Blueberry Buckle


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Blueberry Buckle is a deliciously tender lemon kissed cake studded with fresh blueberries and topped with a sweet buttery streusel topping. This old fashioned recipe is a favorite to serve with coffee, tea or for dessert.

a serving of Blueberry Buckle on a white plate with a fork in front

What is a buckle? A traditional buckle has a cake-like batter and is topped with fruit; as it cooks the cake rises around the fruit, or “buckles” around the fruit.

This delicious Blueberry Buckle is similar in texture to a coffee cake dessert my grandmother used to make; sweet, moist and delicious with a crumbly streusel topping. It’s pretty effortless and the end results are amazing! The simple from scratch base is made like most cake recipes, sugar, butter and egg are creamed together, then the remaining dry ingredients are added, alternating with the milk.

blueberry buckle batter with topping on half of it

Blueberries make the most delicious addition to summer desserts and hold up well in baked goods like muffins and quick breads.  The only thing better than a blueberry dessert is one that has been kissed with a bright lemony flavor. Zesting lemon is an easy way to add brightness to almost any dish, sweet or savory and if pairs perfectly with blueberries.

When zesting a lemon you want to be sure to only get the very outer edge of the skin, the yellow part because the white part (the pith) is bitter. I use either a microplane grater or a zester to get the most zest from each lemon.

Once zested, the lemon zest is added to the batter, fresh blueberries are gently folded in and it is spread into a prepared pan.

dishing up a serving of blueberry buckle from the baking pan

A couple of notes about the blueberries in this recipe:

  • Fresh blueberries are best.  Tossing them with a spoonful of flour keeps them evenly distributed throughout the cake.
  • If using frozen berries, there is no need to defrost first but your buckle make need a few extra minutes to finish baking.
  • Frozen blueberries may change the color of your batter but will still taste amazing.
  • Any fruit can be used in place of blueberries such as rhubarb, strawberries or even apples.  (I add an extra dash of cinnamon to my topping if using apples).

blueberry buckle in the baking pan, with some pieces missing

This cake is perfect as written but this recipe also makes amazing blueberry buckle muffins! Just divide the batter between your muffin cups and top with the streusel. Bake about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Blueberry buckle is amazing warm out of the oven but it also freezes beautifully.  Simply bake as directed, cool completely and place in a very well sealed container.  This will keep for a couple of months in the freezer and and still be wonderfully moist.

closeup of blueberry buckle with a bite out of it

I love this recipe and my family cannot get enough of it! It the perfect way to enjoy fresh summer berries and our favorite  alternative to a traditional cake.

Make it a la mode for a decadent dessert or serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream it with your afternoon coffee or tea. This Blueberry Buckle recipe perfect for any occasion so don’t be surprised if everyone asks for seconds (and the recipe)!

closeup of blueberry buckle with a bite out of it
4.94 from 265 votes
Review Recipe

Blueberry Buckle

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 9 servings
Author Holly N.
Blueberry Buckle is a deliciously tender lemon kissed cake studded with fresh blueberries and topped with a sweet buttery streusel topping. This old fashioned recipe is a favorite to serve with coffee, tea or for dessert.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
Topping
  • ¼ cup butter + 1 tablespoon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8 pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream sugar, butter, egg & lemon zest until fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to sugar mixture, alternating with milk mixing just until combined.
  • Toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold into batter and spread in prepared pan.
  • Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter and bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 323, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 235mg, Potassium: 170mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 380IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 1.5mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Blueberry Buckle
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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a slice of Blueberry Buckle, removing a piece of Blueberry Buckle from the baking pan
side view of a slice of Blueberry Buckle
Blueberry Buckle in a pan with a piece missing, adding topping to Blueberry Buckle batter
adding topping to Blueberry Buckle batter

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Different than I expected. Tasted great but a little dry. More like a drier cake. Any suggestions. Floured the blueberries but most of them did sink to the bottom, but that was fine. It was the dryness that bothered me. Any suggestions?3 stars

  2. I have made this many times, and everybody I’ve shared it with has loved it. Thank you for a fabulous go-to recipe!5 stars

  3. I LOVE how concise your recipes are – easy to follow with no room for error! Everything I’ve made has been delicious, including this blueberry buckle which my family is really enjoying this lazy Sunday afternoon. Thank you!5 stars

  4. Thank you Holly! This blueberry buckle has an amazing flavour with simple ingredients. It receives wonderful taste-tested reviews wherever I bring it. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It has been a treat for many! The recipe is being passed along to friends and family.5 stars

  5. I’ve been making buckle for years- this is by far the best recipe yet- and my critics are not only me but my family!5 stars

  6. Excellent! I love blueberries but couldn’t eat all that I bought in time, so I made this. The first time I had a lemon so I had true zest, but the 2nd time I just used lemon extract. It tastes great, very moist!5 stars

  7. Favorite recipe of 2020. I’ve made this so many times and given it to many people who immediately ask me for the recipe. I do add a smidge of vanilla extract too. Thanks for this delish recipe.5 stars

  8. This was absolutely delicious! Made it during a blizzard in between shoveling! Had lots of fresh blueberries and came across this great recipe. Hubby loved it too! I made the batter into all mini muffins for about mins. At 350 temp. Love mini muffins bc you can just pop one in at a time and not feel like you have to eat a big muffin or piece of cake at a time:) ! Enjoy !5 stars

  9. How refreshing to find a recipe that works perfectly the first time! This one is so highly rated, I even skipped reading the comments til afterwards. Thanks for the tip about tossing the berries in flour–not all blueberry coffeecake recipes offer that crucial tip. Luckily, I knew to use cold butter for the topping, which looked like too much. However…I just now pulled the buckle out of the oven, and it’s gorgeous! The quantity of topping looks ideal, and a side view of the glass pan reveals evenly-distributed berries. I can’t taste it yet, since it’s for an event, but if it’s half as good as it looks, I’ll be making it again.5 stars

    1. I ate a slice of this the day it was prepared, after cooling–then tried a slice the next morning after storing it covered overnight. Definitely 5 starts. I will just add that this was better the second day. Six hours after removing it from the oven, the topping was a little too stiff and crunchy. But after sitting covered overnight, the moisture in the cake and berries softened it up, and the whole cake was evenly moist and sliced more cleanly. Delicious!

  10. I made this using frozen blueberries. I did have to bake it 15 minutes longer than suggested. I used the zest of a whole lemon. Great recipe. H5 stars

  11. How do I get the entire buckle out of the pan? I want to send it as a gift. I might have to cut it up.
    Maybe use parchment paper, and hopefully I can lift it entirely out of the pan?

  12. I made it. It is absolutely delicious and tender.. This recipes is about perfect. Instead of zest, I added one tsp of lemon extract. In addition, I used 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of brown sugar for the batter. Frozen blueberries turned out good, but I think next time I will use fresh, because I had to bake it for about 10 minutes longer.

  13. I just tried this recipe this evening, since I had a carton of blueberries, and the oven was already at 350 degrees (used it to make dinner. I made a couple of mistakes; I used a half cup of butter instead of a quarter cup, and I missed adding the lemon zest (couldn’t find my lemons); even with my mistake, doubling the amount of butter and omitting the lemon zest, this buckle turned out super yummy. Both my husband (my worst critic when it comes to baking, since his Mom was an excellent baker) and my son enjoyed the results very much. The ate it right out of the oven.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is a keeper for sure.5 stars

    1. You’re welcome Jeannie, thank you for sharing! So glad to hear that your husband and sone (and you!) love this blueberry buckle!

  14. I made this the other day with gluten free flour and it came out beautifully! Just as I remember having blueberry buckle as a child. Only thing I added was a bit of nutmeg as I love the flavor with blueberries. I’ve made streusel a handful of times so knew to keep that butter cold so that it forms individual pieces to make a crumble so no issues there. Thanks for this great recipe and reminding me of a happy childhood memory that I can now share with my kiddos!5 stars

  15. Delicious. I made a double batch and substituted half of the granulated sugar with brown sugar (I love the decadence of brown sugar). Wonderful! I made the crumble topping with softened butter, it was a bit clumpy. I just crumbled it on with my hands. My husband is in love with this recipe. Will definitely make again!5 stars

  16. So glad I came across this recipe while looking for something to do with extra blueberries. So simple and delicious. The lemon was perfect with the blueberries. I added some cinnamon to the batter and a pinch of salt to the topping. It barely lasted 2 days in my house! Will definitely make again.5 stars

  17. I love this recipe. I have made it several times. The only changes I make are to leave out the lemon and I only use 1/4 cup of butter in the topping. I also use a mixture of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.5 stars

  18. Just made this last night and it’s already gone! Definitely a HIT in my house. I added a little vanilla extract. I’m happy I read the comments about the crumble topping. The butter should be cold and not melted. Maybe adding that to the directions. Thanks!5 stars

  19. Should I adjust the recipe in order to make muffins? I’d like to have individual servings due to you-know-what. I have made this twice and now people ask for it. I made it as written and it came out great.5 stars

    1. This works just fine as muffins as written. You’ll want to make your muffin wells about ⅔ full. Let us know how it goes!

  20. A perfectly delicious cake. It can be a breakfast cake or a dessert. It’s moist and lots of blueberries. I used a glass pan in the heat directions were perfect. But as with other reviewer‘s the streusel topping did not work properly because are you soft butter also. I did not read the reviews and that was a big mistake on my part. But cold butter of course would’ve made the streusel so that you could sprinkle it instead of a paste. Still absolutely yummy. But the author should correct this recipe since so many people have made the same error by following the written directions.5 stars

  21. I should have read all the comments before attempting. The streusel topping does not work as written. The butter should be cold and cut into the dry ingredients, not softened. Otherwise, it’ll be a goopy doughy mess on top (like mine, and others). I’ll try this again but will redo the topping.3 stars

  22. Hi Holly, I made this blueberry buckle recipe today. However, I have a question. For the topping you have 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon softened butter. Did you mean for all of that butter to be softened or just the tablespoon? I feel like my topping was not crumbly because my butter was too soft. Regardless it looks and smells amazing! I will be serving it for dessert tonight with vanilla ice cream. Thank you so much for any help you can offer.5 stars

  23. I so wish I had read the reviews before baking this. I think there is some confusion caused by the way the directions for the streusel topping are written. I was not sure if I should interpret the “softened” to mean all of the butter or the 1 T alone to be softened. Never having run across a recipe with just an extra tablespoon softened, against my gut instinct and trying to follow the recipe to the letter, I made sure all of the butter was softened. Big mistake! The buckle came out with one big solid mess on the top. I am sure when we bite into it, it will taste fine, but as I am taking it to a get together, I am very disappointed in its presentation. It would be nice if the directions were more clear as this seems to have been an issues for others too.4 stars

  24. Made this several times, each time the crumb too never holds. I do not know what I am doing wrong. Follow directions to a t each time. Other then that it comes out good. Think the next time i’ll leave the crumb part out and just use a cream frosting.

  25. Made this today. Doubled the recipe and put it in a 9X13 pan. Only used a single recipe of the crumble for the top as it looked like a lot. Just right. Baked for about 5 minutes extra 50 minutes. So good! My husband said this recipe is a keeper.5 stars

  26. Love this recipe! I put in 2 cups of blueberries as I has so many and doubled the cinnamon since we love cinnamon. Making this again today. It will be a family favourite. Would like to know if anyone has doubled the recipe for a 9×13 pan and how it turned out.5 stars

  27. Very good. We had a ton of blueberries from blueberry picking and this was a great way to use them up!5 stars

  28. AMAZING! During these times, I needed something easy and stress relieving to make with all these fresh blueberries I had at home. I doubled the recipe and used two bread baking sheets and a 8×8 sheet as recommended. My only mistake was using softened butter for the topping because it turned out flat. But next time I’ll use cold butter so it’ll turn out more crumbly! Overall still a wonderful and delicious recipe I’ll definitely make this again! Thanks so much for sharing!! Stay safe and healthy:)5 stars

  29. Everyone loved this recipe- I did not have any lemons so I used liquid lemon zest. The lemon gave it a great flavor. Several people wanted the recipe. This was also very easy. Would recommend5 stars

  30. What can I substitute for the lemon zest? Can I leave it out? Help! I have so many things of blueberry and I want to try this

  31. My strudel melted :( it just made a layer of buttery flour on top of the lemon/berry base. However I did just take it out of the oven. Will it solidify after it cools? It’s not much of a crumble right now

  32. It’s summer time! I am blessed to have so many fresh blueberries on hand and was looking for a dessert to make. This recipe did not disappoint. The cake was very moist and complimented the blueberry perfectly. The topping is nut free so my entire family could indulge in every delicious bite. This recipe is a family favorite.5 stars

  33. LOVED this cake! I had fresh blueberries from my yard, found this recipe and WOW. My whole family liked it, even the one who says they don’t really like blueberries. The recipe is perfect AS IS, I just drizzled a little glaze on top.

    1. Frozen blueberries will work in this recipe, the color can bleed a little bit but it will work just fine!

      1. I have no idea what happened, but mine didn’t look anything like the photo. Even though I baked it for only 40 minutes, it came out almost looking burnt. Sadly, I ended up throwing it away. I am going to try again tomorrow and make sure I keep a close eye on it.3 stars

        1. Sorry, it didn’t work out for you, I can’t say for sure what went wrong. Let us know how it goes the second time!

  34. I made this and received SO many compliments. I immediately pointed them to your recipe. I did however use the juice as the lemon as well in mine to make it a bit more lemony. Turned out PERFECT.5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried it but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. Let us know how it goes if you try it!

  35. Absolutely delicious! I only made one change and that was to add 1 teaspoon of quality vanilla extract to the batter. Thanks for such a fantastic recipe! It was a hit that has already been requested for again. :)5 stars

  36. This recipe is absolutely full of flavor.
    I have my mom’s recipe for blueberry buckle but the addition of lemon zest to the batter, and brown & granulated sugar to the topping is the perfect changes.
    I had two cups of frozen blueberries and I used them all.
    We served to friends and they have not stopped talking about it. I let them have the small piece which was left-sorry I did that because it would have been great with my a.m. coffee.5 stars

    1. It makes me so happy to hear how much you loved this recipe Lizzie! You will have to make another batch just for your morning coffees ;)

  37. Excellent! The lemon is a great addition to the old blueberry buckle of years ago. Top nice and crispy. Perfect!5 stars

  38. I ate a piece warm from the oven and am in love! The subtle lemon flavor from the zest and the warm blueberries were phenomenal together. The streusel topping adds a zing to the finish. I didn’t have a 8×8 pan so used a springform Bundt pan that measured 4” from outside to middle; it was a great substitute and the cooking time was the same. Perfect recipe, and thanks for posting!

    1. Lovely cake! My only issue is that the recipe is written in volume measurements and not weight, so the results can be unreliable. The recipe is also a bit poorly written and could use some editing for clarity, as I could see this being confusing to those who do not regularly bake.

      I used room temperature butter (72°) and still had to add double the flour to get a crumbly texture. It had been raining, so I would presume to need more flour in most cases, but not double the amount.

      The other issue I found is that the cake doesn’t really have its own flavor beyond the bits of lemon zest. It just fell a bit flat at first bite. Ended up adding some vanilla paste the 2nd time around and was much happier for it. Took another reviewers suggestion and tried it warm with ice cream it was heavenly!

      Bake time was spot on, and overall this recipe was easy to make and waaaaayy too easy to eat…straight out of the pan with forks while the kids were asleep, as my husband and I discovered at 1am4 stars

  39. Thank you for sharing the recipe! I had so much fresh blueberries that i really needed a way to use them up and felt like this is it.

    My topping mixture turned really battery because the recipe called for softened butter when in fact chilled butter is preferred for a crumbly texture (after some light google search). Maybe i am missing something here? I still topped my cake mixture with the ‘melty’ topping mixture and i hope it still turns out edible.

    1. For our topping, we found it best to use softened butter (not melted) to achieve the streusel topping Jane. Hope you enjoyed them!

  40. This is a great recipe! At first I was a little bit confused by the instructions because it was a very detailed but it turned out well. For my crumble I did not have enough butter so I use milk instead and added extra flour. Also for the lemon zest, I squeezed in all the lemon juice so it was now a blueberry lemon buckle.5 stars

  41. I made this recipe and it was fabulous loved by entire family. It brought comfort to all during this perilous time. Thank you and be well.

    1. I store it on the counter for about 24 hours. If it’ll be longer than that, you might want to refrigerate it.

    1. Sorry to hear this recipe didn’t work out for you Paul, it is usually a hit with readers as written.

  42. Blueberry Buckle was amazing!!!
    I didn’t have any lemon zest, it was amazing without it. I used fresh blueberries.
    I will be making this again!5 stars

  43. Had to use up some blueberries. Found this recipe! So easy to make. Really delicious. Will definitely make again.
    Thanks so much for sharing.5 stars

  44. My husband is my food critic and he said the lemon zest was overpowering in this recipe. If left out, he said it would be good.4 stars

  45. Very good, easy, moist. I was a little worried because I used frozen blueberries, but it came out great! Can’t wait to try with fresh blueberries! We had it warm with ice cream!5 stars

      1. Hi Heather, if using frozen berries, there is no need to defrost first but your buckle make need a few extra minutes to finish baking.

  46. This was delicious. will definitely make it again. have a piece to my friend and now she wants the recipe, she loved it.5 stars

  47. I bookmarked this page after I made this for the first time. I made it again today and it was just as easy and delicious! Love the lemon zest with the blueberries.5 stars

  48. My family LOVED it!
    This was the first recipe I’ve made that my family really enjoyed we made it in the evening and it was all gone by morning! Super delicious and it’ll rock your world served warm with vanilla icecream.5 stars

  49. Have made this recipe twice now. Found that I needed to cook for an hour other than that turned out perfectly as written. Itsva perfect combination of moist cake, blueberries and crumple type topping. My whole family loves it!5 stars

  50. I doubled the recipe – cooked in a glass pan for 50 minutes. I didn’t have a lemon but did have lemon yogurt so I used 1/4 cup less milk and used the lemon yogurt, also added a splash of vanilla. It’s a moist tender cake.

  51. The recipe was on spot except the ratio for the streusel was too mushy. Had to add atleast about 1/2 cup more flour to bake it crumbly. I would leave out the grated lemon rind next time and add vanilla extract instead.4 stars

  52. WOW! Easy AND delicious. 1st time my husband asked for 2nds. Will be making often, and will try w/other fruit. THNX!5 stars

    1. That’s great Gene! This recipe freezes well too, so you can enjoy this dessert anytime!

  53. I was looking for a quick yummy blueberry cake and found this. I had all ingredients and whipped it up in a snap. I made as is. Smelled so good as it was baking. Cake was moist and the topping was crunchy. Perfectly done at 40 minutes for my oven. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!5 stars

  54. The blueberry buckle cake was wonderful!
    I did add 1 tablespoon more butter and a heaping 1/2 cup of plain yogurt to the cake mixture. I especially like that all ingredients one has on hand. An added plus, the house smelled terrific while baking and thereafter.

  55. Just made this and it’s delicious! I made a mistake and only used 1/4 cup milk! I was wondering why the batter was so thick! It was still delicious. Will definitely make this again5 stars

  56. I love this recipe. The cake is delicious. The secret is the lemon zest. It really makes a difference. I’ve made with frozen and with fresh blueberries. Great taste either way. I add amaretto also. Yummy!!!!

  57. Question – How did you get the crumble consistency on top of the buckle? I followed the directions; however, the crumble kind of melted and wasn’t a cohesive layer. Instead the cake puffed up in some areas and the crumble was more consistent around the edges. Do you have any advice? Thank you!5 stars

    1. Try using cold butter, and rather than mix it, use a fork or pastry cutter to make it crumbly by cutting the fork through the butter against the side of the bowl, which will make the ingredients mix in and be crumbly. It takes a bit of manual effort, and you don’t want to over mix it, but that may help.

      1. This blueberry buckle cake was delicious! I did add 1 tablespoon more butter to the cake filling and also added heaping 1/2 cup plain yogurt to cake filling. So easy with ingredients one has on hand. Everyone enjoyed. I will definitely make this a standard. An added plus, the house smelled terrific while the cake was baking and thereafter.

        1. Hi Courtney, was your butter softened, or was it melted? To help with the consistency of the crumble you can also try cold butter and cut it in with a fork or pastry cutter, or other readers have used frozen butter and grated it into the recipe.

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I think it would work fine! You may need to bake it a tiny bit longer to make sure the center is cooked through. Let us know if you try it!

  58. Which cup should we use? I made a recepie but I think my cup was small and the paking powder according to it was more so after baking the cake got down.

    1. Use one cup, which is equivalent to 236 ml. For the flour, you should spoon it into your measuring cup (and not scoop it) to make sure you have the correct amount of flour. Hope that helps Naila!

  59. This is my dream recipe! The tender cake, full of blueberries, topped with streusel, and the ease of a pan-baked dessert rather than muffins…YES to all!