This is a simple cake filled with wild huckleberries and a crunchy crumb topping. If huckleberries are hard to find in your area, blueberries make a fine substitution.
I just got back from the most relaxing week at my family cabin in Idaho. I took at least one nap every day, I read a few books, I built sandcastles and watched the sunset every night over the lake. It was a much needed vacation, free of agenda and to-do lists. Sadly, the week eventually ended and we had to come home.
I didn’t come home empty handed, however. In addition to a car full of sand and a few tanlines, I also brought home a pint of freshly-picked mountain huckleberries.
My sister’s family spent the week with us in Idaho and on our last day we decided to do a little hiking and huckleberry picking. Even the kids were excited about the berry picking (hooray for child labor!).
My sister was generous enough to let me bring most of our bounty home and I immediately plotted to bake them into something special once I was back home in my kitchen. But what recipe would be worthy of my precious huckleberries?
I settled on a buckle. A huckleberry buckle. A hucklebuckle?
A smaller and more tart cousin to the blueberry, the huckleberries were spectacular in this humble but flavorful cake. It was as perfect for dessert as it was for an easy breakfast with a side of coffee the next morning.
I may be back from vacation, but thankfully this huckleberry buckle helped extend it another day.
baking tip:What is a buckle?
A buckle is very similar to a coffee cake. The bottom layer is cake-like with berries or other fruit mixed in, while the top layer is a crumb topping. Alternately, the berries can be layered in between the cake and crumb layers.
For the cake:
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (56 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup whole milk (237 ml)
- 2 cups huckleberries or blueberries (340 grams)
For the topping:
- ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar (106 grams)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (60 grams)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup unsalted butter , melted (56 grams)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter together until combined and creamy. Beat in the egg.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add to the mixer in 3 additions, alternating with the milk and mixing after each. Fold in the huckleberries. The batter will be thick. Spread into the prepared baking pan.
- To prepare the topping, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the cake batter.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs and the topping is golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely, then slice and serve.
54 Comments on “Huckleberry Buckle”
Aww so jelly of your vacation! The idea of relaxing and reading a few books sounds amazing! I’m taking mine in a few weeks and simply can’t wait! Love this buckle as well, friend!
Beautiful ‘Hucklebuckle’, girl! I just love making buckles as they’re so easy and the payoff is huge. Everyone loves ’em and yours looks super tasty, ever so pretty. Glad you enjoyed your relaxing summer vacation, too. Thanks for sharing, m’lady! Pinning (everywhere)! xo
Oh my…this cake totally blows me away! I’d never heard of buckles before but I’m already in love with them! Can’t wait to try this out with huckleberries as well as other summer fruits!
I’m originally from Minnesota and went picking blueberries all the time and always made blueberry buckle, love the stuff.. sharon
Jealous of all that blueberry picking! I wish I had that opportunity here in Utah. Nothing like freshly picked berries!
I live in Idaho and I recently went up to McCall! We got over three gallons of huckleberries! Making your recipe soon! Can’t wait to try it out!❤️
We got SO MUCH this year too! I hope you love this recipe!
Hey, we just moved from Montana to Utah. I have frozen huckleberries from our Montana property, and am making this right now. I’ve added 6 min, 6 more min, and still knife coming out wet. I thought maybe you were low elevation, but you just said you live in Utah! ? what elevation are you? Any idea why I’m having this trouble? Jut added an additional 8 min.
It sounds as though you had an amazing vacation. The naps along sound idyllic! This gorgeous huckleberry buckle will be etched in my mind all week long.
Thanks Dara! I admit, I am missing the naps more than anything else. And I think that it’s a new requirement for every vacay. 🙂
Greetings from Wisconsin!
I went to your website today planning to make Blueberry Hand Pies and was seduced by the buckle. My wife and I just enjoyed it with blueberries and it was completely delicious.
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comment!
I’ve never had hucklberries before, but this is one beautiful buckle! So glad you had a happy and relaxing vacation 🙂
I’ve never made a buckle before but this looks fabulous! Can’t wait to taste this! Too bad huckleberries are not around here, but I froze some local Olallieberries I got from the farmers market. Score!
Score indeed! Except, I don’t even know what Olallieberries are. Oops. What are they similar to?
Olallieberries are a cross between a Loganberry and a Youngberry. Similar to a blackberrie, but sweeter. Grown in California, they are a treat!
Thank you, there are so many berries I have got to try!
I am not familiar with huckle berries, I do not think i can get them in Australia. Could I use fresh currents or blueberries with more lemon or lime to make it tart?
You had such a lovely vacation, you are so lucky to pick such berries and get to back with them.
Huckleberries are similar to blueberries, so they would be a great substitution. But you can use any fruit really. No need to change anything else in the recipe. Have a try with what you have and let me know how it goes!
This looks yummy and fun to say!
I think I giggled several times the first day I came up with this hucklebuckle. So fun to say!
Love anything that’s called a buckle or a slump or anything with sugar and berries! So glad you had a restful time!
I’ve heard of huckleberries but never seen them. They look great, as does your buckle. I love buckles.
I am new to buckles, but completely converted!
This looks amazing and I love Huckleberries!
I’m originally from Idaho….Weiser, not far from McCall.
Do you by chance have a source in the McCall area to
purchase huckleberries by the gallon. Sure do miss them.
I’m sorry, I’m of no help! I occasionally see some in the McCall Farmer’s Market or on the street, but I don’t know how you would get McCall huckleberries without actually going to McCall. So sorry!
Wondering what hike you took to find the huckleberries? We are planning a family reunion in McCall next summer would love to do this.
Hi Nicole! We usually go huckleberry picking in Ponderosa State Park. Many of the trails have huckleberry bushes everywhere. I think the picking season is late July?
Best huckleberry desert I’ve tried in a while. Definitely going to make it again.
Great buckle recipe. Thanks for sharing.
This recipe is really confusing, you mix the sugar and butter together and then it just sits there and it doesnt even say where to put it or what to do with it. Its very confusing and frustrating. Why put a recipe on here if you dont give direct instructions?
Hi Annmarie! So sorry you’re confused. All the steps are there, see Step 3 to add the dry ingredients and liquids to the mixer with the butter and sugar mixture. Hope this helps! 🙂
Turn out good, only my topping didn’t stay as nice and crumble on top like it should have, you say melted butter; should it say that and not just blended in for its firmer or more flour maybe? Thanks for sharing.
I made this with Bob’s gluten free flour blend. Worked great I did have to bake it 20 min longer and then I let it cool in the oven with the door closed. Love this it was an amazing treat. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the feedback! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Just made it and we love it ! The berries literally bursting with flavour and I love their colour. Thank you for sharing
Stumbled upon huckleberries last weekend and picked them not knowing what I’d be making with them.
I found this recipe this morning and bam! Buckle was made and in the oven with fingers crossed it would turn out. Definitely was a success and will be making this again in the future! Flavors are excellent.
Thank you for posting your recipe!!
I live in northwest Montana and have used this recipe many times over the years as makes a great little cake and only uses 2 cups of Huckleberries. The topping enhances those delicious little berries. It’s a wonderful cake recipe. Thank you ?
I’ll be making a number of these cakes this year as we’ve had a bumper crop of Huckleberries due to our rainy spring and plenty of sunshine the past few weeks
This recipe is amazing! Thank you! Ate half a tray.
I had.to cook this 2 times longer than the recipe said, but it is delicious. It is a dense cake.like texture. I dont need quite so much topping .
I came here to say the same thing! It took soooo long to bake. I used a glass baking dish so I’m wondering if that made a difference?
I found out the same thing. That’s when I learned it bakes up so much better and taste still so good in a 9x1e3 pan.
do the berries need to be fresh or can you use frozen? i made this a few years ago and cant remember if fresh or frozen. All i remember is it was amazing!
This is my favorite way to use huckleberries. I just found with this recipe it’s best to use a 9×13 pan.
I should have gone with my gut instinct. Your pan size is way off.
9 ×13 would work better . 2 cups of huckleberries has a lot of moisture.
I made it.It was so good .going to make more soon.It was really easy to make.
I discovered a thicket of huckleberries as I was hiking in the Cascade mountains. I picked enough to make something and found this recipe. It is absolutely delicious! I made the same recipe using gluten-free flour and it came out perfect! It was so hard not to eat the entire pan at once! I can’t wait to go back and pick more berries so I can make this again! It does not disappoint!
So happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe Kim! And I’m happy to hear it turned out so well with GF flour, thanks for leaving that feedback. 🙂
This recipe is absolutely a keeper; everyone loved it and it disappeared very quickly. I didn’t have any whole milk so added some cream to 2%– a good move, actually. I used huckleberries but any tart fruit would be good, I think. Thank you very much!
Can you use frozen huckleberries?
Hi! Can I freeze this with the huckleberry topping already spread on it or is it better to add the topping shortly before serving. Judy Smith
The topping is baked right on top of the cake, so you can add and freeze as is. Let it cool completely, then double wrap in plastic wrap. Thaw in the fridge or on counter.