Bumbleberry Buckle

Carrying on with my theme of Canadian desserts, this berry-laden treat is equal parts fresh and buttery, with an old-fashioned feel.

Bumbleberry pie has long been a favourite of mine. It’s a Canadian mixed-berry pie that originates, as so many of our best recipes do, in the Maritimes. Typically the pie would be made with at least three kinds of berries (if you don’t already know, there is no such thing as a “bumbleberry”) and often also apple or rhubarb. It’s a fresh and summery combo that I thought would combine well with a buckle.

Well, now, what is a buckle? I don’t mean the one on your belt. A buckle in this context is a coffee cake loaded with berries, often blueberries, and topped with streusel. My first experience with blueberry buckle was from an ancient, spiral-bound, well-worn and weathered recipe book that my local public school had published back in the days that my parents were young.

This recipe was developed by combining the concepts of the two. It will have you feeling like summer and ready for strawberry season, which is fast approaching.

Bumbleberry Buckle


  • Cake:
    • 113 g softened butter (1/2 cup)
    • 113 g sugar (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp)
    • 2 eggs
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 155 g flour (1 cup)
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 60 mL milk (1/4 cup)

  • 2 – 3 cups fresh mixed berries (I used strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries)

  • Streusel:
    • 50 g brown sugar (1/4 cup)
    • 50 g white sugar (1/4 cup)
    • 50 g flour (1/4 cup +)
    • 50 g cold butter (1/4 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9 x 9 cake pan with parchment.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. When light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the lemon zest.  
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to sugar/butter mixture, alternating with milk. Stir until just combined. Spread in prepared pan.
  5. Toss mixed berries gently with 1 tablespoon of flour. Scatter on top of cake batter and gently press down into the batter. (Note: frozen berries can be used, but increase baking time accordingly.)
  6. Combine all streusel ingredients in a small bowl, pinching with your fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle over cake and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Serves 9. Make with any combination of berries your heart desires. Would also be delicious with rhubarb.

Published by Aly Writes

I bake. I write. What goes better together than a good story and a delicious fresh-baked pastry? Nothing. And I can give you both. Grab a hot cuppa and join me.

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