A buckle is a type of cake that is so loaded with fruit that the cake begins to “buckle” under the weight of it all. The finished dish is partway between a cake and a cobbler, and it’s a great way to turn a big batch of summer berries into a mouthwatering dessert. This Buttermilk Blueberry Buckle has nearly equal parts blueberries and cake – and that is a winning combination as far as I’m concerned. The cake is slightly sweet, with the tang of buttermilk, and it is the perfect backdrop for floral, juicy blueberries. It is topped with a layer of streusel that adds some brown sugar sweetness and a bit of crunch to the top of the dish. It’s a great contrast to the ultra-moist cake below.
While I used blueberries, you could easily make this with blackberries, strawberries or even cherries if you wanted to. A combination of berries would also be a good choice. Just be sure that the berries you choose are moist and sweet to ensure that you get the best results from your buckle, since it is designed to showcases those berries! I make buckles more often during the summer, when I have access to fresh berries, but you can make them year-round using frozen fruit. Frozen berries can be used, but you may need to extend the baking time by a few minutes, since so many frozen berries will really cool down the batter.
The buckle is best served when it is still slightly warm from the oven, so the topping is a bit crispy and the cake is perfectly moist and tender. I enjoy it as-is, but it is also excellent when served with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream or a spoonful of whipped cream. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave before serving.
Buttermilk Blueberry Buckle
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 1/2 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into a few pieces.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square (or 9-inch square) baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla extract. Stir well, mixing until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in blueberries and pour into prepared pan.
In a small bowl, make the topping. Whisk together flour, sugar and nutmeg. Add in butter and rub in with your fingertips until mixture is crumbly and sand-like. Sprinkle evenly over batter.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 20-30 minutes before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.