Maple-Blueberry Cake


This weekend started off so perfectly. Mike came home Friday night with little surprise for me:

Yep, that would be an animal style grilled cheese from In N Out. This is only the second time I’ve had fast food this pregnancy and it was exactly what I wanted.

Now that I’m within 12 days of my due date, I’ve been thinking about the whole impending giving birth thing. I didn’t take a birthing class, and I haven’t read all that much (or seen The Business of Being Born – am I the only expectant mother that hasn’t? Because it kind of seems like it). HOWEVER, I have come to the conclusion that I want an epidural, and here’s why:

1. I’m a badass and I don’t need a natural birth to prove it. I’ve run marathons and a trail ultra, I’ve done a half Ironman, and I’m still hitting the gym and lifting weights at 38 weeks pregnant. I don’t need to withstand the pain of a natural birth to prove to myself that I can handle it. I put myself through plenty of painful things on my own, thanks.

2. I’m pretty stoked on modern medicine in general. Modern medical technology made me able to run thanks to the 3 titanium screws in my hip, and it’s done a ton for other people too. I like the advances that have been made in pain management and I want to use them.

3. I take Tylenol when I have headaches. This is going to be infinitely more painful than that. Therefore I want drugs. Strong ones.

I have absolutely nothing against people who choose to give birth naturally. The beauty of this country in this day and age is that we get the choice…and this is mine (I choose my choice!) And now that I’ve posted something (possibly) controversial for the first time, lets talk about this cake.

I bought probably the last blueberries of the season last week and wanted to bake something amazing. Blueberry Boy Bait has always kind of appealed to me, but I wanted to incorporate maple flavor as well. So I took a recipe for that, cut half the butter, replaced some sugar with maple syrup, and added extra blueberries. It tasted kind of like pancakes (and Mike wanted me to call it Pancake Cake), with a hint of maple and plenty of berries. Divine.

Recipe:
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

cake
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 maple syrup
3 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup blueberries

topping
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 13 x 9 pan.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a stand mixer until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Mix in the maple syrup.

Add half the yogurt and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, add the flour mixture, and mix on low just until all traces of flour disappear. Stir in the remaining yogurt.

Gently fold in the blueberries using a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the pan.

Sprinkle the half cup of blueberries for the topping evenly over the cake batter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the cake.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

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27 comments to Maple-Blueberry Cake

  • I love you for posting this – almost as much as I love epidurals! :-)

  • I like how “controversial” your choice is — sounds educated & like you know what you want to me! No arguments there. :)

    That cake looks amazing, holy cow.

  • Jey

    My birth plan was something along the lines of this: Give me the epidural asap. Make sure the baby comes out safely. Bring me a beer and some sushi.

    Can’t wait for pictures of your sweet little girl!

  • I am so squeamish I can barely think about child birth so I applaud you for your decisions – goodness take all the drugs you need! And yummy on everything! I think I might have to get a post-race In&Out this weekend.

  • 12 days…?! That is just crazy.

    Kudos to you for being a badass – but not needing to go all natural just to prove it.

  • You’re so right – the beauty of it all is that it is YOUR choice! :)

    This cake looks wonderful. A friend was just telling me how much she enjoys blueberries and maple syrup – so this is perfect.

  • Joe would definitely approve of your decision! We watched The Business of Being Born while he was doing an OB anesthesia rotation, and he thought it was good if a little one-sided. But he agreed with some of the critiques of the medical establishment.

  • You are so right – the beauty is that we get the CHOICE! And birthing decisions should certainly not be made in an effort to try to prove how hardcore we are. There are many other opportunities to do that!

  • Oh you’re so awesome for posting this Cate. One badass for sure, and I really admire your choice. I love reading the insights of mommyhood, you are definitely feeding into my baby fever. Fantastic bluberry cake, and how I love “animal style” anything from In-N-Out…I might want animal style fries this week.

  • You make great points! You are a bad ass and you get that epidural! :) Win Win

    2 other things 1. In-n-out, yum! Only second time in your pregnancy? That’s awesome. 2. This cake looks amazing!

  • I haven’t seen the business of being born either, but from what I’ve heard, Joe is totally right. And given the fact that for years I’ve system the aftermath of “births gone wrong” I think it’s wise to be open to medical help! Then again, I’m terrified of the epidural too, so I’m really SOL.

  • I haven’t seen The Business of Being Born, and probably won’t watch it. I definitely think your points are totally valid for wanting an epidural. I opted for natural because, frankly, I’m scared to death to not be able to feel my legs! (And some other stuff too.) Thank goodness for a choice for sure!

  • Good for you for knowing yourself and making the best decision for you and your baby. I always think it’s just amazing that women now feel like we have to justify choices we make in order to complete what is inevitably one of the most painful and most miraculous events of life.

    I can’t believe how close you are! The grilled cheese and cake look delish!

  • Your feelings regarding epidurals completely mimic my own (minus the whole marathoning thing, but I still know I’m awesome). Don’t want one? Great! I’ll gladly take mine :) I haven’t seen TBOBB because it sounds incredibly one-sided and I really have no interest in that. Do what you want and what makes you happy. I *loved* my epidurals (and by the way, could definitely feel my legs). You’re so close now! YAY!

  • Jen

    Love you for posting this. 12 days out…sooooo exciting!

  • becca

    That meal looks terrific. :) Just a note on epidurals since you mentioned not taking a class/reading books on it. Some women opt to fore-go them as they have the potential to stall labor and lead to a Cesarean. My main reason for going for an unmedicated birth (hopefully!) is so that I’m not forced to lie on my back and labor in bed with monitors strapped to my stomach.

  • I literally LOLed at “pancake cake.” Hope that baby comes soon.

  • This looks like a great treat!! Thanks for the post.

  • ooo doesnt this look goddarn gorgeous :) stunning photos too! what a lovely cake

  • PatW

    I honestly found a C-section not as horrible as it was cracked up to be. I don’t want to scare you, but be prepared for SOME pain when the epi is administered. Once it’s in there, you’re fine. As for the monitor, I had a cousin, born many years prior to their use who was brain damaged at birth. I was glad it was there for my baby.

  • THANK YOU for reminding people it’s A-OKAY to get an epidural! I certainly plan to :)

    GOOD LUCK!

  • Cate, I have been reading for a while but am coming out of lurkdom to say thank you for posting this. I feel like there are so many decisions to make when it comes to babies, and we all need to do what is best for us. My thoughts have always been as long as baby and mom are healthy, how you get there isn’t what matters.

  • Lianne

    I respect your choice to have an epidural, unnecessary pain is unnecessary, but after some research of my own, I know there can be complications for baby and mother linked with the use of an epidural. You sound like a genuine, kind, educated person, please look into your options before taking a risk.

  • Amber

    You will definitely thank yourself later after getting your epidural! Since I had 2 I almost wanted to start an “Advocates for Epidurals” Club my deliveries were so great. My first with Abigail was a breeze – the worst pain I felt that day was the IV being put in. You can feel your legs and feet btw. My 2nd was with the boys (you DEF want one when you have to birth twins naturally!!!) I applaud you for doing this and can’t wait to meet my newest 2nd cousin!!!

  • I’m always on the hunt for recipes that use maple. This looks great. I can’t wait to give it a try.

  • Love this post. I agree with you 100%. I have similar feelings (for when the time comes!), you choose what works for you. :) Cake looks great too! Love the blueberry pancake vibe. YUM!

  • Joe S.

    I completely agree with your decision to get an epidural. In addition, there is a decreased incidence of chronic pain for you! Also, it decreases the sympathetic nervous system outflow and improves the acid/base status of the baby leading to less acidosis. It also doesn’t have untoward effects of respiratory depression or fetal bradycardia the way IV meds do. You have made a very informed and medically sound decision!

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