Mixed Berry Buckle (Streusel Coffeecake)

Mixed Berry Buckle Streusel Coffeecake

This simple berry cake recipe straddles the line between breakfast streusel coffeecake and anytime summer dessert. Also known as a fruit buckle, it’s a simple, versatile cake that’s always a hit. This one is loaded with fresh summer berries.  The simple batter for this buttermilk coffeecake envelopes the ripe, sweet fruit and creates sweet tart pockets of magenta and purplish jam that are irresistible. Sliced almonds add crunch and the simple sweet glaze is a tempting finish to the mixed berry buckle.

strawberries and blueberries for the berry cake recipe

What is a buckle?

 A buckle refers to fruit and cake batter baked together with a streusel topping. Typically, there’s so much fruit in the batter and streusel  on top, that the dome of the cake buckles as it bakes.  (Read more about buckles, cobblers, crisps and bettys here.) This buttermilk coffeecake is so laden with fruit, you end up with ribbons of burst berries that are swirled and baked into the cake, leaving moist pockets throughout. The streusel topping takes advantage of the slumping fruit and sinks into the fruit and cake. I know. Doesn’t it sound DIVINE? Let’s get started.

Ingredients for buttermilk coffeecake batter

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Almond Extract
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt 
  • Buttermilk
  • Mixed Fresh Berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries)

I used strawberries and blueberries for this buttermilk coffeecake,

Tips for the berries:

  • Feel free to use whatever berries you have on hand.
  • Don’t worry if they’re a bit bruised or past their prime. Remember, they’re getting buried beneath an avalanche of cake and streusel. Just remove any that are clearly moldy or bad. 
  • For larger fruit, like strawberries, remove the stem and cut into smaller pieces.
  • Blueberries and blackberries yield dark purple pockets of jam while raspberries will turn into bright magenta pops of color. Strawberries melt into a softer reddish pink. I like to use a combination of dark and light fruit for contrast, but whatever you have on hand will work.
combining dry ingredients, creaming butter sugar and eggs and combining ingredients for buttermilk coffeecake batter.

Make the buttermilk batter for the coffeecake

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer and add the egg and extracts and blend until smooth.
  3. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as you blend. The batter will be smooth and thick.
making streusel topping for the coffeecake.

Streusel ingredients for coffeecake

  • Melted Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Sliced Almonds

The simple cinnamon streusel comes together in just a few minutes with these pantry staples.

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Tips for assembling streusel:

  • Whisk together the sugars, flour, cinnamon and salt to combine before adding the butter. This way, the streusel will be evenly mixed.
  • When adding the butter, I use a fork to begin mixing, however, I’ve found that my clean fingers do a more thorough job of really blending the butter with the cinnamon mixture. Try it for yourself. The key is to make sure there are no dry pockets of flour or spice in the streusel.
  • Add the sliced almonds after the streusel is completely blended. This will prevent the almonds from breaking as you gently toss them with the streusel topping for the coffeecake.
layering berries and fruit for the berry buckle. Adding streusel to the coffeecake.

Assembling the berry cake recipe

  • I recommend a springform pan if you’re planning on transferring the berry streusel coffeecake to a stand to serve. A springform pan will make it easier to remove the buckle from the pan and to transfer without having to flip it over, possibly marring the surface of the cake. Otherwise, you can use a regular 9″ round cake pan (but make sure it has high sides, about 3″, so the batter doesn’t overflow the pan).
  • Spread about half of the batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Add about 3/4 of the fruit and spread it evenly over the cake.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the berries (do not spread the batter) and sprinkle with the remaining berries.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon almond streusel evenly over the mixed berry cake recipe and bake until a cake tester comes out clean. I usually start “testing” the berry buckle at about the 50-minute mark because every oven is different.
berry cake recipe after baking.

Doesn’t it look fabulous? You can see some of the divots and craters created by the slumping berries and the weight of the streusel topping. Let the buttermilk coffeecake cool to room temperature before adding the final touch… the glaze. Note: if you’re making this for a special breakfast or brunch, I recommend baking the cake the day before. Add the glaze the next day before serving.

making glaze for the buttermilk coffeecake.

Glazing berry coffeecake with streusel topping

The final flourish is a simple sweet glaze drizzled over the streusel-y, berry laden coffeecake. If you’re planning to serve the coffeecake on a platter, you’ll want to transfer it to the serving dish before adding the glaze. Mix up the powdered sugar, half and half and extract, whisking until smooth and then drizzle and swirl the glaze recipe over the berry cake. 

Drizzling glaze over berry buckle streusel coffeecake.

Looks as good as it tastes

I just love the way the fruit oozes through the perimeter of this berry cake recipe, giving a visual cue as to what’s buried beneath.  The rubbly cinnamon streusel dips and craters into the coffeecake and the sweet, creamy glaze settles into natural puddles and grooves. Trust me, this berry buckle is bound to be a hit with family and friends. 

glazed berry cake recipe on a cake stand.

Does this berry cake recipe freeze well?

Yes. If you have leftovers or just want to portion it out into smaller servings, cut the cake and wrap well with plastic wrap, then transfer to a zip top freezer bag or wrap in heavy duty foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost completely before serving.

What other fruit can I use in the streusel coffeecake?

This cake is very versatile, and is particularly well suited to summer fruits. Try it with diced mangoes, peaches, pineapple, nectarines, or pitted and halved cherries.

What if I don’t have buttermilk for the coffeecake?

You can “make” it.  Just add add 2 1/4 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to reach the 3/4 cup line. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes to curdle, then use it in the recipe.

Cutting and serving berry buttermilk coffeecake.

More streusel and berry coffeecakes you might like:

A view of the cut berry streusel coffeecake on a cake stand.

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Berry Cake Recipe on a plate with a fork.
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4.62 from 13 votes

Berry Almond Buckle

This delightful buckle is loaded with berries and smothered in streusel and glaze!  Great as a coffee cake for brunch but it also passes for dessert!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, coffee cake
Dietary Restrictions Vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10

INGREDIENTS:

FOR BUCKLE BATTER:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups mixed fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries) chopped if too large, like the strawberries.

FOR ALMOND STREUSEL TOPPING

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon salt
  • cup sliced almonds

FOR GLAZE:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9″ springform pan with vegetable spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit the bottom of the pan. Lightly spray the parchment and set aside.

FOR THE ALMOND STREUSEL:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt and mix well. Stir in the melted butter until well combined. Add the almonds and use your fingers to work them through the mixture. Set aside.

FOR THE BUCKLE BATTER:

  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  • Mix the berries together in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat until smooth. Beat in one cup of the flour mixture until just combined. Add half of the buttermilk and blend into the batter. Add remaining flour, beating until just moistened. Add the remainder of the buttermilk and mix until smooth, but don’t over beat the batter.
  • Spread half of the batter evenly into the prepared pan and top evenly with the berries. Using a tablespoon, scoop the remaining batter and deposit dollops of the batter all over the fruit. Do not spread the batter out, you want some of the fruit to poke through. Sprinkle with almond streusel topping
  • Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake and remove the collar to release it. Transfer the buckle to a serving platter.
  • Mix the powdered sugar and cream together until it forms a thin glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the buckle and serve.

NUTRITION:

Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 288mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 2mg

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24 Comments

  1. This looks absolutely delicious. I love how it’s full of berries, so juicy and that streusel topping.. everything is just one big yum. I must make this asap.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve got berries in my refrigerator I’ve been wanting to use in a cake, and this turned out perfect! I could eat it for breakfast, a snack or dessert!

  3. Jessica Formicola says:

    5 stars
    We make this buckle often and we love it! It’s so delicious and it turns out perfectly every time!

  4. 5 stars
    This has become our new summertime breakfast treat. What a great recipe!Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Kathryn Donangelo says:

    5 stars
    This coffee cake was so heavenly and loved the addition of berries! I made this for dessert and ate it for breakfast as well. Thank you for the awesome recipe!

  6. Jolanta Londene says:

    What do you mean by oatmeal? Oats?

    1. I use Quaker Old Fashioned rolled oats (dry – not cooked).

  7. This looks amazing! So pretty!

  8. 5 stars
    Your cake looks utterly scrumptious. I love that you have included the selection of fruits, I totally agree that something quite strange happened with Summer disappearing and all of a sudden we’re stuck in the midst of Winter.

  9. Savita @ Chefdehome says:

    5 stars
    Streusel, glaze, berries.. what not to like here!? I want a slice with coffee right now. Yumm!

  10. 5 stars
    Whoa this is so neat! I have never seen a cake batter where you layer it with fruit like this! It makes putting fun ingredients inside soooo much easier! I am loving this so much right now.

  11. This is a gorgeous cake Lisa….I am now going to crave this all day!

  12. Although everything is covered in snow here right now – my motivation is that in a few weeks I will be seeing rhubarb and the first of the Spring produce at the markets. I can totally relate to your concerns though I cling on to the last of summer months each year too. I made buckle a while back but did not have the luck you have here – it looks beautiful. I am saving this recipe and will try it with the seasons first rhubarb! xo

    1. Ooohhh — I’ll be it would outstanding with rhubarb! Let me know!!!

  13. Oh wow! This looks so good. I love any excuse to add streusel to anything, and summer fruit is my favorite, so this is baaaaaasically my perfect cake. Pinning! I can’t wait to try this when summer berries come back in season.

    1. I’m not the best baker either — so you can definitely do this!

  14. CookingOnTheWeekends (@cookingweekends) says:

    5 stars
    This looks so incredibly delicious! I want a slice with my coffee in the morning. Or now even! (It’s dinnertime!) 😀

  15. poojanadkarni says:

    Wow! This is so scrumptious and very well explained.