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.