• 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus one tablespoon
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, optional

Hear ye! Hear ye! Call your friends. Pass it along. Get your tube pans and forks ready…

You are about to taste THE BEST blueberry cake to ever touch your lips!

Let me explain…

Last year I headed to my hometown of Fall River, Massachusetts for a book signing. My first cookbook You Never Cook Alone had just been released. My alma mater, Saints Peter and Paul School, welcomed my family and the book signing with open arms and lots of enthusiasm. My family and I were moved so deeply by the number of people who came out for the book signing. It was an incredible evening that my family and I will never forget!

Sister Eleanor Little whom I mentioned in my book was present that night. Sister Eleanor was my fifth grade teacher. I adored her — still do! As a child I was challenged by a horrific speech impediment. As I dealt with stuttering Sister Eleanor was always so encouraging and comforting to me. She had always told me, “Elise, you may not be able to speak well, but you sure can write!”  Seeing her after so many years was such a marvelous surprise.

Since reconnecting last year, Sister Eleanor has stopped in Raleigh, North Carolina twice on her way to meetings in Belmont to visit with our family. We have enjoyed visiting with her for the weekend.

This year our family had the wonderful opportunity to share in the celebration of Sister Eleanor’s 70th birthday (a secret she tried to keep from us). :) We spent the morning at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University.

How adorable is she?

Sister Eleanor and I stopped at Grill 57 for lunch.  She loves hot dogs and this was the perfect place!

I was so happy to see a 50’s disc jockey playing music outside and all of the beautiful classic cars in the parking lot. It added to the celebration, and when I mentioned that to Eleanor, she smiled and asked, “Are you suggesting that I’m as old as these cars?” : )

After asking what type of birthday cake she liked, Sister Eleanor told me that she had not enjoyed a homemade birthday cake since her father passed. Her mother had always baked her a cake on her birthday. After Eleanor’s mother passed her father kept up the special tradition for his daughter. After asking what her favorite cake was Sister Eleanor replied, “I always liked marble cake with chocolate frosting“…and so a marble cake with chocolate frosting she got! (recipe coming soon)

I’ll try to do a better job at marbeling next time, but I was happy that she enjoyed it!

Before we ate cake, we took Sister Eleanor to an Italian restaurant.

Italian food is one of her very favorites.

Sausage and pasta in particular.

I was happy. Sister was happy.

It looked great and smelled really good, that is until…

a pesky fly decided to start eating her food before she did.

After a second plate, all was well, Sister was a great sport with a terrific sense of humor. I plan to stay at home and cook her sausage and pepper sauce the next time she comes to visit.  We decided that it does make a great story.

During her visit, Sister gave me her mom’s delicious blueberry cake recipe and she is allowing me to share it with all of you! It is DELICIOUS!

I followed the pretty handwritten directions to the letter.

Mrs. Little had written it down for her daughter who graciously copied the recipe and passed it along to me – and you!

1. Place one oven rack in the middle of your oven.

2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Thoroughly grease and flour a tube pan.

4. Wash and dry your blueberries and set them aside.

5. Beat the egg whites until stiff and also set aside.

6. Cover your blueberries with one tabelspoon of flour. This will keep them suspended in your cake.

7. In your mixing bowl, cream together shortening, vanilla, and sugar. Add your eggs and beat again.

8. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add your dry mixture alternately with the milk, scraping down the sides once or twice.

9. Fold in your beaten egg whites. Now fold in your blueberries.

10. Pour half of your batter into your prepared pan.

11. Sprinkle two tablespoons of granulated sugar and ground cinnamon on top of your batter. (I added this to the recipe becasue my family loves cinnamon.) Pour the other half of your cake batter on top.

12. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.This recipe can be halved and prepared in a smaller baking pan.


  • Halve the recipe and make in a smaller baking pan.
  • Never use a dark tube pan; things tend to burn.
  • Use a long wooden skewer to check for doneness.