This single layer blueberry chocolate cake pairs tart blueberries with rich chocolate make a cake that is deep and chocolaty, yet light and fresh. It’s an indulgent cake to make and share with family and friends.
For my sons most recent birthday he requested chocolate cake with blueberries, and you better believe that mom delivered! This chocolate blueberry cake was an absolute hit with everyone in our family. Who would’ve thought that a rich chocolate cake could work so perfectly with the light tart flavor of blueberries? But trust me, it absolutely does. It’s incredibly indulgent and reminds me of chocolate covered strawberries. This recipe just nails the perfect balance of flavors.
Every ingredient plays an important role when making this blueberry chocolate cake. This list explains the role of each ingredient when making this recipe, and also offers possible substitutions. See the recipe card below for a list of the ingredients with their amounts.
Ingredients for the Cake
- All-purpose Flour – The heart and soul of any great cake, flour is the main structure-building ingredient in the cake. All-purpose flour provides the necessary structure and texture to the cake. I used unbleached organic all-purpose flour to make this blueberry chocolate cake.
- Granulated Sugar – Sugar is what makes this cake so sweet and yummy! It also helps to create a light and airy texture by interacting with the fats and liquids. I like to use organic cane sugar when baking.
- Cocoa Powder – You can’t make a chocolate cake without the chocolate! Cocoa powder provides the rich chocolate flavor and color to the cake. Use unsweetened non-dutch cocoa powder for best results.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda helps lift the cake and neutralizes the acids in the cocoa powder and coffee. It contributes to the cake’s rise and also helps with browning.
- Baking Powder – Baking powder also helps to leaven this recipe by producing carbon dioxide gas when it reacts with moisture and heat in the oven. This results in a light and fluffy texture. For best results be sure to use both baking soda and baking powder.
- Salt – Salt enhances the overall flavor of the cake. It balances out the sweetness and other flavors, making them more pronounced.
- Milk – Milk adds moisture to the cake, contributing to its tenderness. It also helps in creating a smoother batter. For best results use full fat milk.
- Coconut Oil – Oil is needed to ensure the final cake is moist because cocoa powder is very drying. I use coconut oil in most of my recipes for health reasons, but any neutral oil will work. Don’t use butter as a substitute in this recipe.
- Egg – Eggs help give the cake body and structure. Make sure your eggs are room temperature when making the batter. If you forgot to bring them to room temperature before you started mixing don’t worry! Just place your cold eggs in a bowl of hot water for three minutes to bring them to temperature.
- Vanilla Extract – Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the cake and rounds out the chocolate taste. Choose real vanilla over imitation to ensure the best flavor and cleanest ingredients.
- Coffee – Hot coffee enhances the chocolate flavor of this cake and also helps to dissolve the cocoa powder. If you don’t consume caffeine try using a decaf coffee or hot water as a substitute.
- Blueberries – The secret ingredient in this recipe, blueberries add a light sweet flavor contrast to the deeply rich chocolate cake.
Ingredients for the Frosting
- Unsalted Butter – When making frosting, use room temperature butter. To check if your butter is soft enough press your finger into it. If you can push through it without any resistance it is ready.
- Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar is necessary for any frosting recipe. Sift the powdered sugar to ensure your frosting is lump free.
- Cocoa Powder – Cocoa powder makes this buttercream rich and chocolaty.
- Vanilla – Vanilla adds a nice depth to the flavor of the frosting.
- Milk – Milk thins out the frosting enough to make it creamy and spreadable.
How to Make Blueberry Chocolate Cake
Make the cake
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour a 9″ cake pan, then set it aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until all the dry ingredients are evenly distributed.
In a different mixing bowl, mix together the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until all liquid ingredients are fully incorporated.
While stirring continuously, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until the batter is as lump free as possible without overmixing. Pour the hot coffee in and stir, scraping down the sides as needed, until your ingredients are fully combined. The batter will be very thin, this is just how we want it!
Toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour until they are fully coated. This will stop them from sinking to the pan’s bottom while baking. Then, gently fold the coated blueberries into the cake batter, taking care not to overmix and lose their protective coating.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Make the Frosting
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the room temperature butter until it is smooth and creamy.
Alternate adding the powdered sugar and cocoa powder a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until all of it is incorporated into the butter.
Add in the vanilla and milk. Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Frost the Cake
Once the is completely cooled, you can frost it. Place the cake on a cake plate flat side facing up. Spread the frosting evenly across the top of the cake and the sides.
Top the cake with fresh blueberries and grated dark chocolate if desired.
Tips for Making This Cake
- Use room temperature ingredients – When making this cake use room temperature eggs and milk. Room temperature ingredients will bind together better than cold ingredients, resulting in a lighter and taller final product.
- Use fresh ingredients – The combination of baking soda and baking powder in this recipe is necessary to leaven the cake and neutralize the acids brought in from the coffee and cocoa powder. Make sure your baking soda and baking powder are fresh for the best results.
- Use non-dutch cocoa powder – Dutch cocoa powder is not as acidic as non-dutch cocoa powder because of the way it is processed. Using dutch processed cocoa powder in this recipe can result in a sunken or flat cake, because it won’t react with the baking soda to lift your cake. If uncertain organic cocoa powder is a safe choice.
- Don’t over mix the batter – Over mixing the batter can can cause too much gluten development, resulting in a cake that is tough and rubbery. Avoid over mixing to keep your chocolate cake light and tender.
- Don’t overbake the cake – Overbaking can cause your cake to come out dry.
How to Store Blueberry Chocolate Cake
This blueberry chocolate cake will stay moist for days if stored properly. Because of the fruit in the batter it is best to keep the leftovers chilled and not store it at room temperature. Keep the frosted cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week and bring the cake to room temperature before serving for the best texture.
If you want to make this cake ahead of time you can freeze it. To do this tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap after it has completely cooled and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to frost the cake, pull it out of the freezer and allow it to thaw fully before frosting.
Blueberry Chocolate Cake FAQ
Yes, you can use fresh blueberries in the cake. If using fresh blueberries reduce the cook time by 10 minutes.
You can slightly reduce the sugar, but be cautious as sugar also contributes to the cake’s moisture and structure. A small reduction shouldn’t greatly affect the outcome.
Yes, you can experiment with gluten-free flours like almond flour or a gluten-free baking mix. Just be aware that the texture and taste might differ from the original recipe.
Gently fold the blueberries into the batter just until they’re evenly distributed. This minimizes their sinking. Coating them with flour and using smaller-sized berries can also help.
Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake; it should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, not wet batter. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed and the edges should start to pull away from the pan.
To prevent your cake from sticking to the pan, ensure you thoroughly grease the pan with butter, oil, or a non-stick spray, and then lightly dust it with flour. You can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to create an easy release surface.