Blueberry Boy Bait

Blueberry Boy Bait from Our Best BitesI have kind of this weird obsession with the 1960s. In college (at least at my college), there were kids who wore cloaks and practiced swordplay on grassy areas and that wasn’t my thing. And there are people who have read Pride and Prejudice so many times they could legitimately pass for a Bennett sister, but, even as an English major, that was never really my time period, either. 1920s? Too flapper-y. 1930s? Too Depression-y. But the 1960s? I just find them endlessly fascinating–I love the style and nostalgia and literature and movies and TV shows and history and the sense that things are changing in huge and monumental ways. Plus, look at my mom reading a Redbook as a newlywed in 1963–isn’t she adorable?

Kate's Mom

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not under any illusion that things were perfect. But it’s just a period, probably THE period in history that’s more interesting to me than any other.

So Sara and I got this bright idea to go retro this week and post recipes from the 1960s. Which was fabulous in theory, because I love all things from the ’60s, right?

Um…turns out I’m not so crazy about the food. I started scouring old cookbooks, new cookbooks compiling old recipes, Junior League cookbooks, community and church cookbooks. There were some things like roasted chicken or spaghetti and meatballs or pot roast that I would totally still make, but they also don’t feel retro (because they’ve stood the test of time). But there were other things…unmentionable things…things combining maraschino cherries and pimentos and canned pineapple and MSG. I say this from a kind and hopeful place in my heart–I truly hope our recipes and cookbooks aren’t quite that obsolete in another 50 years.

Since Sara decided to go the main dish route, I refocused my energy on desserts, which was a significantly easier search because these are the recipes your mom and grandma made and have never gone out of style. I thought about my favorite recipes from my childhood, many of which I’ve already shared (like Texas Sheet Cake and Banana Slush Punch). I hemmed and hawed and list-made and wondered and tried recipes.

And then I stumbled across Blueberry Boy Bait in one of my favorite food magazines EVER (the same one from the Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake, if that gives you a point of reference for awesomeness). And I knew that was it, if for nothing other than the fact that it was called Boy Bait and I found the name hilarious (and much cuter than all the grunts, crumbles, and slumps…if a food has the same name as a noise I might make when I eat too much of it, then I’m not sure I can do it). And I kid you not, as it was cooling on the counter, my husband wandered in and said, “Oooooh, what’s that?!”, circling it like our dog does when we sit down for dinner at night. If I were in a position to be luring males with baked goods, this would have done it.

The ingredients here are super simple–all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, buttermilk (whole, if you can find it), and blueberries. Oh, and for the topping, you’ll need some cinnamon, too.

Blueberry Boy Bait Ingredients

Adjust the rack to the middle position (or the best position in your oven for baking; mine is NOT the middle position) and preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×13″ baking pan and set aside.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

combing flour and baking powder

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar

butter brown sugar white sugar

and beat on medium high speed for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy (scrape the bowl as necessary). Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Reduce speed to medium and add 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing until incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup buttermilk. Repeat with another addition of flour, the rest of the milk, and ending with the final addition of flour. Take the blueberries (frozen or fresh, it doesn’t matter)…

frozen blueberries

and gently fold them into the batter. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the additional topping blueberries over the batter. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the blueberries.

blueberries, sugar, and cinnamon on boy bait batter

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Baked Blueberry Boy Bait from Our Best Bites

Allow to cool for 20 minutes (or completely) before cutting into squares and serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, plain or with drizzled with cream and blueberries or topped with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Seriously. It’s amazing warm or not warm…I couldn’t even tell you which one I loved more, and I will have you know that I tested this valiantly–warm…not warm…for dinner…for breakfast…when walking past to see if it’s better when you cut off a little sliver and eat it in the dark when you tell your husband to pause the show so you can “check on the kids.” All because I love you guys. You’re welcome.

Blueberry Boy Bait from Our Best Bites

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Ooh, my husband doesn’t do blueberries, but I will have to make this for ME. It looks amazing.

  2. i made this today with lowfat buttermilk and it was so moist and yummy…definitely tastes better after few hours. tasted a bit salty right out of the oven but tastes really good once it has completely cooled off. thanks for the recipe.

  3. Oooh, so yummy! If I can’t find “whole buttermilk” in my area, do you recommend think it’d be better to use not-whole buttermilk, or the whole milk?

  4. I looooove Blueberry Boy Bait! I’ve never made it and not been asked for the recipe multiple times! I’m glad I can now refer them to OBB, like I do for just about everything else I get asked the recipe for. Seriously, don’t make this unless you have someone to share it with or you will eat it all in a day. It’s sooo good!

  5. Kate, This recipe looks delicious. I know you from when you were a little girl but it wasn’t in the 60’s! I live in Logan and work at Kitchen Kneads. I am wondering if you still come to Logan and if you do would you ever consider doing a cooking class for us. You would be a treat to have and I know so many would love to come. Let me know. Thanks!

      1. Wow, two of my favorites- Kate and Kitchen Kneads! I’d drive to Logan for a combination like that (I have a Kitchen Kneads about five minutes from my house…it’s an awesome place!).

  6. This looks delicious and the name is fun too. Thanks, I can’t wait to have a reason to try this one out.

  7. I am old enough to have been eating, then making Blueberry Boy Bait for years. Very yummy.

  8. This is a family classic recipe that our moms have been making since the 70’s. Every time I see it on someone else’s blog it warms my heart. I blogged a tribute to my sweet aunt with it.
    Growing up I never realized it was Boy bait…..I thought a boybait was like a cake with fruit in it….silly me. BUT it is simply the most amazing cake you can make and it will be served in my kitchen for generations to come.

  9. Isn’t this basically a blueberry coffee cake? Looks really good though, and a must try! I’m thinking you should look into the Chocolate Revel Bar that comment #4 mentioned — sound good.

    1. Pretty much, which is why I labeled it as a breakfast/brunch food as well. 🙂

      1. The chocolate revel bars are almost identical to a recipe Sara posted a couple weeks ago for Carmelitas. The only difference is she puts caramel and chocolate in between layers and the revel bars have chocolate mixed with sweetened condensed milk. Both are delicious!

  10. This simply looks divine!!!! If I were to make this and have men come crawling, I might have to substitute blueberries for blackberries. The sweet man in my family (besides my sweet little man too!) LOOOOOVES blackberries! No doubt he’ll want to try this! Thanks for the find!

  11. Looks awesome. Like you I am also obsessed with the 60’s. Well actually mid 50’s-mid 70’s. A book you might enjoy about food from that period is, The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks. It takes old recipes and talks about how regrettable they can be. Hilarious!

  12. You’ll have a hard time finding good recipes in the 1960’s. They were all about convenience and less work then. Canned goods, jello, frozen foods(fish sticks were huge), etc were the rage. These same homemakers were the first to embrace the microwave, which accounts why a lot of families lost homemade family recipes for about 20 years. If they have them, they usually contain one of the above ingredients.

  13. Boy Bait is good, I know I have made it before!
    I was a child in the 60’s and I don’t remember anything remarkable. Everyone used a cake mix. But luckily frosting was still homemade (canned frosting was a few years out) Cool Whip was an up and rising product. Frozen corn (homemade of course) was considered a vegetable. Canned green beans and peas were a staple. Spaghetti was easily made with a wonderful packet of Schilling Seasoning. Banquet Frozen Dinners were a delicacy we got to eat when mom and dad went out!
    I think it was the beginning of the convenience foods. McDonald’s had only sold 1 million hamburgers. The music was fun. Clothes were nothing special, I thing it was the beginning of the hippie movement, granny dresses were a popular thing. Hair was long, straight and parted down the middle.
    Thanks for letting me reminisce!

  14. Fun. Have you been watching the new BYU TV series, Granite Flats? The story is set in the 1960’s. It’s been a fun series to watch!

    1. You’re way ahead of us, Ashley! We’ve got a little Granite Falls-inspired giveaway coming up soon… 🙂

  15. I LOVE the “check on the kids” trick. I am a repeat offender, and it works everytime! Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it. Like Sara, I have 3 boys (4, including my husband), so I was tickled by the name of this dessert!

  16. I first came across this recipe in an old archived copy of the Improvement Era… From the early 1900s!

  17. “Boy Bait” is a hilarious name. I’m pretty sure if I make this for an after school snack my ratings will go up in the Mom Polls.

  18. Too funny–I just came across this recipe in one of the Cook’s Country cookbooks I checked out from the library last week! I thought the name was hysterical, but I never got around to making it over the weekend. It’s definitely going on the “to make” list this week!

  19. Haha! 60’s recipes are THE WORST! I sometimes still make my grandma’s ‘Hawaiian Hamburger’ with ketchup and a can of crushed pineapple just for the sake of nostalgia (cause seriously, that stuff is not going to win any awards). My favorite ’60’s recipe is called Chocolate Revel Bars (from my BHG retro cookbook-yup, they have a retro edition). Cookie crust with a filling made of 1 can sweetened condensed milk and 1 pack chocolate chips. Those are fudgy and amazing. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m not a boy but this blueberry creation would reel me right in!

  20. Mmmm this sounds so good! My mom was born the year this recipe was first published, so I too have an appreciation for that time era. She passed away 4 years ago. She loved desserts with blueberries in them! I’m definitely going to be making this dessert in memory of her. Thanks Kate!

  21. I can’t wait to make this for a brunch coming up. Ill just have to make it ahead at least once to try it out (arm being twisted). Love that I have all the ingredients to make this whenever.