Blueberry Cinnamon Roll Cake

by Jillian
Soft and fluffy cake swirled with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, loaded with juicy blueberries, and topped with vanilla bean icing! 

Soft and fluffy cake swirled with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, loaded with juicy blueberries, and topped with vanilla bean icing! 

Is anyone else out there not a fan of blueberries unless they’re baked into some kind of dessert/treat, or is it just me?

Seriously, blueberries are pretty boring on their own when eaten raw. They’re definitely the least flavorful of the berry family. I could inhale a few pints of raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries ANY day of the week, but blueberries…meh. On the other hand, when it comes to blueberry muffins, blueberry pie, blueberry cobbler, blueberry pancakes, blueberry scones, or even just a good ol’ blueberry topping, I’m SO ONBOARD. 

Similar to how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, blueberries go through a major transformation when they’re baked. The juices release and the sweetness is amplified. As I mentioned earlier, I could go absolutely ham on a good blueberry muffin, especially HOMEMADE blueberry muffins. I thought about making up a classic blueberry muffin recipe, but then I had a better idea…

This Blueberry Cinnamon Roll Cake is packed full of SO MUCH goodness–brown sugary, buttery cinnamon swirls, plump and juicy blueberries, and a sweet blanket of vanilla bean icing. This isn’t just your standard blueberry cake. It’s basically what would happen if a blueberry muffin and a cinnamon roll had a baby. It’s the perfect breakfast, brunch, or any-time-of-the-day dish!

Because who on earth can resist a warm and fluffy blueberry muffin, or a lusciously doughy icing-drenched cinnamon roll? NO ONE. This cake combines both of those delicious breakfast classics into one divine treat. And the best part? This cake is much easier and less time-consuming than blueberry muffins AND cinnamon rolls. You get the best of both worlds in less time!

First the brown sugar cinnamon swirl is made by combining softened butter with some brown sugar and a hefty dose of cinnamon. Then the cake batter comes together by incorporating the dry ingredients–flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. The wet ingredients (sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter) are then stirred in, followed by the blueberries.

With this recipe, you’re free to use fresh OR frozen. I kind of did both. I used fresh blueberries that I had already flash-frozen myself by laying them in a single layer on a large baking sheet, and freezing until solid. I would highly recommend freezing your fresh blueberries before stirring them into the batter since this prevents them from breaking when folding them into the thick batter. I also use this tip when making muffins, and it keeps my blubes nice and whole every single time!

Once the batter is made, it’s time to do the layering! Pour half of the batter into the pan, followed by dollops of half of the brown sugar filling, followed by the rest of the batter and remaining filling. Give it a few swirls, and then it’s time for a trip to the oven. 

Although cream cheese frosting is my favorite way to top a cinnamon roll, I thought it might overshadow the flavor of the blueberries in this cake. So I instead went with a “lighter” option–vanilla bean icing! There’s just something so incredibly heavenly about the aroma of fresh vanilla beans. It’s amazing how such tiny black specks can infuse so much flavor into ANYthing they touch.

Soft and fluffy cake swirled with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, loaded with juicy blueberries, and topped with vanilla bean icing! 

Aside from their intense flavor, what I also love about vanilla bean seeds is the appearance of their little specks all throughout. You can clearly tell that this icing is LOADED with vanilla sweetness just by looking at it. However, if you don’t have access to vanilla beans, just substitute the seeds for 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract!

Soft and fluffy cake swirled with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, loaded with juicy blueberries, and topped with vanilla bean icing! 

Once the cake is baked and out of the oven, I usually allow it to cool about 10 minutes before pouring the icing on top. As the icing is spread over the cake, it almost immediately seeps into every single delicious brown sugary swirl crevice.

It’s truly a beautiful thing…

Nothing exudes comfort quite like this Blueberry Cinnamon Roll Cake.

NOTHING.

Soft and fluffy cake swirled with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, loaded with juicy blueberries, and topped with vanilla bean icing! 

Blueberry Cinnamon Roll Cake

Soft and fluffy cake swirled with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, loaded with juicy blueberries, and topped with vanilla bean icing! 
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 9 Pieces

Ingredients
  

Brown Sugar Swirl:

  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter softened
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Cake:

  • 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 ¼ cup blueberries fresh or frozen*

Vanilla Bean Icing:

  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter melted
  • Seeds from half of a vanilla bean**
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF, and spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the Brown Sugar Swirl:

  • In a medium bowl combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until smooth; set aside.

Make the Cake:

  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together until combined. Add the sour cream, milk, eggs, and vanilla, mixing until batter is almost combined. Pour in the melted butter and continue mixing until smooth. Fold in the blueberries.
  • Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Drop spoonfuls of about half of the swirl mixture over the batter. Add remaining batter on top, followed by spoonfuls of remaining swirl mixture. Using a skewer or knife, swirl the mixture into the batter.
  • Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with few crumbs attached. Allow to cool slightly while you make the icing.

Make the Vanilla Bean Icing:

  • In medium bowl, whisk the butter and vanilla bean seeds together. Add about half of the powdered sugar, stirring until combined. Whisk in 1 tablespoon milk/heavy cream, followed by the rest of the powdered sugar. Add more milk/heavy cream, if needed, to reach the desired consistency.
  • Spread icing on top of cake. Cut into squares and serve!

Notes

*If using fresh blueberries, I recommend flash-freezing them first by spreading them out on a baking sheet and chilling them in the freezer until solid. This will prevent them from smashing and breaking when you stir them into the batter.
**1 and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract can be substituted.
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