Recipe: Cranberry Buckle

A buckle. A Betty. A crisp. A crumble. A grunt. A slump. A cobbler. A pie. A tart. I’m wild about fruit.

Have you figured that out yet? I didn’t even know there were so many types of fruit desserts. The most recent experiment: the buckle.  A buckle is a single layer of cake batter with fruit added to it. The book I have tells me they’re great for breakfast.


Such a dangerous statement. Because I will eat it for dessert and then the next day for breakfast.

The cranberry buckle I blame on a friend. I wanted suggestions for a dinner party and so I handed off my favorite cookbook to let someone else decide what I would make. Did you know it’s hard to get cranberries after Christmastime? Even though they’re apparently in the season? But I found some. And it was so worth it.


We paired this with some vanilla ice cream and I served it as soon as it came out of the oven.

Do you know that silence that takes over a room when you’re eating something truly amazing? Yeah, it’s like that.

Cranberry Buckle
(adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts)

For buckle:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)

For vanilla crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl with the handheld mixer), cream together the butter, sugar, and orange zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream. Fold in half (1 cup) of the cranberries.
  5. For crumb, combine the flour, sugars, and salt in a small bowl. Cut in butter either with a stand mixer (or hands if you’re lazy like me). Drizzle vanilla on top and mix again.
  6. Spread the cake mixture in the pan, then top with the remaining cranberries. Sprinkle with vanilla crumb and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

And don’t forget that ice cream!