Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Coffee Cake

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Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Coffee Cake

I would say that blogging has definitely made me more responsible than I ever was. Since so many people are visiting the website, I have to be very careful about the authenticity of the information I post and for that, I'm doing quite a bit of research too. When I announced the Corn event, one of my blogger friend had a doubt if the makai ki atta (maize flour) available in India is whole grain. I also had a similar doubt, if Masa di harina I see in the stores here is whole grain. So I set off to find some information on the following:

  • What is masa de harina and makai ki atta?
  • Are they one and the same?
  • Is it the whole grain form of corn?

From the information I have gathered so far I'm pretty sure that masa di harina and makai ki atta are one and the same. To get both, maize (corn) is dried and soaked in a lime solution. The process is called slaking. The hull loosens after soaking, which is removed and then the damp corn is ground into fine flour. Actually, this flour is nutritionally superior to cornmeal (I'm thinking that the cornmeal mentioned here is the de-germinated cornmeal and not whole cornmeal) because the lime water adds calcium to the corn and makes the niacin in the corn nutritionally available.

Now that we know that masa de harina and makai ki atta are one and the same and they are nutritionally superior too. Are they whole grain forms of corn? I'm guessing the answer is "no" because the hull is removed during the slaking process. That being said I think that it is less refined than all-purpose flour and also has the added benefit of calcium. This is my take on this topic. Please feel free to share your views here and correct me if I'm wrong.

Shall we move on to the recipe now? If somebody asks me to pick my most favorite recipe, it would be without a doubt this low fat blueberry coffee cake. I have sung it's praises in that post and am going to do it again here because it is that good. Before trying that cake, blueberries was not in the list of my favorite fruits, but after baking that coffee cake I stock blueberries so much that one day my husband (and others too) might start calling me "that crazy blueberry lady". So one-day last week, as I was raiding my fridge, what do I find? 3 packs of blueberries and a cup of blueberry soy yogurt. You know what I would have decided to do. Of course bake the blueberry coffee cake, but with few changes. Since I'm hosting the "Corn" event, I wanted to incorporate that too in the recipe and now here we have a very light, not so sweet, vegan blueberry cornmeal coffee cake.

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Coffee Cake Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
15 Mins30 Mins9 servings
Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Coffee Cake Very light, not so sweet, vegan blueberry cornmeal coffee cake.
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Whole Corn Meal
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 (dry measuring) cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/2 cup Soy Yogurt, blueberry flavor
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil Spread, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used fresh)
  • 1/2 cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350F for 15 minutes. Grease a 8 inch square baking dish. Line it with parchment paper and spray with non stick cooking spray. In a small bowl combine the almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside. The oil spread can be melted on stove top or microwave oven or even in the oven while it's preheating.
  2. Combine together the flour, whole cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. I found medium grind whole cornmeal. It is not as fine as the regular cornmeal you find in the grocery stores. So I had to powder it in the food processor a couple of times, to get a fine texture.
  3. The original recipe uses 1/2 cup buttermilk. Since I wanted to make it vegan and also had some blueberry flavored soy yogurt I decided to use that. So I measured approximately 1/3rd cup of yogurt blended it with water to get 1/2 cup measurement. To that add the melted butter, extracts, vinegar and applesauce. Whisk until well blended.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in 2/3 cup blueberries. If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw before adding to batter, because the color will bleed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top with remaining blueberries. Sprinkle the almond mixture on top. Tap the pan lightly a couple times so that the topped blueberries and almonds sticks to the batter.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool the pan on a wire rack.
  7. Remove the cake from the pan after 10 minutes and transfer the cake directly to the wire rack. The cake is quite light, so you will have to be very careful while tilting the pan.
  1. This blueberry coffee cake was as good as the one which I had baked earlier with all purpose flour. This time I did have the almond extract and it definitely gave a nice flavor to the cake. As I have mentioned in my earlier post, this cake is very light, so handle with care while removing it from the pan. I thought that using cornmeal would give a harder texture than using all purpose flour alone, but it was light only. The sweetness was just right. So if you have a sweet tooth you can add another 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. We liked it just the way it was.
My Notes:
  1. Butter and buttermilk was used in the original recipe which I have substituted with vegetable oil spread and soy yogurt to make it vegan.
  2. I used Bob's Red Mill brand of medium grind whole corn meal. I test baked something with the cornmeal just like that and saw that the corn did not cook completely. It was gritty. So either find fine grind whole cornmeal or process in a food processor/blender thoroughly if using the medium grind. I see that even coarse grind is available, I would suggest not to get that unless you have a food mill or a very efficient food processor because the medium one itself took a lot of time for me to get a fine texture.
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  1. Ela

    Hi there!

    Is there any way to replace apple cider vinegar?

    • Madhuram

      You can omit it but the cake might not be as airy and light as the one with vinegar. Or if apple cider vinegar is the problem you can use white vinegar too.

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  5. Mayamari

    This is a great recipe! I used very fine ground cornmeal, ghee instead of oil, milk instead of yogurt and pineapple unsweeten juice instead of applesauce and I added 1/4 spoon pineapple flavor and a small apple to replace the blueberries, which are not so easily available here in India. It worked out marvelously. 🙂

    Wow! that’s a lot of changes Maya. You should be so proud of your creation. Great job!

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  7. shoba

    Looks heavenly, Madhuram.. Am sure will taste the same too.. Your site is blog marked by me anyway.. 🙂 Hopefully, will give it a try sometime.

  8. Cilantro

    Thank You Madhuram, Hope you are feeling better now. I have already made my icing for my next class. Will try 3 cups next time.
    I also read adding some pineapple juice or any citrus juice helps reduce the sweetness, but not sure if it will affect the consistency. I am assuming it can be added instead of the water. Thank you again.

  9. meeso

    That cake is gorgeous, i love it!

  10. Anshika

    This festive season everywhere I am getting delicious yummy cakes & cookies. Blueberry cornmeal coffee cakes are something totally new to me. Superb !!

  11. Sadhana

    That looks light & airy nice one.

  12. Cilantro

    I did decorate my first cake today. Thank you again. I felt the icing to be very very sweet, I followed the recipe given in the book. Any tips to reduce the sweetness? I know reducing the powdered sugar will decrease the sweetness but I am afraid to mess around with the consistency.

  13. Sita

    Would raspberries or another berry work well with this recipe? I’m asking because I’m allergic to blueberries (along with dairy and eggs). I’d love to make a coffee cake I can eat!

    Sita, I think it should work. I too wanted to try with halved strawberries, but didn’t do it so far.

  14. Alexandra

    In all honesty, this looks more tasty than most coffee cake recipes! 😆

    I also love the taste of cornmeal in anything baked… Dunno why. Must be the spanish side of me.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Thanks Alexandra.

  15. niki

    Nuts and fruit!! Just my kind of dessert. Can we replace cornmeal with masa de harina or does the cake need a medium grind cornmeal?
    What are the other ways the cornmeal can be used?

    Niki, don’t use medium grind cornmeal. I’m really having tough time to powder it. Use only fine grind cornmeal. In case you have medium grind cornmeal, look for recipes which specifically uses the same. Don’t try substituting fine ground cornmeal with medium because it does not cook completely. I think masa de harina should be fine. I’m just guessing though.

  16. Jayasree

    Kudos to the research. Thanks for the information. Cake looks absolutely delicious. The color combo of choco and cornmeal is indeed a treat to the eyes too.

    Thanks Jayasree.

  17. Priya

    Madhuram, The cake has come out so well..Even I too had the doubt if maize flour can be used for this event..I am not sure if I get cornmeal here. if I get, I will definitely bake something and send for the event.

    Thanks Priya.

  18. Sweatha

    Kudos on your research and THANKS for the info.I too thght maize was not whole grain cornmeal but one kind of cornflour.But thght masa harina and maize are different.Anyway Punjabi makkai ki roti is similar to Mexican corn tortilla 🙂 .
    Well,that rules me out this time but I am trying to get a packet of whole cornmeal from there.So if I get it atleast 1 week b4 deadline then you can expect an entry.Lets see

    The cake is delish.I too never liked blueberries b4 I tried the muffins with EnerG.Now I miss them. 😥
    Scrumptious cake.Can imagine the taste.I too was under the impression that it would be harder than the one with APF.Good to know it is lighter.

    Thanks Sweatha. If you are getting the cornmeal, please get the fine ground. I’m having a very hard time powdering the medium grind cornmeal.

  19. nags

    i really need to figure out where to get some cornmeal.

  20. Soma

    That is quite a bit of useful info. Madhu the cake looks DELICIOUS esp with that layer and the almond slivers.

  21. Madhu

    Nice info on whole grains…Cake looks amazing. Love the texture of cornmeal and almonds..

  22. Divya Vikram

    Love the topping in the cake. And great info about the flour.

  23. Indhu

    that’s one yummy looking cake… and you said it right when u said that you had to be more careful about the authenticity of the information you post… loved the research 🙂

  24. soumya Arun

    Very nice recipe and Kudos to you for the research and the in dept information.