Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

Cherry buckle with Almond Crumb


Desserts. Oh how I love thee. Unfortunately, I’m trying to eat healthier at the moment and so I’m not really eating desserts, but at least I can look back on beautiful desserts like this and remember. And boy do I remember. This was so delicious. It tastes like winter and wonderful.

(Is that a weird descriptor? I need another cup of tea this morning.) (Man I wish I had a slice of this cake to go with my tea.) (Or a cookie. I don’t think I’m a person that is meant to cut back on carbs.)

Cherry Buckle with Almond CrumbleThis recipe comes from the wonderful cookbook, Rustic Fruit Desserts. In the past, I’ve made Mimi’s German Apple Cake from this book and just loved it. I love too many apple cakes to have a favorite, but Mimi’s is just wonderful. Every time I make an apple cake, that latest one becomes my favorite until I make a different one. But Mimi’s is beautiful and simple and you should just go make it. That is really all there is to it.

… But that’s not the recipe I’m talking about today. I’m talking about this Buckle with Crumb topping. This cake was dense. It was rich and not fooling around. Now, below I’ve provided the original recipe for the cake, but in real life, that isn’t what I made. Why you may ask? Because I couldn’t for the life of me find any cranberries when I went shopping for this cake. Not fresh, not frozen. I guess people only care about cranberries around the holidays. So what did I do? Did I give up and find a new recipe? Of course not! I’m not a quitter! I decided to get creative. I used dark frozen bing cherries. I’m sure the original recipe would have been more tart than the one I made, but I have to say, the cherries were delicious in this.

And then you ask, why does the title say Almond Crumb and the recipe below is for Vanilla Crumb? Well, what can I say? Sometimes I don’t plan things as well as I should. By the time I got to this dessert, I had already used all the vanilla in my cabinet for the Lemonsweet. So, being the innovative person that I am, I used almond extract instead, making it an Almond Crumb.
Cherry Buckle with Almond CrumbSo below is the original recipe for Cranberry Buckle with Vanilla Crumb, but if you want to be like me, you’ll substitute cherries for cranberries and almond extract for vanilla. Is it what was intended? Maybe not, but this is a book about rustic fruit desserts, so I like to think that Cory and Julie would appreciate my making do of a challenging situation. Make it whichever way you want, I’m sure both would be delicious, but what I know is that I am looking forward to using the rest of the Almond Crumb in my freezer and I thought this cake was delicious.

So there.

Cranberry Buckle with Vanilla Crumb

From: Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson

Vanilla Crumb

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 TB vanilla extract

Combine flour, sugars, salt, and butter in a food processor or stand mixer. Combine on low speed until the texture of coarse crumbs. Drizzle the vanilla over the mixture and mix briefly to distribute vanilla.

Storage: Use the topping immediately, or store it in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Cranberry Buckle with Vanilla Crumb

  • 1 TB butter, for pan
  • 1 cup Vanilla Crumb
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9 inch square baking pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Using a mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest together on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the sour cream in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in one cup of the cranberries.

Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Distribute remaining 1 cup cranberries over the cake and sprinkle the crumb topping over the cranberries.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm on top.


Photographs by Jessica Yager


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