Dylan’s Blueberry Pudding Cake


Good old blueberries which are now ripening. Where would we in Maine be without them? Pretty bereft, I suspect, of our annual festival, pie, cake, and crisp rituals.

This pudding cake is the most recent of blueberry desserts to catch on in this household, brought here by my young friend Dylan Purington, who picked it up in Mississippi, of all places. He was visiting there this March, went picking blueberries at a pick-your-own operation, where he found this recipe, made it, and liked it enough to make it several times more, including a couple times in our kitchen when he got back to Maine.

We liked it a lot, and let him bake it up anytime he feels like it. We observed that the recipe can have somewhat variable results depending on factors we have not yet discerned. Sometimes the fruit ends up on the bottom like an upside down cake. Sometimes it sticks around on top where it started out. It really doesn’t matter what happens because it is always good.

Dylan makes this cake in an iron skillet. The recipe has two parts: there is a sauce of sweetened and thickened berries and a cake batter. The batter goes into the pan, and the sauce poured over the top.

Dylan’s wrinkle was to sprinkle a few chocolate chips into the batter, not so many that you bite into them all the time, just every once in a while. That is optional in case you think there are already too many chocolate chips in the world.

Dylan's Blueberry Pudding Cake
  • Berry Sauce
  • 1½ cups of blueberries
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Cake Batter
  • ½ cup, or 1 stick, butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make the sauce by mixing together the berries and sugar in a small pan, and cooking until the berries are soft.
  3. Mix together the cornstarch and water and adding that to the berries with the lemon juice and heating all until it thickens, remove from heat while mixing the batter.
  4. Melt the butter in a nine-inch skillet.
  5. Make the batter by whisking together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla, adding the melted butter from the skillet.
  7. Add the egg and milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until all is well incorporated.
  8. Fold in a few chocolate chips, if using them.
  9. Pour the batter into the skillet, and then add the blueberry sauce poured over the top.
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.