The theme of red, dessert-related treats continues today mainly because I over-did it a little on the cherry related purchases last week. They were just so gorgeous looking that I bought a giant bag, so here we are with more cherries to eat. Thankfully, we were invited to a brunch party over the weekend, so I volunteered to bring the coffee cake and thus had a perfect excuse to make Cherry & Blueberry Buckle.
I was inspired by a recipe I found on Seven Spoons, and I knew immediately that it would be the perfect stand-in for a traditional coffee cake. I’m not entirely sure what a pastry chef would consider the difference between a buckle and a coffee cake since both involve fruit and a streusel topping, so I just decided to go with it.
Seven Spoons’ recipe was loosely adapted from this Blueberry Buckle recipe by Salt Water Farms for Bon Appétit. Coincidentally, SWF offers an entire class on fruit desserts entitled Cobblers, Buckles and Grunts. Doesn’t that sound like heaven? Maybe this is my opportunity to go to Maine and learn about the entire spectrum of fruit-related sweets….
Just in case Maine isn’t in the cards this year we can still channel a summery, New England treat at home. I partially followed both recipes noted above (my adaptation below) and the results were delicious.
I promise I’m not tooting my own horn here – Mike and my partners-in-brunch can corroborate that it was pretty awesome. Sweet, fragrant, and packed with fruit it was especially good served still warm from the oven.
I have future plans for this recipe involving other fruits: apricots, perhaps? or tart cherries? I’d love to try it in muffin form or perhaps with the addition of a scoop of vanilla or blueberry ice cream? The possibilities seem endless….
Cherry & Blueberry Buckle (yield: one buckle, serves 6-8 ppl)
Sugar & Spice Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) room temperature unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
6 ounces (1 ¼ cups) fresh or thawed blueberries
10 ounces (2 cups) pitted, roughly chopped black cherries
9” spring form pan
Sugar & Spice Topping Instructions:
In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and salt. Add diced butter and combine with your fingers until mixture comes together to form a texture like damp sand; refrigerate until needed.
Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare the pan butter the inside of a 9” spring form cake pan and place a disk of parchment paper cut to size in the bottom. Butter the parchment paper and dust the interior of the pan with flour. Tap out any excess flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk baking powder, salt, and flour.
In a separate medium bowl, beat sugar and room temperature butter using an electric mixer on high speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla just to combine, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in stages, then milk; mix just to combine.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries and diced cherries. Don’t be stingy with the fruit, if you have a few extra berries or cherries – add them in! Spoon batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and place pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Evenly crumble sugar and spice topping over.
Bake until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 75–90 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool before unmolding and serving.
Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes, to a degree. The recipe as written calls for three medium bowls, an electric mixer, measuring cups & spoons, a spring form pan, and a cookie sheet.
However, if bowls are limited it would be easy to switch the order of prep and re-use the dry ingredient bowl to make the topping. If a fancy presentation isn’t essential – and this is a rustic type of cake – then using a regular cake pan or muffin tins would be a solid option too.
And, don't forget Food52's genius cherry pitting DIY - I used it again, still works!