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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Tools I used to make this recipe:
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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