“Bluebarb” Coffee Cake

Jessica Gilmore is a Nutrition student at Mount Saint Vincent University.  She sent us this post a few months ago and we’ve been waiting for blueberry season to post it online.  You can use fresh ingredients or frozen.

This “Bluebarb” Coffee Cake incorporates the tart taste of rhubarb and the sweetness of blueberries.  In the cold months of winter this dish pairs well with a nice hot cup of coffee at anytime of the day.  Local ingredients can be incorporated into this dish by using local rhubarb and blueberries.

The strawberry rhubarb was grown in my yard in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia (HRM), and was a plant that originated from my great-grandmother’s yard in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia in the Annapolis Valley.  My dad transferred the plant from my great-grandmother’s yard to our yard when I was a young child (probably around 16 years ago).  Every summer since, we have had rhubarb to pick.  This virtually “maintenance free” vegetable (yes, it’s a vegetable, but many people often think of it as a fruit) started out as a small patch on the side of my house, but over the years it has been separated and the number of rhubarb plants has increased.  With the nice weather we experienced last week, the rhubarb plants have already started to grow! (as can be seen in the pictures below)  Rhubarb is not one of my favorite things to eat, but incorporating it into a dish with sweet blueberries is a great way to mask the flavour!

The low-bush blueberries I used in this recipe came from Oxford Nova Scotia, “Blueberry Capital of Canada”. Oxford is located in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. This town prides itself on being the Wild Blueberry Capital of Canada, and it is in this location that the blueberries are grown and processed.  Oxford Frozen Foods is the world’s largest supplier of frozen wild blueberries!  It is so wonderful to see a local business doing so well on the global scale!  In addition, they are able to provide many jobs for people in the community of Oxford. These delicious little berries are such a healthy little treat packed with so many antioxidants.



  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup firm butter or margarine
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan or 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray.

2. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup flour and the cinnamon. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until crumbly; set aside.

3. In large bowl, mix all coffee cake ingredients except blueberries and rhubarb; beat with spoon 30 seconds. Fold in blueberries and rhubarb. Spread in pan. Sprinkle with topping.

4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake (not fruit) comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan if desired.

5. In small bowl, mix all glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over warm coffee cake. Serve warm if desired.

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