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Blueberry Buckle Cake Recipe

This Blueberry Buckle Cake is full of fresh juicy blueberries in a moist tender crumb cake that is topped with a crunchy sweet buttery streusel for a bite of sweet, tart, moist and crunch in every bite!  Ideal for serving as a dessert or a breakfast cake!

We love all things blueberries — and for individual blueberry desserts you can make Lemon Blueberry Muffins or these Blueberry hand tarts, but when I want a cake, I make these blueberry buckle cake!

Slice of Blueberry cake next to full buckle cake

Today’s recipe for Blueberry Buckle is a family favorite. Fresh juicy berries in a light moist cake topped with the sweet, crunchy streusel topping. It reminds me a lot of the baking my Grandma used to do when I was growing up. This classic blueberry buckle recipe goes great with a cup of coffee for breakfast or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.  

Buckles, pies, cakes, slumps, grunts, pandowdies, crisps and cobblers.  You name it my Grandma Hyde would bake it and it would be amazing.

While I love all things blueberry like these Lemon Blueberry muffins recipe here I also like a mix of crunchy sugar topping with a moist crumb cake. The blueberry buckle is great for serving as a dessert but it can also be served as a sweet item for a potluck or on a brunch buffet.  The cake is easily cut into squares for serving as a coffee cake for an afternoon snack.

It’s wonderful around the holidays because you can not only make it ahead, you can have your fruit in a breakfast cake!  Who doesn’t want cake for breakfast!?!

The buckle dessert is so flexible you could add a dollop of whipped cream with a bit of cinnamon on top or add a scoop of ice cream to the top for a wow factor!

What is the difference between a Slump/Grunt, Buckle, Crisp, Cobbler, Brown Betty and a Pandowdy?

What?  All these strange names from a bygone era. The one thing that all of these things have in common is that it has fruit in it, but after that, there are subtle differences.

  • Crisp:  baked fruit with a topping such as a streusel, granola, nuts and often oatmeal.  Sometimes its also called a crumble for the way the topping looks.
  • Cobbler:  baked fruit with a biscuit or batter topping. The topping is dropped or spooned on and imagine cobbling the pieces together to cover the top.
  • Grunt/Slump: fruit cooked on the stovetop (stewed) with a  biscuit or dumpling topping. The topping is baked on the stovetop in a covered skillet ( steaming it so it’s very very moist.) It’s said that as the topping cooks when it releases steam you can hear it grunt!  Depending on where you live determines whether you call it a grunt or a slump.
  • Brown Betty:  Baked fruit that is layered with the batter in between before cooking. Often Brown Betties use to cut out pieces of crusts in special shapes for a unique presentation.
  • Pandowdy:  A pandowdy is a fancy name for a pie baked in a pan/skillet.  Traditionally the pie crust is only on the top although over the years there are more and more with a double layer of crust
  • Buckle:  A buckle is a cake with fruit mixed into it and has a streusel topping.  It’s very similar to a coffee cake, although most coffee cakes don’t have fruit in them so it has its own classification.  The moist cake and crunchy, sweet streusel topping are identical though!  Easily served as it can be cut into squares!
Blueberry Buckle Streusel topping
Streusel Topping Being Mixed

How do you make a Blueberry Buckle?

  1. Make a streusel topping with brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, salt and unsalted butter.  You’ll mix it in a large bowl with a hand mixer or a regular mixer and will look very much like wet sand. Place crumb topping into a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Mix the breakfast cake ingredients separately.
    1. first mix the flour and the baking powder making sure the baking powder is dispersed evenly.  I use a wire whisk to blend it well.
    2. Cream the eggs, sugars, lemon zest and vanilla very well until well combined using the paddle attachment — this works great with a stand mixer
  3. Slowly add the flour mixture in small batches to the mixing bowl so it doesn’t fly all over. You’ll mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  4. At this point you can add the blueberries by hand.  Mix them with broad stirring motion trying to mix just enough that they are spread throughout.  Over mixing them will turn your batter blue!
  5. The mixture is a dense batter so you can use a spatula to put in a prepared baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle crumbly streusel topping evenly over the top of the dthick batter..
  7. Bake until a knife or toothpick inserted to the center of the cake comes out cleanly.
raw blueberry cake batter in a spring form pan

PRO TIP:  /When putting the streusel on top, use your hands to make large clumps.  As you spread the streusel topping over the blueberry buckle batter pay careful attention that the clumps stay large.  Some small pieces are ok, but this way you will have big bites of streusel with both soft inside and crunchy outside after baking! 

Blueberry Buckle with a crumbly brown sugar topping in pan

Tips when making blueberry coffee cake: 

Can you use frozen blueberries in a buckle dessert?  

Absolutely.  Run water over them in a strainer to remove any ice crystals on them. Then spread them out on a paper towel to wipe off any excess water.  Water added to the batter will increase the color of blue transferring and it will also change the texture of your cake.

Most recipes say you don’t have to thaw the blueberries but just bake the fruit dessert a little longer. That is true- but if you thaw and dry them, the odds are really good your batter won’t turn blue. It’s totally edible to eat the blue colored batter, but I find its prettier if it’s not all blue.

Can you freeze blueberry buckle?  

I did try to freeze the baked fruit dessert but the sugar streusel got really grainy and wasn’t pleasant.  I only tested freezing it so I could answer that question as it always seems to be asked about baked goods.  The blueberry breakfast cake is so good, I promise you there won’t be any left!

How do you prepare the pan?  

It’s important to use a prepared baking pan. Use a small pat of butter and run it over the sides and bottom of the pan with your fingers.  Then take a couple of tablespoons of flour and sprinkle it over the bottom.  Using your hands turn the pan all around, avoiding dumping the flour out until all the buttered areas are covered with flour.  Remove any excess flour once all of the sides are coated.  Your cake will easily come out from the pan after baking if you do this!

*** note pictured in the photos I used a springform pan.  This will also work in a regular pan, it just so happened that one was the right size and easy to get to in my kitchen! ***

Blueberry Buckle Muffins:

This recipe is easily adaptable to make in muffin forms. The cooking time will be 18-20 minutes instead.

Fruit Buckle Recipe Variations

This simple recipe is super flexible to whatever fruit you like. It works just as well with apples, strawberries or even rhubarb.

Crunchy Streusel topping on top of the blueberry buckle
Just out of the oven Blueberry Cake !

Love Sweet Treats? Check out all of our Dessert Recipes!

More Classic Fruit recipes you might enjoy!

slice of blueberry buckle cake on a black plate next to coffee

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Yield: 8

Blueberry Buckle - Blueberry Coffee Cake

Close up of blueberry cake with streusel topping

This Blueberry Buckle recipe is full of fresh juicy blueberries in a moist crumb cake that is topped with a crunchy sweet streusel for a bite of sweet, tart, moist and crunchy in every bit!  Ideal for serving as a dessert or a breakfast cake!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes



  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 2.5 oz
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, (if you have unsalted, add a pinch of salt)


  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour, 7.5 oz
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 20 ounces blueberries


  1. Combine ingredients all for the streusel except the butter in a mixing bowl for your mixer.  Mix on low until combined, then add butter. Mix for 3-4 minutes until all butter is incorporated.  Mixture will look like damp sugar... no butter will be distinguishable.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° Butter a 9" pan, then flour and set aside.  
  3. Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl.  Use a whisk to mix well.  Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter, sugar, salt, and zest on medium until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  5. Beat in vanilla, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated, batter will appear broken. 
  7. On a low speed add flour in 2 - 3 batches.  Once its almost incorporated remove bowl from mixer, scrape down sides and stir with spatula until all flour is mixed in.  
  8. Stir in blueberries (see post about drying blueberries) in as few strokes as possible to mix throughout.  
  9. Using the spatula, put the thickened batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly.
  10. Take streusel and make clumps with your fist and sprinkle on top of batter. Cover entire top with streusel.
  11. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.
  12. Transfer to wire rack and let cool at least 20 minutes before serving. 


This recipe is slightly adapted from Cook's Illustrated.  All credit to its deliciousness goes to them! 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

8 Servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Saturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 219mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 2gSugar: 35gProtein: 5g

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Tuesday 28th of June 2022

Some amendments to your American fruit dessert definitions:

Cobbler is a biscuit-ed dessert. The biscuit can be on the top or ( as is the case in some parts of the U.S.) the bottom.

Grunts and slumps are both cooked on top of the stove but grunts have a biscuit dough and slumps have a yeasted dough. Traditionally speaking.

Pandowdys are typically hewn together from scraps of leftover pie crust. They should contain molasses or maple syrup as a sweetener.


Tuesday 16th of November 2021

This was so delicious, loved all of the blue, blueberry taste!! I will definitely be buckling this one on!


Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

Thank you for this delicious recipe. Everyone loved it & we will be making this again.

Michele Hall

Saturday 7th of August 2021

That is so nice of you to take the time to come back and let me know you enjoyed it! That makes me so happy and is the number one reason I love sharing my recipes--- ❤️❤️ Thank you for making my day! ~m


Monday 20th of July 2020

Can this be made ahead of time?

Michele Hall

Saturday 25th of July 2020

I have made this the day before and early in the day before I have served it and it'd delicious! ~m


Wednesday 8th of July 2020

This looks delicious! I am planning on making it this weekend. Does the butter for the streusel and the cake need to be softened?

Michele Hall

Wednesday 15th of July 2020

Im sorry Nora--- for some reason we missed this-- it will work easier if its softened, but Ive done it both ways and it works fine.~ M

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