Have you ever heard that the phrase “cellar door” is the most beautiful-sounding phrase in the entire English language? I would like to petition that “jammy pockets” take its place. Jammy pockets, as in, “this maple-scented blueberry tea cake is full of jammy pockets.” Jammy pockets make the world a better place.
This sweet little cake, with its delicate, maple-infused crumb and jammy purple pockets, is naturally sweetened and made entirely with whole grain flours. The recipe is one of Melissa Clark’s in Cook This Now, an audaciously titled book that lives up to its name. I got the book this winter and indeed, I did want to cook the maple tea cake the moment I found it, but I had to wait until the blueberries arrived this month. It was certainly worth the wait.
The cake is a cinch to mix together, no electric mixer required. It’s more like a quick bread in that respect, and I respect it for that. None of the ingredients are too hard to find at even the smallest standard health food store, but I know maple syrup is expensive. I’m sorry. You see, my friend works at one of the local health food stores and gets a discount, so I asked him to buy me “the biggest bottle of maple syrup” and he came back with a bottle bigger than I knew existed. I have a surplus of maple syrup in my fridge and wish I could share it with you!
I’ve had some success with natural sweetener substitutions (see my notes here) and I think honey might be a lovely replacement. If you decide to try it, keep in mind that honey browns easily so you will probably need to turn down the temperature (325 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal) and bake it longer. I hope that works.
As you can see, I substituted some medium grind cornmeal for the flour when I baked this cake, but the cornmeal never softened up entirely. I found the taste pleasant but the texture distracting. Feel free to substitute some fine cornmeal in place of some of the whole wheat flour, though. Corn meal or not, trust me, you want to bake this now!
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅔ cup real maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup milk
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
- Pinch sea salt or kosher salt
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, egg, milk and melted butter. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix just until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. Pour the battered into your prepared pan and bake for about 23 to 26 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the maple syrup and salt, then stir in the powdered sugar. Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring constantly. Resist the urge to taste test, it's crazy hot! Pour the warm glaze over the cake and use a pastry brush to distribute the glaze evenly. Let the cake cool completely, slice and serve.
- Adapted from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark.
- The original recipe specified to bake the cake in an 8-inch loaf pan for 50 to 60 minutes, I chose to use my pretty square baker instead.
- This cake should last at room temperature for up to 48 hours. Store in the fridge if you will not be able to eat it sooner. I learned the hard way that those jammy pockets will go bad when left in a warm kitchen for a few days.
- Clark notes that if you leave off the glaze, the cake becomes muffin-like and therefore suitable for breakfast (although, I'm a fan of cake at any time of day!).
- Don't stress if you can't find Grade B maple syrup. Grade A will work just fine. The difference in flavor is insignificant.
- Raspberries or peaches would be great substitutes for the blueberries in the summer. I can't wait to try this cake with fresh cranberries in the winter!