Since summer is technically coming to an end, though I hope the warm weather and sunshine stick around until next summer, I wanted to share with you one of my other favorite things about the season: hummingbirds.
I’ve seen them around a couple of times over the years, but for the past three years with two feeders on our deck, they are around all day every day, from the moment the sun comes up until it goes down, rain or shine, from about April to October. From far away, they are magical creatures, seemingly floating along, the power of their wings strong enough to blow around flowers from which they seek food. Their green bodies glisten in the sun. When they land on the feeder or a branch on a particular tree they find safety and comfort in, they look so peaceful, calmly eating or looking around to take in all that surrounds them.
Then there is our window feeder. On the kitchen window, it is visible whenever Mom or I are baking, cooking, doing dishes, or eating. Often without any customers, sometimes they come floating up and land calmly consuming their latest meal. Some of them have that red throat often associated with hummingbirds, while others do not. The most noticeable thing is that as opposed to their grace from far away, they look frail close up, leaving me wondering how they even survive. But they do, and I like to think it’s at least in part because we feed them. The next time you see a hummingbird, if you’re lucky enough to see one, make sure you take a few moments to enjoy.
On to this Blueberry Boy Bait. I’m not sure why it’s called that, though this single girl wouldn’t have minded if it lived up to its name, but it’s basically a butter or coffee cake. I recently posted Blueberry Buckle, but this is totally different. This has much more cake and fewer blueberries. I liked that, as the cake is super buttery and moist, getting just a little boost from the blueberries without having them take over. The topping is my favorite part, with its kind of crunchy, kind of soft cinnamon sugar goodness. And this is one of those recipes that I think got substantially better after it was frozen, in single portions and reheated. I don’t know why, but now that I’ve had it from the freezer once I can’t stop thinking about pulling it out again. It’s also really quick to put together and doesn’t take too long to bake, making it the perfect thing to whip up to use some blueberries and keep the flavors of summer coming along with the hummingbirds for as long as possible.
- 2 cups, plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
- ¾ cup blueberries (I think you could even use 1 cup)
- ½ cup blueberries
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. I did 3 installments of flour and 2 of milk. Mix only until just combined.
- In a small bowl mix blueberries with 1 teaspoon flour, before gently stirring into the batter. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
- Scatter the blueberries reserved for the topping evenly over the batter. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the cake, making sure to cover all of it.
- Bake for about 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs, rotating halfway through if necessary. Cool at least 20 minutes in pan, before cutting into servings and eating. May be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw wrapped in parchment in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes.