Blueberry Buckle {The Best Coffee Cake!}

This moist Blueberry Buckle coffee cake, with its buttery streusel topping, plush texture, and unapologetic quantities of fresh blueberries was a breakfast legend back in my days working at a corporate office.

moist blueberry buckle

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Our team took turns bringing breakfast on Fridays. We usually had leftovers, which would be left in the common area for scavengers (did anyone else prowl around her office, searching for free extra food?).

Except when my co-worker Michael baked his famous blueberry buckle.

Not only would our team silently, not-so-subtly try to beat each other to the slices with the max amount of topping, if even a crumb remained at the bottom of the pan, someone would run their plastic fork all around the bottom to catch every morsel.

blueberry buckle with streusel topping

I think it was the walnut streusel that got to us.

Or could it have been the moist, tender cake crumb, which is so filled with blueberries, you’ll find one in every juicy, sweet bite?

Although I’ve left office life behind, fortunately my blueberry buckle grazing can continue uninterrupted. Michael was kind enough to share his recipe!

5 Star Review

“I love making your recipes because I know they are going to be healthy, easy to make, and absolutely delicious. This will be my go-to recipe now for coffee cake. I love the healthy swaps that you made and the walnuts on top add a wonderful extra crunch.”

— Corinne —

old fashioned moist blueberry buckle

What Is a Buckle (vs. Coffee Cake)?

  • A buckle is an old-fashioned term for a single layer cake with fruit in the batter, such as blueberries or cut up strawberries, and a buttery streusel topping.
  • The fruit gives it a “buckled” or indented appearance, which is how old-fashioned blueberry buckle got its name.
  • The biggest difference between a coffee cake and a buckle is the fruit. A coffee cake can be any not-too-sweet cake that’s meant to be enjoyed with coffee. It doesn’t have to include fruit (these Coffee Cake Muffins, for example, do not).
  • That said, a coffee cake (like this Apple Coffee Cake) can include fruit and often does.
  • A coffee cake also does not have to include a streusel topping (my Grandma Dorothy’s Butter Bundt Coffee Cake does not), though it often does.

CONCLUSION: For all intents and purposes, since there is fruit and a streusel topping in this recipe, you can use the terms “blueberry buckle” and “blueberry coffee cake” interchangeably.

blueberry buckle with streusel topping

How to Make Old-Fashioned Blueberry Buckle

This is truly the best blueberry coffee cake (or blueberry buckle; pick your favorite term!).

It’s easy to make, has just the right ratio of berries to cake to crumb topping, and the flavor is lively with notes of cinnamon and lemon zest.

Tweaks to Michael’s original recipe (which as it turns out is from this cookbook), include my usual healthy substitutions: a little extra whole wheat flour, and I pumped up the nut-factor in the streusel topping, because I’m a sucker for the toasty walnut crunch.

blueberry buckle with walnuts and crumb topping

The Ingredients

  • Whole Wheat Flour + All-Purpose Flour. I use a 50/50 blend which gives this coffee cake whole grain benefits (like more fiber and nutrients compared to white flour), without making it overly dense or heavy.

Substitution Tip!

If you don’t mind a heartier cake, you can make this recipe with up to 75% whole grain flour. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of additional milk to the batter, since whole wheat flour is drier than regular, all-purpose flour.

  • Blueberries. Blueberry buckle is one of the best things to bake with fresh blueberries in the summertime. You also can make this recipe with frozen blueberries (no need to thaw them first).

Market Swap

You can make a buckle coffee cake with just about any fresh fruit! Try this recipe with raspberries, diced strawberries, pitted cherries, or take a note from this Almond Berry Crumb Cake and do a mix.

blueberry buckle with crumb topping
  • Granulated Sugar. This blueberry coffee cake is by no means overly sweet, so it’s perfect to enjoy for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee or tea.
  • Milk + Egg + Butter. To ensure the coffee cake is tender.
  • Cinnamon + Lemon Zest. Cinnamon is a coffee cake essential. Lemon makes it bright and is a scrumptious pairing with blueberry (be sure to check out this Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake too!).
  • Walnut Streusel Topping. The crunch of the walnuts adds a wholesome touch and deep toastiness that makes this buckle especially satisfying.

The Directions

blueberry buckle bowl of whole wheat flour
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
blueberry buckle mix
  1. Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest.
blueberry buckle milk, egg and butter mixture
  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
blueberry buckle mix with blueberries
  1. Fold together the dry and wet ingredients.
blueberry buckle with walnuts
  1. Make the streusel topping.
blueberry buckle in a baking pan
  1. Scrape the batter into an 8×8-inch pan.
blueberry buckle with walnuts in baking pan
  1. Sprinkle the streusel over the top.
  1. Bake the blueberry buckle at 425 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!

Dietary Note

For a dairy-free coffee cake, use almond milk or soy milk in place of the regular milk and swap canola oil in place of the butter.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftover coffee cake at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftover slices in the microwave or tent loosely with foil and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F. For the best leftover experience, serve rewarmed slices topped with a little butter.

Meal Prep Tip

Prepare the blueberry buckle batter and topping up to 1 day in advance. Store the batter covered in the refrigerator in the pan you plan to bake it in and the topping at room temperature. Before baking, let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle on the topping, then bake as directed.

old fashioned blueberry buckle

What to Serve With Blueberry Buckle

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8×8 inch pan with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, then coat once more. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold in blueberries and lemon zest.

  • In small, separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and butter. Add to the flour and blueberry mixture. Stir by hand with a wooden spoon, just until combined. The batter will be very thick. Scrape into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

  • Prepare the crumble topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. With a fork (or your fingers), cut in the butter, combining until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the walnuts.

  • Sprinkle crumble mixture evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • TO STORE. Store leftover coffee cake at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT. Rewarm leftover slices in the microwave or  tent loosely with foil and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F. For the best leftover experience, serve rewarm slices topped with a little butter.

Serving: 1(of 9)Calories: 200kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 5gFat: 6gCholesterol: 21mgFiber: 3gSugar: 15g

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