Recipe from “Grandma B”: Blueberry Boy Bait

by Apr 29, 2016

An old metal loaf pan is one of my priceless treasures. The pan is stuffed with handwritten recipe cards and newspaper clippings, my grandparents’ recipe box. They grew up in the 20’s and 30’s, got married and had three boys in the 1940’s. In the 70’s, we took several road trips to Grandma and Grandpa B’s house where I would look through their recipes and bake with her in their kitchen. When I pondered “boy bait”, I imagined a mother trying to get her three boys to come inside.  That made sense.




So, here you are. A vintage recipe for blueberry coffee cake. I made it a few weeks ago, the first time in a long, long time. It won the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1954, before the contest even had its catchy name. I’m posting the recipe especially for my brother, and all the cousins—70% boys!


Blueberry Boy Bait


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 - 2 cups frozen blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter an 8x12 inch baking dish (Pyrex to be like Grandma B)
  3. Whisk together the flour and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers. Measure 3/4 cup of this mixture and set aside for the crumb topping.
  4. Beat the egg whites to firm peaks using an electric mixer with whisk attachment; set aside.
  5. To the remaining flour/sugar/butter mixture, add the baking powder, salt, egg yolks, and milk. Beat using electric mixer with paddle attachment for 3 minutes. Using a spatula, gently fold in the whipped egg whites. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle with blueberries then the reserved 3/4 cup crumb mixture.
  6. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until top is golden.

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