Mini-buckles – for berries, not your belt

In my humble opinion, there isn’t much that’s better than a good fruit crisp, or cobbler, or in this case, a buckle.  If you use fresh, in-season fruit, the buttery, sugary batter (or topping!) amplifies the fruit flavor.  Plus, you can totally pretend it’s healthy and eat it for breakfast.  I mean, fruit!  What is unhealthy about fruit?  (Except for the butter, flour, and sugar colluding to make it so.)

This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Nectarine Brown Butter Buckle.  Nectarines aren’t quite in season yet, and what my grocery store IS offering looks small and unappealing.  But you can’t go wrong with berries, and you can’t go wrong with mini versions of anything.  (This is my justification for wanting children.)

I actually made a full-size version over the weekend for a work barbecue.  The berries were incredibly moist, though, and the streusel topping was soaked through with berry juice (delicious!), leading me to believe that it wasn’t entirely cooked through after an hour.  (It was.  And it was gobbled up, which is good for my fragile ego.)

The best part was where the cake, streusel, and berries crisped up on the edges.  So I whipped out the muffin tin and made 8 mini buckles with the remaining berries, trying to maximize the crispiness per serving.

This version is Adam-approved – he and I both think that the mini version is better than the big one, and they don’t suffer from the wet streusel syndrome.  Recipe after the jump.


  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
  • Generous pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c + 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 c strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 2-3 tbsp browned butter
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Generous pinch of salt (I like the streusel to be fairly salty).
Grease a regular-sized muffin tin (at least 8 spaces).  Preheat your oven to 350.
Brown all of the butter (including that for streusel): melt in a skillet over medium heat until butter turns brown and smells a little nutty.  Scrape up brown bits and set aside to cool.
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cloves in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together 5 tbsp browned butter, sugar, egg, and buttermilk, then gradually mix into the dry ingredients until combined.
For the streusel, mix together all ingredients until crumbly.
Assemble: drop one large spoonful of batter into each muffin space (they should be 1/3 to 1/2 full).  Add berries on top of the cake batter, and then sprinkle streusel over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350, or until the top is crispy and golden brown.

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