Baked buckle

Cranberry buckle. 

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Got frozen fruit that needs using up as you eat down the quarantine larder? I got a plan for you. Bake a buckle.

A member of the family of American baked fruit desserts that includes the cobbler, crisp and betty, the buckle is comprised of a vanilla-scented cake batter, topped with fruit and crowned with a crumb topping. As the cake batter rises, the fruit does too and kind of “buckles” in the process, giving it a dimply appearance. You can also just call it delicious.

If you don’t have a beater, you can do this by hand. If you don’t have exactly 1 ½ cups of fruit on hand, that’s okay, too. The buckle is about as forgiving as it gets in cake land. And right about now, we all could use something that cuts us a little slack. Share your buckle adventures with me, please!

Fruit Buckle

Makes about 6 servings

Excerpted from The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations by Kim O’Donnel.

Updated note: After this post went online, a reader asked if the fruit should be thawed before adding to the batter. The answer is a resounding NO, as you will have quite a mess on your hands. Use fresh or frozen fruit, not thawed. --kod.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (I have used coconut and cow’s milk with equal success)
  • 1 1/2 cups fruit of choice (blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, peaches, mango, pineapple, to name just a few)


Make the topping: In a small-size bowl, stir together ¼ cup of the flour, the brown sugar and cinnamon. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the butter and cut into small dice. Work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the butter is integrated and there are no loose bits. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the batter.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease an 8 or 9-square baking dish.

In a small-size bowl, place the remaining ¾ cup of the flour, the baking powder and salt, and stir together.

Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into tablespoon-size pieces. In the bowl of a stand electric mixer or using a hand-held beater, cream the butter and the granulated sugar until well blended and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until well blended, followed by the vanilla. It may look a little curdled and that’s okay.  

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the milk, mixing until smooth and blended. Note: I like to use the electric beater for the first addition, then finish mixing the batter by hand with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread with a rubber spatula so that it evenly covers the pan. Cover the batter with the berries, followed by the topping, which should cover the entire surface.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

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