Blueberry buckle is a classic, and with good reason: it's tender, easy to make and packed full of delicious blueberry goodness topped with a sweet, buttery streusel.
If coffee cake and cobbler had a deliciously tender, fruit forward love child, it would be THIS blueberry buckle.
And we have a (not so) secret family recipe that makes it best. It's moist, tender, packed with blueberries and a sweet, buttery streusel for that perfect amount of crunch.
My grandmother has been making this breakfast cake for as long as my Mum and I can remember, and if there's one family recipe everyone asks for, its this (and my Grammy Eula's orange bundt cake).
The difference between coffee cake and buckle
The buckle gets its name from the way it buckles while baking - as the dense batter sinks to the bottom of the pan, the streusel on top buckles into the crispy, crunchy form we all know and love.
Aside from its characteristic buckle, the addition of fruits and berries (like the blueberries in this recipe) further set it apart from coffee cakes.
Selecting your blueberries
This buckle is best when made with fresh blueberries. If frozen is your only option, check out the substitutions section for more information on adapting this recipe.
To prepare your blueberries, was them with a water/vinegar solution and allow them to dry completely before use. Excess water can change the consistency of your batter.
First, make the streusel.
In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the streusel. A bowl that's low and with a gentle slope to the sides is easiest for this step.
Use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and all of the sugar has been incorporated into the butter.
Pastry cutter substitute:
If you don't have a pastry cutter on hand, you can cut the butter together using a fork or by rubbing it together using your finger tips.
Second, make the buckle.
In order for this buckle to reach its full fluffy potential, it's important to start with room temperature ingredients. This is important because room temperature ingredients mix together more easily, creating a batter with evenly distributed ingredients that traps air and expands during baking. This results in a lighter and fluffier cake.
Cream the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
Why do we cream the butter and how do we know when it’s ready?
Creaming these two ingredients together allows the sugar to aerate the butter, leading to muffins that are light with a fine crumb. Properly creamed butter is light, fluffy and doesn’t cling to the sides of the bowl.
Reduce the mixer to low, add the egg and beat until just combined.
With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two equal parts, alternating with the wet ingredients in one part.
Fold in the blueberries.
Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined 8"x8" cake pan.
I like to use an 8" pan for an extra thick buckle, but you can also use a 9" pan if you prefer or if it's what you have available.
Top the batter with the streusel mixture.
Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes. The cake is done when the streusel is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only cooked crumbs and no runny batter.
Don't have all of the ingredients on hand or can't get some of them? Here are a few substitutions to help you adapt this recipe to available ingredients.
- Frozen for fresh blueberries: Don't have fresh blueberries? Frozen can work, too, but may change the consistency of your batter. To use, thaw the berries completely and pour off any liquid. Pat down with a paper towel to remove as much liquid as possible. Be sure the berries are at room temperature before adding them to your batter.
- Shortening for butter: My grandmother's recipe originally called for vegetable shortening and it's the way I made it for years, so if you're looking to cut down on your butter costs, this is a great way to do it. Simply use ¼ cup vegetable shortening in place of the ¼ cup butter called for in the cake part of the recipe. Beat with the sugar for 1-2 minutes.
Make this in another size
We love a versatile cake, and this is certainly one of them! Here are a few other ways you can bake up this treat:
- 9" round or square cake pan: This recipe was originally made with a 9" round cake pan and works really well this way (I just like extra thick slices). To make as a 9" cake (round or square), pour the batter into a parchment paper lined pan and bake at 375F for 25-35 minutes.
- Muffins: This buckle makes great muffins (similar in style/texture to these strawberry muffins)! Spoon 6 tablespoons of batter directly into a well greased muffin pan (no liners necessary) and top with streusel. Bake at 400F for 18-20 minutes.
- Sheet cake: Need buckle for a crowd? Simply double the recipe, pour into a greased 9"x13" dish and bake at 375F for 35-45 minutes.
- Softening refrigerated butter: Cut the butter into ½ tablespoon squares, place the squares on a plate and microwave it using 5 second increments until it’s softened.
- Bringing cold eggs to room temperature quickly: If you need to bring your eggs to room temperature quickly for this recipe, fill a bowl with hot water from your tap and place the eggs in it for about 5 minutes.
- Storage: Seal this cake in an air tight container (or plastic wrap) and store at room temperature. Best when eaten within 2-3 days.
This tender blueberry breakfast cake is topped with a sweet, buttery streusel.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 16 slices 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed, cold
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup fresh blueberries
- Combine all of the streusel ingredients together in a bowl.
- Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium until light, fluffy and no longer clinging to the sides of the bowl (2-3 minutes).
- Reduce the mixer to low and add the egg. Beat until just combined.
- Stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt) in one bowl and the remaining wet ingredients (milk and vanilla extract) in another.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two equal parts, alternating with the wet ingredients in one part. Mix between each new addition until just combined.
- Fold he blueberries into the batter.
- Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined 8"x8" cake pan. Top with struesel.
- Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only baked crumbs.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 192
- Sugar: 16.7g
- Sodium: 85mg
- Fat: 6.6g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 31.5g
- Fiber: 0.9g
- Protein: 2.7g
- Cholesterol: 26mg
Keywords: blueberry buckle, blueberry coffee cake, blueberry buckle recipe
This is the best! Such a great morning treat.
I love blueberries and easy to make desserts. Perfect for any night of the week. Great to take to potlucks too.
Buckles are so underrated. This blueberry version was everything I love in a buckle: fruity, buttery, and easy to make. I'll be making this more often as brunch season is coming!
I never knew why it was called a buckle! Anyhow, really excited to try this recipe, sounds like the perfect mix of bread, muffin, strudel, coffee cake, all the things!! Shopping list is ready 😉
I whipped this up to test it out and we will be having it again for our Good Friday breakfast. Delicious and so moist and buttery!
This blueberry buckle sounds so delicious! Sounds like a great breakfast treat! Excited to give it a try!
Family recipes are always the best recipes and this blueberry buckle cake is the perfect example of that! So so good!
I'm so happy I tried this! It's been decades since I'd had blueberry buckle and this did not disappoint. It was my son's first time having it, and he was in love! Thank you.
This recipe brings back such great memories. My mom would frequently make blueberry buckle on the weekends. This recipe reminds my of her delicious recipe 🙂
Moop Brown says
I love blueberry desserts but have never had buckle before. Definitely need to try.
You had me at buttery! This looks so delicious. I love blueberries in anything baked. Yum!