Aunt Barbara's Blueberry Buckle

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A few years back, I had lofty hopes of delivering a beautifully bound collection of recipes to my high school friend Lisa for her wedding. 

Lisa is quite the home cook, so I thought this kind of heartfelt gesture perfect for them.  

So, I assumed the task of writing to all of the wedding guests, asking them to send me a keepsake for Lisa and Luke. The e-mails came rolling in one after another with recipes and personal messages to the bride and groom.  

One in particular stood out: Luke’s cousin’s recipe, passed to her from aunt Barbara — a blueberry buckle. 

Hmm. Buckle.  Never had a buckle.  Never made a buckle.  

Inspecting the recipe, I deduced quickly this buckle thing was potentially divine.  Crumble topping and fruity cake.  I flagged it in my mental Rolodex.  

I started formatting all the recipes and then poof, my computer died.  

Did I back up the edits?  Nope.  Months passed, life happened, work happened and then the wedding happened.  “I’d get around to reediting those 50 some odd recipes,” I thought.  

Then one day, Lisa and I were having a drink.

“Danielle,” she began.  

“Uh. Oh,” I thought.

“So, I’ve been getting these phone calls from random family members asking if I got this amazing recipe book that my friend Danielle put together,” she said.

If I were standing, I’d have shuffled a little.  “Well, I have these recipes people sent me, but I lost all my edits so I have to redo them,” I began to say.

“Just e-mail them to me.  It’s ok,” Lisa said. “It’s fine, you can just send them.”

I was resistant.  I’d make that book by golly.  

“No, no, I’ll give it you at some point the next few weeks,” I said.

Well, another five months passed with no edits and no book. My awful habit of procrastination finally caught up with me — someone noticed.   The shame.  Oh, the shame.

After another bashful meeting with Lisa, I could tell I’d better send those recipes, unedited.  Tail between legs, I started searching my inbox for Lisa and Luke’s recipes.  

And there it was again, that madly delicious looking buckle. 

Summer was coming and so were blueberries.  

Time to go to work.  I made the buckle once and it was divine.

The intoxicating smell of brown sugar and butter and bubbling, oozy blueberries was impossible to ignore.  Doubling the brown sugar topping and adding some more blueberries, the recipe was perfect.

Thanks to Liz’s aunt Barbara, this little ditty has graced many a party for the past 5 years. Get yourself to a farmer’s market for some seasonal blueberries and let us know how it goes!



2/3  cup brown sugar

2/3  cup flour

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces



2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 egg, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup whole milk

3 cups blueberries


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Have a greased and floured 9” cake pan ready.

Mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside.

Blend flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl with a whisk.

In another bowl, cream sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla on medium speed using a handheld mixer or standing mixer.

Add alternately the milk and flour to the creamed mixture in 1/3’s, ending with the flour and making sure not to overmix.

Fold in the berries.  Pour batter into pan.

Sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester or tooth pick come out clean.  Allow to cool slightly and remove from pan.