Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle

Due to their intense color, balanced flavor, and unique texture, blueberries are my favorite fruit for baking. And when it comes to baking, you can’t beat a buckle, an old-fashioned streusel-topped blueberry coffee cake.

Although I may be a loyal cobbler fan, I think it’s high time Americans rediscover the art of the buckle.

Weights are given where it matters and, yes, metric is better. All volume measurement are approximate.

This recipe first appeared in Season 11 of Good Eats.

Blueberry Buckle


  • 99 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 43 grams (1/3 cup) cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled


  • 255 grams (2 cups) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 149 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 425 grams (3 cups) fresh blueberries


  1. Combine the sugar, flour, and nutmeg in a small bowl then work in the butter, using a fork or pastry cutter to combine. Work until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Set aside.


  1. Heat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a 9-inch square glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and ginger together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Reduce the speed a bit and thoroughly incorporate the egg. Reduce speed to low and add one-third of the flour mixture. Once incorporated, add one-third of the milk then repeat alternating until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Gently stir in the blueberries and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle on the topping mixture.
  5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until golden, about 45 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Yield: 1 (9-inch) Cake

Active time: 35 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Alton Brown's Blueberry Buckle Recipe


Add yours
  1. 1

    I made this gluten free with King Arthur 1:1 baking mix. Plus I used goat milk. It is wonderful!! Blueberry Buckle is a BIG thing and I learned to make it in Maine from locals. This is a great recipe!!

  2. 2

    This is widely touted as Alton Brown’s best recipe. I unfortunately must disagree. Once the regular home chef gets past the annoying weight measurements (in my opinion, unless you’re baking bread, the recipe should not be so precious that you have to break out the scale for it to taste good), the ginger and the nutmeg both impart a rather odd flavor. Not better in any way, just odd. I love blueberries and I love coffee cake and I thought this would be somewhere in that realm. To me, it just tastes strange. Look up Fifteen Spatulas’ modification of this recipe – it’s much more approachable and far more delicious. To be clear, I have no connection to whoever runs the site Fifteen Spatulas whatsoever – I just found the modification and thought it was much much better than this recipe.

  3. 3
    Dawn VB

    This is the best recipe I have ever found online. If you follow it perfectly, the results are stunning. (invest in a scale and weigh your flour, sugar, etc!! it makes a big difference!) I am just amazed at how this turned out. I am not even a fan of buckles. (now I am )

  4. 4

    I made this and it is great. I had to use a metal 9×9 though so the bottom is a little brown I can’t find a 9×9 glass baking dish. All I find is 8×8. Can someone tell me where I can find one please.

  5. 5
    Debra Kline

    I love all these tips & variations! Can’t wait to make it. I want to add or replace some flour with something like almond flour or coconut flour… & some of the sugar with Xylitol or erythritol. I wonder if it’ll work? Great way to get lots of blueberries in us for all those health benefits! I love his recipe for blueberry soda too.

  6. 6

    This is currently in the works. I’m using gf flours so it’s necessary to let the dough rest before baking. I’m really surprised by all the measurement complaints, first it’s an Alton Brown recipe so you should expect the measurements to be precise and a little weird, second you’re baking so you should be measuring instead of going by cups anyway. For pastry flour if you don’t have any you can make it by adding 2T of corn starch and removing 2T of flour per cup or 4.5ounces or 128g then sift twice to get the fineness of pastry flour. You can use the same measurements to make powdered sugar btw, just blend in blender or pulse in food processor instead of sifting. Fingers crossed this turns out! First go at a GF version

  7. 7
    Colleen Berkenbaugh

    I made this exactly as written and it was great. A basic kitchen scale costs about $15 and it’s worth it, if you want to get into baking (or use it for portion control like I do.) Even as a beginner baker, this recipe was easy. I made this twice -the first batch for work and the second was for at home. The second run through only took about 35 minutes (including clean up!) plus the bake time. I loved the hint of nutmeg. The second time around, I made it with 10 ounces of blueberries and 5 of raspberries and it worked perfectly. I think a little bit of lemon zest would work well, too.

  8. 8

    I made this recipe and it was ok. Thankfully I have a scale to make sense of the weird measurements in oz vs cups. I never found myself second guessing everything more than making this recipe. I think it could’ve used a little more sugar to make it a little sweeter. Will probably remove this from my pinterest.

  9. 9

    I love Alton, so I mean no offense when I say that I was not at all a fan of the way this recipe turned out. Especially since it has been billed elsewhere as his BEST recipe. I wouldn’t make this one again personally.

  10. 10

    The recipe calls for a 9in glass baking dish, but most standard baking dishes are 8in x 8in 2qt. Will it fit in an 8in dish or will it overflow and should I leave some batter out?

  11. 11

    Made it as directed and it was absolutely fabulous! Next time—and there will definitely be a next time—I’ll replace the nutmeg and ginger with cinnamon.

  12. 13
    Christina Castillo

    Ounces is a measure of weight, versus cups being a measure of volume. You really shouldn’t convert the two as if 4 ounces is a half cup, as different ingredients weigh differently! 10/10 get a scale. It has revolutionized my baking, and ensures I get precise results! (Scales are especially important if you’re ever looking to make things like macarons and certain breads)!

  13. 14

    Here are the measurements I used. I think the ounces aren’t always an easy conversion: the sugar and flour convert differently. In the topping: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cake flour. In the cake: 2 cups cake flour, 3/4 cup sugar. I did the cornstarch sub (replace 2Tb per cup of flour with corn starch) to create cake flour. It turned out amazing!

  14. 15

    I’m going to make this – but way to complicate things when you want to 1.5 times the recipe plus have to translate ounces to cups. Other than prof bakers, who bakes w/ounces??

  15. 16

    This recipe can totally be Veganise… do Flax egg, use none dairy milk. Also apple sauce works as egg substitute. Also use Vegan butter.

  16. 18

    I don’t have a scale to measure in ounces. So do I just measure in measuring cups, example 4 ounces would be 1/2 cup. Can’t wait to try this, looks delicious! Thanks!

  17. 20
    Rhonda Smith

    You can substitute cake flour by taking out 2 tbsp per cup and adding 2 tbsp cornstarch. 2 tbsp = 1/8 cup, so if you need 2 cups cake flour, use 1 3/4 cup all purpose and 1/4 cup cornstarch.

  18. 21

    We are in the middle of a Pandemic. Regular flour hard to find let alone pastry or cake flour. What kind of adjustment to the recipe would be needed if one were to use all purpose flour?

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