Blueberry Boy Bait – A Retro Recipe Test

Posted on Aug 15 2012 - 6:19am by RetroRuth

Even though we still have two gelatin winners to announce, I thought we could take a break to celebrate something that is almost as good as gelatin.



Since it is blueberry season here in Michigan and I’ve been DYING to make Blueberry Boy Bait forever, I thought I would give it a whirl this week. This dessert, though a total vintage dessert dating back to Pillsbury’s 1954 Bake-Off, has been pretty much been done, done and redone. Cook’s Country even has a version of it. But I still couldn’t resist testing it out.

You know, just to be sure.

Here is the original recipe from the 1954 Bake-Off:


Sift together:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar

Cut in:
2/3 cup butter or margarine until particles are the size of small peas. Measure 3/4 cup of this mixture and reserve for crumb topping.
Add to remaining mixture:
2 tsps. double-acting baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 unbeaten egg yolks
1 cup milk
Beat for 3 minutes with electric mixer at low speed.


2 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold gently but thoroughly into batter. Spread into well-greased and lightly floured 12″x8″x2″ pan.

1 cup drained blueberries (fresh, canned, or frozen) over batter. Sprinkle with reserved 3/4 cup crumb mixture.

Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 40 to 50 minutes. Serve cold with whipped cream as a dessert, or warm as a coffee cake.


And here is a variation of the recipe from Cook’s Country, which I ended up using. They included it with their cookbook America’s Best Lost Recipes.  I have had my eye on their version for a while, so I decided to give it a try.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Blueberry Boy Bait
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 2 cups plus 1 tsp AP flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 T unsalted butter (or shortening)
  • ¾ packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or whole milk)
  • 1 c cup blueberries
  • Topping
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 baking pan.
  2. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. With an electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Reduce speed to medium and beat in flour mixture alternately with milk in two batches until incorporated. Toss blueberries with remaining flour and gently fold into batter. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Scatter extra blueberries on batter. Combine sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over batter.
  4. Bake cake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 mins.



And, as expected, it was totally amazing!

The Verdict: Fantastic! Going to be putting this one into permanent rotation in our house.


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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sara In AZ August 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    OMG! That looks SO good that I am dying a little over here!!! I will definitely HAVE to make this soon!!!

    • RetroRuth August 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Yes! It is really, really good!

  2. Martha K. August 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    I’m going to try this one. Any idea how it got it’s name (I mean the “Bait” part)?

    • RetroRuth August 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Martha! I hope you love it. 🙂

      Actually, the creator of the recipe was a teen girl who said she used the dessert to charm boys. The “Bait”, she said, came from the fact that once the boys took a bite, they were hooked!

  3. Arrynne August 10, 2013 at 1:33 am - Reply

    I made this tonight, and it was fabulous! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Jan June 4, 2015 at 11:38 am - Reply

    We have been making this coffee cake since the recipe was first published and my mom cut it out of the newspaper in 1954 in Chicago. It is a family favorite and a must have for Christmas morning! We always get a chuckle out of the name.

  5. Sonya August 5, 2015 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Your photos are making me want another piece…to bad it’s gone! I love Cook’s Country and had printed this out a while ago; just made it yesterday. My husband loved it, as promised 🙂 I’d just had dental work done and with my numb tongue, I couldn’t taste it as well, but it was good enough to want to make again!

  6. Andrea "Hoo" October 6, 2016 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Not much of a baker but I made this for my dad’s birthday and he loved it. Ate it every day for breakfast. It’s even better on day 2 or 3 when it seems a little more moist.

  7. Kerry December 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    My son and I made this last night but with cherries and almond extract because that’s what we had on hand. Delicious!!

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