Blueberry Buckle

I discovered this blueberry buckle coffee cake, with its buttery streusel topping, fluffy, soft texture, and unapologetic amount of fresh blueberries while on an office food prowl. I swooped in for what I thought was a sneak bite, then ended up sitting down and finishing nearly the entire pan—this was and still is the best blueberry coffee cake recipe I’ve ever tried.

The BEST Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake recipe — Ultra moist and fluffy, with an irresistible cinnamon streusel topping and berries in every bite! @wellplated

Back in my days working in a large corporate office, I was the master of free office food. I knew that the tenth-floor printing station became a doughnut hot spot from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and that the sixth floor had an epic candy bowl. Floor two, last-row-file cabinet was a sure thing for Costco sheet cake. Friday morning bagels were guaranteed on almost every floor—usually Panera, but every now and then, someone would splurge for Einstein Brothers. Good morning!

When pilfering treats from around the office, I tried to be coy in my trappings—a cookie here, a Snickers bar there—but when I tasted this blueberry buckle recipe, it was so outrageously delicious, I plopped down at a conference room table and polished off the rest.

I think it was the walnut-studded streusel topping that got to me.

Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake - ultra moist, full of juicy blueberries, and loaded with buttery cinnamon and streusel! This is the BEST blueberry coffee cake I’ve ever tried! @wellplated

Or could it have been the moist, tender cake crumb, which is so filled with blueberries, you’ll find one in every juicy, sweet bite?

This blueberry buckle is the BEST blueberry coffee cake recipe I’ve ever tried! Bursting with juicy berries, loaded with cinnamon streusel topping, and it’s easy to make too! @wellplated

Now, before you accuse me of ripping off an entire blueberry buckle coffee cake from a complete stranger, I should tell you that it was my friend Michael’s. Admittedly, 1) I didn’t exactly ask Michael’s permission to decimate his leftovers and 2) Even if I didn’t know Michael, I probably would have done the exact same thing.

Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel Topping — ultra moist and fluffy with so many berries! Eat it for breakfast AND dessert! @wellplated

This is truly the best blueberry coffee cake recipe. It’s easy to make, has just the right ratio of berries to cake to crumb topping, and the flavor is lively with notes of cinnamon and lemon zest.

When researching the differences between a “blueberry buckle” and a “blueberry coffee cake,” what I found was that most recipes titled “blueberry buckle” are baked in an 8×8-inch pan (EASY), have a texture that is a cross between a denser pound cake and a crumblier muffin, and, most importantly, boast a hefty amount of butter crumb streusel topping.

The two names are often used interchangeably. Honestly, as long as there is crumb topping and berries, I am in for several slices, whatever you prefer to call it.

Fortunately for all of us, Michael (who, for the record, called this a blueberry coffee cake) was generous with the recipe, and I’m delighted to share my version of it with you today. Tweaks include my usual healthy substitutions: applesauce for oil, a little extra whole wheat flour, and I pumped up the nut-factor in the streusel topping, because I’m a sucker for the toasty walnut crunch.

The BEST Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake. With lemon zest, cinnamon, and the BEST brown sugar streusel topping. Every bite bursts with berries and the cake is so moist and tender. AMAZING! @wellplated

Please try this blueberry buckle recipe. Dive into the toasty walnut lid and enjoy a big bite of tender, warm coffee cake that bursts with berries and sweetness. Should you be so generous as to bring leftovers to the office, share them wisely. You never know when a master office food scavenger might carry it away to a conference room.

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The Best Blueberry Coffee Cake

Tender, crumbly, bursting with plump blueberries, and topped with a toasty brown-sugar walnut lid, this is truly the best blueberry coffee cake recipe.

Yield: 1 8x8-inch pan (9 large slices)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Blueberry Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (I recommend aluminum free)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (If using frozen, rinse with water for 1 minute, then drain off excess liquid)
  • Zest of 1 small or 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon non-fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

For the Crumb Streusel Topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8×8 inch pan with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, then coat once more. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold in blueberries and lemon zest.
  3. In small, separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and applesauce. Add to the flour and blueberry mixture. Stir by hand with a wooden spoon, just until combined. The batter will be very thick. Scrape into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  4. Prepare the crumble topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. With a fork (or your fingers), cut in the butter, combining until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the walnuts.
  5. Sprinkle crumble mixture evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days or tightly wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight.

All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (of 9)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 200
  • Total Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 21mg
  • Sodium: 128mg
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Protein: 5g

If you like this Blueberry Buckle recipe, don’t miss these other great blueberry treats!

Overnight Blueberry Coconut French Toast Bake

Overnight Blueberry Coconut French Toast Bake

Skinny Banana Blueberry Bars. I can't believe these are lightened up!

Skinny Banana Blueberry Bars

The best ever blueberry muffins! You'll love this healthy blueberry muffin recipe made with oats and cinnamon

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

54 comments

  1. oooo the lemon sounds like it ties this all together — looks amazing!

  2. I totally appreciate your healthy swaps in the recipe! Normally when I see a coffee cake recipe, I have to mentally make so many changes that I’m not even sure it’ll taste the same any more ;-) This looks so tasty as-is, so I’m glad you’ve done all the swapping for me

  3. Coffee Cake is my weakness. My favorite breakfast place always has it as a daily special in a wide variety of flavors. But the fact that you swapped out some of the unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones, I can have two slices without guilt! So excited to try this recipe.

  4. Can’t get enough of blueberries! This looks like a tasty recipe.

  5. I wish my office had some of this sitting around! I’d kill the whole pan too!

  6. I LOVE coffee cake and with added blueberries…my mouth is watering as we read this. I am definitely saving this recipe!!!

  7. Oh my goodness! You’ve almost made me wish I worked in an office again. You made me laugh as back when I worked in the Accounting Department I would make my rounds at just the appropriate times too. Today though, those carbs would do a number on my waistline… ahhh, the difficulties of being over 40!
    Occasionally though the coffee cake is just what the body ordered, and this one looks to be a winner!

    • Kim, I laughed outloud when I read “make my rounds.” That is the perfect phrase to describe it! A girl’s gotta take the office perks where she can find them. As far as carbs, maybe just a small piece? ;-)

  8. Looks delicious!!! I’ll take a slice please :)

  9. Lol you are too funny! Sometimes I’m totally tempted to do that with a box of doughnuts abandoned in the kitchen…so good thing you polished off something healthy–blueberries = health right?–rather than a box of Krispy Kremes ;) This sounds totally delish!

    • Erika, you are reading my mind. Blueberries = three+ slices. Does the same logic count if it’s a strawberry-filled doughnut? Please say yes!

  10. haha you would love where i work….food all over the place which seriously is killer sometimes when you are trying not to snack…i do love a good coffee cake…and your saying BEST…i’ve now pinned and can’t wait to make!

    • Oh I would be out of control in your office for sure Angela! Glad you like the look of the recipe. Please let me know what you think. I’d love your verdict!

  11. Mmmmm coffee cake. I’ve never had blueberry coffee cake but I can imagine how perfect this must be!

  12. Mmmmm, Erin! Blueberries make anything a little brighter and better!

  13. I love coffee cake and while I’ve had all sorts of it before, I’m not sure I’ve ever tried a bluberry version. This looks wonderful Erin!

    • Thanks Sally! The plump berries have me dreaming of summer already. Probably my favorite kind (thanks to the berrys and the brown-sugar cinnamon topping too, of course)

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  15. Wait, so is this the *best* blueberry cake? ;)

    It looks amazing! love your healthy changes. I really want to try this! And I wish we had free office food. For a while, I brought stuff, but I was the only one and they were so greedy that it bothered me and I stopped. Jerks…

    Anyway, awesome cake!

    • Thanks Erin! And not cool about the lack of office food love. If it’s any consolation, ours can be hit or miss–last week someone brought in leftover hamburger buns. I’ll stick with the coffee cake, thank you very much.
      Glad you like the look of the recipe! And yes, best for sure ;-p

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  17. Hi Erin- I googled “whole grain blueberry coffee cake” and your recipe fit *most* of the ingredients I had available. It was sort of a trick trying to find a recipe that didn’t require much milk or plain yogurt- as I didn’t have much of either. So I just made the cake. Used 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of organic french vanilla yogurt… That was a sub for applesauce since I had none. And it worked! It is the most delicious cake I’ve ever made! Just wanted to thank you for the recipe- delicious!

    • Jenny! This comment made my day! I am so, so happy that you loved this coffee cake. Yogurt is a great ingredient to substitute for applesauce (I use it in cakes all the time) and I’m sure it was just perfect. Yay for coffee cake! Thanks for taking time to share your review too!

  18. I think blueberries lend themselves very well to whole wheat flour. And I always add lemon to blueberries. I’m definitely trying this. I may try some swaps too…buttermilk for the milk, brown sugar for the white sugar, a bit of oatmeal in the topping.

    • Sounds like a winner to me Patti! And I totally agree: blueberry + lemon are meant to be, and I bet the oatmeal would make the topping extra crunchy and yummy. Hope you love it!

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  20. Searched online for whole wheat blueberry coffee cake. Made this for overnight guests. DEFINITELY a keeper! Thanks!

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  22. Think that I will bake this treat this week. Especially bec. it is so frigid here in RI. Yes I froze blueberries last summer.

    • Susan, you are so on top of it! Love that you have summer-fresh blueberries ready for baking. If you end up trying this coffee cake, I’d love to hear what you think. Hope you enjoy every bite :)

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  24. I can’t wait to try this! I have at least 10 gallon bags of blueberries frozen from last summer so I’ve been in search of blueberry recipes. I have a couple of questions though — Do I still need to rinse the blueberries if I rinsed them and froze them individually originally (they’re not a clumpy mess — it’s like a bag full of little marbles)? Or is the goal of the rinsing to defrost them a bit? Also, my daughter has a severe nut allergy as well as a severe milk allergy. Will the topping be okay if I leave out the nuts? Can I substitute coconut milk for the milk, or will I need to add fat in some way? (I’ve been having good luck using coconut milk as a substitute for milk in muffin recipes.) Final question — my blueberries are huge. They’re high bush berries, and an extra-large variety. Will that be okay? Many thanks! Keep the blueberry recipes coming!

    • Hi Ellen! I am so excited that you want to try this recipe. It is my absolute favorite coffee cake! Your questions are all great ones.
      -Rinsing: The idea with rinsing the blueberries is to defrost them a little. I find that it helps keep them from bleeding into the batter quite as much.
      -Nuts: you are totally fine to leave them out! If you wanted, you could try putting a little oatmeal in the topping to add some crunch instead
      -Milk: The purpose of the milk in this recipe is for moisture more so than fat, so coconut milk would be totally fine. I think soymilk almond milk are great alternatives too.
      -Berry size: There is nothing like a big, fat, juicy blueberry! I would just toss them with a tablespoon of flour before you fold them into the batter to keep them all from sinking to the bottom. They might sink a little anyway, but they will still taste great.
      I hope that helps and that you love the recipe! Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy :-)

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  27. Your writings about office food amused me. Whenever there is an all-staff email about leftovers from a meeting, it’s a full stampede. We’re buying blueberries in bulk here (I love you Costco), a new favorite food of Genevieve’s, and this buckle would be such a tasty weekend treat!

  28. Hi Erin, I’ve been looking for the perfect Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe forever! I think I’ve found it, thanks to you! 

  29. hey girl this looks so yummy!

  30. This looks awesome! I love how you used white whole wheat flour, skim milk, and applesauce to lighten it up :)

  31. I fell in love with the picture and bought the blueberries when we got home from a long weekend today. This is on the menu tomorrow night. Thanks for the healthy swaps — my mouth watered just looking at the pictures you took!

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