Bluebird Coffee Cake with Lemon Glaze

Bluebird Coffee Cake gluten free

I have been keeping up with the best of holiday nibbling, enjoying peppermint, cinnamon, eggnog and chocolate with the best of them.  Secretly?  By the time Christmas hits I’m about ready to hit a sucrose wall.  I’m saturated and ready to turn a holiday corner.

When contemplating our annual Christmas morning coffee cake, change was in the air.  We’ve had a warm December.  One day of snow and many days in the 60’s.  Despite that, as though we were filming a Hallmark movie, the snow started to fall ever so lightly in the late of the day Christmas Eve.  It continued overnight leaving us with an idyllic Christmas morning blanketed in winter’s finest white.  Yet I had drifted to spring in my cooking mind; finding myself dreaming of fresh berries, shades of lemon yellow and spring birds heard chirping once more of seasonal renewal.  Never liking to rush time or a season, I decided to channel my day dreams into the Christmas coffee cake:  Bluebird Coffee Cake.

Bluebird Coffee Cake

This little coffee cake was born on the shoulders of a blueberry coffee cake my grandmother used to make that I changed up to include some layers of a Seed Streusel as well as a bright, fresh lemon glaze and almond flour to change the flavor and texture.  The seasonings are still cold weather reminders but not as heavy-handed as a holiday coffee cake can be with dark brown sugar and cinnamon as reliable anchor flavors.

The cake is light in flavor, not overly sweet and is moist.  My favorite part has to be the seed streusel.  A great, crunchy texture with a variety of subtle flavors driven by the seed choices.  The coffee cake bears a rustic and charming look, especially if you do not chop the sunflower seeds in the streusel.  Bluebird Coffee Cake offers a lighter flavored option with the convenience of traditional coffee cake.

I iterated the recipe one final time after taking these photos and the final recipe provides the seeds stay more prominently visible on the top of the Coffee Cake (though some sink into the batter).
I iterated the recipe one final time after taking these photos and the final recipe (shared here) provides the seeds stay more prominently visible on the top of the Coffee Cake (though some sink into the batter).

Bluebird Coffee Cake with Lemon Glaze

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 9 inch round Coffee Cake and aproximately 1/2 cup of Lemon Glaze

A lighter flavored blueberry coffee cake with a Seed Streusel, almond flour and bright, fresh lemon glaze. Gluten free option too.


    For the Coffee Cake:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup all purpose Flour (regular or gluten free)
  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh Blueberries (or frozen and thawed blueberries)
  • For the Streusel:
  • 1/3 cup Almond Flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted Butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup hulled Sunflower Seeds (can be chopped depending on the texture you prefer)
  • ½ cup mixed Small Seeds: Poppy Seeds, Chia Seeds (while and/or black), hulled Hemp Seeds and/or Sesame Seeds (white and/or black)
  • For the Lemon Glaze:
  • ½ cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Milk
  • Juice of one ½ fresh Lemon
  • Zest of one ½ Lemon


    Instructions for the Coffee Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a round 9 inch spring form pan (the sides release and can be removed) with a round of parchment paper for the bottom and greased sides. Set aside
  2. With a beater, cream the softened butter. Slowly add the granulated sugar and mix until combined.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing to fully combine.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl stir together the all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, allspice and nutmeg.
  5. Combine the milk and vanilla extract. While mixing alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk-vanilla to the butter-sugar-egg mixture until fully combined.
  6. Add the blueberries and stir just to combine.
  7. Instructions for the Seed Streusel:
  8. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients for the streusel. Using a dough cutter or two dining knives, cut the ingredients together to make a consistency of large crumbs.
  9. To combine and bake the Coffee Cake:
  10. Spoon half of the coffee cake dough into the prepared pan. Spread half of the streusel on top of the dough. Repeat with the remaining coffee cake batter, topping with the remaining streusel.
  11. Bake in the heated oven for 40 minutes. Cover with foil, shiny side facing out, for an additional 15-120 minutes until the coffee cake is no longer jiggley in the middle, is beginning to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan slightly. Remove and place on cooling rack for 15-20 minutes.
  12. To make Lemon Glaze:
  13. Place all the glaze ingredients into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until glaze is combined. When coffee cake is cooled and sliced for serving, drizzle a small amount on each slice.

Bluebird Coffee Cake

Happy Boxing Day!  Wonder what the heck Boxing Day is?  What does one do on Boxing Day?  What do they eat?  Come enjoy a post from British friends laying it all out including a family chutney recipe!



    • Toni Dash says

      Thank you Carolyn and I agree. Something about them coming fresh from the oven always feels better (and usually tastes better too!)

  1. says

    Yeah, I’m in the same boat, sugar-wise. I may not be able to face another cookie until next year. 😉 Anyway, this looks like a nice antidote — just a touch of sweetness. I love the streusel! Very creative. Good stuff — thanks.

    • Toni Dash says

      Thanks John! I think you have to ease out of the sweets binge of December. This is sweet but hopefully healthier than most of what I ate in December! All the best in 2013 to you and the Missus.


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