Blueberry Buckle

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A buckle is a coffee cake with a generous streusel topping that has fresh fruit folded into the batter. A traditional buckle actually "buckles" from the weight of the streusel, creating pockets of butter and sugar.  This buckle has such good structure in the batter that the streusel bakes up nice and crumbly on top of the cake and that is fine by me.  

I bake this in an 8-inch cake pan instead of the 9-inch pan the original recipe called for because I like my cakes big and tall (like my man).  Please pardon the leaked bit of internal monologue. Ahem.  I also lightened up the cake by substituting Greek yogurt for some of the butter.  In addition to the four cups of fresh blueberries, the yogurt makes for a very moist cake.  Also, with it being swimsuit season, my body appreciates the reduced fat.  The cake is flavored with a bit of lemon zest while the streusel has a bit of cinnamon in it, making for one tasty treat.  One bite will take you straight to blueberry pie nirvana.  In fact, I can't decide which is better, this buckle or blueberry pie.  Good thing I don't have to.  It is perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee, but equally delicious warm with a scoop of ice cream for an after dinner indulgence.

Blueberry Buckle
makes one 8-inch cake

For the Streusel
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces, softened but cool

For the Cake
1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons Greek yogurt, low-fat or fat-free
2 extra large eggs
4 cups fresh blueberries (about 20 ounces)

For the Streusel
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles wet sand; set aside.

Move oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350º F.  Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick baking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the vanilla and yogurt and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.  Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined, about 20 seconds.  Using a rubber spatula, stir the batter until no flour pockets remain, do not over mix.  (The batter will be thick).  Gently fold in the blueberries until evenly distributed.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake pan, gently pushing batter to the edges of the pan using an off-set spatula.  Squeeze a handful of the streusel in your hand, breaking into large clumps and sprinkling over the batter.  Repeat with remaining streusel.  Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; streusel should be a deep golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes.  Place a large upside-down plate over the cake pan and invert the plate to remove cake pan.  Remove the cake pan, then peel off the parchment .  Re-invert the cake onto a serving platter.  Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.  Cake can be kept covered at room temperature for up to two days or refrigerated for up to three days.  Chilled leftovers can be re-warmed in a 325º F oven for 15-20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted form Cook's Illustrated, July 2005


  1. What a beautiful coffee cake, I love the structure that it has. And I've recenly become obsessed with Greek yogurt, so it's fun to see it used in a dessert!

  2. Forget the muffins, this is what I want to make with the next blueberry haul -- and thanks for the tidbit on the history of the name, I love culinary trivia and histories.

  3. I love how this buckle stands tall and doesn't buckle! So pretty!

  4. great recipe...I love the changes you made too.

  5. Im not joking when i say i love absolutely every recipe you post! Also the fact you use an 8inch pan is perfect as thats the only size I have, hurrah! I dont think ive seen a blueberry cake thats retained its blueberries so nice and evenly, it looks divinnee :)

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  7. Shel92-
    I am so glad you and your husband enjoyed it! Thank you for letting me know and thank you to MP for sharing:)


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