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Blueberry Boy Bait

Blueberry Boy Bait
61 votes, 4.19 avg. rating (83% score)
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Total Time: 20

Yield: 18 squares

It's rumored that this recipe for Blueberry Boy Bait can help a woman snag the man of her choosing. We've updated the recipe to make it a tad healthier, and it still receives rave reviews.

In 1954 a 15-year-old Chicago teen named Renny Powell submitted a blueberry coffee cake recipe to the Pillsbury $100,000 Recipe & Baking Contest (precursor to today's Pillsbury Bake-Off). Renny took second place in the youth division for her creation, named in honor of its powers with the opposite sex. The recipe has been in circulation for nearly 60 years now, including here on, where our adaptation is one of the most popular recipes in our archive.

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Blueberry Boy Bait with Coffee
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey

For the Cake


  • Butter for the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen


Preheat oven to 350° and butter a 9x13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil, milk, and eggs. Mix with an electric mixer for 3 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then evenly sprinkle the blueberries on top.

Additional Notes:

If using large frozen blueberries 2 cups works best. If using small (wild) fresh or frozen blueberries, use up to 3 cups.

For the Topping


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle over the blueberries. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
Updated Sunday, June 15th, 2014

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23 Responses to Blueberry Boy Bait

  1. Anonymous January 23, 2003 at 8:45 pm #

    It was a little sweet so I think that you should go with the “you may use less sugar” thing. Other than that, the recope is great. It even has a cute little story to go with it.

  2. Sherry Stuck July 23, 2003 at 9:51 pm #

    I followed the suggestion and used the lower amount of sugar, plus 3 cups of freshly picked blueberries. The people at work loved it! So did my husband; he was a little put out that I gave most of it to my co-workers!

  3. Anonymous October 31, 2003 at 7:41 am #

    Very easy and great for breakfast or dessert.

  4. Siviana Stipivic July 15, 2005 at 8:36 pm #

    I used the lower amount of sugar and it was delicious!

  5. Carol Turner August 28, 2005 at 2:55 pm #

    Many years ago when I took this recipe out of Yankee Magazine, it called to separate the eggs. Mixing everything as you have it and then adding the beaten eggs at the end, it does make a difference in the
    taste, which I like better.

  6. Anonymous August 29, 2005 at 6:59 pm #

    Lowered the amount of sugar to 3/4 C for cake, and 3TBSP for topping.

  7. Anonymous August 30, 2005 at 6:18 am #

    My whole family loved it. I made it as it was…no substitutions. We will definitely make it again!

  8. Anonymous January 3, 2006 at 3:19 pm #

    My 7-year-old daughter loves blueberries and would have eaten the whole thing had I let her. It was very good. I made it according to the recipe. Next time, I may decrease the sugar in the topping. (Depends on how this New Year’s Resolution holds…)

  9. Anonymous April 5, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    I tried this recipe for the first time and thought it turned out very well. It is a very good and sweet “breakfast bread/cake.”

  10. Carol Turner April 15, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    I’ve made this recipe for years. Took it from one of the first Yankee Magazine’s I received. It has always been a favorite. But the first recipe calls to beat the egg white separately and it really makes the cake better. Just does something special for the cake.

  11. Christine Przybylowicz May 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Absolutely wonderful! Made it with less sugar and it was just fine. So moist, everyone in the family loved it.

    • susan brower July 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      Are you christine boehmke of lordship conn? Do you remember me, susan bittner, now susan brower and live in North carolina

  12. Anonymous January 31, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Oh my! Blueberry Boy Bait……The first cookbook I ever bought was the 1959 Issue of the Pillsbury Bake Off Best 1000 Recipes. Blueberry Boy Bait was the first recipe I made from that book and I made it many times over the years.
    But must admit that cookbook got pushed to the back of my shelf but your article this morning sent me looking for it. I found it and was able to find the original recipe. I like your changes to the recipe; less sugar and less fuss.
    Now I think I’ll make it for the grandkids.
    Thanks for that blast from the past.

  13. Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I am always looking for an interesting receipe so when I saw this one I printed it and put it in my recipe binder! I made it last Sunday for church and it was a big hit! I added some frozen cranberries and a little chopped walnuts on top and it tasted great! Not too sweet and it makes a good size cake!

  14. May 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    i ‘ve always liked to get recipe’s- they use to come in larger print ,now are to small for me to read??

  15. JoAnn Moulds August 1, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    I still have my original Best Of The Bake Off Collection recipe book printed in1959. The Blueberry Boy Bait recipe was well used when I was a teenager how many years ago. I’ll have to dust it of and try it on my grandchildren.

  16. toby robinson August 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Yummy yummy yummy. I made the cake this morning and it was delicious. I added one very ripe banana and cut back just a little on the amount of oil.

    Very moist and delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    Toby Ann

  17. Louise Gavitt August 9, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    First, I made the Yankee version of Blueberry Boy Bait. It was okay but nothing I would rush to make again. Then, I found the original recipe and made it, cutting back on the sugar from 1-1/2 cups to 1 cup. The original recipe was way better. I’ve found a number of other versions on the internet and they all seem to have their own little twist. Stick with the original recipe–it got rave reviews from my family.

    • Aimee Seavey August 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Hi Louise. We’re sorry you didn’t love our version, but we’re glad you found one that better suits your taste. You’re right — there are usually many versions of the same recipe just a few clicks away online and with a little tweaking we can find the one that’s perfect for us. Thanks!

  18. Lois September 17, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    The recipe I have uses butter (not oil) and all the dry ingredients are mixed with the shortening cut in and one cup is reserved for a crumb cake topping over the blueberries. I also cut the sugar in the recipe as it is very sweet. In season, Maine wild blueberries are sweet and delicious just as they are. Enjoy!

  19. stacy m September 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Can I make this with stevia?

    • Aimee Seavey September 29, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      Hi Stacy. We haven’t tried a sugar substitute in the Blueberry Boy Bait recipe, so we’re not sure how it would affect the flavor, but you can swap Stevia for the sugar if you’d like. I’d suggest searching the web for a conversion chart to figure out how much to use. Let us know how it turns out!

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