As a child, I could spend hours picking fresh berries.  Aside from the methodical plucking of perfectly sun-ripened fruit from the vine or bush, the best part of berry picking was the sweet, slightly warm fruit exploding in my mouth.  There is a particular novelty to it, given most fruit must be stored in the refrigerator and therefore usually hits your tongue at a chilled temperature.  No wonder my bucket is half full after an hour of picking.  

Fresh, wild, Cape Cod blueberries are my favorite berry.  No contest.  Blackberries by the old North Truro library are a close second.  I am convinced the sand and salty air instill the Cape Cod blueberries with a level of deliciousness unachievable by other locations.  My Mississippi-grown blueberries never yielded the flavor bomb of sweetness of those I picked near the dunes south of Provincetown.   

Lucky for me, our summer vacation to visit my Aunt and Uncle in North Truro coincided with blueberry season. I was delighted to go wild blueberry picking near the dunes with their friend, Ira.  We let some air out of the tires, and Ira drove us to his secret location.   We were quickly enveloped in curtains of blueberry bushes the size of redwood trees.  

I entered “the zone” and began to pluck the large, vibrant berries from the bushes with methodical precision.  Too much pressure and you could rupture the berry in your fingers.  It was an artful dance to procure the ripest blueberries for pancakes and muffins.  At the end of the morning, my stomach was almost as full of berries as my bucket.  

We brought our haul back home and froze half the berries on a cookie sheet – spread out so that the berries weren’t touching each other.  After the berries were fully frozen, we combined the frozen berries into a Ziploc bag and positioned it in the freezer door to ensure the berries didn’t get crushed.  The fresh berries were thrown into pancakes every morning and blueberry muffins.  The vivid memories of these foraged blueberries help repress the worst case of poison ivy that wreaked havoc on me for the following two weeks.  I learned two things that summer.  Wild Cape Code blueberries are mythical, and Ira is not allergic to poison ivy.  

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Brown Butter Blueberry Poppy Seed Cake

  • Author: Christina
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x


The combination of lemon, blueberries, almond, poppy seeds, and brown butter is sublime.  This cake makes for an easy breakfast or tea-time snack.


Units Scale


  • 1 stick browned butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 2 cup blueberries


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbs butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs cream cheese


  1. First make the cake batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a small pan, heat the butter over medium high heat, until brown.  In a large bowl, combine the warm, browned butter and sugar.  Add the three eggs and stir to combine.  Add the vanilla extract and almond extract.  Stir to combine.
  2. Break the almond paste into pieces and add to the mixture.  Stir well to combine.  Then, add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir to combine.
  3. Next, add the flour and buttermilk by alternating with some of the flour first followed by some of the buttermilk.  Stir until just combined.
  4. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and poppy seeds.  Stir to combine.  Finally, add the blueberries and gently mix.
  5. Spray a pan with cooking spray.  Pour the batter into the pan.
  6. Then, make the crumble topping: In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, butter, and cream cheese.  Stir with a fork.
  7. Crumble the topping over the batter.  Bake for 35 minutes.  Once cool, store in the refrigerator.


Once cool, store the cake in the refrigerator.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: dessert

Keywords: #breakfast #dessert #teatime #summereats

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