Blueberry Buckle


July 12, 2010 by Flora Dawn

Buckles, crumbles, cobblers, crisps….so many fruit desserts, so many names. They all begin with a fruit or berry and the rest is just topping.

They truly are some of the least complicated desserts you can makes, so a great choice for a child wanting to experiment in the kitchen or anyone new to baking. Just make sure and choose really fresh, ripe fruit and all other mistakes will most likely go unnoticed. They are very forgiving, making them the perfect recipe to adapt to be gluten free.

With loads of fruit and a topping of choice, they are always delicious. They are old-fashioned American comfort food at it’s best; usually messy, not always pretty, always delicious.

I pulled out one of my baking books to find a quick definition of each.

Crisps: The easiest to make, consisting of fruit mixed with sugar and often spice, placed in a pan and topped with butter, sugar, flour & often oatmeal.

Crumbles: Really a crisp with a slightly different texture. The fruit is topped with a streusel consisting of butter, sugar, flour, and chopped nuts.

Shortcake and Cobblers: Fruit covered in a sweet biscuit topping. As the fruit bakes and bubbles it softens the baking powder biscuits, which will rise impressively.

Buckles: It’s basically a berry-laden coffee cake with a crunchy-sweet streusel topping. Blueberries appear to be the traditional berry used in these cakes, sometimes called crumb cakes.

Growing up ate a lot of these dishes. My mom would typically use peaches or apples, but really, nearly any fruit or berry will work. They are very simple, yet smell and taste amazing. These are great choices from an impromptu treat or a summertime dessert for company.

For several years I have been making a blueberry buckle. My whole family enjoys it, especially the topping. It is a really simple, from scratch cake. I got around to making it gluten free and I was quite pleased with the results.

I know you are supposed to use fresh blueberries, but I couldn’t wait for them to be in season, so I used frozen. I think frozen berries make the cake more dense, but it is very good still.

With all the summertime fruit in season I am sure you can find a fruit and topping combination that your family will enjoy. Happy Gluten free baking!

A piece of Blueberry Buckle.

Gluten Free Blueberry Buckle

for the cake:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

for the topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar ( I use white or a combination of white/brown)
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8×8 pan.
    2. For cake: cream together sugar, butter, and egg; about 30 seconds.
    3. In a separate bowl mix together all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients, alternating with milk, to the creamed mixture (dry ingredients, milk, dry ingredients).
    4. Stir in blueberries and vanilla. The batter will be very thick; spoon it into the prepared pan.
    5. For topping: In a small bowl combine all topping ingredients and using a fork blend. Sprinkle over the cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

    6 thoughts on “Blueberry Buckle

    1. Angela says:

      Ok, question for you. Can sweet rice flour be skipped and can you just use rice flour instead. I can not find sweet rice flour where I live and was just wondering how much that affects the recipe?

      • Flora says:

        Sweet rice flour, also called glutinous rice flour or sticky rice flour, is made from short grain rice. I buy Authentic Foods or Bob’s Red Mill brands but it is also available at Asian markets and sometimes in the Asain food section of the grocery store (in little boxes).
        It keeps the moisture in and helps things “stick” together. I used it in this recipe because of my experience using it in other cakes, but you could try it without. If you replace the 1/2 cup sweet rice with white rice flour or maybe tapioca starch, I would suggest you replace half or all of the milk with sour cream or yogurt (to help keep it moist and stick together).
        Maybe I’ll try it this way and let you know the results!! With that sugary, crunchy topping and all the berries I am fairly certain it will still be very good 🙂

    2. Angela says:

      I will have to look for that when I am in a bigger town next. That could be the reason I have crumbly dry food?

      • Flora says:

        I think it really does help, especially in cakes and pancakes. I know that if I use too much rice flour my foods are dry and crumbly too. Baking gluten free is a bit of a challenge.

    3. Evie R. says:

      Another great blueberry recipe I think you could adapt for GF is the Blueberry Zucchini bread. I know Lynn and I have made it, but I’m not sure you have. It is one of our favorites for using our blueberries. I really like it since the same batter can be muffins, mini-loaves, or regular loaves.

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