Skip to Content


Tag Archives: baking


Blueberry buckwheat scones

Today I’m trying something a little different. My friend Heather of Better With Veggies hosts a regular recipe link-up on her blog called Meatless Mondays from A to Z, where each week there is a theme ingredient chosen by its correlating letter of the alphabet. I watched the first round of MMAZ as I was writing my book and wished that I could participate, but I had no time to blog back then and this little site sat unloved for around 6 months. Luckily, Heather has decided to bring this popular link-up back for another round! I’m totally in this time.

This week, we’re on B, which has us utilizing blueberries. I missed A (for avocado) while planning for a recent vacation Jeff and I took, so I’m very eager to jump in and contribute this week!

Better With Veggies

Over the weekend, I tested this recipe for blueberry buckwheat scones, my first time ever making scones! I was so worried they would fail, but thankfully they came out perfectly crumbly, the nutty buckwheat base studded all over with huge juicy blueberries. I’ve been eating them sliced in half and slathered with a thin layer of butter and a little bit of blueberry jam. So good!

Blueberry buckwheat scones

Buckwheat flour, also known as soba flour in Japan, is a dense and nutty grain flour with a subtle natural sweetness. This is the same flour used in making soba noodles, which are most commonly served cold with a salty dipping sauce on the side. You pick up a big clump of noodles with your chopsticks, dunk them in the hot soup, and slurp them up making as much noise as you want! Soba has such a beautiful color- it’s kind of grey, almost purple sometimes. So pretty paired with the bluish-purple blueberries in these blueberry buckwheat scones.

Blueberry buckwheat scones

Blueberry buckwheat scones

Nutty buckwheat scones bursting with blueberries is a unique twist on this breakfast pastry classic.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 scones


  • 1 and 1/4 cups* all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat (soba) flour
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbsp. cold milk
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • + extra milk to brush top of scones
  • + extra sugar to sprinkle over scones
  • + extra flour for kneading dough on

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour. Reserve the other 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour to use only if dough ends up too moist.
  2. Cut butter into small cubes and add to the dry mix, along with the milk and egg. Use a fork or potato masher to cut butter into the dough. Dough will be very dry and crumbly and seem like it won't come together completely.
  3. Rinse blueberries under cool water to remove any frozen juice on them. Use while still frozen, do not allow to thaw fully.
  4. Add blueberries to the dough and fold in with your hands. As you mix, some of the berries will burst and the juice will help the dough become moist enough to come together. If it is very wet by the time you get them incorporated, add the reserved 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and mix in.
  5. Transfer dough onto the counter or a cutting board dusted liberally with flour. Dust surface all over with flour and pat into a circle shape.
  6. Cut dough into 8 wedges and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush each scone with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Bake scones for 35 to 40 minutes in a pre-heated 400F degree oven. Allow to cool before serving with butter, clotted cream, or jam.

I learned a few things about properly making scones in testing this recipe that I’ll share with you to help you make a tasty scone on your first try. As I was mixing the wet ingredients into the dry, I thought there was no way there was enough moisture to hold it all together and I started to second-guess my recipe. Once I added the berries though, they released so much juice into the dough that it became far too wet and sticky in an instant. Again, I feared that I’d ruined them. I simply added an extra 1/4 cup of flour, and they came together enough to feel good about trying to bake them.

Scone dough should be relatively dry. If it can’t hold its shape when patted into a circle, it’s just too wet. Don’t be afraid to add flour until it comes together into a ball. You also want to use cold butter to give it that irresistible flakiness upon baking and not mix with your warm hands too much for fear of melting the butter into the dough. A brush with milk on top adds a bit of protein to brown up in the oven. If you’ve done everything correctly, the scones should be crisp and brown on top, dry but tender in the center, and not very sweet at all. They’re a bready base for slathering on your favorite biscuit toppings.

Blueberry buckwheat scones

Very excited to be able to participate in Meatless Mondays from A to Z this round. Thanks Heather for bringing it back! No idea what I’ll make with cabbage when it’s time to move on to letter C.

Have you ever baked with buckwheat flour?



Lemon ginger coffeecake

I’ve had two asian pears sitting in my fruit bowl for over a month. Every week they would get softer and softer as I tossed in another load of avocados or bananas that caused them to ripen at great speed. It was finally now or never, use the pears or toss them.

I decided to use them up in a coffeecake. I have been craving coffeecake. It’s the crumbs I was after, really. Just give me a big bowl of coffeecake crumbs and a spoon, I’ll entertain myself from there.

Lemon ginger coffeecake

Well, I absolutely wrecked my kitchen making an asian pear coffeecake, only for it to turn out not so great. The flavor of the cake (and the crumbs!) was spectacular, but the pears were nigh undetectable and they were so watery that the center of the cake refused to finish cooking no matter how long I left the thing in the oven. It was time to start over.

“So pears are out, what else have I got?” Lemons, now there’s an idea! Oooo! And ginger!

And so it was born. And WOW is it good.

Lemon ginger coffeecake

The cake is dense and buttery. The flavor of the lemons and ginger is subtle, more aromatic, less tart and spicy. The crumbs are crisp and golden and are a delightful texture contrast against the soft cake. I dusted mine with a pretty snowfall of powdered sugar, but they are just dandy without.

This is the kind of cake you expect to eat with a rich cup of coffee (it is a coffeecake after all,) but the gentle summery flavors would pair just as well with a light cup of tea, even a tall glass of iced tea with a squeeze of lemon. It’s a great breakfast pastry for segueing into the warmer months.

Lemon ginger coffeecake

This buttery rich coffeecake is lightly scented with the aromas of fresh ginger and zesty lemon. A perfect pastry for warm weather breakfasts or afternoon tea.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 9 to 12


  • For the crumb topping:
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. dry ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick melted unsalted butter
  • *** ***
  • For the cake:
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 heaping tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • the zest of one lemon

Cooking Directions

  1. Start with the crumb topping: Mix all ingredients except for the butter together in a stand mixer on low speed, then pour in the melted butter and mix until fully incorporated. Set aside for later.
  2. For the cake: Cream together softened butter and sugar until light in color, then add eggs one at a time, then yogurt mixed on low speed.
  3. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and add the lemon juice, zest, and grated ginger. Mix through.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add to wet in three stages, mixing in between each.
  5. Pour batter into a buttered and floured 9-inch square baking dish. Dish should be deep.
  6. Top with crumbs and bake at 350F degrees for 1 hour. Cover the top loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil with a few holes poked in it and continue baking for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, this will allow the center of the cake to finish cooking without the crumbs burning.
  7. Allow to cool completely in the baking dish before serving. Store covered in plastic wrap.

I don’t know about you, but I like a coffeecake that is piled high with crumbs. The crumbs are the whole point, in my opinion. So if you start making this recipe and it looks like you’ve made an absolutely absurd amount of crumbs, don’t second-guess it. Just go with it. Pile all of them on and thank me later.

Lemon ginger coffeecake

Craving satisfied.

Do you love lemon desserts as much as I do?



Reflections on a cake

Thank you to everyone for having such nice things to say about the wedding cake I made. I’m definitely still learning and each time I come away with more knowledge on how I could have done it better.

pro shot of cake

This time, I kept a running spreadsheet as I was working so I could get a feel for what the actual costs and quantities were.

Here’s what I used:

  • 26 eggs
  • 6 lbs. powdered sugar
  • nearly a gallon of milk
  • 36 oz. shortening
  • 18 sticks of butter
  • 26 tsp. vanilla
  • 11 cups granulated sugar
  • 16 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
  • approx. 5 lbs. fondant
  • 3 oz. navy blue gel dye
  • and a cup or two of cornstarch

Crazy, right? Even crazier is that I bought more than I used of pretty much everything. I’ve got 3 boxes of butter chilling out in my fridge that I didn’t need, and an entire tub of shortening. Keeping a spreadsheet like this will help me to not over-buy in the future as I become more familiar with exactly how much stuff I need.

So, what does it cost to make a 3 tier wedding cake? This one was about $108. Nearly half of that is the price of fondant. I could have gotten the cost down if I’d payed attention to the price of some items and was more aware of exactly how much of each item I really needed. I think I could recreate the exact same cake for $80 if I had it to do over again.

You can see the jam!

That’s just the cost of the ingredients though. I spent around 40 hours on that cake, so if I were to charge someone $200 for it, that would have me making about $2.30 an hour after subtracting the ingredient costs. Not exactly lucrative. I’ll need to figure out how to get my costs down, and more importantly my time expenditure down, before I can even think about trying to use this skill as a source of income. I’m more than happy to do it for family and absorb all the costs myself, but I’m not interested in working that hard for spare change for people I barely know.

I’m making another cake in September for some friends of ours and I will be charging them the material costs this time, but still no labor costs. I’m still really happy to do this though because I see it as a gift we can give our friends, and it’s another trial run to see if I can lower my costs and time expended. I’m pretty excited to use this cake as my little “guinea pig” to show me if this is a viable business venture for me.

One great thing about making wedding cakes…leftover jam.

Strawberry jam dregs

I canned the rest of the strawberry vanilla jam and I’ve been putting it on everything. I can’t believe I’ve almost finished this jar! I’ve already bought some figs I intend to turn into jam too. I’m hooked!