What is the Dessert Called Buckle?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Buckle is a dessert which combines fresh seasonal fruit, a rich cake batter, and a streusel topping. The result is a rich, dense cake with a moist crumb which is sometimes compared to coffee cake. It is an excellent summer dessert, and can be served hot or cold, plain or dressed with drizzles of sauce. Making buckle at home is relatively easy, and a great way to use fresh fruit.

Blueberries, which are often made into buckle.
Blueberries, which are often made into buckle.

The origins of buckle are a bit mysterious. The dish has been in the United States for centuries, suggesting that it may have been developed by colonists. Buckle is extremely popular in New England, where it is often made with blueberries. While blueberry buckle is a classic version, the dessert can also be made with peaches, nectarines, raspberries, and any other fresh fruit that can be imagined. Many cooks mix several types of fruit in their buckle.

Nearly any fruit, including peaches, can be used in a buckle.
Nearly any fruit, including peaches, can be used in a buckle.

The base of buckle is a rich cake batter, which is sprinkled with fresh fruit. Some cooks prefer to split their batter, layering half in the bottom of the pan and mixing the other half with the fruit before pouring it in. The fruit is topped with a streusel mixture. During the baking process, the cake batter rises up around the fruit, encasing the fruit in batter and causing the streusel to buckle, creating a distinctive crinkly appearance.

To make buckle, start by selecting good seasonal fruit. While you can use frozen fruit, the dessert will not be quite the same. Always wash fruit before using it, and while the fruit is draining, start working on the other components of the buckle.

Sift one and ¼ cups flour together with ½ cup sugar, one and ½ teaspoons baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside and beat ½ cup butter until soft before adding one egg, 1/3 cup milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and pour the batter into an oiled eight inch (20 centimeter) square baking dish. Top with the fresh fruit, and add a streusel topping of ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, ¼ cup softened butter, and one teaspoon of cinnamon. The streusel will form a crisp sugar coating as the buckle bakes.

Bake the buckle at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the buckle comes out clean. Serve from the pan, plain or topped with whipped cream, ice cream, or sauces of choice.

Cinnamon is often used to season buckle.
Cinnamon is often used to season buckle.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


It really doesn't take long to mix up a buckle dessert. I am from the East coast and grew up eating this dessert as a girl. My mom often fixed it with rhubarb as it was one of the first fruits to come in season.

I don't think you can go wrong with the fruit you use when you make this. It really doesn't take very long to mix together and makes a perfect dessert to serve company.

When they walk in your house and smell the dessert baking in the oven, they know they really have something tasty to look forward to.


I have made a buckle dessert with many kinds of fresh fruit, but my favorite is a combination of raspberries and blueberries. We have black and red raspberry bushes and one of the first things I make when I pick these is a buckle dessert.

The combination of blueberries and any kind of raspberry is the just the right amount of sweetness for me.

My husband loves peaches, so when peaches are in season, I will use them for the fresh fruit. There is nothing more satisfying than a warm piece of buckle dessert served with homemade vanilla ice cream. This is one dessert my family would start asking for if I didn't make it throughout the spring and summer.


Thank you! This solved a huge argument over what the hell a buckle is.

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