Blueberry buckle is like a crumb-topped coffee cake filled with sweet, juicy berries. It’s easy to make and such a delicious way to celebrate spring!
Raise your hand if you’re excited for BERRY SEASON!
Both of my hands are raised. Both of my feet are too, and Cookie is giving me a very funny look. That’s pretty much par for the course around here though.
Today I bring you one of the very best (or berry best, if you’re punny like that) ways to celebrate berries: a blueberry buckle. Is it dessert? Is it breakfast? Who knows and who cares? Because it’s delicious! And it’s chock full of berries and covered in a buttery crumb topping.
Why you’ll love this blueberry buckle:
- It’s easy to make
- You can use fresh OR frozen berries
- The ingredients are all staples you probably have on hand already!
What is a buckle?
It’s basically a coffee cake made with fruit: a soft cake layer filled with fruit and topped with a crumb topping (although not all recipes call for the topping).
In researching this recipe I came across many, many definitions of buckle, most of which involved pouring cake batter into a pan, then topping with fruit before baking. As the cake bakes, the batter “buckles” under the weight of the fruit, hence the name.
However I’ve always mixed my fruit directly into the batter when I make buckles and because Alton Brown’s recipe calls for doing exactly that I figure I can still get away with calling this a buckle.
Can I substitute other fruit for the blueberries in this buckle?
YES! Blackberries and cherries would be two delicious options. Substitute them for the blueberries—slice and pit the cherries; coarsely chop the blackberries. You could also throw in some other spices like ginger or cardamom depending on what spices you enjoy combined with which fruits.
How to make blueberry buckle
Start with the crumb topping. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small mixing bowl and stir together. Add cold butter and use your fingers to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms crumbles. Pop it in the fridge while you work on the cake.
Baker’s tip: Be sure the butter is cold! The reason we use cold butter here is so the topping doesn’t melt in the oven. If you used room temp butter you would end up with a flat layer of topping rather than one that stays in nice big clumps.
Combine room temp butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add an egg, vanilla, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt and beat until light and fluffy.
Mix in half of the flour, then the milk until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the remaining flour. (The batter will be quite thick—this is normal.)
Gently fold in blueberries—you can use fresh or frozen; frozen blueberries will make the batter even thicker. Scrape the batter into an 8-inch round cake pan and sprinkle with the chilled topping. Bake for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Baker’s tip: As you’re sprinkling the topping over the cake, squeeze the topping in your hands to create exactly the size of crumbles you want. Work quickly, though, so the topping doesn’t warm up too much.
And let me tell you how I served this blueberry buckle (to myself) after I finished the photography: I zapped a slice in the microwave for a few seconds just to warm it up and topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
But we’ll pretend that last part didn’t happen because it was 9:00 in the morning and I don’t want to admit, either to myself or to you, that I ate ice cream for breakfast. . .
Did you make this blueberry buckle? Awesome! Let me know what you think with a rating and a review below. And post a pic on Insta! Tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see (and share) your creations!
This blueberry buckle is basically easy to make and it's the perfect way to celebrate blueberries any time of year!
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter cut into small chunks
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and use your fingers to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms crumbles. Refrigerate while you work on the cake.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Dust lightly with flour, tap out the excess, and set pan aside.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer set to medium speed until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt and beat until light and fluffy.
- Beat in half of the flour, then the milk until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the remaining flour. (The batter will be quite thick.) Gently fold in the blueberries.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the refrigerated topping*. Bake 55 to 65 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Set the pan on a wire rack and cool the cake for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, then carefully remove the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve.
- * As you’re sprinkling the topping over the cake, squeeze the topping in your hands to create exactly the size of crumbles you want. Work quickly, though, so the topping doesn’t warm up too much.
- The buckle is best when eaten the same day it's made but you can store uneaten cake at room temperature, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days. (Or tightly wrapped in the freezer for up to 2 months.)
Adapted from How to Bake Everything