Blueberry Buckle with Cinnamon Streusel

After testing a parade of healthier recipes for cakes, cookies, and muffins within the last week, it felt so good to be naughty again with this recipe for blueberry buckle!

Vertical image of a large square of a baked good scattered with pieces of fruit and topped with a light brown crumble on a surface dusted with powdered sugar, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

I don’t mind eating healthy – I actually love it! With Foodal’s recipes for healthy snacks, vegan desserts, and creamy smoothies, I don’t struggle at all to limit my consumption of the not-so-good-for-you ingredients.

It’s a nice convenience to have a stash of whole wheat banana coconut cocoa muffins in the freezer that I can grab on my way out the door to work (running late, as always).

And I really do love stealing a spoonful of a barely set vegan cashew cream chocolate cheesecake for a sweet dairy-free pick-me-up. Especially if no one notices the small chunk missing from the surface.

Vertical image of a stack of two square pieces of a cake studded with fresh fruit on a surface dusted with powdered sugar and scattered with more fresh fruit.

But maaaaaaaan… I was really starting to miss the mischief of a butter-laden, stick-to-your-guts, extra sugary desserts!

I’m sure many of you know the feeling.

That’s why it was a major relief to work on this recipe for homemade blueberry buckle, in ALL its buttery, sugary glory!

Vertical image of a square pan with a baked dessert inside on a pan surrounded by fresh fruit and a white towel.

Don’t know what a buckle is? It’s a single layer of a super soft and fluffy cake mixed with fresh fruit. As the batter bakes, the heavy fruit pieces cause the batter to “buckle” around the fruit, creating delicious divots and crevices on the surface.

While a streusel topping is optional, I believe a chunky, cinnamon-y crumble is the perfect accompaniment to the cake, since it gives your buckle a comforting coffee cake vibe.

Vertical top-down image of squares of cake studded with blueberries and with a light brown topping.

The crunchy, crystalline chunks of brown sugar mixed with butter and spice blanket the entire surface of the cake, and slightly sink into the batter as the cake bakes.

The combination of the soft, juicy berries, the melt-in-your-mouth vanilla base, and the crisp streusel on top creates a moment of pure, blissful harmony with every mouthful.

The only thing missing is the perfect final touch – a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top, or a scoopful of vanilla bean ice cream served on the side.

Vertical close-up image of a square piece of desert studded with fresh fruit and topped with a light brown streusel on a surface dusted with powdered sugar.

Look, I won’t argue that healthy recipes don’t deserve their rightful place in our daily diet…

But so do the naughty recipes! Join me in my small act of buttery anarchy, and make the recipe soon!

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Horizontal close-up image of a square piece of desert studded with fresh fruit and topped with a light brown streusel on a surface dusted with powdered sugar.

Blueberry Buckle with Cinnamon Streusel


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 small squares 1x

Description

Looking for an easy cake recipe that showcases the ripest, sweetest summer fruit? Learn how to make this blueberry buckle topped with streusel.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Topping:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup gently packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the Cake:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk 
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Instructions

To Make the Streusel:

  1. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. 
  2. Mix in the butter with a sturdy spatula or spoon until completely combined and a soft, thick crumble forms. Set aside. 

To Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about five to seven minutes.
  3. As the butter and sugar are creaming, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate medium-sized bowl. 
  4. Whisk together the whole milk and buttermilk in a separate small bowl. 
  5. Whip the egg whites with a whisk in a separate medium-sized bowl until very soft peaks form.
  6. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter-sugar mixture at low speed until combined, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until a smooth and thick batter forms, about one minute. Don’t overbeat. 
  7. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the beaten egg whites with a spatula. Continue folding until no streaks of beaten egg whites remain. 
  8. Fold in the blueberries until evenly distributed in the batter. 
  9. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Evenly crumble the reserved streusel on top of the batter.
  10. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the cake is an even golden-brown color on the surface and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  11. Allow to cool slightly to serve warm, or allow to cool completely in the pan to serve at room temperature.
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: blueberry, buckle, cake, streusel, crumble, cinnamon

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep

Horizontal image of various dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and fresh fruit in bowls.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Soften the unsalted butter needed for the base and the topping. Measure out all of the remaining ingredients.

Separate the two egg whites from the yolks. No need to throw away the yolks! I’ll be using mine to make a creamy hollandaise sauce for eggs Benedict.

Step 2 – Make Cinnamon Streusel

Horizontal image of a thick light brown dough in a white bowl next to fresh fruit.

Make the streusel topping by whisking together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

Mix in the butter with a sturdy spatula or spoon until completely combined and a soft, thick crumble forms. Set aside.

Do you think the butter melted too much before you added it to the other ingredients? If the streusel feels too soft and gloopy after it has been mixed, you can refrigerate the streusel as you are preparing the remaining steps of the recipe.

You can get as complex with the spices as you would like for the streusel! If you want big, bolder spice flavors, I would recommend using 2 teaspoons of our homemade pumpkin pie spice.

Step 3 – Prep Batter

Horizontal image of whipped egg whites in a white bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about five to seven minutes.

While the sugar and butter are creaming together, you can prep the remaining ingredients needed for the batter in separate bowls:

  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Whisk together the whole milk and buttermilk
  • Whip the egg whites until very soft peaks form

Be sure you don’t over-whip the egg whites! The stiffer they are, the more difficult it will be to easily incorporate them into the thick batter. Err on the side of softer, rather than stiffer, peaks.

Step 4 – Finish Batter

Horizontal image of a hand holding a paddle attachment that has some creamy white batter.

Once the butter-sugar mixture is soft and fluffy, add the flour mixture and milk alternately at low speed until combined, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until a smooth and thick batter forms, about one minute. Don’t overbeat.

Horizontal image of a spatula holding up some creamy white batter over a bowl.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Fold in the beaten egg whites with a sturdy rubber spatula. Continue folding until no streaks of beaten egg whites remain. The batter will be slightly lighter in color and smoother in texture.

Horizontal image of a spatula holding some creamy white batter studded with pieces of fruit over a bowl.

Fold in the blueberries until evenly distributed in the batter.

Step 5 – Assemble

Horizontal image of unbaked batter and streusel topping in a square pan.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Evenly crumble the reserved streusel on top of the batter.

I like a fun medley of larger and smaller crumbles when I spread the streusel, but you can choose to spread them however you like.

Step 6 – Bake and Cool

Horizontal image of a square pan with a baked dessert inside on a pan surrounded by fresh fruit and a white towel.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the cake is an even golden-brown color on the surface and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

You can serve slices of buckle while they’re still warm, or allow the dessert to cool completely and serve at room temperature. Either option will be perfect and delicious!

Much Tastier Than a Belt Accessory

Though it’s nice to be able to rely on your belt buckle to keep your pants nice and tight, you’ll definitely have to release it by a few notches after you eat a huge piece of a different kind of buckle!

Horizontal close-up image of a square piece of desert studded with fresh fruit and topped with a light brown streusel on a surface dusted with powdered sugar.

Forget the wishful thinking that just because there’s fruit in the cake, it’s healthy.

It’s not healthy… it’s really not.

And do we care about all those empty calories when the desire for a sinfully sweet dessert strikes? When your eyes start to glaze over with daydreams of sugar, spice, and everything nice? When those energy balls or that bowlful of apple chips aren’t quite satisfying enough?

No! No! No!

So enjoy my blueberry buckle, really enjoy it – from the very first moment you watch your fork easily break through the crumbly exterior and into the soft cake studded with juicy blueberries to the very last teeny tiny crumble left on your plate that you pick up with your fingers and quickly nibble.

This cake may indeed be full of empty calories, but your belly will be full of sweet happiness!

Have you ever made a buckle before? What would be your own personal summery spin on my delicious cake? Let’s chat in the comment section below!

For more amazing desserts packed with blueberries, you’ll love these:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on July 16, 2013. Last updated on March 23, 2021.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best cheesesteaks, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

16 thoughts on “Blueberry Buckle with Cinnamon Streusel”

  1. Oh my gosh, these photos!

    And blueberries! I can’t get enough of them this time of year. We planted a couple of blueberry bushes this year but they don’t have any fruit yet … hopefully next year.

    Reply
  2. This is exactly the reason why I can only bake every so often. (Mine would have been gone on day one!) Loved these words and your photos. So much.

    Reply
  3. We have a blueberry farm right behind our house (Golden Bell), and the kids work the desk. Every year it’s open at this time two mornings a week for picking and has become a tradition with the boys, and a following of several blueberry recipes. I never took the time to think that they could possibly sell out everything but this family also chooses to have it remain a picking farm and I’m so glad. Your recipe looks very interesting and delicious.

    Reply
  4. I just picked a gallon of my mother-in-law’s blueberries and I was looking for something to do with them (other than eating handfuls of them like popcorn) and this looks just perfect! Thank you…

    Reply
  5. Gorgeous pictures! Definitely your Streusel Topped Blueberry Buckle is awesomeness! This is a great recipe, as you know I made it a short while ago and it was lovely, in fact have made it again since. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Dont know if you realize or not, but 3/4 cup of butter is not 6 tablespoons. A half cup of butter is 1 stick which is 8 tablespoons. You have 3/4 cup for the batter and the streusel. Has anyone else noticed this discrepency.

    Reply
    • Thanks for pointing this out, Joy! It should be 6 tablespoons of butter for both the cake and the topping. The recipe has been updated!

      Reply
  7. Would this recipe need to be altered if using Einkorn flour? I’ve made Blueberry Buckle for years, it is a beloved tradition!

    Reply
    • Hi, Naomi! That’s one of the sweetest (hahahaaa) traditions I have ever heard!

      Einkorn is an easy substitute for all-purpose flour in baking recipes, but it does absorb liquids a little differently. I would lower the recipe’s liquid content only slightly to accommodate the difference. For the cake, I would lower the buttermilk to a 1/4 cup, and use 5 tablespoons butter instead of 6. For the crumble topping, I would lower the butter to 4 tablespoons. Let me know how your recipe turns out!

      Reply

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