Summer fruit season is upon us! I love being able to make a cake filled with enough fruit to count as a good breakfast treat as well as dessert. A buckle is essentially a coffee cake bursting with fruit and covered in crispy streusel topping. I've made this Blueberry Buckle from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book countless times, this time I decided to make 2 smaller buckles and make one blueberry, one sour cherry. It's possible to make full-sized versions using either fruit, or mix the two together.
Serves 8 to 10.
Recipe adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
Step 1: Prepare Pan(s); Gather Ingredients
Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper and grease that as well (for my 2 cakes I used 2 6-inch cake pans and a baking spray containing flour)
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
10 Tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. grated fresh lemon zest
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp. vanilla, then, after separating the batter for the 2 cakes added 1/4 tsp. almond extract to the cherry batter)
4 cups (20 ounces) fresh blueberries (I used 10 oz. blueberries for one cake, 10 oz. sour cherries--slightly less than 2 cups--for the other cake)
I used Ohio locally grown blueberries, but haven't seen any sour cherries this year so I used Trader Joe's jarred Morello cherries. Oregon Fruit Co. canned tart cherries would also work well.
Step 2: Make Streusel Topping
Whisk the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl (I used my stand mixer). Beat in the butter with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture resembles moist crumbs, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer to a small bowl, and, rinse out mixer bowl if you've used your stand mixer.
Step 3: Make Cake Batter
In a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary (I used my stand mixer).
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Beat in the vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated, about 20 seconds (the batter will be extremely thick and heavy).
If only making one cake, gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula. For my 2 cakes, I separated half the batter into another bowl, mixed 1/4 tsp. almond extract and sour cherries in one bowl, then mixed the blueberries into the remaining batter.
Step 4: Bake
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s), since it's so thick you'll need to coax it around the pan to make an even layer. Smooth the top, and gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter.
Sprinkle a liberal amount of the streusel evenly over the batter.
Bake the buckle(s) until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 55 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. (My 6-inch cakes took about 45 minutes to bake.)
Step 5: Enjoy
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes (the cake will fall slightly as it cools). Run a small knife around the edge of the cake and flip it out onto a large plate (not the serving platter). Peel off the parchment paper, flip the cake right side up onto a serving platter, and let cool until just warm or to room temperature, at least 1 hour, before serving. (You'll lose a few crumbs in the transfer process, just be confident and flip as quickly as you can.)
Buckles can be served many ways, at room temperature, microwaved to warm them a bit, and for dessert, some whipped cream or ice cream compliment the cake beautifully.
Buckles can be held in an airtight container, at room temperature, up to 2 days.