This blueberry buckle is like a giant muffin bursting with fresh blueberries and topped with a sweet, buttery crumble spiced with cinnamon and ginger.
Not familiar with buckle? It’s essentially a ginormous muffin buried beneath a sweet streusel. This particular buckle is cakey goodness bursting with blueberries and generously strewn with a buttery crumb topping that’s gently suffused with cinnamon and ginger. The author calls for teensy wild blueberries, which are far more potent than their cultivated cousins in terms of flavor as well as antioxidant content, although they’re only available for a short spell in summer. Although they would work swell, regular blueberries also work just dandy. We also can see swapping blackberries, raspberries, or black raspberries for blueberries in this beauty of a buckle. Select whichever berry is screaming out to you and then let us know in a comment below.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- 8-inch springform pan
For the crumb topping
For the cake
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened, plus more for the baking dish
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pint wild or regular blueberries picked over, washed, and dried
Prepare the oven and pan
- Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter an 8-inch (20-cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment.
Make the crumb topping
- Stir the flour, sugar, spices, and salt together in a bowl. Add the butter and work it with your fingers, pinching and rubbing, until it's completely incorporated and the crumbs hold together when you pick up a handful and squeeze.
Make the cake
- Cut the butter into pieces and drop them into a large bowl. Beat with a standing or electric mixer for a minute or two until lightened somewhat. With the mixer running, pour in the sugar and continue to beat until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well.
- In another bowl, combine the 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, mix in a third of the flour, then half the sour cream, then another third of the flour and the rest of the sour cream. Mix in the remaining flour and then the vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for about 30 seconds.
- Toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour and use a spatula to gently fold them into the batter. Scrape into the springform pan and smooth out the top.
- Assemble the buckle
- Pick up a handful of the crumbs and squeeze, then break them over the cake into unevenly sized large and small crumbs. Continue until you've used up all the crumb topping and the cake is completely covered.
- Slip the cake into the oven and bake until the tips of the crumbs and any exposed crust should be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean (a crumb or two clinging to the toothpick is fine), about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Place the pan on a rack to cool. When the buckle is cool enough to handle, release the sides of the springform and then lift the buckle off the base and peel off the parchment. (You'll need to balance the cake in your hand and juggle it a bit while you peel off the paper, but that shouldn't be a problem.) Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Blueberries and spring are a perfect combination, and if you enjoy blueberry muffins, you will love this recipe. This blueberry buckle is delicious and fit for a weekend brunch. It’s easy to make and tastes great both warm and at room temperature.
The recipe suggests tossing the blueberries in 2 tablespoons of flour, which helps to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the batter. If you have kids helping in the kitchen, they will love making the crumb topping. The next time I make this recipe, I will use a 9-inch spring-form pan instead of the 8-inch one. I think the results will be just as wonderful.
The author, Roy Finamore, was right in saying that this is like a giant blueberry muffin. The recipe was straightforward, only taking about 20 minutes to throw together, and it yields a tender, aromatic cake that looks impressively scrumptious. I worried that it was going to be too sweet for my modest sweet tooth, but it was just right.
I didn’t have an 8-inch springform pan, so I used an 8-by-2-inch round cake pan. I greased the bottom and sides, then placed a round of parchment on the bottom. Once the cake was cool, I slipped a knife around the edge, placed a plate on top, and flipped the cake upside down. The pan released easily. Then I peeled the parchment off the bottom before flipping the cake back right-side up with another plate. It came out perfectly. The cake rose a lot while baking, and some of the crumb and cake rose over the edge of my pan and created some spots that were firmly stuck. If I had a springform pan with higher sides, this wouldn’t have been a problem.
This really is a giant blueberry muffin! It looks complicated, but it’s easy to prepare if you follow all steps. The cake is tasty and moist and the crumb topping is a crunchy contrast. After 50 minutes, the cake was ready and the crumbs were golden brown.
We don’t have blueberries year-round where I live—their season is very short and we can get them fresh only in July—but we always have some in the freezer. I used them frozen, dried them on paper towels, and mixed them gently with the extra flour. If you prepare this cake in warm weather, I suggest chilling the topping in the fridge while preparing the cake.
Originally published June 23, 2018