Favorite Gingerbread Cake with Blueberries Recipe – Sunday Supper in Maine
It had been a very long time since we went to Maine in Autumn, too long really. Most of the tourists had hung up their beach towels and packed away the camping gear weeks ago, leaving a few diehards left to say “so long” to the season. The warm breezes had fled, replaced by crisp leaves, painterly skies and crackling logs. Most of the roadside lobster shacks were shuttered and stores were on a different schedule. That lovely feeling that you should stock your pantry, split more wood and put on another sweater had descended.
We were in luck that Cedarholm Garden Bay Inn was open till the end of October. We were warmly welcomed by George, Kristin, Barry and Joyce. The Inn was still as beautiful and spotless as it was on our last visit. We settled back into our little cabin in the woods overlooking Penobscot Bay, lit a fire and raised a glass to being back. There was a change that we took to right away…Kristin was now making homemade granola, and it was delicious. We are not used to a big breakfast, but found room to stuff in not just the granola, but also the fresh fruit and the still warm homemade sweet breads and muffins Joyce prepared every morning. Another change was that instead of beds of blooming perennials, we were met by dahlias… tall, imposing stalks topped by flowers that burst forth with all of the colors of the rainbow and then some.
George and Kristin are avid gardeners and their love for the dahlia proves it. You have to be committed to dahlias, they’re not a flower you can just plant and walk away. We we told that dahlias have to be scooped out of the earth after the first frost, then washed, treated, dried and divided before they’re off for their long winter’s nap in the cellar. In the Spring they are started in the greenhouse and when they are a certain size and the weather is favorable they are planted in their special beds. Are they worth all of this work? You decide.
Dana and I were intrigued by the dahlias, so Joyce gave us a brochure and directions to Endless Summer Flower Farm in Camden where we were in awe of row upon row of the tallest, most beautiful dahlias I had ever seen in one place at the same time…wow! Dana and I made notes of our favorites: Wyoming Wedding, Valley Rust Bucket, Valentine Lil and Cafe au Lait. We were told that we could order online and receive these little tubers in the Spring to begin our own dahlia adventure.
On our drive to the farm, we saw that the hills of wild blueberries were now a crimson carpet. All of the little blue beauties bursting with flavor were gone till next year. Most of them are now nestled in jars and freezers waiting to be used to make something wonderful like this gingerbread. A burst of spice, a pop of sweet served warm from the oven. A plop of whipped cream and a few more berries make this treat even more special. So far, I’ve received rave reviews for this recipe…one friend even said that he would prefer it over pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving! Whether you serve it then, or at your next Sunday Supper with your friends and family is up to you.
Gingerbread Cake with Blueberries
Yield: serves 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
A burst of spice and a pop of sweet with a crunchy sugar topping.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add egg, mix till combined.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt making sure that they are well blended.
In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, baking soda and molasses.
Alternate mixing in the flour and the buttermilk to the creamed mixture till it is all combined. Gently fold in blueberries.
In a 9 x 9 x 2 baking dish, or 9 inch round pan, pour batter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean.
Serve warm with whipped cream and fresh blueberries.