Farmstand Cornbread & Blackberry Buckle

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A twist on a blackberry buckle: easy cornbread cake covered by a blanket of luscious blackberries, topped by oat streusel.

blackberry cornbread buckle summer cake recipe

I’ve had a hankering to make a blackberry buckle for a long time. Every since, in fact, I saw this recipe on Food52 for Blackberry Cornbread Buckle by janeofmanytrade. So, a couple of weeks ago when Carnivorous Maximus and I stopped by a farm stand in the Central Valley selling boxes brimming with fat blackberries, I knew immediately what I would make.

But would they be good enough for this dessert that I’d been planning in my head for, like, a YEAR? After all, the expectations of any dish I make are inversely proportional to how long I procrastinate in actually making it. When I put off making my own hummus for five years, I expected my first go at it to be rock star. Good enough for the Food Network. Giada should be calling me.

So purely in the interest of research, I slipped one of those juicy babies into my mouth when the farm stand operator wasn’t looking, and it softly burst open with warm berry sweetness and just a touch tart. Sold. Money was quickly exchanged (thanks Myles!). I reserved one box just for snacking and morning yogurt. The rest were destined for buckle greatness I would serve at a casual dinner party with friends.

blackberry cornbread buckle

What’s a buckle? Cake batter generously covered with luscious, juicy fruit and finished with a streusel topping. The weight of the fruit buckles the cake as it bakes, creating a very rustic, farmhouse-like cake. It might not win prizes for how it looks, but it’s one of my favorite ways to eat cake in the summer. It’s tender and moist with a burst of fruit. Summer perfection on a plate.

Rustic blackberry cornbread buckle, easy summer cake recipe


Farmstand Blackberry Cornbread Buckle: #SundaySupper BBQ
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe was slightly adapted from Blackberry Cornbread Buckle on Food52 by janeofmanytrades.
Serves: Serves 6
Blackberry Buckle
  • 4 cup fresh blackberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • ¾ tsp ground cardamom
  • 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • 2¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Oat Crumb Topping (below)
Oatmeal Crumb Topping
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
Blackberry Buckle
  1. Combine the blackberries, sugar, lemon zest, rosewater, and cardamom in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10" deep dish pie plate, 10" x 10" pan, or 11" pie plate, and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each egg is completely mixed in before adding the next. You may need to scrape the bowl in between adding the eggs, particularly after the first one.
  4. Whisk the flours and baking powder together to thoroughly distribute the baking powder through the flours. Even though this is a buckle, it's nice to have an even buckling, so to speak. Fold the flour mixture into the batter in thirds using a spatula until combined. Pour in the buttermilk and continue folding until no streaks remain.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the surface. Top the cornbread evenly with the berries. By now, there should be some juices in the berry bowl - make sure you add those too! The berries should cover the entire cake.
  6. Sprinkle the Oat Crumb Topping evenly over the fruit, and bake until a pick comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Because of all the berries, it's good to test the cake in a few areas. This cake is fantastic served warm or cold, but warm is just a little better. And don't forget a scoop of ice cream.
Oatmeal Crumb Topping
  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and toss around with your fingers. Add the butter cubes and rub the ingredients together with your fingers until pea sized crumbs are formed.
This week #SundaySupper celebrates BBQs and we’re all sharing recipes to serve at your next one, whether it’s a small dinner for two or a neighborhood block party BBQ. Big thanks to Jenny of The Messy Baker and Melanie of Melanie Makes blogs for co-hosting us this week! If you’re pulling together a BBQ tonight or anytime soon, we’ve got a bazillion fabulous ideas for you. From beverages (including wine pairing ideas) all the way through dessert, we’ve got you covered here at #SundaySupper. 



Sides and Accompaniments

Main Dishes


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  1. says

    Susan, I’m in love with how you put it: my ideas most definitely fulfill the inverse procrastination-epicness relationship you described! How’d your hummus turn out–was it as rock star as you’d hoped? I once put off these layered brownies for a bajillion months and was horrified when I pulled them out to find layers oozing everywhere over an overbaked crust. Yech! But you really can’t go wrong with a solid buckle, especially this one–looks lovely! It’s great to meet you over here for Sunday Supper!

  2. says

    I just saw that buckle on Food52 the other day and thought that I really need to make it. Your buckle is gorgeous Susan and I bet CM really enjoyed!! I love blackberries and can’t wait for them to show up at the farmers market haven’t seen one berry yet.
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Gluten Free Cherry CrispMy Profile

  3. says

    What a great recipes, I don’t think I have ever had Buckle!! Love when desserts are called funny names. Yours looks great!!

  4. says

    Susan – congrats again on your award-winning huevos rancheros! And it was a pleasure meeting you, albeit brief!

    I love this buckle and am now going to make this for my potluck next week!

  5. says

    Susan, it was such a thrill to meet you…and share dinner last night! I need to make hubby a blueberry dessert and yours looks like a winner!

  6. says

    Susan, I am so bummed I didn’t get a chance to talk with you more at the conference! I can’t believe how quickly the weekend flew by. Too many people to talk to, so little time! I’m glad we had our moment during the photo though. :) It was great to at least say hello face to face! This cake is gorgeous. Pretty sure I would eat it for breakfast.

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