This Blueberry Buckle is loaded with tons of blueberries and baked with a cinnamon streusel crumb topping. It’s a wonderful coffee cake for brunch, and is very easy to make!
If you’re not familiar with a buckle, it’s a coffee cake with a streusel crumb topping that gets it name from how it “buckles” and cracks as it bakes. It has a tender cakey texture to it and is loaded with blueberries.
The first time I made this, I originally used a recipe from Alton Brown, but over time have changed things a bit.
His version calls for cake flour, but like most people, I rarely keep cake flour in my pantry. So my updated version uses all-purpose flour (and a little bit less, to keep it lighter), among other changes.
It’s still a very moist cake, bursting with juicy blueberries and capped off with a delicious crumble topping, but a little more accessible for home cooks.
What’s nice too is you can use either fresh OR frozen blueberries.
If it’s the summer and fresh blueberries are pretty cheap, I’ll use those, but frozen is a great choice for the rest of the year when I want blueberry desserts like this one!
Step by Step Overview:
To get started, mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
The ingredients are all-purpose flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and kosher salt:
I absolutely love the subtle ginger flavor here, but if there are any other spices you’d like to add, or even some fresh lemon zest or orange zest, add it to the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together unsalted butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 1 minute.
As noted in the recipe box further down, the butter should be at room temperature for the proper texture.
Then add a large egg:
Mix the egg in, then add half the dry ingredients:
Mix until incorporated, then add some buttermilk:
Please try to use true buttermilk here, and not whole milk mixed with vinegar. I have used the latter in a pinch but the real stuff is definitely better.
Got leftover buttermilk?
Since buttermilk usually comes in quarts, you’ll have leftovers here. I recommend using it up by making Lemon Buttermilk Pie, Buttermilk Pancakes, Chocolate Muffins, or Homemade Cornbread.
Repeat with the remaining flour mixture, and another batch of milk, until the cake batter is almost combined:
Add a 12-ounce bag or 3 cups of frozen blueberries to the bowl:
Fresh blueberries work too, but make sure they’re firm. I like using frozen blueberries because they don’t run the risk of getting mashed during the mixing process.
Well, and then I can make this cake in the middle of February, whenever the mood strikes me.
(Who else has bags of frozen berries in their freezer at all times?)
When the blueberries are mixed in, spread the blueberry buckle batter evenly into an 8×8 pan that has been greased with either butter or nonstick cooking spray:
As an alternative to greasing, you can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. But make sure to do something, otherwise you will have a hard time getting the cake out cleanly after baking.
Before popping this into the oven, we need to make the topping!
Combine flour, sugar, ground cinnamon, and melted butter (I simply microwaved it in a small bowl):
Stir with a fork until it gets clumpy:
Scatter the crumbly streusel evenly on top of the cake batter, in small pieces:
Bake the buckle for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake doesn’t come out with any raw batter (blueberry juice is fine).
While the cake bakes, it’s the perfect time to brew a cup of coffee!
Let the cake cool completely, then flip the cake out of the baking pan:
Turn it rightside up, and cut into squares. Make sure to use a sharp knife to get through the crunchy streusel.
The top is wonderfully crunchy and sweet, the cake is soft and moist, and the blueberries burst with sweet jamminess in every bite. It’s the perfect breakfast cake or afternoon snack, and a simple recipe for special occasions!
If you want to make this in muffin form, I recommend these Blueberry Streusel Muffins, which is another one of our family favorites.
Some of my other favorite breakfast recipes are Whole Wheat Pancakes and Potato Cheddar Frittata.
I also love these Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes and Blueberry Clementine Sauce. Enjoy!
Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
For the Cake:
- butter or oil for greasing the pan
- 7.5 oz all-purpose flour, by weight (1.5 cups, measured)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 12 oz frozen blueberries (3 cups*)
For the Topping:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 pan with butter or oil.
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger. Set aside.
- In a bowl with a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Turn the mixer down to low, and alternate adding 1/2 of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat until the flour and buttermilk have almost been completely incorporated, then stir in the blueberries. Pour this mixture into your 8×8 pan.
- To make the topping, use a fork to combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and melted butter. Stir until clumps form, then scatter the clumps on top of the cake. Bake the buckle for about 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out without any raw batter (blueberry juice is fine). Let the cake cool completely, then enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
[Post updated January 2017 with new photos, writing, and recipe. Originally posted May 2012]
24 Comments on “Blueberry Buckle”
When using frozen blueberries, do they need to be drained after they’re thawed?
Hi Michelle, if there’s excess liquid, I would drain it away, yes.
This looks loaded with blueberries, just how I like it.
the texture of the cake looks AMAZING!
Do you think the texture will be the same if I omit the blueberries and just make it as a yellow cake? Is it more of a dense or light cake?
I know it may have been awhile since you made this!
Hi Sam, it’s on the denser side. I haven’t omitted the blueberries but I imagine it would work just fine.
I made this the other day, and it was fantastic!! I did sub all purpose flour for the cake flour, and there seemed to be no ill effects, it wasn’t tough at all. I made sure not to overmix and all was well. 😉 Thanks for the great recipe!
Hi Myrtle, awesome!!! And thanks for sharing your experiences with using the all purpose flour. AND a big bravo for not over mixing. That takes some serious restraint!
This is one of Katherine’s favorites! I love it too. She usually layers the berries on top. I like it your way as well. I mean this doesn’t look nearly as, cough, good, ahem, as hers.:)
I’ll take one of each blueberry pastry, please =D
OMG! It looks delicious. good job. I will list that Blueberry Buckle recipe on my recipe notebook.
It looks delicious,I’m fond ob blueberries but its difficult to secure here at my home town.
Is it possible to use blueberry jam.I can buy them at the supermarket. I will try to bake this cake as soon as possible. Thanks for this cake idea.
Hi Estela, you know, I bet it would be really good with blueberry jam actually!
Great recipe! This is kinda similar … maybe a 3rd cousin … to the raspberry squares I made this week. I love the combination of blueberries, or any berries, with lemon. So fresh and tart. Noticed the cake flour. I need to try some recipes using that. Guess I should make a cake, or this buckle!
I did see those raspberry squares…they look amazing! Cake flour is used here to minimize the gluten (toughness), I’ve never tried it with all purpose but I imagine it wouldn’t be as good.
I’ve got a pile of blueberries in my fridge as we speak! I try hard not to overbuy because it’s one of the only fruits my kids aren’t really crazy for. But oh how I love blueberries!
Please tell me you’ve been to Harriett’s Bluff Farm! If not I’m going to make you go with me sometime =)
This buckle looks AH-MAZING! I mean look at the depth of these! Okay, leaving for the store now to get some blueberries 🙂
Haha thanks!!! Hope you enjoy the buckle =)
Yum! Look at all those delicious blueberries! My son just asked me today when I could make blueberry waffles. I think I might have to make this instead!
Blueberry waffles??? Have you tried that/do you have a recipe? Would love to try that with my new waffle maker =)
OMG..absolutly delicious. Blueberries are not common here, and if you find in the market it’s a little bit expensive. But just looking at this cake makes me pay for them, no matter the prize.
Hi Nydia, That’s too bad there aren’t many blueberries there! I wish we had raspberries around here though…I guess each region has their own specialties =)
YUM this looks delectable!! I love blueberries. Something about coffee cake always reminds me of meeting in the church parlor after mass when I was a little girl, what a great idea for a Sunday morning brunch. Love the lemon zest too.
Thanks Mallory! I love food memories =)