I recently had the chance to go on a sort of scavenger hunt on a blog I'm not very familiar with. Why was I inspired to bake with blueberries and make these fun blueberry bars and what does it have to do with bloggers C.L.U.E?
The hunt was for a group I just became a part of called blogger C.L.U.E. and the blog I was given to search through was Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook. Lauren is an Air Force wife, an aerospace engineer, and the mom to an adorable baby boy. I had fun perusing through Lauren's blog with our theme of Berries. I was leaning towards making her cranberry coffee cake and instead was inspired by her blueberry bars. While you’re on Lauren's site, don’t miss her Almond Joy mini Bundts (they look fantastic!). I am always looking for new cupcake inspiration, and love her olive oil cupcakes! Can't get enough of scones like me? Lauren's vanilla orange scones look so good!!
I absolutely love baking with blueberries. Actually, with any berry! I can't wait for berry season to roll around in Florida. It happens very early here than in the rest of the world and it lasts way into the summer. My kids know to expect something with strawberries or blueberries every week! A favorite recipe for a while since I've been blogging has been this blueberry buttermilk cake. One recipe that I was literally begged to make all summer a couple years in a row was this fantastic blueberry buckle recipe (one of my very first posts...really bad photos, but an excellent recipe!) But enough about me and my love of blueberries! Let's get on to this cake!
The recipe I chose from Lauren had a cup of butter. I have absolutely nothing against butter, but my mother-in-law is here from Italy and she has been baking cakes and crostatas every, single...day! Her crostatas are filled with butter and I can't resist having a piece here and there. So I thought to lighten it up a little, I'd use this vegan cake recipe of mine and feel a little less guilty if I took a sliver. The pie filling I used is not vegan, but you could totally make this a completely vegan blueberry bar recipe by making your own blueberry filling (I explain how below). We happened to be invited to friends for dinner that day, and these bars were sliced and packed nicely to go. They were loved by all!!! Not a soul was missing the butter!!
The blogger C.L.U.E (Cook, Learn, Undertake, Eat) Society meets every month in a game of mystery, intrigue, and fun! We are given a theme and secretly assigned another member’s blog; our mission is to hunt through our assigned blog to find a recipe that fits the theme through our eyes. We then head into the kitchen and recreate the recipe and post together on reveal day!
I am always interested in solving a good mystery, so it was only natural that I would be loving this food blogging group: blogger C.L.U.E!
Today is reveal day, and this month’s theme is: BERRIES! Join me in reading about the food hunted down this month in the #bloggerCLUE member’s kitchens!
- Blackberry Yogurt Muffins by Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch
- Blueberry Bars by Lora from Savoring Italy
- Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake by Heather from girlichef
- Blueberry Lemon Bars by Christiane from Taking on Magazines
- Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Muffins by Alice from A Mama, Baby and Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Blueberry Sour Cream Cake by Jean from Lemons and Anchovies
- Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes and Frosting by Kelli from Kelli's Kitchen
- Irish Blackberry Cobbler Cocktail by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
- Italian Jam Cookies by Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits with Raspberry Sauce by Rebekah from Making Miracles
- Raspberry Muffins by Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Raspberry Oat Bars by Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
- Strawberry and Coconut Tartlets by Anna from annaDishes
- Strawberry Champagne Cocktail by Kim from Liv Life
- Strawberry Fool by Kathy from A Spoonful of Thyme
- Strawberry Lemon Marmalade by Debra from Eliot's Eats
- Strawberry Margaritas by Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Strawberry Mousse by Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Tapioca Cream Strawberry Parfait by Lea Ann from Cooking on the Ranch
- Vanilla Roasted Peaches with Mascarpone and Raspberries by Kathleen from Bakeaway with Me
some recipe notes:
To stay as close to the recipe from Lauren's site, I used blueberry pie filling. We are in full blueberry season here, so the next batch of these bars will be made with fresh berries. To make your own fresh blueberry filling, simply use 3-4 cups fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 4 teaspoons cornstarch, juice of one lemon. Mix it all together in a bowl and then pour of the bottom layer of the bars. If you're not able to find fresh berries, use your favorite blueberry pie filling. Next time I make this, I will swap out strawberries or how about sour cherries in the fall.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: approx 40 minutes
Ingredients (1 9x11-inch baking dish)
- 2 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
- 2/3 cup rice milk (or regular milk) + 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 2 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 1/2 Cup Water
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- blueberry pie filling (or make your own)
In a small bowl, add the milk and vinegar and give it a whirl. Let sit a minute. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients of the cake and whisk together. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the oil, milk, water/cornstarch mixture, and vanilla. Mix well.
Incorporate the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl with your spatula.
Reserve 1 1/2 cups of batter. Spread remaining batter in the bottom of a 9×11 greased baking dish.
Spoon on the blueberry filling evenly over the top, without touching the edges.
Spoon the rest of the batter over the top in clumps, leaving some of the blueberry filling showing through (swirl the batter around gently).
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes. Let cool at room temperature. If desired, top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, or simple powdered sugar frosting. Cut into squares before serving. Store covered at room temperature.