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Blueberry and lemon loaf cake

Thu, 17 September, 2020

Ottolenghi’s recipe for a blueberry and lemon cake with almond flour, extra jammy blueberry topping and simple icing. Unbelievably delectable.

blueberry lemonand almond ottolenghi cake

Not another blueberry cake

WHAT??? Not ANOTHER cake with blueberries? There’s the upside down, the cornmeal tart, the mascarpone loaf, the cream Victoria sponge plus probably ten more I’ve forgotten about, and now this? Ottolenghi or not, surely the world doesn’t need more blueberry cakes?

blueberry lemon cake with almond flour

Never too many blueberry cakes

But it does. I’m now adding blueberry cake to the collection of ‘never too many’ (earrings, shoes etc.). Because blueberries make the most wonderful cakes of all.

As I’ve said many times, I’m not sold on chocolate. Cream cakes are a bit sickly, tarts a bit dry and everything with raisins and nuts in it belongs at Christmas.

blueberry lemon loaf cake with ground almonds

Soft fruit is my favouritest thing in cakes because a/ it means it’s summer (don’t start me off on the berries imported from South America in February) and b/ it makes cakes a bit lighter, a bit less sweet – a bit healthier.

I won’t argue this point too much as I know ‘a healthy cake’ is an oxymoron, but let’s face it: the more fruit in the volume of a cake, the less CAKE matter in it which is sugar, flour and butter, to put it bluntly.

ottolenghi blueberry almond lemon cake

Blueberries in cakes 

As fruit of choice, blueberries reign supreme. They don’t have stones that need to be removed creating an approximation of a bloodshed like cherries, or annoying pips like brambles. They don’t turn mushy like raspberries or grey and sad like strawberries. Just the right size and don’t leak inordinate amounts of juice. Vibrant, flavoursome and they photograph well. Need I say more?

the best blueberry loaf pound cake

Ottolenghi's blueberry lemon cake

This is a wonderful cake – no surprise, it’s a recipe by Ottolenghi. Yotam momentarily suspended here his fondness for mile-long lists of recherché ingredients and came up with a cake made of cake ingredients. But what a cake – let me just say that within barely over 24 hours it was gone, polished, hovered up and the two of us were looking sadly at the few crumbs left on the cake platter.

Can you cut down on sugar?

Health warning: I cut down the sugar amount nearly by half. The original recipe stated 190g/1 scant cup. It’s probably absolutely appropriate; it’s a cake after all, but I’m trying to limit the intake of white powder (haha) at the moment.

blueberry lemon almond cake ottolenghi

The choice is yours – and it serves you right for not reading this intro if your tooth is particularly sickly: without knowing, you’ll be wondering why on earth this cake isn’t sweet enough.

But joking aside – it IS sweet enough, plenty so. And gorgeous. And yes, it probably can be made with frozen blueberries but then the baking time might extend considerably.

blueberry lemon cake with icing

The way this cake is made is genius

Do not skip the two-stage blueberry adding or covering with foil. It might sound like unnecessary faff but trust me and Yotam – it’s worth it because the fruit added atop the almost-set cake and then covered with a foil tent dissolves into a beautiful, jammy pulp, topping the cake with extra purple excitement. Rather skip the icing if you need to skip something – at your own risk.

Blueberry and lemon loaf cake

Servings: 8Time: 2 hours


  • 90g (2/3 cup) plain flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 110g (1 cup) almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 200g (1 ½ cups) fresh blueberries
  • 120g (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 70g (1/3 cup) icing sugar


1. Butter and line with a sling of parchment a loaf tin (21cm/9 in). Preheat the oven to 190C (no fan if possible)/375F/gas 5.

2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and almond flour in a bowl. Place the blueberries in another bowl and toss with a spoonful of the dry mix.

3. Beat the butter with the sugar, lemon zest and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating between additions; it will curdle but go back to how it should be when flour goes in.

4. Add the flour mix in three goes, beating and scraping the sides between the additions.

cake mix

5. Fold ¾ of the blueberries into the mix and transfer into the prepared tin. Bake for 15 minutes.

6. After 15 minutes the cake will be just starting to set. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top and close the oven. Bake for further 15 minutes.

7. After that time, cover the cake loosely with foil; that’s to help the blueberries perched on top go jammy over the cake. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

baked blueberry ottolenghi cake

8. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes, then take it out of the tin using the parchment sling and cool completely on a cake rack.

9. Mix the icing sugar with 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice until it’s spreading consistency. Pour it over the cooled cake, spread sideways and let it set before slicing.

icing an ottolenghi cake

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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