Wild Blueberry Buckle - slice of cake

Wild Blueberry Buckle

Wild Blueberry Buckle - slice of cake

Growing up in New Brunswick we had wild blueberry pies, cakes, grunts, cobblers, crumble, and crisp. But one of my very favourite treats was this Wild Blueberry Buckle. A buckle is different than a cake.

A buckle is a cake that does not buckle under the weight of the fruit. It’s dense but at the same time light and airy between the berries. This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated – America’s Test Kitchen. I use more cinnamon, more lemon zest and organic cane sugar. And, of course, I’ll only use tiny wild low bush blueberries.

I’m not snobby about too many things but, for me, there’s no substitute. When I visit New Brunswick in the winter, my suitcase is always five to 10 pounds heavier returning to Calgary. That’s the frozen wild New Brunswick blueberries I bring back with me. Otherwise, I’ve had good luck finding real wild blueberries in the freezer section of SuperStore or Loblaws (not sponsored). Read on for the recipe.

Wild Blueberry Buckle - whole cake with slice out of it

Wild Blueberry Buckle

Time: 90 minutes including baking time

Yield: 10 – 12 servings

Equipment: 8-inch springform pan, stand mixer, bowls, spatula

For the Streusel topping:

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut in 10 pieces, cool but not hard

For the cake:

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup cane sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups wild blueberries (accept no substitute)

For the streusel:

  1. Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt on low speed of your stand mixer until no large lumps remain.
  2. Add the butter and mix on low until it looks like wet sand.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray an 8-inch spring form pan with non-stick spray or grease it with soft butter.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest at medium speed till light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the vanilla until combined – about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until partially mixed and pausing to scrape down the sides.Continue until fully incorporated.
  7. Add the flour mix – gradually –and beat until flour is almost fully incorporated.
  8. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter without over beating it.
  9. Fold in the berries and transfer the mixture to the spring form pan.
  10. Sprinkle streusel topping over the batter.
  11. Bake until golden – about 55 to 60 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
  12. Enjoy with whipped cream or ice cream. Blueberry ripple would be nice.


  1. Maureen

    Hi Karen, I am excited to try this and have my first attempt in the oven right now. However, I am a little anxious regarding the outcome, as it looked like a frozen glob when I put it in the pan. If you use frozen berries do you thaw first?

  2. Karen Anderson

    Hi Maureen – I use frozen berries all the time and it turns out just great. Important to test the center for doneness with a toothpick but otherwise and cook longer if needed. I sure hope it turned out well for you as it is one of my all-time favourite recipes.
    Thanks so much for letting me know that you tried it. Cheers, Karen

    1. Maureen

      Thanks Karen, we are enjoying the buckle! It came out of the oven far superior to my fears lol!. It did require an additional 10 or 15 minutes to test done in the middle. I will certainly make this again.

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