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Potluck Ideas That’ll Crown You the Ina Garten of Your Office

Blueberry tea cake recipe

Yields 1 (9 inch square) cake


  • 2 (8 ounce) sticks, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter and inside, lay down two sheets of parchment paper perpendicular to each other, leaving overhang to use as tabs to lift the cake out when it is cooked. Grease again with another 1/2 tablespoon of butter.
  3. To make the streusel, in a medium bowl, whisk together 1-1/4 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave.
  5. Drizzle in the melted butter and use a fork to stir the mixture together until large streusel-like crumbs form. Set the streusel aside.
  6. To make the batter, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1-1/4 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and lemon juice. Set aside.
  8. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the granulated sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 10 tablespoons of butter and cream on low speed until the mixture is combined.
  9. Increase the speed to medium-high and cream until the butter is airy, about 2 minutes.
  10. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed between each addition.
  11. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  12. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add half the reserved flour mixture, then the sour cream mixture, then the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until combined and scraping down the bowl as needed.
  13. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the blueberries.
  14. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  15. Top evenly with the streusel and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a crumb or two attached. The top will be a rich golden brown under the streusel, and the cake will give springy resistance to pressure.
  16. Use the parchment paper to remove the cake from the pan, then discard the parchment and cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
  17. Cut into squares and serve or cover with a dome or plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

Game the system

If you don’t want to cook at all, you can still contribute to your office potluck.

Bring the drinks: Someone has to do it, so it might as well be you. Volunteer to bring the drinks, ice and cups. If you buy soda, make sure to include some diet drinks and caffeine-free options.

Shop from your grocery store deli: At your local grocery store deli, you’ll find plenty of fantastic options for your potluck. These deli counters usually have everything, including pasta salad, fried chicken, veggie trays, meat and cheese trays and more.

Sign up for the dessert: You don’t have to bake a homemade dessert. Instead, pick up a cake or cookies from your local bakery. Sweet treats are always a big hit at potluck parties.

Throw together a salad: You can create a winter fruit salad from chopped pineapple and other fruit or a festive salad with green beans and tomatoes. Bring a couple of bottles of store-bought dressing, and you’ll be good to go.

Potluck ideas for work that'll make you the belle of the office holiday party
Image: SheKnows

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