These Blueberries Have Met Their Match

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council is running a recipe contest that asks bloggers to create recipes pairing blueberries with ingredients that go beyond tried-and-true standards like lemon. The recipe category pairings are: banana, coconut, balsamic, and rosemary. If you want to learn more about the contest, check out the site at

I chose to take blueberries on a tropical route–no doubt influenced by the current chilly weather we’re experiencing here in the Northeast. (It’s currently 20 degrees here. A burst of the tropics would not be unwelcome!)

For the ingredient pairing with coconut, I created a Blueberry-Toasted Coconut Upside Down Cake. The cake is buttery and nutty with toasted coconut, and the blueberries are a sweet and jammy counterpart. Lime juice and lime zest brighten the flavors of both the blueberries and the tender cake.

Blueberry-Toasted Coconut Upside Down Cake

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, divided

2 cups frozen blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease an 8 x 8 square pan (or coat with cooking spray). For easiest release, you may also line the bottom with parchment paper that overhangs on two sides, and grease or spray the parchment also. Set the prepared pan aside.

On a shallow baking sheet, spread the coconut in one layer and toast in the oven, stirring frequently, for about 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and measure off 1/3 cup of the toasted coconut and set it aside to top the finished cake.

In a large bowl, combine the 1/4 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss with the frozen blueberries and then distribute the blueberry mixture evenly in the prepared pan, and then sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of lime juice over the top of the blueberries.

In a small bowl, combine the 1 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the two eggs with the 1/2 cup of sugar, and add half of the dry mixture and half of the melted and cooled butter, then the remaining portion of each. Fold in the two teaspoons of lime zest and the 2/3 cup of toasted coconut.

Evenly dollop the batter over the frozen blueberries, and then level the batter (an offset spatula works well here).  Bake in the center of a 350 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes. The cake will be golden brown and firm, and a toothpick inserted into the cake will not have any crumbs on it when tested.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes to allow the blueberry juices to thicken a bit. Place a plate over the top and then invert, using the parchment paper to release the cake from the pan. Remove and discard the parchment paper, and then distribute the reserved 1/3 cup of toasted coconut over the top of the cake.

Serve warm or at room temperature–with or without a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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11 2013

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