme fresche that had been slightly sweetened with some powdered sugar – the slight sourness went really well with the cinnamon and sweet
I made this last night and LOVED it. It was a cinch to make, didn’t call for a lot of fancy ingredients, and was delicious. I used buttermilk, my blueberries all sank, and it wouldn’t flip out of the pan, but I took it to work and the leftovers to a meeting afterward and there is about one bite left for me to eat tomorrow. Did not advertise the name at work for fear of getting called out for sexual harassment ;-)
I just made this last night and it was wonderful! We used fresh berries, tossed in the flour as per your suggestion and they were wonderfully sweet and tart in the middle of each piece. We did have light brown sugar and used demerara but it was still wonderful! I didn’t have the right size pan so I improvised and made it in a circular spring-form pan and then cut wedges like a cake. Divine! Thank you for passing on yet another stand-out recipe!
First of all, wow. You write beautifully. As a fellow foodie and writer (not combined really) I appreciated both the writing an the recipe. Thank you so much for being here. Second, I love this recipe. Can’t wait to make it. This weekend for sure. And finally, I am so freaking jealous -237 comments on one post. Any suggestions for getting so many people excited enough to comment are always appreciated. I will be back again soon. First I have to go thank UltraRunnerGirl for telling me about you.
Have you heard of a thing called English Monkey? If you’re after crazy names, this fits the bill. It’s a type of Walsh Rarebit (grilled cheese on toast?). Check it out: http://www.recoveredrecipes.com/search?q=english+monkey
By the way, LOVE the recipe! It’s winter here in NZ so can I substitute fresh for frozen blueberries or is it best to wait until they are in season?
This is my favorite website! I made this and substituted the milk for organic vanilla whole-milk yogurt (Stonyfield Farms). I was able to use a little less butter that way. It is HEAVENLY!!!
PS- I used whole wheat flour too (Arrowhead Mills Organic Whole Grain Pastry Flour), it was great! Texture kind of reminded me of a fine, sweet cornbread.
So, we have enjoyed this two days in a row now. . .and this reminds me so much of my grandmother’s coffee cake (only with bluberries added). . .
I think I might make it in the coffee cake pan next time. . .
I had a baking urge last night and had bookmarked this when you originally posted it. So I put the batter together while I was cooking our dinner, and then baked it while we ate. It smelled like heaven the whole time it was baking and it tastes ever better.
It’s so good in fact that I brought the majority of it to work today for my coworkers to snack on — lest I keep it all at home and eat the whole cake myself!
I recently went blueberry picking in Upstate New York and I have had this recipe bookmarked since I came back with pounds of blueberries. I finally made it last night and it was amazing! Absolutely delicious and a perfect picnic cake as well because there’s no frosting. Fabulous!
I made this two days ago, and while it does make a delicious and perfectly moist blueberry cake, you’re also right- it’s *almost* too buttery. Next time I’m going to double the amount of blueberries. I keep dreaming of adding some kind of light frosting or glaze to it, but wonder if that might complicate things, because really, it’s quite perfect.
I’ve made this twice since you posted it!
The second time, I double the blueberries and it was still great. Mmmm…yum.
Serves 12????? Blueberry addicted husband + 3 boys, maybe. OMG. Delicious. Cut the topping a bit, doubled the berries, skim milk ( either that or Lactaid…ick!, 40 minutes in a glass pan, and cake nirvana ensued. So moist. So delicious. Thanks to you, my family thinks I’m a baking Rock Star. You, Smitten, are the inspiration. You give the confidence, and for that, I am forever grateful.
So easy to make–had the ingredients on hand–and oh, what a winner! Since I baked this while no one else was around, I later cut up the cake and divided it into freezer bags.
I am new to the site and was very intriqued by the Blueberry Boy Bait cake. I love blueberry anything. My son and I made this together yesterday and absolutely loved it. I knew right away it was going to be good, as it was the best batter I had ever tasted. I did not have whole milk on hand so I used 1 cup of 2% milk with an additional 2T of butter. It was amazing. One note I have is the recipe says to bake it for 45 minutes to an hour – my toothpicks came out clean at 33 minutes. I was so glad I check it when I did. It came out perfect, nicely golden and extremely moist. So I baited one boy (age 5), now we will see what his father says. We also made the watermelon lemonade, which was also very tasty. Thanks for putting out such a beautiful site with great recipes
My boy loooved this (as did his girl)!!! I didn’t have whole milk but, used 3/4 cup of skim milk and 1/4 cup of 1/2 and 1/2 which I think worked fine. I will also double berries in the cake next time.
OMG!!! This is fantastic!! My 21 yr. old son just came home from work and ate a whole row before it even had a chance to cool! Thanks for such a great recipe. (I only had skim milk and it worked just fine) Love your website!
I made this in two 9″ round pans today, and one is already gone. And now it’s almost midnight, and I’m standing in my kitchen eating more. This was so simple, but so addictive. I used a bit less sugar, and I added three apricots as well and perhaps an extra 1/3 cup blueberries. I also used 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup sour cream in place of the 1 cup whole milk, and it worked just fine. I feel like all the extra fruit made the “bait” even more moist if such a thing is possible with a recipe that uses two sticks of butter.
This was actually one of the first recipes my New England-born grandmother taught me. I made it up until I was 14, when I met my boy and he ended up hating blueberries. It’s still a great cake though!
Deb – I just have to tell you that I just received an e-mail from my sister with the subject line “S.K. S.A.”. I was like, what the heck is SKSA?
Well…my sister just made this recipe and said people were coming back for 5th helpings! Whenever my sisters, mom, and I make one of your recipes and love it (which is always), we send each other an e-mail entitled “Smitten Kitchen Strikes Again”. So, you’ve now been reduced to SKSA, but hold a huge spot in our hearts!
Thank you for being you – funny, witty, and a damn good cook – and making me a better cook day by day. Can you say “cutest 6-in layer pink lady birthday cake”? By far, the most beautiful cake I’ve ever made – thanks to your advice!
– Mary from Astoria
I am fairly new to your site and tried the Blueberry Boy Bait cake today-totally delish as is and the fam rates it a ‘make again’! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes-
Hi! I love your site. Saw the Blueberry Boy Bait recipe and knew I had to make it. Thought I had all the ingredients on hand. Only to find I only had two eggs. Made it anyway. And it tasted fantastic! Everyone loved it.
I froze half. We just pulled it out of the freezer this morning. Tastes delish.
Thanks for all the great recipes, commentary and photos. Love it!
Alas I just used up this week’s supply of blue berries in corn bread that will go to bribe coworkers for their affections. But this comes next week .THANKS!
My 10 year old son was skeptical of this one since he doesn’t like blueberries. After trying a piece he said, “I guess I know why they call this blueberry boy bait. Can I have another piece?” I halved the recipe and baked it in a 8 x 8 square pan – came out just lovely. Great recipe – thanks!
If you had to choose between this blueberry boy bait and the blueberry crumb bars, which would it be? I’m hosting a cookout on Thursday and can’t decide between the two! Thanks!
I made the boy bait and it is fablous!! It was so moist I couldn’t believe it.
I did add an extra handful of berries to my taste.
I brought it to work and it was devoured in no time! You will have more subscribers to this site by lunchtime!
Thanks for the fabulous recipes!
I have to tell you that I made this:
First, with blueberries – YUM.
Second, with raspberries – OH MY GOODNESS, it was absolutely delish. I made homemade ice cream and we had warm cake with extra raspberries drizzled over the top. Simply Magnificent!
I honestly think I would be happy with just the cake alone. I love the flavor and the texture.
I love you Smitten Kitchen! :-)
I tried this tonight and it is glorious!! I visited my grandparents over the weekend, who have a patch of several Tiff Blue blueberry bushes. This is the first week any berries had ripened and I came home with about 6 pints. Most are in the freezer now and I look forward to making this many times over, even when they go out of season. The batter turned out just as they look in Deb’s pictures for me, it had good body, a nice, spreadable consistency and wasn’t runny or thin as cake batter. Thanks for the great recipe, I can’t wait to share it with my mom!
A lot of yum! Easy to make. I did with buttermilk and it turned out delish. :-) Only made half of the recipe…it lasted 24 hours. Needless to say, for boys and girls, alike! A great way to get rid of buttermilk/whole milk, and a great way to use up fruit in season! Lots of fun to make and eat, as well as super easy! You can’t mess it up even if you try! Definitely going on my recipe of the year list! :-) (as soon as I make one!) Thanks!!
I’ve got blueberries in the freezer waiting to be used. This looks like just the thing!
After reading through the comments of your baked berry desserts, I was thinking about why some berries sink and other don’t and while some stay firm and others turn to mush. I think it may have to do with the differences in the berries themselves. Depending on the variety, time of year, and the freshness, blueberries (or any fruit) can be small, big, soft, hard, etc. Some varieties may have more liquid in them and others may be drier. I’d love to do an experiment, but it would be tricky trying to get different varieties of the same fruit.
I made this twice this week. The first time the dog liked it very much. I left it to cool only to find it completely gone when I came back in the house. So I made it the next night for a dinner with friends and everybody loved it. I have learned a new baking secret. Instead of flour I prepare the pan with sugar. It makes for a nice crunchy outside. It is lovely. Thanks so much for a great recipe.
I offered this beautiful cake to my husband who politely declined. “I really don’t like blueberries in cake,” he said. I then told him the name of the cake. He was intrigued enough to try a piece and happily retracted his earlier comment. Bait success!
Based on earlier comments, I upped the sugar about 1/4 cup and added some more blueberries. I also tried a different technique to see if I could keep the fruit from sinking to the bottom. It worked for me so maybe someone else will try it. Before folding in the blueberries, I spooned about 1/4 to 1/3 of the batter in the baking dish and spread it evenly. Then I folded in the floured berries and added the rest of the batter to the baking pan. None of the berries sank to the bottom.
I made it and it came out fantastic!! I would love to add a cinnamon crumblely type topping…do you happen to have a recipe for something like that to put on top of it? :) Thank you!! I’m planning to make the pear & bittersweet chocolate cake in a day or two.
A thousand thanks for the recipe, which happened to be the best in-law’s bait ever ! I’ve done it today and despite the canned blueberries I did not changed a comma (as we say in french) to your recipe. I wasn’t sure about the result because of the surplus of sugar brought by the canned fruits… but it turned out just fine. I can’t wait to test it with raspeberries… they are my favourites !
I made this on a Friday night and 5 days later I see my husbandbought some fresh blue berries – I ask what they are for and I get this response: “for you to make that blueberry cake again.” Kids eyes lit up and they exclaimed, “you’re making the blueberry cornbread again?! YESSSSS!” (I guess blueberry boy bait is a bit hard to remember. Everyone relates it to something familiar)
Let’s just say both times the entire pan was devoured in about 45 minutes. Go big or go home, I suppose. Thanks for such a success and new family favorite!
These are delicious. Made them last minute last night. Moist, flavorful a must keep in my best recipe box.
I’ve made this four times in the last week for a pig roast, potluck, goodbye party, and just for friends. By the fourth time I was adding more blueberries because you can never have enough. It got thumbs up at every party and several people asked for the recipe-as always I direct them to Smitten Kitchen.
I just finished making this and my batter came out a lot more mousse-like than yours did. It is currently cooling, but I’m worried that humidity may have made things a little bit different. I’ve been baking for probably fifteen years and never seen the consistency I ended up with (I always have a thick batter when working with the flour:butter:sugar ratio this recipe had). Hm.
Okay, so an update from my last comment:
Just let the cake cool and went to do the grand unveiling; as soon as I flipped it onto a platter, the entire bottom layer came off even though it wasn’t stuck to the pan. As I cut it into pieces, it completely fell apart, but it tastes fine. It didn’t look as dense as yours…it crumbled really but it tasted moist and cake-like. I’m stumped! Any suggestions?
I’ve started reading your website recently, and this was the first thing I’ve made. I substituted fresh strawberries, and everyone whose tried it has GONE CRAZY for it, thank you! My mom made the potato and squash thing too, which I suggested and got rave reviews. I am hooked! I wish you and your family all the best with your pregnancy!
I’ve made this recipe many times (since finding it in Cooks Country) using different fruits, and while it is great with lots of different fruits, my absolute favorite fruit to make this recipe with is black raspberries. I also use a full cup of fruit in the batter, and a half cup in the topping, because the fruit is what it’s all about!
Just put the bait in the oven – the whole house smells wonderful! Thank you Deb Love your blog :)
Add me to the list of those whose batter came out a little more liquidy than Deb’s… I am guessing hers was that thick because of the buttermilk. My blueberries (the cake ones and the topping ones) also all sank straight to the bottom (even though I tossed the cake ones in flour first).
This was totally delicious regardless of where the blueberries ended up. But I think I *might* have liked the uncooked batter a little more than the finished cake! I could NOT stop licking the spoon, bowl, beaters… dangerous. :P
This was delicious–you are right about the butter (both that it’s super butter-y and that, regardless, cake cannot be too butter-y!). Just posted how my three boys loved it. Will be making again and again with other summer fruit for sure. Thanks for another yummy winner :).
I made this with redcurrants this week (blueberries are quite hard to find and expensive in Switzerland), it’s really good (and easy!) I mustn’t forget to roll the berries in flour next time…
I was asked if this recipe could be prepared the night before – up to spreading the batter in the pan- and then topped and baked in the morning. The question took me by surprise as I’d never considered doing something like that. I’ve measured and prepped ingredients in advance (night before) and mixed it all in the morning to bake, though.
What do you think?
I would not recommend it. I don’t think that baking powder will stay active for 12 or more hours after mixed.
Blueberry boy bait was one of the first things my grandmother taught me to make and then I went and “caught” a man who hates blueberries. BUT, I went blueberry picking this morning and have 4 lbs of blueberries to do something with, so I’m definitely making this sometime this week.
Making this tonight…I’m sure my non-cake-loving husband (who will *only* eat cake if it is Tres leches) will be all over this. My 5 year old, our self-proclalimed any-berry-lover, is shaking in anticipation!
Loved this! Made it recently with the following changes: 1.5 sticks butter, reduced sugars to 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar (used recipe amount for the topping), increased blueberries by 1/4 cup each in batter and in topping, and used low-fat milk plus some vinegar for a “homemade” buttermilk. Turned out great, even with these modifications. Still plenty sweet. Tender, loose crumb, but still held up as a bar cake. Like some other commenters, although I tossed my blueberries with flour, they still sank. Maybe my (fresh) blueberries were too big? Anyway, it didn’t bother me at all. If it bothers others, perhaps they should try using those small wild blueberries.
Deb — I am just thrilled for you and Alex! Funny how I can be so excited for someone I don’t know, but I am. First pregnancy, first baby — nothing like it. Enjoy this time!
Great recipe — I’m adding it to my regular rotation. I made a few amendments:
• Subbed in Ontario peaches, since they are in season, and used about 1.5 cups total. Could’ve even used 2 cups and I would have wanted more.
• Sprinkled demerara sugar and cinnamon on top for crunch
• Also used buttermilk. So fluffy!
I picked up “I Was Told There’d Be Cake,” and I definitely enjoyed it!
Hi Deb, I really love your website, I do, I do, I do. But recently all the recipes I tried have been a major letdown and I keep scratching my head. This cake is far too sweet and after eating the second piece my disappointment was undeniable. I offered the rest of the cake at my office, where they usually love your creations, but the feedback was the same, too sweet and a bit bland. Was it my fault?
Your tastes may simply vary, and you may need to dial back the sugar and up the flavoring on recipes to get it to the levels you prefer.
Oh, Deb, I made this recipe yesterday because my husband and I have an excess of seasonal blueberries (in Quebec, where we can pick them, but that activity is not as fun as it would sound) and I wanted to do something with them before they went bad or if we couldn’t eat them fast enough. Of course, you’re my go-to website for baking (I am a novice baker) and remembered this.
I cannot believe what a perfect cake this is. It hit all the right notes: rich, not too rich, tart, fruity, hints of cinnamon and buttermilk. My husband can’t stop tearing through it—I have been a little more restrained. I am posting my experience with it on my blog tomorrow (full credit to you, of course) if you’d like to check it out.
If not, thanks for such a great recipe anyway!
I just had to chime in with my .02: I made this today, and my 2 boys are helping me gobble it up. It is absolutely awesome. I will DEFINITELY make this again–it’s going in the permanent recipe file.
Made these last night for a video game night my guy friends. Needless to say, it lived up to the name! The whole pan was gone in minutes!
Just made this and it looks great until…i turned it over to get it out of the pan after 20mins. some of it was still stuck in the pan and I greased well. Don’t know what happened…so i tasted it. Still has great flavor and is yummy! Hope the people at work don’t judge the appearance. :-( I put it back into the pan to hide the look and its ok…still a little weird in one corner. Doesn’t look like the finished product in the picture. What a bummer!
Finally got around to making this cake today. I could have eaten the raw batter with a spoon! It was so fluffy. It smelled wonderful while it was baking. Turned out great except that the blueberries still sunk to the bottom, even tho I floured them. Also, is the recipe correct when it calls for a teaspoon of salt? That’s a lot! I think I could detect it in the cake. Anyway when I take it to work tomorrow I know it will be gobbled up fast!
I made this today for my husband and boy is it good! Came out very light for me, yours does look much more dense than mine… and like many others, all my fresh blueberries (even though they were coated in flour) sank to the bottom of the pan. The taste is still amazing!
Wow, I made this last night with my friend James and it was delicious! I have smaller baking pans so the batter was splint in two… and one pan of it was finished in a ten minute sitting over coffee. =D yummmm.
I wonder if this would freeze okay? Freeze the batter, or after baked?
I have a lot of blueberries on hand and want to bake with them, but I don’t want to be eating a whole cake myself, haha.
If I could freeze half, I would probably make this..hmmm.
I have jsut made this….thganx so much for sharing this delicious recipe.
Most amazing snack cake on the planet! I was passing through the Amish lands of Pennsylvania and found a farmstand that was selling pints of fresh, organic, Amish-farmed blueberries. It was heaven to make this cake with those berries. To die for! I used whole milk Greek-style yogurt and it was so tender and moist. Melted in your mouth delicious. Thanks!
arrgh, i had my heart set on making this, but just realized i only have a stick and a half of butter in my fridge. :( do you think it would come out alright if i used shortening to make up the difference, or should i go back out into the 90 degree heat to buy a stick of butter?
My husband and I made this today and it was delish! I featured it on my blog as well: http://shopruche.blogspot.com/2009/08/ruche-test-kitchen-blueberry-boy-bait.html. Our next test is the peach cupcakes! Thanks so much!
I am so making this at some point!!
I made this last night and it turned out well, but kind of an odd texture: moist and crumbly at the same time. The batter looked curdled after I was done mixing in the flour and milk. I used cold milk because I forgot to set some out to come to room temp. like the butter and eggs. Could that be the reason?
I’ve made this three times this summer– it’s so good! I used more blueberries than called for, both in the batter and the topping. Once I added some grated orange zest (I had half an orange left over from another recipe). This always gets raves– as does the raspberry buttermilk cake.
I made this two days ago to take to work to share. It was fantastic. Absolutely perfect. The flavor of the dough is so buttery and kind of sweet, but it complemented the blueberries well. And the texture was interesting too. Crumbly, but very moist and almost doughy even though it was “done”. Thanks for the recipe, Deb!
Thank you for the recipe.
Here goes my changes: I swapped half of the flour with whole wheat flour. I decreased both sugars to 1/4 cup each and decreased the salt to 1/2 teaspoon. In place of milk, I used 1/2 cup of non-fat vanilla yogurt and 1/2 cup of skim (non-fat) milk.
As for the blueberries, I increased it to a total of 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries, and also included 1/2 cup mixture of chopped peaches and sliced bananas. (One large ripe peach and one small ripe banana.) I mixed all the fruit together with 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, increased the flour to 2 1/2 tablespoons, and excluded the extra sugar. Finally, I folded the entire fruit mixture into the batter. Then, instead of placing it into a regular baking pan, I poured the now-finished batter into greased and floured muffin tins. They were done in 24 minutes.
It turned out better than I thought it would. Some of fruit did sink, but most of it did manage to stay on top of the muffins. Slightly crispy on top (as muffin tops are) with some cracks on top. (From the heat escaping.) Wonderful buttery taste. Really does not need any more salt. I would probably add another banana in next time, too. The banana flavor is very subtle (a little too subtle for me). Peaches were slightly moist without being wet. I must say these are the best muffins I’ve ever tasted.
Blueberry Boy Bait is now in the oven… heh heh heh :) I feel so… scheming!
Have you ever tried adding blueberry pie filling to blueberry muffins?
I can’t help but add them, after reading Joanne Fluke’s Blueberry Muffin Murder :)
Made this in Maine on family vacation and it was AWESOME! I was using tiny perfect Maine berries so put in twice as much as the recipe called for and it was spectacular. 6 people ate the whole cake in two days! YUM.
I just made this for a bunch of frat boys and they loveeed it. And I mean my whole house of girls wasn’t exactly complaining either. Keep up the good work!
Just made this for the second time, but added about a cup of canned peaches, and used a sugar substitute.Yum. It tastes like a more delicious version of peach cobbler! Thanks for the recipe!
I just made this recipe and I love it. I have just started to cook more and this was an easy enough recipe for me to make.
I added a little brown sugar to the topping mixture. Thanks for this, I plan to add it to my recipe collection.
I was literally kissed by men other than my husband for baking this. Scrumptious!
I hate to be the only (?) dissenter, but, well, I made it tonight for supper (the dessert part of the meal) and didn’t really care for it—light, buttery, a couple blueberries, not much flavor. Good, but bland.
The kids loved it though…
Fabulous recipe! Tried it with buttermilk and loved it! Best part was the smell as it baked :) Yum!
I made this this week and I believe it! If you bake it they will come.
It smells so good baking. I am giving the recipe a chance to snare me as is, but I desperately wanted to add lemon rind and vanilla (as some other posters have suggested). If this replaces my current blueberry muffin recipe, I will be throwing the batter in muffin tins. Also, if this gets my a diamond ring, I will make it my life’s mission to pass your blog on to every single woman I meet. haha!
Baking Blueberry Boy Bait now… My electric mixer died on me after i have mixed the eggs and sugar… Using whisk to work thru’ the rest of the recipe… Hope it turns out well… Planning to get 1 electric mixer… Any commendations?
Best homemade cake I have ever made can’t wait to tweak it with other ingredients, thanks!
I made a lighter version with just one stick of butter, replaced two of the eggs with 4 egg whites and used 2% instead of whole milk. The cake was still tender, delicious and sweet. My family loved it- I’ll definitely make it again.
A friend made this at my place last night — it worked so well it brought my husband home a day early from his business trip!
Does this really work for baiting boys? I’ve got a couple of guys in my life who could do with baiting…
I had a pint of blueberries I wanted to use and this was the perfect dessert for them! When I made this, I thought the directions said to use a 9 inch pan (I totally misread the 13 x 9 part) so I used a 9 x 9. Twenty minutes into cooking I realized the mistake and noticed it had risen just above the top of the pan. After 40 minutes of baking, it was still a little jiggly in the middle. After cooking for a total of ~55 minutes the toothpick came out clean. They were actually perfect with a very moist bottom and center and a crispy top just like in your photos! Thanks for this LOVELY recipe. I can’t wait to make them again!
I just pulled this “bait” out of the oven and it smells delicious! Mine got a little more “golden” because of a quite timer, but luckily not at all burnt. I can’t wait to eat some! Thanks for posting this, I had some leftover frozen blueberries that needed to be used and this was the perfect way to get them out of the freezer.
Off to see if I can cut a piece out of the pan…
I tried making this today, but I didn’t have a mixer, so I had to do everything by hand…My batter was much more liquid than that shown in your pictures. More similar to pancake batter than the light, doughy look that yours has. All of my blueberries sank to the bottom during the baking process :(
I’m really not a baker, so I was hoping this recipe might boost my confidence a bit, but it didn’t…Do you think the fact that I didn’t have a mixer made a difference with the consistency of my batter? I assume that the consistency of it was the reason that the berries sank to the bottom, rather than being suspended in it.
If anyone could answer that for me, I’d be very grateful! :) Thank you so much! And I love, love, love the Smitten Kitchen blog!
Just made this for a new guy I’m dating who says he loves everything blueberry. It smells so incredible; I don’t know if I can wait for him to get here to eat it. Man.
I made this tonight with my 3 year old daughter. I let her stir and help put ingredients into the bowl. When I was getting ready to do the last part she stuck her finger into the batter, tasted it, and announced, “This is really good, Mommy!” She was even giving me a thumbs up! We loved it and are planning to share it with our “boys” (daddy and brother) for breakfast in the morning :)
Ok, I gave in and made this today even though I’m leaving for Venice in 2 days…I suspect it will be gone. It smells fabulous and I’m just waiting for it to cool to take some over to a friend’s for coffee. :) Thanks again, Deb. You’re a goddess for making me feel like I can bake!
Made this last night and it came out great. First time I have made something from this website. Great recipe. It was so good straight out of the oven.
i cannot wait to go home from work, put my apron on, and plug in my red kitchen-aide and bake up a storm. i already have my fresh blueberries from the farmers market!
so last night was an unexpected late night for me. . . so instead of staying up till 2a.m. because i didnt walk in the door until 1130p.m. to back i got up this morning and baked my heart out and walked into the office at work with still warm from the oven. . . blueberry boy bait cake! it was a hit!!!! thankyou once again. i dont think i can thankyou enough for your time and dedication you put into your site!
I am sure this is extremely belated but as I made this cake all summer and plan to do it again this summer, is there any harm in baking a couple and freezing them well-wrapped?
No, it is very buttery and thus should freeze well.
Excellent! Thanks, Deb!
Wow.! I think I’ve found my new favorite summer dessert! Thanks so much
I have been waiting months to make this, and since we finally got blueberries from our csa it is now in the oven, and judging by how good the house smells (and how good the batter tasted…shh, don’t tell) I cannot wait to eat this!
Thanks for yet another wonderful recipe!
I made this last week. After the cake cooled on my way out, I decided to slice 2 squares for my doorman and 1 for me as I do my errands. I got into the elevator with my neighbor and gave her the square for me since she said she loved blueberries…Both loved these as did I. It was tasty and easy.
I just made a batch of these and felt compelled to comment as they cool (not that I’ve, um, already eaten a piece). First of all, wow! So yummy and moist and buttery and light and the little speckles of blueberry are just gorgeous. I left out the cinnamon and they were perfect, they seemed to get more of a crust on top than the one in the pictures did but hey, more crumbs for me! I didn’t have the right size pan so I split it up into two batches, one in a 8×8″ baking tray and one in a shallow roasting dish. It worked perfectly, but even better was that I added a hunk of finely chopped white chocolate to the second batch. If you are even vaguely contemplating doing this, then DO IT. It is so good, especially melty and straight from the oven. My only concern is getting it out of the pan in its little squares and not a heap of (still delicious) crumbs, and getting it to last til Sunday afternoon.
Oh, and it really does serve 12 generously: they’re big slices. You could definitely stretch it further, especially with some ice-cream on the side.
Thanks Deb! I can’t thank you enough for your lovely site.
I made this for the first time today.
I wasn’t overly impressed with it to be honest. I found it far too sweet, and other than the overwhelming sugary taste it was pretty bland.
I’m thinking some lemon zest, or lemon juice might add something nice to the flavour.
I can’t say that I’ll ever make this again though, even to experiment with it.
Hopefully the boys in the house will like it enough to eat the whole cake.
mmm, San Diego Pride is coming up, and I’m still single. I think I need to make a few batches and take them to the Pride Parade, and see if I get any dates out of it. We’ll see if it’s really ‘Boy Bait’.
I tried this recipe again, and it turned out better than the first time. The bars held together, but it was hard to get a clean cut with a knife. Would chilling them first work, as with brownies?
Christina — Definitely chilling them helps. I will even stick things in the freezer for 10 minutes, just to get clean cuts. But, I do think for this cake I just used a good bread knife…
I made this because I might be in love with blueberry recipes but when I turned it out, about 1/3 stuck to the bottom of the pan. I greased with a PAM cooking spray and definitely sprinkled with flour and even let it cool for a bit…I don’t know what I did wrong… Anyway, the cake was amazing! My boyfriend and his roommates at the whole thing in like 3 days!
I made this on the weekend for a street party. My blueberries also sank. And I thought it would be too hard to invert it out of the pan and then flip it over. I”m just not that co-ordinated so I cut it out like brownies. It was devoured quickly!
I just pulled this out of the oven. it only took 34-35 minutes to bake (my oven runs hot). I think I could have even taken it out a minute or two earlier(mine is a little more brown on top than the one you pictured). I guess we’ll see how it turned out once it is cut. Smells great!
Made this twice last week and it was a hit! But I had the same problem as a lot of other posters- all my berries sank to the bottom, even though I coated half with flour and sprinkled half on top. Any thoughts?
Made this last night to take to dinner with family. My aunt is a big blueberry buckle fan, so I thought this would be a different take on essentially blueberry coffee cake. It was excellent! I love blueberries and doubled the amount in the cake and also through a ton more on top. We were running late so we only baked in 30 minutes at home and then 20 during dinner, so it was warm for serving. We didn’t have any problems with the blueberries sinking, and my husband thoroughly greased and floured the pan, and it came right out perfectly (we did brownie style too and didn’t flip it). Less then 18 hours later and its almost all gone. Thanks for the delicious recipe with the amusing title!
I just made this and turned it into a blueberry upside down cake. I spread 4 tbsp melted butter around the bottom, sprinkled 4 tbsp brown sugar over this followed by 1 1/2 c. of blueberries before throwing the batter down on top of this. I then skipped the blueberry sugar topping, as my topping was on the bottom of the pan. It is delicious!
Thanks for this recipe, Deb — I made this in highly successful mini-cupcake form for my big gay roommate’s birthday, and he completely appreciated the name.
For anyone who found this cake a bit bland, try adding a tablespoon of fresh-grated ginger and half a teaspoon of minced lemon zest to the batter after the eggs. They’ll give the cake a bright, summery kick.
Love this cake!! It’s airy, light, and I love that cinnamon/sugar combo on top. Next time I’m going to increase the amount of blueberries
This was awesome! So light and delicate with a butter overload, it was a big hit with my family! Like many others, my blueberries sunk. They were pretty big blueberries though so thats most likely the reason. We brought a plate over to some friends and they have been raving for days! Thanks for the great recipe, we definitely make again :)
Just made the BBB this afternoon and upon tasting it immediately decided to take half of it over to a friend’s because I couldn’t risk being home alone with the whole thing. It’s delicious.
I made this for the first time tonight. It was so moist and yummy.
I am going to bring some of it to a friend tonight because it’s way too much for my hubby and two baby girls (5 and 14 mos). Will definitely make it for the next bake sale/potluck type event at daughter’s school this year. Thanks!
Baked some for dessert tonight and am now thinking we may not be able to wait that long. This cake is delicious! I made it with buttermilk, instead of milk, which added just the right amount of tang. And the smell while this was cooking – absolutely amazing.
I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a long time now, and finally got around to making it. This is absolutely one sugary, buttery delicious cake. I was expecting more coffee-cake-like texture, but texture-wise I think this is like no other cake I’ve had. So tender and soft. The only change I made was to throw in some extra blueberries and top with sliced almonds. This cake is so good in fact, that I’m going to have to avoid making it again or only make it for special occassions where it will be shared, so that I don’t end up eating way more than I should!
I made this last year, and took it out of the oven when the toothpick came out clean (at 30-35 min), but the texture was beyond moist, to fudgy. Is is safe to assume that this cake is much too buttery to really worry about drying out by overbaking? That is, should I just bake it for the recommended time? Also, do you think I should up the sugar if trying it with sour cherries?
This turned out SO warm, and light and comforting! I made a drizzle to put over the top to liven it up a bit more using
– powdered sugar
– fresh squeezed lemon juice
– half ‘n half
– freshly grated lemon zest
This gives it a nice pop and is SO delicious!
does anyone know if this cake would turn out well if baked in a bundt pan?
I have it baking in the oven at the moment. Have three boys waiting patiently (one big, two little). Blueberries are in season in my part of Australia at the moment, so making the most of them.
Thank you Smitten Kitchen for this amazing recipe! It was the bomb! Have just discovered your blog and looking forward to trying many more. From one cake lover to another… have you tried a Lumberjack Cake? It’s an absolute hit… date & apple with a crunchy coconut topping… it’s a winner in the cake department, a real crowd pleaser. Can also be served warmed as a pudding with caramel sauce. http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/Lumberjack-Cake-L425.html
I made this last night and o my goodness it’s delicious! I’m kind of obsessed and ate way more than I should have.
I used buttermilk instead of milk as that’s what I had.
I was so happy to see this recipe! It’s a close cousin of my mom’s famous Blueberry Thing (“Thing” because it’s not quite a cake, not quite a bread…). Blueberry Thing (provenance unknown) uses sour cream and is dusted only with sugar. The best part is always the gooey center that never quite bakes all the way through. Now I’m tempted to have a blueberry bake-off to compare the two!
After having this recipe filed into my “I must make this” file for about a year, I finally baked it last night. Verdict: Amazingly tasty. However, my berries sank. :(
I have to admit, I had to take a deep breath before unwrapping two sticks of butter and throwing them in a bowl. I’m so glad I did! This turned out moist and buttery and delicious. My berries sank too, but I’ll forgive them. I wish I had put a little bit more cinnamon sugar on top – or I wonder if maybe some turbinado sugar on top of this at the end might give it a nice little crunch? That’s what I do on my banana bread – but this is so much lighter, maybe that would be too much hefty sweetness on top? Anyway, this was great for dessert on Saturday night and great for breakfast on Sunday morning.
Just to say, I baked this twice this week alone and it keeps disappearing!! >:[___]
(I swapped 1/2 flour for 1/4 whole wheat and 1/4 hazelnut flour and the 1/2 cup sugar for 1 ts of stevia) I will try next with black currants ! (I suspect it will still disappear, though :p)
absolutely fantastic recipe! my mother, who hates blueberries and cinnamon (especially) asked for seconds! will be making this more regularly, thanks!
Was SO yummy! I made it for a dinner party and am now making it for one of my parent’s dinner parties. Your recipes (and blog) are so wonderful!
Goodness! I have the 1968 edition of the Pillsbury Bake Off Cookbook (my mom’s) and couldn’t resist making the Blueberry Boy Bait when I found the recipe years ago. My husband loved it, and I’ve made it several times since. Imgine my surprise when I consulted your website for something new to make with the fresh blueberries I brought home!
I don’t really like blueberries but I want to eat this! Good job!
I am new to baking and am learning on my own from trial and error as I go. I really want to try out this recipe but the only home oven I have access to only crank up to 250 degrees celsius at full power. I noticed that the recipe calls for “350 degrees”, I was wondering if it’s still okay to bake a cake at a lower heat please? Or are there ways of getting around it (i.e. I’ve heard using a dark coloured cake pan).
Thank you very much for sharing the recipe and any advice in advance, the cake looks fantastic (as with every other dish on smittenkitchen). I do apologise if I may have misinterpreted any info or instructions on the recipe.
rachel — The 350 is Fahrenheit, which would be 180 Celsius. I have more temperature/oven conversions listed here.
I made this for the first time two weeks ago after seeing the link on Lauren Conrad’s website and my family is obsessed with this recipe! I did add an entire cup of blueberries to the actual cake batter as well as a little more than half of a cup on the topping just to make it extra fruity and it is absolutely delicious! Great recipe!
I halved the recipe and baked it in an 8X8 pan. It was delicious, so moist, so sweet, so buttery. It didn’t last a whole day, every time I walked by I couldn’t resist snatching another piece. The blueberries all sank straight to the bottom, which was a little disappointing, but didn’t stop us from eating and enjoying every last crumb.
Ah, you never disappoint!
I made this last night (after some orange sesame chicken) in an attempt to rescue a life-marathon of one disappointing event after another.
I didn’t even flour the blueberries and they seemed to be just fine. Okay, maybe they sunk to the bottom, but some of the topping blueberries had started the southern migration as well, so….happy medium.
My bf and I LOVE this cake and with blueberries so much cheaper in the summer, we can afford to! Hurray!
Life changing. I don’t understand proportions in recipes too well, but whatever is responsible for the amazingly light texture, I need to make everything this way. Thanks for sharing!
MY CURRENT GIRLFRIEND SNAGGED ME WITH THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trust me ladies, it works!
When Harris Teeter advertised a ‘buy 1 punnet of blueberries, get 2 free’ – I thought it would be rude not to take them up on the offer… So after buying them and searching smitten kitchen for a blueberry dish I could make with the ingredients I had at home, I found this one..
I have one thing to say… SENSATIONAL!
This cake is bloody delicious, not to mention so simple and idiot proof! I don’t even have an electric mixer and it turned out as light and fluffy as ever (perhaps I just have a strong arm?)
Anywho, anyone thinking of making this should def give it a go!
Could you/would it be detrimental/recipe killer to use yogurt instead of buttermilk in this? Thanks!
Looks like commenters 244, 299 and 306 did successfully!
This looks great, mines in the oven now. Tasted the batter, and love the addition of brown sugar which makes it taste yummy!
I made this today for a lunch with friends and it was so good! I did end up tossing some extra blueberries on top as I thought it looked a little sparse with just the half cup and I’m glad I did.
Everyone (boys and girls) loved the “Blueberry Boy Bait” that I baked. However, I did have some edits. I used brown sugar instead of light brown sugar that the recipe calls for. I also put in some extra blueberries. And I only baked it for 30-35 minutes.
I think I will be making a drizzle next time to top the dessert with (probably the one suggested by Amanda #356, sounds yummy) since it turned out a little dry.
I’m two years later on this recipe but it came out GUHMAZING. I’m amazed by how soft and fluffy it is yet it doesn’t crumble when you pick it up. My boy loved it for sure!
Made Them last week and made the biggest mistake ever! In stead of 1 teaspoon salt, I don’t know how but I put in 1 Tablespoon Salt. I didn’t figure this out until my Mom Tasted the.. Me just started backing so! And have to get used to the USA measurements.
!!!However!!! All my friends and family did like them. It gave them a different kind of twist!They were all finished. Next time I’ll look better at the measurements :P
I’m know I’m late to this party – but I have to tell you, I love this recipe. I followed a comment on epicurious bragging that your blackberry cake was tastier than their blackberry cake. I haven’t had a chance to test that claim, yet. Blueberry Boy Bait is going to become a staple; it is so darn good. You have a wonderful blog, thanks very much!
To keep the berries from all sinking (and I use one cup in the batter and one cup on top), here’s my tip. Spread up to 1/2 the batter into the pan before folding in the berries. Use enough so you can spread the batter without it pulling up and away from the floured surface. Then, fold the berries into the remaining batter and add to the pan.
I always add more sugar, and it takes much less time to bake in my oven. I starting checking after 25-30 minutes.
I know this is a late request, but how did you get it out of the pan? Did you use parchment paper? I made it last year and we all loved it, but had to cut it out of the pan! Thanks!!
Oh my goodness this cake is amazing !! It stuck in the pan even though I greased and floured it so next time I will use parchment paper but I will definitely make it again.
I made this recipe and split into two bread pans, lining each with a parchment paper sling (for the bottom and long sides, flouring and buttering the short sides). Worked perfectly, and the recipe came out great.
Ok, so I just made it for a second time, this time for a friend who came back in Paris. Well, I’ll admit it, also to celebrate a last summer baking, Paris getting quite automn-y lately… My oven being quite small (I mean like really small), I made it both times in a 23×23 cm pan, 2/3ing the recipe. Yeap, I love my math too! It was amazing, again, and I think in my head it will always be this summers’ cake :) And, as I’ve mentionned before, in my totally misplaced ps in my dobos torte comment, as for the boy, it worked like a charm ;)
I just made this and OMG!! Amazing! I ground up some raw almonds and added it to the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and upped the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to 1, and it’s so yummy!
This is a repeat for SURE!
I made this yesterday. The texture was fluffy and moist, the topping was nice, and I didn’t have any problems with the blueberries sinking. However, the cake itself was very, very bland and flavorless. I think it needs *something*–vanilla, lemon zest, or maybe even an extra pinch of salt. I will make it again, but I’ll definitely modify it a bit next time. Also, it only took 30 minutes to bake, so if you wait 45 minutes to check it, you might find yourself with a very dry cake.
Made this to take to visit good friends who are camping by the ocean (it’s summer holidays here). Was easy to make and not one piece was left to take home, although all my blueberries migrated to the bottom of the cake.
Commenter 325 here. Just dropped in to say that a year and 8 months later, the boy continues to take the bait! Er, you know what I mean. We’re living together and going strong; I’m convinced the baking plays a part. Ha.
Thanks for a great recipe!
I will definately be testing out this ” bait ” sometime in the near future ;)
Oh my gosh! This was delicious, I’ve already made it twice and both times it was gone in a matter of minutes (thanks to my co-workers!). Thanks for the recipe!
Made this for all the guys in the kitchen I work in. They loved it ( and so did I!) and kept coming back for more. My chef usually doesn’t eat sweets, but he ate these up in a hurry!
YUM! I made it with whole raw milk and HUGE frozen blueberries (that we picked last summer). Most of the blueberries sunk to the bottom though. I’ll make it again though… it was SOO good!
that was AMAZING! Deb, I love all of your recipes (and can’t wait for your book), but this one is my favorite so far. Delicious!
I’ve made this recipe on 3 separate occasions now and each time it was a huge success! Thanks so much!
I had some frozen blueberries to use and I weighed between blueberry crumb bars (which I had made on a number of occasions, every time perfect) and this recipe and ended up making the boy bait. I wish I didn’t because I didn’t like it. I mean, I did eat it (I hate throwing food away) with a glass of milk but I didn’t enjoy it. It was like any plain yellow cake and I don’t like yellow cakes. Not worth of the blueberries and the butter. :)
These are adorable! I saw that they were featured on Lauren Conrad’s website and just had to check them out
Deb, every blessed time I read this recipe title, my brain interprets it not as, “blueberry-flavored bait for a boy” but instead as “bait for a blueberry boy.” I’m not exactly sure what a blueberry boy is, but I’m sure I would love to catch one. (For the record, I vaguely imagine a curly-headed child with blue suspenders who sneaks around snatching handfuls of poorly-guarded blueberry desserts.)
Made this today. Added some cardamom to the topping as well as a tiny bit of vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom to the batter. It was fantastic, and the added bonus was how my house smelled while it was baking.
Hmmm, not sure what I did wrong but this did not come out of my pan very well. I let if cool for 20 minutes. When I flipped the pan over to place it on my serving plate, only one corner came out and even part of that was still stuck to the pan. I greased and floured the pan but perhaps not enough? Just glad this wasn’t for company but my own boy and I to enjoy.
made this gluten Free today, and it was delicious:
for the 2 cups of flour:
2/3cup white rice flour, 2/3cup sorghum flour, 2/3cup coconut flour.
I used 1 tsp of Sorghum flour for mixing with the blueberries.
2 full teaspoons xantham gum.
I also added some Vanilla (like Cara) and it really popped the flavor of the blueberries. Also, I added some extra cinnamon sugar to the top (brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and white sugar)
This will become a wonderful addition to our summer BBQ fare!
Made this today…loved it! It will be a keeper! :)
Made this after making the rhubarb snack cake (since the link was there and I had bought both rhubard and blueberries at the store)…It is awesome!!! I added way more blueberries, just cause I had them and was afraid they go bad. The crumb is just so plush and soft! The blueberries are like little puddles of greatness!
Just made this today to bait my 19 year old boy. Packed it in his lunch along with another bait used for boys; home made—-pepperoni bread. A mom has do something to keep him on the hook, nothing like full tummy to remind of him who his first girl was. Sorry I am having empty nest syndrome.
About the cake; it came out great. Do you think I could bake it in a 10 inch inch tube pan? My favorite summer cake is a tube that slice into nice neat pieces
as thin of thick as you want.
Just made this, but substituted half. the butter with mashed banana and two eggs with half a cup of unsweetened apple sauce. I’m really, really happy with the taste! Especially because I added some peaches that we had in the freezer for a disgraceful amount of time. Overall, the cake is great! Though I wish I had added some more blueberries and kept more of the cinnamon d sugar o top.
I know I substituted a a lot, but do you have any suggestions for how to achieve a more cakey result?
I’m late to the game, I know, but I had to say thank you. Made this last night as a thank you to the after school staff for my daughter, and it was a hit. I tripled the blueberries and added some lemon zest, and I’m thinking this will be our summertime go-to dessert for 2012. Thank you!
Lovely cake, wonderfully moist. I froze half of it and it was just as good defrosted and popped in the oven for 5 mins.
This was a HUGE hit! I made it along with a warm blueberry lemon compote to spoon over the top… delicious. 45 minutes in my oven worked out just fine for the baking time.
Just wanted to tell you that I already love it, even though it is still in the oven! Like Cara (nr. 404) and Ashley (nr. 406), I added some vanilla extract because I read some comments saying it was a bit bland? So I hope it turns out nicely. Also almost doubled the amount of blueberries by accident so we’ll see how that turns out… :) I really love the simplicity of the recipes you post ;)
Made this cake yesterday with a couple of mistakes – forgot to put in the 3rd egg & I doubled the amount of blueberries in the batter to 1 cup. the cake was delicious – nice & light. The blueberries did NOT sink & the cake came right out of the pan. My friends LOVED it! Thanks, Deb! This is the first recipe of yours that I tried & I will definitely be back for more!!
I just described this cake to a friend as ‘Not merely good, but the kind of good that’s worth climbing into an unmarked van with a creepy stranger over.’
Ok, well. Don’t climb into any vans, just make it yourself, it’s easy.. :D I made it as a birthday cake for my own boy, as something of a reminder of why he sticks around years after being initially baited.
I used huuuge frozen blueberries, they did sink to the bottom and made the bottom of the thing into a gooey purple blueberry bomb layer, but honestly? It’s delicious thus, and I’d do it again on purpose. It almost makes it into blueberry surprise.
I had buttermilk, but it was old enough to be quite tart so I used 1/2 buttermilk and half 1% milk, and it was fine.
I used turbinado sugar to sprinkle the top; I measured out 1/4 cup and started sprinkling and it started to seem excessive so I used barely half of it, (2T) and discovered two things: First, the turbinado doesn’t melt completely and lends some crunch (YUM) and you really could go up to 1/4 cup of sugar on top, the ‘body’ isn’t as sweet as you’d think. Actually very light and wonderful (If I want candy, I’ll eat candy.. I like a light, friendly cake.)
Just made this. My first sk recipe is a ridiculously delicious triumph. Thanks for all you do!
This is a good cake. I didn’t bother gradually adding and alternating ingredients, just dumped them in all at once and it was still great. Someone even asked for the recipe which I think is the ultimate compliment.
I made this with my nine year-old nephew (the boy I was intending to bait) and, even though every blueberry sank to the bottom, we (and the rest of the family) purely LOVE it!
Made this tonight with 1 C blueberries in the batter and 1/2 C on top. Definitely to be repeated! I will try the raspberry buttermilk cake this summer, too…
Absolutely exquisite. I am eating the first piece of this and it is spongy (not in the literal sponge-cake meaning), moist, delicate and just full of buttery, blueberry goodness. I used an extra 1/2 cup of blueberries (we have so many) in the recipe total and I think it could have still stood more. So I think playing with the blueberry amount is safe to do. The cinnamon sugar crust is a perfect topper. This is a winner in every way. Thanks, Deb!
I’ve used this recipe several times now- for cookouts, going-away parties, birthdays, etc. It’s always amazing and get rave reviews- I’ll probably make this cake every summer forever. Just made it with Muscavado sugar (you can tell you bake a lot when you have Muscavado sugar in the house but are out of light brown) and it smells great! It’s just one of those great recipes you can keep coming back to- thanks for posting it!
Could not even wait the requied 20 minuts to let it cool. Am eating it, piping hot – right out of the oven with, with ice cream. Perfecto!
Thank you so much Deb, I am in love with this cake (I like it even more than the rhubarb snacking cake…) I made it gluten-free using my favorite AP flour and almond milk (trying to keep lactose levels lower). I am having a hard time knowing that there is still more downstairs… It is incredibly tasty, but certainly not healthy :)
I captured my boy back in college 45 years ago but still like to keep him happy with treats. Today I made half a recipe for an easy week-night dessert, halving all ingredients except for using 6 Tbsp. butter and 1 egg+1 yolk. Baked for 30 minutes in a pyrex pie plate. Perfect!
OK, time to make this recipe again! Blueberries are in season now and they are wonderful. I would like to take the time to thank you for the effort you put in the photos, recipes, blogs and all of your comments. I am truly appreciative!
I made this for my husband’s office recently and I have some in the oven once again by the request of one of his co-workers. I’m getting a good reputation at his office for my cooking and baking, thanks in part to you. I tell them to find the recipes here, but they keep asking me to cook. It certainly doesn’t hurt my feelings!
Although all my blueberries sank to the bottom, this cake was delicious. My mother loved it too and asked for the recipe. I used buttermilk powder, a few more blueberries than it called for and added some vanilla. I’ll be making this again.
First time making this the other day. My husband and daughter couldn’t get enough. It was sooo good. I added more blueberries but otherwise followed the recipe as it is. Definitely a keeper. Thanks Deb!
OH, so delicious!! My best friend is from Maine and loves blueberries – made this to share for her birthday at our church luncheon. Would you mind if I put a link to you on my blog? It is such a beautiful cake.
Do you think cake flour would be ok to use in place of the AP flour?
Hey Deb! Absolutely love your blog (reading it now at nearly three am when I should be asleep). I can’t even remember how many times I made this recipe this past summer. I’m told my uncle claims it’s the best cake he’s ever had. The one modification I made was to slice, spice (just cinnamon) and saute as many good peaches as I could muster and line the bottom of the pan with them before pouring in the blueberry batter. The peaches get all kinds of syrupy and wonderful, and the cake soaks it up like…well it’s three am and my brain is a bit fried, so I’ll just say something that soaks. Thank you so much for your writing, and your GORGEOUS photography (I’ll admit it’s my favorite part).
Just made these with gluten free flour and blackberries (they were on sale). Fantastic. Hopefully this brings the boys!
THIS cake is really fantastic !
My family loved it
I made this cake this morning with frozen blueberries and it turned out beautifully. My husband and son gobbled it up so it really is Boy Bait :) Thank you!
I made this tonight and sure enough, my four sons crowded around as soon as it came out of the oven. It works! It is a very simple cake, but is so buttery and delicious, with just enough of everything.
Let me start this by saying I am not a cake person. YOU have made me into a cake person, or rather this recipe did. Made it with my cousin tonight, and even though I accidentally added way too much brown sugar (blame the measuring cup that is both 1/4 AND 1/2 cup) it came out fabulous. So fabulous that we are going to make versions of it with raspberries and blackberries and all manner of yummy berries.
I made this last night and it was amazing, a hit with everyone! Thanks deb!
Made this today and boy was it delicious. Mine was done at 30 minutes, maybe even a little over done, the top was brown. Glad I checked it. My batter was runnier than yours, as many have mentioned, but it still came out marvelous. My blueberries didn’t sink to the bottom, and the ones that stayed in the crust gave a really good sweetness to the crust. (I did add more blueberries than recipe requested, about 3/4 cup for batter and 1/2 for crust) Absolutely LOVED this dish, one of my new favorite recipes. Thank you so much!!
This is amazing. Just baked it. So so good. And I am going to pretend that there aren’t two sticks of butter in it so that I won’t feel guilty when I eat the majority of the cake.
I just had a thought (while munching on a piece of this cake) – what about adding some cornmeal to the batter (subbing out some flour)?
Hi sarah — Funny enough, I have a blueberry cornmeal butter cake in my book which does just that. It’s a less buttery recipe than this, and a smaller, thicker cake. I am sure if you google around, someone might have posted the recipe online by now. I hope you like it.
Wonderful! I actually own the book and love it! I guess I just didn’t notice that recipe!
My husband requests this … often!
I came across your recipe while on the hunt for something to do with my farmer’s market eggs and milk… made this for a group in a healthier version, and the ENTIRE pan was gone in a day. Your recipes are always solid. Here’s my lightened up version that worked amazing as well: http://www.thecleansheep.com/2013/06/10/blueberry-sunday-cake/ Thank you!
Made this over the weekend for a barbecue and it was a huge hit. The cake is so light and flavorful. I didn’t have light brown sugar so I used dark but other than that, I made the recipe as is. Will definitely be making this again soon.
This is the 4th time I’ve made this! Obviously I really, really hate it. Question for you Deb, Every time I make it no matter what I try my berries always sink straight to the bottom. Any ideas on how to remedy this?
Ariel — It’s just the cake batter. Smaller berries will sink less (such as wild blueberries) but thinner cake batters always have trouble suspending the fruit.
I made this Friday at work. We have a full kitchen in the office :) I added vanilla..mistakenly. It was delicious! I used more blueberries and they sunk to the bottom as well.
This boy bait sure works! I told my boyfriend I was going to make it for our 6 year anniversary and he proposed the next day! Just kidding, he had been planning it for a long time. But he’s a huge fan of your blog (he calls it his food crush) so this cake is the perfect celebration!
I’m considering making this in muffin tins instead of the pan… I rarely use muffin tins so I’m not too familiar with adjusting the baking time — how much should I shorten it by? Super excited to try this!
My cake turned out moist and delicious. It doesn’t look as pretty as your’s because most of my blueberries sank to the bottom so the top of the cake looks quite bare. Nothing a sprinkling of powdered sugar can’t fix though. But it tastes great and was very easy to make.
Well here goes nothing! Having read and re-read the instructions, what have I done? The complete opposite. Didn’t cream the butter and sugar but added it to the flour mixture straightaway, too late before I realised my mistake. Oh well, in for a penny in for a pound as they say, seemed like a waste to start again so carried on. It’s in the oven now, not sure how it will turn out. My concern is because the flour was mixed with the butter and sugar, the gluten will be overdeveloped. As long as it doesn’t come out like a rock, I think it might be edible. Will let you know (unless I’m in bed recovering LOL!)
Ok the result is, after my mishap, the “bait” turned out surprisingly well, very moist, not too sweet and really quite yummy! So thanks for the recipe.
Thanks for another great dessert recipe, Deb! My mom made this on the fly upon my quick scan of your blueberry recipes yesterday morning. It was a success at our family party! Not too sweet and deliciously moist. Fantastic!
I made this when blueberries were in season this summer and took it into work. People went crazy over it, and pretty much licked the plate. Fast forward to mid-December and they asked for it by name. The “imported” blueberries aren’t as tasty, but this cake is such a hit I don’t think it will matter. Thank you for a great recipe that is a cinch to whip up when you are appointed the office baker for the boss’ birthday the next morning!
Just made this cake and it is delicious! Also used buttermilk which adds a nice tang to the cake.
I made this to take to work… they all had a good laugh at the name. My boss went nuts over the cinnamon/blueberry combination (he had three pieces :D)
Such a great quick cake! Everyone loved it, and it was so easy to make. I whipped it up with some frozen blueberries, perfect.
And, I even got a (fake) proposal out of the cake + the hilarious name!
Hi Deb! What are your thoughts about using chopped strawberries in this cake vs. blueberries? I’m thinking it would work, but do you have any concerns or tips regarding the berry substitution?
I made this twice in the past week – delicious, and a great use for the frozen blueberries I still have from last summer, before even more show up at markets this spring! The second time I actually used a hybrid of this recipe and your Rhubarb Big Crumb Coffee Cake – the cake was already a huge hit the first time, but the addition of the rhubarb layer and crumb coating really put it over the top!
Absolutely delicious..Made it in an 11 inch bundt pan..baked for 55 mins- perfect!
No prizes for guessing what my girls want in their snack boxes tomorrow! :-)
Just made it for brunch tomorrow I’m hosting. My struggle now will be how to not eat it all before 11am! It came out delicious!
Hey Deb :)
This recipe looks great, i was just wondering if it would be suitable as a layer cake, only something modest.. I was hoping to do two layers of this (subbing raspberries and lemon zest for blueberries) with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting between but Im not sure if it will be too delicate/heavy? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thankyou
Perfect Father’s Day breakfast treat. I mean, perfect. Thank You!
I have two blueberry bushes bursting with fruit right now. And I have Blueberry Boy Bait in the oven. Yum! Thanks Deb.
Anyone try a gluten free version?
Made this last night. It is beyond delicious. So buttery and jammy.
Five years later the article below (published 7-16-14) looks suspiciously like the article above except for the absence of butter instead of 2 sticks. Deb, write to her?
MR — As the recipe existed long before this site, I don’t have any original claims to it. It feels different enough (more berries, different sugar levels, different oils) that it didn’t feel like my adaptations were used without credit.
Thank you very, very much for all of the wonderful recipes I’ve gotten from your blog.
As Blueberry Boy Bait is a delicious crowd pleaser, would you please add the metric weights to the recipe.
Hi Ellen — Weights now added. Glad you’re enjoying the cake.
Long story slightly shorter: I sometimes bake during hockey games, to, y’know, appease the hockey gods on behalf of my team. And keep my roommate from killing me during the play-offs. I threw this together during the first intermission of tonight’s Game 6 Western Conference Final series, and the team I’m pulling for scored three times in the second period; went on to win the game 5-2.
I promise to use this power only for good. And am now trolling your archives for something tasty and lucky to whip up during Game 7 on Saturday. Thanks again for this awesome website!
So good! I’ve had my eyes on this recipe for ages and finally made it. I halved it and made it in an 8×8 pan, way upped the blueberries (I think I used 3/4C – 1C in the batter), and otherwise followed instructions exactly. Thanks for another great one.
This recipe is absolutely wonderful! I’ve made it for several different occasions, and everyone always loves it.
I was planning on making this for Father’s Day but was concerned about the one gluten-free dad in the crowd. He is my husband in addition to his GF label, so I decided to help him with a rare opportunity to have some decent dessert…. I gave this recipe a whirl with a batch of gluten free 1-for-1 flour I just found in the supermarket. IT WAS AMAZING!!! Nobody could believe it was a GF cake and the dish was completely cleaned out while leaving a pecan pie and a chocolate strawberry cheesecake in the dust. I’m off to try it in muffin shape for my son’s birthday! Thank you for another amazing recipe!!!
You say this recipe is adapted from cook’s country but … they seem identical. Have i missed something?
I make this every year when the blueberries are fresh. My recipe has you set aside some of the butter/sugar/flour crumbs, and use that as the topping. Also, I separate the eggs and beat the whites, and fold them in….but this is simpler! Nice to see it here, i thought my recipe was a quaint family-thing.
Made this tonight, and tried it while it was still warm with vanilla ice cream. The texture was nice and light. The cake seems very delicate, I am not sure if I could actually turn it out of the pan! I did add a few more blueberries than the recipe called for and I think I would even add more next time, unfortunately most of them sunk to the bottom, but still tasted good. I like how the sugar crusted on the top and contrasted with the tartness of the berries.
I love Cook’s Country and had printed this out a while ago; finally made it yesterday. Your photos are making me want another piece…too bad it’s gone! A blogger mentioned that it tastes best the first day, so I divided it by four and baked it in a 6-inch round pan for my husband and I. My husband loved it, as promised :) Personally, I’d just had dental work done and with my numb tongue, I couldn’t taste it as well, but it was good enough to want to make again!
Just reporting in that this adapts happily to gluten-free! I had the same issue as another commenter that my batter looked “curdled” when I added the flour and liquid. Maybe because I used buttermilk? It was at room temperature. However it baked up just fine and was very tasty! Devoured by my non-gluten-free coworkers. I doubled the blueberries.
I’m stunned these words would ever come out of my mouth, but Blueberry Boy Bait might actually be too buttery for my taste! This cake is making me do some deep soul searching–is there such a thing as too much butter flavor? :) Still delicious, but likely not one I will make again and again. I look forward to trying the blueberry cornmeal butter cake from the SK cookbook next since it seems more balanced.
I made this for Easter and it was so good. I’m not a fan of fruit in cake but it was delicious. Everyone loved it. I’m definitely keeping it in my arsenal. Thanks!
made this recipe for a friend’s family during a sad time–so nice to be able to show love with cake:)
I made this this morning with and for my littles. Thank you for having your recipes show up on my FB feed. What a happy diversion on a hot day!
Five years ago I made this Smitten Kitchen recipe for my boyfriend and he STILL talks about it. Looking it up now so that I can make it again for him this summer.
I was just thinking that I need a good easy blueberry recipe for a picnic on Sunday (there will be plenty of boys to bait!) Perfect Timing…Thank you Smitten Kitchen!!
How to halve it – ideas?
Happy to see this and must try it–I missed it the first time around.Here’s what I can’t get over–you were out of whole milk, but you had plenty of buttermilk in the fridge? Impressive, as always!
The reappearance of this recipe came at the perfect time – I went blueberry picking yesterday and came home with 6 lbs! I already made your Perfect Blueberry Muffins last night, and they came out great, but I wanted to make something more dessert-y too. The boy bait (ha!) just came out of the oven a little while ago, and it’s amazing! I don’t have a large pan, so I used paper cupcake liners in a muffin tin, and cut the cooking time to just over 20 minutes. I also maaaay have upped the amount of blueberries slightly, because, you know… 6 lbs. Bringing these in for my coworkers tomorrow, I’m sure they won’t last long.
This will be happening in my house tomorrow. Looks scrumptious.
I made this tonight and it was delicious! I love that it is a simple cake, and not overwhelmed by a big, sweet topping. The crumb is perfect. The topping is perfect. However, I wanted more blueberries, so next time I will try it with 3/4-1 cup of blueberries in the batter.
happening now ~ picked fresh blues off my garden bushes and will use 3/4 cup in the batter, per Crabby Mamba’s recommendation. Gonna feed my US Navy boy who is coming for a 2 day visit today! Then, I’ll try it out again for a party next weekend and see if it’s true to its moniker…
This is such a fabulous recipe!! I admit that I did add more berries after reading the comments and that took it over the top (especially with fresh blueberry froyo.). Thanks so much Deb and I hope you and your family have a great holiday!! Eager to see the kids eating watermelon or something else just as cute…they are so adorable!!
A tablespoon of baking powder? This seems excessive. I’ve never used so much in anything I’ve made.
I baked the cake today, using two teaspoons of baking powder. It turned out great.
I went searching on your site for a blueberry dessert recipe to take to a 4th of July party this weekend and found this one, which perfectly matched…what I had in my pantry ;-)
My 16.5 month old daughter “helped” me make this – her first foray into standing on a stool at the counter, cooking with mama. We had a great time, didn’t make too much of a mess, had zero meltdowns (on either part), and the cake was the hit of the party! “Crack” is what one friend called it when I told her the name was funny as I was having trouble remembering it ;-) I have a feeling this one will be requested at future gatherings!
Thanks for always making me look like I know what I’m doing! You are my go-to and have not failed me yet. Especially important since I have a disease that makes me only ever take dishes I’ve never made before to potlucks….
I made this the day the other day as new neighbors moved in next door and I thought it would be an old fashioned, neighborly thing to do and take them something yummy to eat. They got half and I took the other half to a 4th of July wing ding. The new neighbors loved it and have asked for the recipe. I loved it and would make it again in a heartbeat. The reason I chose this was because I had no milk-I rarely do-but I do keep a tin of powdered buttermilk in the fridge. Worked just great. I also added more blueberries than required and would actually double the quantity the next time I think. Also added a bit of vanilla. All in all is was yummy!
Well, I made it again and have had two more requests for the recipe. I think I’ll just print out several to keep on hand.
My 8 year old daughter asked what I was making and halfway through the answer the feminist in me wouldn’t let me say it. So this cake will forever be known in our house as blueberry b’uh…. blueberry cake. .
I love it.
All of my blueberries sunk to the bottom! Didn’t affect flavor but also didn’t look as appealing ‘at first’. However, how can an awesome gooey blueberry bottom layer be anything but de-lish!
Still would like to know how yours didn’t sink..:)
Try patting them dry really well after washing, and toss with a couple TBS of the dry ingredients before folding them into the batter.
I love the idea that I can look for comments from people who have made the dish — what a great idea, Deb!
I have made this with both frozen blueberries and fresh blueberries, and it is always delicious. I put a crumb topping on it one time, too, (from your big crumb cake) and it was great, but also overkill — the recipe is perfect as is.
I tend to overpour on the blueberries, so if you are like me, be careful when using frozen berries. The cake may not bake evenly if you add too many extra frozen berries. Also, better to prep the pan with butter and flour than with spray-on stuff, so that you don’t get overbaked “climbing” edges.
Seven years after the original post and I finally made this, will small variations, to brilliant success. Thanks for making my contribution to a potlluck stand up to all the other excellent offerings. (Changes: made half in 8×8 pan [two eggs and a little less liquid]; for that liquid used almond milk enriched with yogurt; used rather more blueberries, I think, than suggested.) The berries were well distributed, and their relative density, or frequency, was commended. I credited you, and got some confirmatory nods from other admirers of yours at the table. Thanks for yet another great recipe.
Also, it was ridiculously easy. I had just enough time to mix it, bake it, and cool it enough to carry. Any more complexity and it wouldn’t have gotten made.
Oh, my goodness, is this good, and I didn’t even bother with the topping! I used diced peach instead of blueberries. I’ve got so many peaches I didn’t know what to do with them. Well, now I sure know what to do: make this cake for everyone I know!
I halved the recipe for a test run (and simply used 1/2 cup of light brown sugar instead of messing around with halving the quantities of both sugars. I used whole cow’s milk (3.25%) and added 1 tsp cinnamon to the flour mixture. It took about 35 minutes for the cake to bake in an 8×8 glass dish.
This was delicious! I made it exactly as written, with two slight exceptions. I used 10 grams less sugar, and would drop this a tad further next time. I also used buttermilk, like she did. I think this cake would benefit from more blueberries – maybe another 1/4 cp mixed into the batter?
We enjoyed leftovers the next morning with yogurt – such a fun breakfast treat!
I just made this as the latest in my baking programme for a poorly friend. A great success as usual with SK recipes! 9×13 pan also enabled me to keep a piece for the family and still gift a generous quantity.
I reduced the sugars by 20% and added the zest of one lemon. Also used a lot more berries – a 350g punnet. It worked perfectly and turned out of the pan with no trouble. (The berries sank but it didn’t matter.) Measures by weight much appreciated.
Thanks once again Deb!
I just made this! And the warm piece I had tasted pretty excellent – plus my boyfriend loves blueberries so I think the cake will perform its function …
I’m a student living in a hall of residence so reading these recipes is always fun – ‘beat on medium-high speed’, well I have a wooden spoon and my arm so it takes a little longer than two minutes! Turning this out was also very tricky considering I had literally no object to turn it out onto which would cover the whole cake – I improvised with tinfoil and then flipped it back over one half at a time onto a round chopping board seeing as a ‘serving platter’ doesn’t exist here. We also have a brand new oven in our kitchen, which is good but the new one is fan and the old one wasn’t so I probably should have cooked it at a slightly lower temperature than advertised.
I made this with grated apples instead of blueberries and it was deliciously moist. I used slightly tangy apples, and it balanced very well with the sweet cinnamon-sugar topping.
For generations my family has been replicating Aunt Rose’s Blueberry Boy Bait, a recipe similar to this one. I add lemon zest to the topping, and have made it with raspberries when they were on hand and blueberries were lacking, and some in the household preferred that version. I like to use Vietnamese cinnamon rather than the more common cassia type from the grocery store. Regardless, it’s a great coffee cake with a superior name.
I made this about two weeks ago, just before we left on a 10-day RV trip. It was easy to make for sure and my husband loved it. I used 1 cup of brown sugar and no white, except for the topping. I might reduce the butter next time, though. I found the mouth feel a bit on the greasy side. Will one stick instead of two work?
To answer my own question — I baked this yesterday with one stick of butter and I have to say, it was still a very moist cake and without the greasy mouth feel of my previous try. I kept the 1 cup of brown sugar and no white and doubled the amount of blueberries in the batter and in the topping. My cake rose a tad higher than Deb’s. Why, I don’t know, but I’m not complaining. I may skip the sugar topping next time or use raw sugar instead. My husband thinks I should enter this cake in the state fair. It’s that good!
I made this today with a few changes: I used about 3/4 c blueberries each, in the batter and on top. Wouldn’t want fewer than this. Added about 1.5 – 2 tsps vanilla too, based on other reviews and highly recommend that. I had worried that the cake might be too sweet, but in fact it was just right. I did hold back about 2-3 tbsps of the milk though. With just 2 minutes of creaming the butter and sugar (everything was room temp), it felt like the batter wouldn’t hold the entire cup of milk. As it was, it looked a bit curdled. In a metal 9″ x 13″ pan and with convection bake at 350 deg F, my cake was done in about 35 minutes (tester came out clean). It is wonderfully moist and the crumb is fluffy and loose like a cornmeal cake, but without the crunch. I might try reducing the butter by 3-4 tbsps next time and also cream it longer until it looks well aerated to me. All that said, this was delicious! :-)
Could I make this into cupcakes/muffins? I’m looking for something to bring to the office this week.
I don’t see why not, although my favorite blueberry muffins are these.
Do you think this would work with strawberries? I have four ultra-ripe pints waiting in the fridge.
Absolutely, and overripe ones are great for baking in cakes.
This was a cinch to make but it was too much cake, not enough blueberries for my liking. All of my (small) blueberries sunk to the bottom and it overall looked much more airy, less dense, which I would have preferred. Next time I’ll try the Blueberry Crumb Cake. I should add, however, that all of the recipients loved it!
Hi Deb. It’s blueberry season here on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and I am eager to try this recipe. I have a question – can the recipe be halved? I live by myself and despite heroic efforts, would not be able to eat all this myself. Does it freeze well?
It can be halved, it freezes well. :)
Thanks! Going to make it today!
There is such a thing as “too much butter” for me and these fell into that category. It didn’t stop me from eating and enjoying them, though I think I would have enjoyed them more with at least 25% less butter. Every bite coated my lips with a greasy feel that is a big turn off.
I made this for the first time and unfortunately it came out waaaaay too dark after 45 minutes. I should have checked earlier, but that’s baking with a toddler and a baby around. Maybe my oven is off, but I’m sad. Hopefully it still tastes okay… going to try to hide it by cutting off the sides and dusting the top w powdered sugar.
This is a great cake. Following others’ comments, I reduced the butter by 3 Tbsp, used 3/4 cup of blueberries each in the topping and batter, and used mostly buttermilk (topped up by some milk). I think these changes improved it and the level of reduced butter seemed perfect without being greasy. Also, my berries were totally dry, and didn’t sink at all. Thanks!
This. cake. is. incredible.
Reduced the oven temp to 325 because I have one of those dark, non-stick-coated pans that make the sides of cakes really brown. Baked for 45 minutes in a 9×13 and it came out perfectly! I also changed the topping to more of a cinnamon strudel crumble and added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter. Best cake I’ve ever had!
very easy to make and delicious! it was like an extra soft, warm and moist blueberry muffin. the recipe was exactly followed except we added some lemon zest and skipped the cinnamon sugar icing at the end. I was afraid it may turn out to be too sweet but without the icing, it was perfect. I would use more blueberries next time. great for breakfast the next day, or to bring to potluck.
I was so excited to make this, and finally did today for my Inlaws. Not sure what (or if anything) I did wrong but I wasn’t excited at all about the way this cake turned out. It was just ok, and more like a breakfast cake than a dessert. Super bummed :(
This was amazing! I only had 1/2 cup of blueberries on hand so I split the batter and made half with blueberries and the other half with cherries. (I cooked them in separate 8×8 pans) The cherry version took a little longer to cook but was just as delicious.
I made this cake mostly because of the name but it did not wow me. I did make the batter to the recipe but added in a whole lot more blueberries both to the batter and to the topping. It was okay but not a wowzer. I could be more moist…I still love the name.
This is fantastic. I used lots more blueberries on top, and wasn’t sad about it. Mine cooked in about 40 minutes (extra surprising since it was in a glass baking dish). Thanks for another great recipe.
I made this yesterday- with 4 tbsp less butter and omitting white sugar from the batter completely (still dusted the berries for the top with it) and 3/4 cup fresh blueberries for topping and batter. It didn’t rise very much, but it tastes great! Sort of a cross between a blueberry muffin top and a blueberry pancake. Good way to use up the scads of blueberries we get in our CSA!
Delicious! Added some extra blueberries, but otherwise didn’t alter the recipe at all. Made with my four year old son, so the name “boy bait” seemed less retrograde in that context. :) Definitely straddles the breakfast/dessert line.
Greetings! My church was hunting for an interim pastor a few years back, and we were interviewing a few candidates here and there. There was one candidate we were particularly taken with, and a member of the search committee suggested we woo her with the excellent cooking of the members of the committee. One made an outstanding main dish which has escaped my memory, somebody else a lovely summer vegetable fish from the wonderful farmer’s markets in our town, but the director of Christian education sealed the deal when she brought a perfectly baked pan of …BLUEBERRY BOY BAIT. Which in our town is now known as Blueberry Interim Bait. And yes, we landed her. Thanks for bringing back yummy ecclesiastical memories! And this particular act of seduction took place in New Hampshire, the least churched state in the nation, which happens to feature particularly succulent blueberries in summer.
I’d love to know if that 15 year old is still around and baking Boy Bait! She’d be 79 now and it would be interesting to know what she’s up to. Was this her one and only venture into baking history?
Everyone should make this! Delicious. I took some around to neighbors and the reply was the same…OMG so delicious.
I followed the advice of several others and used 25% less butter (12 tablespoons instead of 16) and 50% more blueberries (3/4 cup in the batter and on top instead of 1/2 cup.) Everyone commented on how buttery it was. If I make this again, I would use half the original amount of butter, and double the berries.
I just made this. It is really really good. I used a whole pint of not totally fresh blueberries and buttermilk .It is really really so very good. Light, sweet, not dry.
Thank you for the recipes. I love this website.
I’ve made this a few times and love it. This time, I made a half recipe. I cheated and melted the butter (6.5 Tbsp) and used a little coconut oil, too (1.5 Tbsp). I added about 1/4 c (Trader Joe’s) unsweetened, shredded coconut after the second half of the milk and otherwise proceeded as written. It’s still buttery but with good coconut flavor and it’s not too sweet, either. (Oh, and I didn’t use a half an egg, I just used one extra large egg and it was fine.)
I made this last summer for a meeting at work and everyone loved it. Now the the blueberries are back on, I made a gluten-free version for my husband (with a little less butter) in a 9 inch round cake pan, so it’s a little taller cake, and it was still fantastic. Very easy and pleases everyone.
O. M. G. This a-friggin-mazing. Took it to a party; my husband got about 1/8th of a piece (OK, I admit, I got about 1/4); vanished so fast I couldn’t believe it. Only change was I added 1 tsp of vanilla to the cake. Just do this!!
Might this work in a bundt pan?
Just one comment from someone who has tried it, but it seems like it was a success:
This was so good! I doubled the blueberries and I’m not sorry about it. But they all sank to the bottom. Is that because they weren’t completely dry? Such a good cake. Thank you!
Have you ever tried making this recipe with Gluten Free Flour?
No, but several commenters have. Here are some that have:
I made the bait cake. It is delicious. I added more blueberries, which may have been a mistake. It doesn’t hold together too well, but tastes great!
I followed the recipe exactly, with my only substitution being using gluten-free flour instead of regular flour (Bob’s Red Mill 1-1). I made it the night before a summer BBQ and It turned out amazing and it was liked by everyone who had it. The comments everyone had were about how incredibly moist it was. I’ll definitely make this again, it’s a crowd-pleaser.
Just made this. Looks delicious. Can this be frozen.
This was just plain easy to do, required extremely minimal cleanup, and most importantly was delicious! I halved the recipe and made it in a circle pan because it was what I had to hand. Everything was whipped together and ready to bake in under 30 minutes, and that was without an electric mixer. The cake comes out buttery and not too sweet, with a perfect crumb and lots of blue-swirled berry action. Future me is already thanking me for tomorrow’s breakfast.
I’ve made this once and it was wonderful! Want to serve it to my book group tomorrow and I have leftover buttermilk. If I use it should I add a little baking soda? Seems that soda and buttermilk usually go together…
Thinking of making this for my four year olds birthday party, but adding an icing or glaze to make it more festive. Any ideas as to what would work best? Cream cheese icing? Buttercream frosting? Anything but chocolate!
I’d go with cream cheese icing, maybe with lemon.
I added peach slices to the top layer and used light brown sugar for the topping. Holy moly. Heavenly!
Peaches! That’s such a good idea. I’ll be trying that this summer :)
I made this tonight and wanted to add some lemon zest or vanilla but i didn’t. I wish i had because it didn’t taste as good as it could have.
I made this last night for a dinner party with my husband’s boss and his wife and everybody absolutely loved it. It was so easy and a huge hit. thank you so much for the recipe.
I’ve made this the original way which was very good, but did have that greasy-ish texture people talk about. This time, I substituted the butter with vegetable oil (3/4 cup) and it was perfection.
I can’t believe I’ve never commented!
I add the zest of a lemon to the sugar, 1 t of vanilla with the buttermilk (which I use instead of milk), and bake for 40 minutes. My kids and I picked 12 cups of blueberries on Tuesday, so lots to use up!
Just discovered: my mom’s copy of Pillsbury’s 1954 5th Grand National Recipe Book. It sits open beside me to page 46 and the recipe for “$2,000 Blueberry Boy-Bait” from Renny Powell of Chicago, Illinois. Hmmm. I’m not sure “modernizing” is the right word for the Cook’s Country treatment of the original recipe, which calls for 2/3 cup butter (11 Tbs) with only margarine as an option – no mention of “shortening.” The topping is 3/4 cup of the flour, white sugar, and butter mixture reserved, so more like a streusel topping. Two eggs (not 3) are used, but they are separated, the whites folded into batter before spreading in a 12 x 8 x 2 pan. Also, 2 tsp. baking powder (not 1 Tbs.) is listed. The original calls for 1 cup of blueberries, but all are placed on top of the batter before topping is sprinkled on top, not stirred into batter and definitely not used in the topping. The accompanying photograph does show the blueberries riding pretty low in the cake layer, so the biggest differences in the recipes – using a smaller pan, using less butter and fewer eggs and separating yolks from whites, and using a lighter crumb topping, do not seem to have kept the berries from sinking, but they do (in my mind, at least) sound like they would have made the original a lighter, more airy cake. Gee, I’m just going to have to try both “old” and “new” versions to see for myself!
This is fascinating; thanks for reporting back. I now want to try the original! (But not with shortening; meh.)
How can i adapt it for an 8-inch square or round cake?
You can halve everything. Same temp; slightly less (but not half) the baking time.
Had a vague recollection of making this years ago and enjoying it. Turns out there was a reason it didn’t enter my regular collection. Just not very special – the cinnamon topping is too inconsequential, the blueberries too few, the texture too dense. I’d go with the blueberry muffins or maybe the berry buttermilk cake in the future.
Can this be frozen?
Another “can this be frozen?” Question. Does anyone know?
It freezes just fine.
I just made this. It’s so delicious! I only had a quarter of a cup of milk in my fridge so I combined it with the buttermilk I had. It turned out perfectly! Crunchy edges, soft inside, tasty blueberries and a good crumb. I can’t stop eating it. It’s gone straight in the pile of “make again” recipes. And again and again and again and again. Thank you for the recipe :)
I make this all the time and it really is one of my favorites, my adult sons shamelessly beg for it whenever I visit. I do throw in just a few more berries in the batter and on top, and it’s worth springing for some real buttermilk too. If a 9×13 pan is too much cake for you, know that extra slices freeze beautifully.
This was…fine. But I was expecting it to be a lot better. It was really no better than something I could’ve made with Bisquik. I halved the cake recipe and made in an 8×8 pan but kept the same amount of blueberries. seems like that amount would be skimpy for the original recipe. If I did make again I’d add lemon or vanilla extract to the batter and maybe make a more streusel -ish topping, adding some nuts.
Just made this, and now wonder if there’s some technique to turning out a 9×13″ cake (top side up), without at least cutting it in half first. Please advise. Thanks.
Yes, you’ll want to flip it out upside-down onto a rack, then put the plate you want it on on top and flip it back onto it.
That makes perfect sense. Am going to endeavor to do that right now! Thanks.
Need Crumbs with my blueberries. Will use the Big Crumb recipe but should I make Boy Bait, Coffee Cake or Big Crumb recipe for the Bottom??
Big Crumb all the way! It’s a perfect recipe
Cake was greasy even though I reduced the butter by a couple tbsp per other commenters, and it also had a strangely gummy texture, as though it was made with rice or tapioca flour (no, I did not accidentally use rice or tapioca flour— I don’t keep them in my house). I’d advise other readers to skip this one— instead, use the cake recipes from Deb’s Strawberry Summer Cake or Purple Plum Torte, both of which are excellent.
I made (a version of this based on comments) today and we thought it was delicious! We used gluten free flour, buttermilk instead of milk, only 12 tbsp of butter, 3/4 – 1 cup of blueberries in both batter and on top, added a pinch of lemon zest (couldn’t taste it), added 1.5 tsp vanilla, and used 1 cup of brown sugar instead of 3/4 cup brown + 1/2 cup white. Baked for 48 minutes in a glass 9 x 13 and it was light and delicious, crunchy on top and soft inside. Not too sweet or greasy despite my fear as I dumped that 1/4 cup of sugar on top! It was easy and the blueberries didn’t sink, and I’ll probably eat it for breakfast for days.
Have been eyeing this for years and finally made it! Was delicious and a HUGE hit at the BBQ. Soft fluffy goodness. Only issue was all the blueberries sunk to the bottom – but will definitely try again.
Did you update this semi recently or have i been making it wrong the whole time. I dont remember blueberries in the topping…or maybe i was making a different recipe of yours 😖 oh pandemic im so thrown off.
Hi Kim — There’s another blueberry cake, the Blueberry Crumb Cake, on the site. Might that have be what you were looking at?
yes!!! sorry pandemic brain. the blueberry crumb cake is my favorite and i lost track of it. Thank you!!!!
so good! I made it with wild Huckleberries and added more than called for. Made it to day and it’s gone! Light, tender cake.
I made this! It was popular along my friends. It was super moist and fluffy! I personally felt it was a tad sweet, but I still made it the same the second time. The only modifications I made second time was to try to toss the blueberries in flour because they all sank to the bottom first time! Im not sure if it will work, but it was still delicious either way! I decided to mix some raspberries in too this time.
Do you think I could “cut” 2 6 inch round from this and make a 2-layered cake with some fresh lightly sweetened whipped cream “frosting” out of this? Thinking for my daughter’s 2nd birthday…
Love this recipe! I’ve made a vegan version following this recipe with a few substitutions and a gluten free, vegan version (eek!) which turned out good as well.
I made this a few years ago for a potluck and it disappeared in no time. Then I made another for a blueberry loving friend who was visiting.
I bought a super abundance of blueberries and remembered this cake, I’m making it today for my son, and my stomach is rumbling thinking about it! I use a cup of blueberries in the cake and another cup in the topping and it doesn’t seem at all excessive, especially for a 13×9 cake.
Meh. I made this for an office picnic, and a few people were enthusiastic about the Blueberry Boy Bait, but I didn’t find them particularly appealing. They have a coffee cake type of crumb, and are moist, but remind me of a vanilla cupcake/ cornbread type of taste. Definitely could use more blueberries.
I have made this recipe before and loved it💙🫐💙today I made it on a sheet pan lined the parchment. It spread out like a giant cookie and is soooo tasty. A great variation on an already great recipe.
I pick and freeze blueberries every summer JUST for this cake. My grand DAUGHTER loves it. I do a double batch because it freezes well and use half whole wheat flour and half truvia if I am feeling healthy.
Can I make these into muffins – or are they too cakey? Muffin baking comp at work and I just love this recipe. I need something to bowl everyone over and WIN the TROPHY!