Gluten-Free Blueberry Boy Bait

Gluten-Free Blueberry Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

 Blueberry Boy Bait won the Pillsbury Bake Off contest in 1954, and our friend Alison made it deliciously gluten-free. YES.

Every girl needs an arsenal of recipes to catch the boys. I mean, good looks alone might not be enough to keep them around, right? It’s a well-known fact that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach–and if you master this recipe, I guarantee you that the boys will come running, and stick around until you shoo them away.

Okay, okay, I don’t really believe all of that, but from my personal experience, Blueberry Boy Bait does indeed make the boys come running. Especially the hungry teenage variety. Especially if you don’t get around to serving them breakfast until 11 o’clock in the morning.

But hey, it’s the first day of summer vacation and we all slept in.

I love a good recipe with a good story, and Blueberry Boy Bait is definitely one of those. Created by a teenager for the Pillsbury Bake Off contest in 1954, this single layer coffeecake, studded throughout with plump, juicy blueberries and topped with a cinnamon-sugar crumb, is sure to please everyone who comes around…not just the boys.

I’ve made it several times over the years, in summer with freshly-picked blueberries…in winter with frozen ones, and it always turns out amazingly well–even after I transitioned to a gluten-free diet. Use a light and fluffy flour blend like Cup4Cup or the Trader Joe’s Gluten-free Flour Blend  to ensure a tender crumb. (It also works with my own flour blend, but I was out and had to use a backup.)

It’s blueberry season in California…and the East Coast is probably not far behind. So what are you waiting for?


Gluten-Free Blueberry Boy Bait

gluten-free blueberry boy bait
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Gluten-Free Blueberry Boy Bait

Author: Alison Needham


  • 2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum  omit if your blend contains it
  • 2 sticks of butter softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk or plant-based milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries

For the Topping:

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup blueberries


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter or gluten-free cooking spray.
  • Mix 2 cups of flour, baking powder, sea salt and xanthan gum in a medium bowl with a whisk and set aside.
  • Beat the butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
  • Beat in half of the flour mixture until smooth, add the milk and the rest of the flour and beat until evenly incorporated.
  • Toss 1/2 cup of the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour and gently fold into the batter. Spread into the prepared baking dish.
  • Mix the topping ingredients together and distribute evenly over the top of the batter.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Courtesy: Alison Needham

17 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Blueberry Boy Bait

  1. I made these exactly per the recipe. The batter seemed very gummy, not as pictured. They came out like lead and were inedible. I was very upset at the waste of expensive ingredients. I used Williams Sonoma C4C flour.

    1. OH! Melissa – the C4C was the culprit – that blend ALREADY CONTAINS Xanthan Gum (is says it on the back of the package, we believe) so when you added more as the recipe required, you got a brick. 🙁

  2. So if I wanted to use the Better batter flour which also contains xanthan gum, I should leave out the extra xanthan in the receipe?

  3. How much butter is two sticks?? Is each stick a half a cup?? I'm going to sub for earth balance because of a dairy allergy.

  4. Made this for Easter and my son devoured half of it before he realized it was mine (gluten free). It is so good. I just made it for everyone (me) for Mother's Day. This recipe is a keeper!

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