Summer Berry Buckle Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Summer Berry Buckle Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour
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Softer and more fruit-filled than a coffeecake, but with a higher percentage of buttery batter than a cobbler, buckles are harder to classify than they are to make. This one is tender, moist and filled with sweet summer berries. But feel free to substitute any other juicy fruit that you like: peaches, nectarines, figs, plums or pineapple. If your fruit is very sweet (figs, pineapple), reduce the sugar by a couple of tablespoons, while tart fruit (plums or tart blackberries) may need an extra tablespoon. Buckles are best eaten on the same day they are baked. But since they come together so quickly, you don’t have to plan ahead.

Featured in: The Buckle Makes Great Use of Summer Fruit

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Yield:8 servings

  • ½cup/114 grams (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
  • ½cup/100 grams granulated sugar, more for sprinkling
  • ¼cup/55 grams light brown sugar
  • 3large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1tablespoon/5 grams finely grated lemon zest
  • 1teaspoon/5 milliliters vanilla extract
  • cups/156 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼teaspoon baking powder
  • cups summer berries (a mix of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or use any one kind)
  • Cinnamon, for dusting (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

333 calories; 14 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 49 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 30 grams sugars; 5 grams protein; 189 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Summer Berry Buckle Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add lemon zest and vanilla and mix until combined.

  3. Step


    In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg and baking powder, and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined.

  4. Step


    Gently fold berries into the batter, then spread batter in pan and sprinkle lightly with more granulated sugar. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until top is golden and cake is cooked through.

  5. Step


    Allow cake to cool, then sprinkle with cinnamon, if using, and confectioners’ sugar.



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Cooking Notes


If using frozen fruit, do not thaw.


Cut out a circle of parchment paper for the bottom of your pan - no issues with sticking


I used an 8" pan, 4 cups of diced nectarines and 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and it came out delicious (I added a few extra mins. cooking time.) This recipe is very forgiving.


This has become my "go to" summer dessert. I have now made versions of it with berries, peaches and pears. The pear version is heavenly, and it helps you get rid of those ripe pears that just don't look beautiful enough to serve to guests. The leftovers make a great breakfast.
Clafloutis, move over.


I wish the New York Times would start to give ALL measurements in both cups and in weight.

It would be good to know the total weight of fruit called for in this versatile buckle recipe. One cup of raspberries, for example, weighs much less than one cup of blueberries or of chopped solid fruit.


Yum. Doubled the recipe and baked in a 9 x 13 Pyrex to bring to an office party. If at home, I would have removed the buckle from the pan to serve, but in the pan is easier for travel. Not a crumb left, and everyone raved. Used mostly blueberries, but also added 3 diced peaches (skin on).
I was surprised the larger pan did not need much extra baking time. At 50 minutes it seemed about ready. I like the glass baking pan because you can see the color of the bottom to gauge doneness.


I chopped Jonagold apples (I left the peel on), and added raisins and toasted walnuts, plus a generous amount of cinnamon. Delicious -- not just a berry recipe (although it was really good with berries frozen from this past summer).

Pat O

Served this last nite -- 4 large peaches thinly sliced, 3/4 C blueberries. I too like that it did not have as much sugar as others of its kind, which allowed the flavor to be "fruit forward".

We drizzled on a small container of fa*ge 0% plain yogurt mixed with 1 level tablesoon of light brown sugar rather than cream or ice cream. Super flavor!


I have made this recipe several times using x-large muffin tins instead of a cake pan. I follow the recipe to the letter with the exception of the cooking time which is about 30 minutes. My 92 year-old father refers to these muffins as "criminal". The batter is perfectly flavored (oh, the lemon!) and just the perfect "glue" to hold the massive amount of fruit. Blueberries and raspberries are the best combo, IMO. Thank you, Melissa!


Be cautious about adding too many strawberries, which are very juicy. Your addition of shredded coconut may have saved the day because it would tighten up the recipe.

Strawberries may not be the best choice for this recipe because they are so mild in flavor and are so moist. Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries (fresh, if you can, frozen if you have to) really make this recipe pop.


A Buckle is one of the few recipes that works at 9200 feet without any adjustments. This is delightful with peaches or blueberries. I prefer a sprinkle of granulated sugar as it has more taste than the powdered sugar.


Really lovely. I made with frozen blueberries so the recipe was incredibly easy. The cake was packed with fruit.

I kept the leftover cake on a cooling rack, covered by a cloth towel, and the cake did not get at all wet. I bet it would also be possible to cut leftovers up and freeze individual portions.

I'd like a bit more lemon so next time I'll increase the zest.


I would substitute either Arrowhead or King Arthur's all-purpose flour, both of which are rice and tapioca based. Some other gluten-free flour mixtures are bean based, and you can definitely tell the difference. We usually add extra leavening, too, since these flours don't rise as well as wheat.


Huge success. Used 2 fresh peeled peaches (slices) and 1.5 cups of big fresh frozen raspberries (unthawed). Other than that followed the recipe to the letter. Served topped with powdered sugar and everyone loved it on it's own. Can't wait to make again!


Waiting for it to cool-so hard! I used rhubarb & raspberries, both frozen (trying to clean out the freezer!). I used white whole wheat flour which made the batter a bit stiff, so I folded a little plain yogurt into it. Can't wait to cut into it.
PS I would probably use a removable bottom pan next time.


This is delicious but the frozen strawberries definitely kept the center from baking throughout. We still gleefully ate around the gooey center though!


This is so easy and good!! Serve with vanilla ice cream! YUM!!!


A lot of the time I reduce sugar or fats in NYT recipes, but this one is perfect as-is. I might leave out vanilla in a pinch, and the only way I "less-bad-for-you" this one is I switch out half the flour for whole wheat.


This is an easy and delicious recipe. My husband loves pies and I prefer cakes - this is a nice alternative we both enjoy! I've made it for company several times, always a hit. I usually add a bit more fruit than the recipe indicates, which works fine, although the cake is a little more moist (sorry to use that word, although I don't understand what the issue is with it, to be honest!)


So good! I use fresh picked blackberries, a top lemon extract instead of lemon zest, and add a tip cinnamon...cause we LOVE cinnamon.

Lonni Tanner

I was really excited to make this buckle, but not quite as excited to eat it when it came out of the oven. It just wasn't pretty. My heart sank. It definitely didn't look like the picture. Not sure where I went wrong. Followed the directions to a T. It tasted good but I was expecting a showstopper. In any case, I'm glad I only used (had) three cups of blueberries. I envy those of you who could squeeze in more and gobbled this up.


Made this as written with fat blackberries. Honestly felt it was pleasant but not amazing. When we eat dessert we want it to be more fantastic than this. Give me a really good cobbler with intense fruit, plenty of sweetened puddingy juice, and a sweet tender biscuit...


four and 1/2 cups of fresh fruit is way too much IMO. Use 2 cups of blueberries max!

Anna E

Not sure what I did wrong. The batter was very stiff, and the texture of the finished product was like a heavy muffin from a hippie bakery I used to frequent back in the day. Also, way too heavy on the nutmeg (I thought 1/2 tsp seemed like an awful lot, but who am I to question Melissa Clark?) It wasn't terrible -- but it definitely wasn't great, either. Alas.


A bit tart with strawberries. Try blueberries.


A bit tart with strawberries. Try blueberries.

Lauren Fitzgerald

I’ve been looking for a recipe like the beloved NYT plum torte that I could use with other fruit, and this is it! (For me, the problem with using anything but plums for the torte is that I can taste the baking powder. Here, the baking powder is so minimal that I don’t.) I used 4 cups of blueberries and a cup of nectarines. Terrific! Not too sweet, and I’m glad I didn’t script on the sugar as I sometimes do. Next time, I’ll put parchment paper at the bottom of the pan.


I’m sure folks have included this in their comments somewhere, but just in case, I tossed the berries in flour and they remained nicely distributed throughout rather than falling to the bottom. Delicious recipe overall!


So delicious! Easy to make. Looks beautiful. I brought as my contribution to a dinner party. Everyone loved it. I used blueberries, raspberries and a few strawberries.


Made it with Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour, I switched the measurements for baking powder and nutmeg as some suggested, also added 1/2 tsp of baking soda, and used 1/4 cup of white and 1/4 of brown sugar, it turned out perfect, will make again.

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Summer Berry Buckle Recipe (2024)


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