*This article has been adapted from my original at Spoon University!*
One of my favorite parts about summer is the abundance of Farmer's Markets. I try to take advantage of every little pop-up market in NYC or all of roadside stands here in Jersey as often as I can. If you travel far and wide to pick local produce like I do, then you know how amazing it is to have a constant supply of farm-fresh goods. But this also means you know how frustrating it is when it goes bad so quickly.
I hate food waste, especially when it comes to produce. I always try to find ways to repurpose foods and come up with new recipes that incorporate as many of my short-shelf-life fruits and veggies as possible. That's where this delicious berry cake – this delicious buckle – comes in.
A buckle is basically a cross between a cake and a cobbler: it's what you get when you put an abundance of berries into a small amount of batter. As the New York Times puts it, "[a buckle is] "softer and more fruit-filled than a coffeecake, but with a higher percentage of buttery batter than a cobbler."
I love this recipe from the same article, but I tweaked it just a bit. Instead of blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries (like I used,) you can use any kind of berry, or even pineapple, peaches, nectarines, figs, etc. It's basically an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink berry cake. The addition of mint complements the blend of fruit nicely, which can sometimes be too one-note when very ripe and sweet.
When I say "let the cake cool completely in the pan," I mean let the cake cool completely in the pan. I was way too eager and flipped the cake out too quickly, thinking that leaving it in the pan would make for a soggy and tough cake. My whole buckle fell apart! If a buckle (or any cake or bread!) falls apart while trying to turn it out, try to put the pieces back together as best you can, and flip it back into the pan. Let it cool completely there, and then flip it back out after an hour or so. It won't be as picture-perfect, but it's better than nothing!
Or if you don't want to put it back in the pan, scoop it into bowls, dollop it with some vanilla or fruity ice cream, and call it a crumble! Anything that you think is "ruined" in a kitchen can always be called "deconstructed" (I like this method much more.)
Berry Buckle Cake
- 1 stick room temperature butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chocolate mint leaves
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/4 cup cake flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 4 1/2 berries or fruit your choice
Preheat oven to 375º and line a 9 inch round cake pan with lots of butter. Place a parchment round at the bottom of the pan, and line with butter too. Cream butter and both sugars until very light and fluffy - about five minutes. The mixture should be almost white. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined, and then add the lemon, vanilla, and the chocolate mint. Beat until smooth. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, making sure to distribute well. Add slowly to the wet ingredients and beat just until combined. Gently fold all of the berries into the batter. I used a mixture of blueberries, blackberries, and diced strawberries. Smooth batter into the cake pan and sprinkle with granulated or sparkling sugar. I used a homemade mint sugar. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, and the cake is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack. If you don't wait long enough, the cake will fall apart.
My name is Alexandra Jade, but you can call me Alex, or Trin. I am a Food Studies major at New York University, and a freelance photographer, journalist, and social media pro on the side. I run the instagram account @twobrunchgirls.