Vegan Blueberry Buckle
July 3, 2017

Vegan Blueberry Buckle | The Full Helping

I had lots of ambitious notions about a blueberry dessert I’d make tomorrow, on the 4th of July. I’ll be hanging out with friends who are wonderful cooks and hosts, and I wanted to bring them a dessert that would be seasonal and nice for sharing. In the end I settled on a slab pie, undeterred by the notion of rolling out all that pastry.

Sometimes life interferes with cooking plans, and after a few days of not feeling great–a combination of being a little run down and having low spirits–I decided to take it easy, pivot, and come up with a slightly less involved dessert idea. This is something I’ve learned to do recently: after years of pushing myself to stick to my plans no matter what, I’m learning how to be flexible and come up with a backup plan when my body is asking for rest or TLC. And it’s all good, really, because the simpler dessert idea I came up with is this delicious vegan blueberry buckle.

Vegan Blueberry Buckle | The Full Helping

I picked up a copy of Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson’s Rustic Fruit Desserts earlier this year, as my baking hobby started to blossom. It’s a wonderful book, full of seasonal recipes, clear guidance, and great reverence for iconic American fruit desserts. It’s not vegan, but with a little imagination, many of of the recipes can be veganized, and along the way you’ll learn all about the distinctions between crisps, cobblers, crumbles, slumps, grunts, buckles, and brown betties.

Schreiber describes a buckle as “cake batter poured in a single layer, with berries added to the batter…once baked, the cake has a ‘buckled’ appearance. Think of a buckle as halfway between a cake and a fruit crisp. Buckles are great for breakfast!”

Schreiber has a bunch of buckle recipes in the book, and I used his expert guidance as I whipped up this my vegan blueberry buckle. Buckles are typically topped with some sort of streusel, or crumb, which means that they bear resemblance not only to cake and crisp, but also to streusel cakes. They’re the best of many baked good worlds, and they’re so easy to make.

Vegan Blueberry Buckle | The Full Helping

Vegan Blueberry Buckle

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 9 generous servings

Ingredients

For the crumble topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 1/3 cup light brown or granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter cold and cut into pieces, or solid (cold) coconut oil

For the buckle:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup neutral-tasting vegetable oil such as grapeseed, canola, or safflower
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups 10 ounces blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease and flour an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch square baking pan.
  • To make the crumble topping, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add the butter. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to incorporate the butter into the flour, until the butter is the size of peas. Place the topping in the fridge while you make the cake.
  • To make the cake, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk and vinegar. Stir in the oil and vanilla. Add these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until they’re just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Distribute the blueberries on top of the batter, then sprinkle the crumble topping over the blueberries. Transfer to the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is golden and the crumble topping is browning. Allow the cake to cool for at least 1 hour in the pan before cutting and serving.

Notes

Inspired by buckle wisdom in Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson's Rustic Fruit Desserts.
*In place of wheat flour, you can substitute a tried-and-true, gluten-free flour blend

Vegan Blueberry Buckle | The Full Helping

Blueberries are ideal for buckles, Schreiber notes, because they sink in the batter while also holding their shape. Still, I think you could adapt this recipe to use pretty much any berry, or chopped stone fruits. I may even try it with pear or apple in the fall. It’s difficult to mess the recipe up, especially since a rustic and uneven surface is point.

You can make the buckle at the last moment and serve it warm, or you can make it a day in advance, cover it, and store it in a cool and dry spot. Serve it with a big scoop of creamy vegan vanilla ice cream, some sweet cashew cream, or extra fresh berries. I haven’t tried it for breakfast yet, but I’m definitely not opposed to that idea 🙂 There will be plenty of opportunity to make pies galore later this summer, but for now, I’m so happy to have this versatile, fruit-filled cake/crisp hybrid on my hands.

Enjoy, and happy 4th of July to you all. Later this week, a new (savory) breakfast recipe that I’m super excited about.

xo

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    27 Comments
  1. Greetings! Would this work with fresh, diced strawberries? Would I need to thicken them with syrup and/or starch? Thank you!

  2. This was delicious! Thank you so much for such a great recipe! The only change I made was to change the oil to applesauce and it turned out perfect.

    • I find it freezes very well. Each time I make it,I keep half out and freeze the other half. Even a month later, the frozen half is still ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!

    • I think the blueberries might get a little soggy as it defrosts, but it would definitely still taste great, and the texture of the cake itself will be fine.

  3. 5 stars
    Well, this recipe is a wonder! I tried it yesterday and it turned out PERFECT!!!! I love it so much! It tastes exactly as it should, not too moist, not too dry! My mum loved this! Thank you so much for this recipe Gena!

  4. 5 stars
    Welp this was fantastic!!! I made a healthier crumble topping with 1/3 cup almond meal (leftover from homemade almond milk, which I used in the batter), 1/2 cup of oats (love oats!!!), sucanat (also in the batter) and plenty of Miyoko’s vegan butter. I am already thinking of lots of variations, like a fall one that swaps the oil for canned pumpkin in the batter, adds pecans to the crumble, and uses cranberries instead of blueberries. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe-just what I was looking for. I’ve already printed it off and will use it over and over…at home though, I don’t want to share it! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    What an incredible recipe! I made it for a picnic for 5 people. It was all gone within 30 minutes. Since I didn’t have any “neutral tasting oil” I use 3 TB coconut oil. I also added 2 TB flaxmeal. I made a second batch the next day which was just as delicious. Thank you 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you for introducing me to the buckle!
    I have made this twice now with a few tweaks each time – it has turned out amazing and is very forgiving!! Made a mixed berry version for the 4th of July and more recently tried using frozen raspberries and regular WW flour (I added an egg to that version since it was going to be denser, but that made it not vegan).
    Definitely going to keep this recipe in my pocket for easy desserts, warm or at room temperature – it was also lovely with coffee for a midmorning snack 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    I went blueberry picking yesterday and made this fantastic cake. I followed the recipe exactly, used all purpose flour, and it came out perfectly. Would love to try this with other berries.

  9. This was excellent. The only change I made was to use a 1/3 cup of applesauce in place of the oil. It worked wonderfully. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. So happy to hear you gave yourself a little TLC when you needed too girl, so so great! And this blueberry buckle looks AMAZING. So “buttery” and berry-licious, exactly how I want to enjoy my berries this time of year. Plus anything that warrants the addition of a scoop of ice cream is automatically a favorite ;). Hope your spirits are high this (short) work week and already are getting jazzed for the weekend friend! BUG HUGS.

  11. Pretty in love with these buckles! All about the rustic/simple dessert- I tend to get overwhelmed last minute and wish I picked a simpler item when cooking for a crowd. These look as tasty as they do festive!

  12. 5 stars
    My blackcurrants are in full ripening mode at the moment, and this looks like an interesting variant on my crumble slice, so I’ll be making it at the weekend:) I’m glad you are looking after yourself. Do take care x

  13. Except for the part where i have to turn on the oven this sounds fantastic…! Hahaha, my AC just isn’t as strong as yours must be 😉
    I’ve flagged this to make later in the summer when i visit CA and there are backyard blackberries to use and less intense weather to deal with