This mandarin blueberry swirl cake is a cross between a muffin and a coffee cake loaf. It is two parts mandarin vanilla bean, one part blueberry creme fraiche swirl, and 100 percent flavorful and fresh! This mandarin blueberry cake is buttery, creamy, moist, and loaded with vibrancy from winter citrus and fresh blueberries. It’s an ideal accompaniment to coffee or tea, or for sneaky nibbles throughout the day. Or if you just need to stress eat. Honey, this is the cake!
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The New Year Funk
St. Louis has been experiencing strange weather these days and I have had some strange feels going on. We gets flashes of all four seasons in one day! So pretty much STL weather is about as temperamental as my mood lately. But mostly, we’ve had rain, sleet, and slushy snow with a thick wave of fog.
This morning reminded me of a trip to Sleepy Hollow, NY I took years back with my Mom. We walked through the woods and I hid behind her in case the headless horseman bounded our way. But it’s such a gloomy yet romantic and cozy town that gives you the creeps while exciting you at the same time. And I got a touch of nostalgia this morning while drinking a steaming cup of coffee by the gray cast window. I felt like I was back in New York painting the town red with my best gal pal!
But to be honest, the weather fit my mood as of lately. Since the show ended I’ve felt this fog around me in the sense of, Now what? I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals in the last year. But now I’m feeling like since 2020 arrived I’m in a place of limbo where I fear I’ve hit a glass ceiling with it all. But while I aim higher, I’m eating all the cake I can find. Cake always makes it all better.
Besides, every gloomy and gray day (and mood) needs a bright spot. So I whipped up this mandarin blueberry loaf as a ray of sunshine for the girls and myself before they headed off to school.
I had the craziest psychic reading the other day! Eek, you guys! I am truly intrigued by this woman. She lives in the UK and I actually had a reading with her a couple of years ago. Cue the suspenseful music because a lot of her predictions came true. For example, she predicted we were having an outside remodel done that would lead to a smaller addition. We were in fact having our deck redone. And literally that afternoon after the reading our contractor found tons of poison ivy growing in this patch under the deck. Also, that part of the yard was high off the ground and dicey in regards to the kids safety. So he had an idea to turn that into a smaller double deck so it wouldn’t bother the kids or Lukas. Coincidence? I don’t know!
I posted a poll on Instagram asking who has ever been to a psychic. And over 70% of people who took the poll so far have. But the best thing that came out of the poll was a flood of messages from the predictions people had gotten from various psychics throughout their lives. Some of these predictions are hilarious to read, so I may have to share some of them soon. Who else has gotten a psychic reading, and what are your thoughts? Did anything come true? I’m nosy and want to hear everything!
But since this blog post is not an article for Cosmopolitan, let’s move on to this marvelous Mandarin Blueberry Swirl Loaf!
Mandarin Blueberry Swirl Cake Loaf
If you have young kids then you always have Mandarin Oranges on hand. That’s just a fact of life and parenthood! I love the sweetness and juiciness that mandarins provide in baking. They have a milder orange taste with a less bitter rind. Mandarins are a tasty Winter baking citrus. They flow in harmony with vanilla bean and the touch of acidity and creaminess that creme fraiche adds. They also give a gentle oomph to the batter base for the sweet berry swirl.
This mandarin blueberry swirl cake reminds me somewhat of a coffee cake. It’s the type of cake that can be served as a morning muffin bread, afternoon tea cake, or even as dessert. You could even dress it up with a light and simple glaze if enjoying as dessert after a bowl of homemade pasta.
I became obsessed with creme fraiche and European butter while in the UK. The dairy from there is so creamy and full of butterfat and flavor. It’s all amazing, especially the UK ice cream.
What I love about creme fraiche is how it adds a tang with extra butteriness from all that butterfat, along with a distinct creaminess. Creme fraiche differs from sour cream in both taste and texture. Sour cream is thicker and tangier and less buttery than creme fraiche. While I love it for bakes that could use a hit of sourness, for this delicate mandarin blueberry swirl cake, I wanted something with a lighter touch.
Using creme fraiche will make your cakes like this loaf cake super moist. And you’ll find how this cake has all the possible moisture without any dense spots. That’s due to the addition of potato starch. Potato starch in baking will aid in reducing density or that glue factor that can occur in soft cakes.
The blueberry swirl in this loaf cake is achieved by making a smashed fresh blueberry compote. The compote is drained of juice. Then the compote gets mixed into 1/3 of the vanilla bean batter. Then it is dropped alternatively with the base batter and given a light swirl at the end.
To achieve the swirling effect, make sure to use a knife and gently swirl the batter around. Do not mix it or swirl too much.
Thank you for making this mandarin blueberry swirl cake! I know you’ll love it! Share the love for this recipe by sharing the post to fellow foodies and on Pinterest.
Please join me on Instagram for more free recipes and food pics! And thanks for being the best and ritziest community of foodies a gal could ask for. Your daily and very random, sometimes TMI messages make me laugh, think, and feel a range of emotions!
Cheers to 2020 and Happy Baking!
Mandarin Blueberry Swirl Loaf Cake
This mandarin blueberry swirl loaf is a cross between a muffin and a cake loaf. It is two parts mandarin vanilla bean, one part blueberry creme fraiche swirl, and 100 percent flavorful and fresh! This mandarin blueberry cake is buttery, creamy, moist, and loaded with vibrancy from winter citrus and fresh blueberries.
Mandarin Vanila Bean Batter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted then cooled slightly
- 1 tablespoon olive oil light and fruity
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 of a vanilla bean scraped
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- 4 tablespoons fresh mandarin juice
- 1 1/4 cup AP Flour spooned and leveled
- 2 teaspoons potato starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon mandarin orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2/3 cup blueberries rinsed and picked clean
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Wash and drain blueberries and pick clean before adding to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add sugar and stir. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring every minute. Then smash into a compote. Place in a mesh sieve set over a bowl and allow to drain of juice while you make the cake batter.
Mandarin Vanilla Bean Batter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch cake loaf pan with parchment, letting it hang from sides for easy lifting.
Melt butter and set aside to cool briefly.
Whisk together the eggs with the sugar until paled, about 2 minutes.
Then whisk in the butter and olive oil until smooth.
Scrape half of a vanilla bean and add the beans to the batter.
Zest a couple of mandarins and Juice them.
Whisk in the creme fraiche and the mandarin juice.
In a separate bowl, add the potato starch, flour, salt, baking powder, mandarin zest, and baking soda. Add to the bowl and use a spatula to fold in until incorporated.
Get a bowl and add the compote. Then take 1/3 of vanilla bean mandarin batter and fold that in until mixed.
Then alternatively spoon the batters into the loaf pan. Then use a knife to swirl it around.
Bake for 38-43 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool before dusting with powdered sugar and serving.
*Use the drained blueberry juice for a pancake topping!
This recipe can easily be doubled to become a bundt cake!
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