Summer Berry Buckle

Are you a fan of tart or super-sweet desserts? I tend to love anything that contains caramel, crumb topping, vanilla, custard–and when I step into an ice cream shop, I will NEVER order anything tart. Not if you chucked Mjolnir straight at my heart; not if you held Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet over my head for it. (Yes, I just watched Endgame and am still obsessed…Anyone else??) That being said…

Coffee cakes, muffins, and berry buckles are my biggest exception. When it comes to getting a sweet AND tart start to the day, I can always be found munching on a blueberry muffin or slice of berry coffee cake from the commissary at work. So when I was tasked a couple weeks ago to bring dessert for one of our semiweekly Studio Ghibli movie nights (yes, we’re cool like that), and when our host mentioned that he really liked this One Bowl Sour Cream Coffee Crumb Cake that I brought last time, I knew immediately what I wanted to make. I had been eyeing the berries at Ralph’s for the entire week already and since it’s been 85 degrees these days with nonstop sunshine, berry season has officially started, right? (Sorry, East Coast friends!)

This Summer Berry Buckle is essentially a glorified berry coffee cake with extra crumb on top–the iconic brown sugar topping gives this classic dessert’s top layer a slightly “buckled” look because guys, it’s groaning under the weight of SO MUCH CRUMB. So if you’re a fan of lots and lots of crumb on your fruit desserts, join the club and make this berry buckle right away. I used 1 1/2 cups raspberries and 1/2 cups blueberries, but you can use your favorite mix of berries or whatever you have on hand. I’ve honestly never seen a pan of fruit-infused dessert disappear so quickly, and given that this is one of the lightest and moistest crumb cakes that I’ve ever made with a great tart bite to it, I’m not too surprised!

My favorite part about making this dessert, though? Probably the fact that I barely had to lift a finger to make it–and I don’t just mean that because this is such a simple recipe (which it is!). One hour before our movie gathering, I was scrambling in a panic out the door to buy fresh raspberries and sent the recipe to the new boy in my life–let’s call him Wallflour Boy–because he asked for it before I left. Lo and behold my surprise when I returned twenty minutes later to find him in my kitchen, stirring and folding away at a beautiful bowl of buckle batter! He had even prepped the crumb topping, which I honestly hadn’t expected because I’m usually the one in charge of baking (he’s more of an instant pot kind of guy).

Nevertheless, I tossed in the berries, threw everything into my baking pan, and glowed for 25 minutes while the Summer Berry Buckle bubbled and baked merrily in my oven. In the end, his help meant that we made it just in time to catch Castle in the Sky–and you can bet your fancy summer pants that I was berry happy munching on this dessert all movie night long.

Summer Berry Coffee Cake (with Extra Crumb Topping!)

Summer Berry Coffee Cake (with Extra Crumb Topping!)

Yield: 8x8-inch baking pan

This Summer Berry Buckle is the perfect summer treat: perfectly tart berries folded into a light, flavorful coffee cake and topped with piles of golden brown sugar crumb topping. You'll see the cake "buckle" under the weight of that crumb!


For the cake (slightly adapted from [Allrecipes|]):

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh mixed berries of your choice (preferably raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, shortening, and egg.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Alternate adding half of the flour mixture and half of the milk into sugar mixture, folding ingredients in gently with each addition. Once finished, fold in mixed berries.
  5. Prepare crumb topping (recipe below) and sprinkle evenly on top of cake batter.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until crumb topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean (with moist crumbs clinging).
  7. Slice and serve!

For the crumb topping:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.




2 Replies to “Summer Berry Buckle”

  1. I love the names of all the various summer fruit desserts — buckles, grunts, fools, etc etc. I particularly identify with the fool! Anyway, this looks wonderful — SO looking forward to local berries. 🙂

  2. SO glad you didn’t reveal that you DIDN’T like sweet treats, LOL. Your berry buckle looks right up my alley—so moist and delicious!!!

    P.S. Wallflower boy sounds like a keeper! xo

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