Buckle cakes are the ultimate summer cake. They’re a quick and delicious way to use up all of the juicy stone fruit on your counter and the lingering nuts in your cabinet.
The layers of moist cake, ripe fruit and sweet streusel will have your family begging for a new buckle cake for every fruit. And as luck may have it, buckle cakes are infinitely adaptable and make the absolute best canvas for whatever fruit you’ve got on hand.
This cherry buckle cake, though, is extra special. It’s studded with sweet summer cherries and the nutty undertones of dark rye flour, and it’s topped with thick crumbles of brown sugar walnut streusel.
It’s sort of like coffee cake, but with a juicy layer of ripe cherries inside and therefore way better than any coffee cake I’ve ever had. But the fruit and the coffee cake similarities make it a total breakfast cake, and that’s what really matters.
Definitely make this cherry buckle and save some for breakfast the next day. The cherries soak into the crumb and create the most delicious sweet tart union. It’s a cake that is so worthy of fresh cherries– and the time it takes to pit them!
what is a buckle cake?
A buckle cake consists of a bottom layer of soft cake, a middle layer of fruit and a top layer of streusel. The weight of the fruit and streusel causes the batter to rise up and “buckle” on the surface, which is how the cake gets its name. To get an extra dimpled looking cake, skip the streusel all together.
Beyond that broad definition, buckle cakes are endlessly adaptable and provide a great opportunity to showcase seasonal fruit and flavors. You can play with any kind of cake base (think different grains, spices, sweeteners, etc). Any fruit that can be baked can be used in buckle cakes. And you can have endless fun with the streusel topping (nuts, seeds, sugars, oats, etc). I’d love to hear what you come up with!
how to make a cherry buckle:
- Whisk flours and baking powder together, then set aside
- Cream butter and sugar together
- Mix in egg, buttermilk and vanilla
- Mix in dry ingredients until just combined
- Pour batter into parchment paper-lined springform pan
- Top with cherries, arranged cut side down
- Top with walnut streusel
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F, lower the temperate to 325°F and bake another 50 minutes
- Let cool completely, remove from pan and enjoy!
what type of rye flour should I use in this buckle cake?
There are 3 main types of rye flour: light (or white), medium and dark (or whole).
- Light rye has the bran and germ fully removed and is the rye grain equivalent to all-purpose flour.
- Medium rye has some of the bran and germ removed.
- Dark rye is the whole grain version of rye flour and it retains all of the bran and all of the germ. This means it packs a lot of flavor, but it can be dense and tough if too much is used.
I use the dark rye in this cherry buckle because I love the texture and flavor it adds.
But you can use any type of rye flour in this cherry buckle. In fact, you can even try other flours as long as you keep the quantities the same as in the recipe below.
can I substitute other fruit for cherries?
Yes! This buckle cake is delicious with all kinds of stone fruit– plums, peaches and nectarines all come to mind. You can also use fresh or frozen berries without problem. Stick with fruit that is juicy and bakes well (I probably wouldn’t try watermelon, for example).
a few tips on this cherry buckle cake:
- If you don’t have buttermilk, combine 1/2 cup whole milk with 2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes. The milk will be thick when it’s ready to use.
- For a simple and more fruit forward cake, skip the streusel and admire the beautiful dimpled surface of a plain cherry buckle.
- You can skip the rye flour all together and use 100% all purpose flour. You can also substitute whole wheat flour, oat flour, or barley flour in place of the rye if you prefer.
cherry rye buckle cake with walnut streusel
This buckle cake is studded with sweet summer cherries and the nutty undertones of dark rye flour, then it’s topped with thick crumbles of brown sugar walnut streusel.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 65 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
cherry rye buckle cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark rye flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp fine salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- In a small bowl, combine butter, sugar, salt and flour and blend with your fingers until combined. Mix in nuts. Cover and chill while you make the cake batter.
cranberry rye buckle cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch cake or springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine all-purpose flour, rye flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar and cream with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy, 3- 5 minutes. Beat in egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract until combined (mixture may look curdled, that’s fine). Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and arrange the cherries in an even layer on the surface, cut side down. Sprinkle cherries with lemon juice then crumble the walnut streusel on top.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325°F and continue to bake for a total of 55-65 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake (not a cherry!) comes out clean.
- Set aside to cool completely. Run a knife around the edge of the springform pan, then release sides and carefully remove cake. Enjoy!
Cake will keep at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 1/12 of cake
- Calories: 306
- Sugar: 24g
- Sodium: 314mg
- Fat: 14g
- Saturated Fat: 6.7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 42g
- Fiber: 2.9g
- Protein: 4.6g
- Cholesterol: 46mg
Keywords: buckle cake