Cranberry Buckle

Cranberry Buckle Recipe

When the cranberries in this buckle bake, they split open just enough for their tartness to be absorbed by the cake batter. Half the berries are folded into the batter, half are sprinkled over the batter with the crumb topping, creating a red-jeweled delight. The crumb topping can be used on many recipes, including fruit crisp. Double or even triple the crumb topping recipe and keep the extra in the freezer so you can make a crisp at a moment’s notice.–Cory Schreiber

LC Buckling Up or Buckling Down? Note

We’ll take a slice of this sweetly tart mingling of muffin and coffee cake pretty much any time or way someone cares to place it in front of us, whether that means morning, late afternoon, early evening, or midnight. As breakfast or a last course. With coffee, tea, milk, or nothing. And yes, twist our arms, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of sweet whipped cream. Whether the recipe calls for buckling up or buckling down, we’ve no idea seeing as this little number has us turned so topsy-turvy. Best just see for yourself.

Cranberry Buckle Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 25 M
  • Serves 8 to 12


  • For the cake
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest from 1 orange, preferably organic
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (for the love of all things good, use full-fat)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • For the crumb topping
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Make the cake
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Butter a 9-inch square or round baking dish.
  • 2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  • 3. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then add the vanilla. Switch to a spoon and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Fold in 1 cup cranberries.
  • 4. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cranberries over the cake.
  • Make the crumb topping
  • 5. Combine the flour, sugars, salt, and butter in the bowl of a food processor or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Pulse or mix on low speed until the mixture is the texture of coarse crumbs. Drizzle the vanilla over the mixture and either pulse or mix briefly just until incorporated.
  • 6. Sprinkle 1 cup crumb topping over the cranberries on the batter. If you really, really, really like crumbs, dump the rest of the crumbs on the cake. If you want to save a little for another day, stash the remaining crumb topping in a resealable plastic bag for another buckle and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • 7. Bake the buckle for 45 to 50 minutes, until lightly golden and firm on top. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack before slicing and serving. The cake will keep, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
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