Maple Blueberry Buckle

There is no doubt about. Blueberry Buckle is one of the greatest things ever invented.

No other dessert has the same name as a structural failure as well as something that attaches to my belt.

What is great about a buckle is that its the perfect marriage of cake, pie, and cobbler. You got the fruit you associate with pies, you got a crumble topping that you associated with cobbler, and it is all in the package of a cake – the kind you would want to eat with your coffee.

Yeah buckle is pretty perfect. I have been making Alton Brown’s Blueberry Buckle every blueberry season for several years now. It has become a tradition.

So I am here today to say that I am screwing with tradition. And at the same time trying to top Alton Brown’s recipe. Sacrilegious you say. I would say I am simply trying to make good eats (notice the lowercase letters to apply I am not referring specifically to the Food Network show with the same name 🙂 )

Look at the beautiful blueberries just waiting to be picked. This shot was taken at Dexter Blueberry Farm, near Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Picking My Own Blueberries

I am very fortunate to live in a great fruit state. Here in Michigan we have the opportunity to pick our own fruit throughout the late spring and summer. So far this year I have already picked strawberries, Saskatoon berries, mulberries, tart cherries, apricots, and blueberries.

Michigan is one of the top blueberry producing states in the nation. I have plenty of options to go to pick my own. We love to take the kids picking as it is some of the most kid friendly u-picking your going to do. The kids can reach the fruit standing up without the need for a ladder. There are also no thorns to worry about.

When I made this buckle, you can be sure I used the freshest blueberries that I picked with my hands with the help of the kids.

Just look at all those blueberries!

Adding Maple to Blueberry Buckle

So you may be wondering how I improved on a great blueberry buckle recipe. Maple is the answer. My good friends at Mohawk Valley Trading Company sent me some of their maple syrup as well as their maple sugar. I decided to use the maple syrup in the streusel  topping for the blueberry buckle. The maple sugar i used in the batter.

This maple sugar is so good. You can use it to sweeten anything you like while adding flavor – something regular white sugar can never do.

Replacing White Sugar with Maple Sugar

The advantage of maple sugar as opposed to syrup is that you can add it to baked goods without it messing with the amount of liquid. If you use syrup you have to adjust the amount of liquid you use. Most people online suggest using less maple sugar than you would white sugar. I wanted my buckle to have a strong maple flavor, so ignored all that advice and used it 1:1. If you want you could easily do 1/2 maple sugar and 1/2 white sugar.

The maple syrup and maple sugar really turn this already great blueberry buckle recipe into some extraordinary.

A Better Buckle

Alton Brown’s recipe is good, not doubt about it. But sorry Alton, I like mine even better. The maple sugar gives more depth to the cake. The topping I made with the maple syrup was more flavorful by far and it browned better in the oven. Alton’s topping is rather light in color. The cake is done before it get really than brown. Who would have thought I could make a browner cake than the man who has brown in his name!

Maple Blueberry Buckle

A take on Alton Brown's Blueberry Buckle with maple syrup and maple sugar


  • 9 ounces cake flour don't substitute AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 5 1/4 ounces maple sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 15 ounces blueberries

For the topping

  • 4 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated please
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup darker, the better
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter cubed
  • pinch kosher salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Liberally spray a 9-inch square glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

To make the batter

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger. 

  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the room temperature butter and the maple sugar. Use your paddle attachment and cream the butter and sugar on medium speed til light and fluffy, should take about 60 seconds.

  3. Reduce the speed and add your egg, mix to just combine.

  4. With the mixing running on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk until everything is added and the batter just comes together. Don't overmix.

  5. Turn the mixer off, and gently stir in the blueberries. Pour the mixture in into your glass baking dish.

To make the topping

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, and nutmeg. 

  2. Add the cubed butter into the bowl. With your hand work in the butter until it resembles a coarse cornmeal. 

To bake the buckle

  1. Sprinkle the topping over the batter. Bake in the center of your oven for 40-45 mintues or until browned and a tooth pick comes out clean.

  2. Allow to cool for a half hour before consuming.


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