After figuring out the technical details of a buckle (a cake with fruit in the batter topped with a crisp topping), I learned that I had already made a few, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I really enjoyed the rhubarb big crumb coffee cake and my dad refused to let me leave with the leftovers (it was that good). I had also made the blueberry crumb bars, liked them enough but found them too heavy with butter. I love fruit dancing in my cakes, and a streusel topping makes everything great, so I was eager to try a Cranberry Buckle with Vanilla Crumb, as it was from a wonderful cookbook by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson: Rustic Fruit Desserts.
I absolutely adore cranberries, especially fresh, as you could probably guess by the number of recipes on the blog that include cranberries. I love fresh cranberries as they are slightly tart and match well with sweet desserts. Perfectly in season for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The verdict? It made all my previous baking blunders from the week disappear… we were able to enjoy it still hot from the oven. It was sinfully delicious with fresh cranberries speckled throughout the cake with a lovely, lovely vanilla crumb topping. I think the topping is one of the highlights, especially with the noticeable vanilla (it really isn’t a hint or w whiff of vanilla; I could taste it!). I halved the recipe, as I was going to feed a small number of people.. but I wish I had made more! The photo is from the remaining leftovers… not much left! Thank goodness, I have more crumb topping in reserve for the next buckle. 😀 Enjoy!!
This is my submission to Sugar High Fridays for this month.
Cranberry Buckle With Vanilla Crumb
1 cup all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (5-1/4 ounces)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1 stick)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange (omitted, but I am sure it would be delicious)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (5 ounces)
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (8 ounces; divided)
1 cup vanilla crumb
1. To make crumb: Combine the flour, sugars, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Pulse or combine on low speed until the mixture is the texture of coarse crumbs (we just used two knives to cut the butter in). Drizzle the vanilla over the mixture and mix briefly to distribute. Use immediately or store in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Makes 2 cups.
2. To make buckle: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan (I used an 7″ square pan for half of the recipe). Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and orange zest together on medium-high speed for 3 to 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 mixture and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Fold in 1 cup of the cranberries.
4. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Distribute remaining 1 cup cranberries over the cake and sprinkle the crumb topping over the cranberries.
5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm on top. Wrapped in plastic wrap, this cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Make ahead: Cake may be frozen, unbaked, for up to three weeks before baking. Thaw and bring to room temperature before baking as directed.
Makes 8 to 12 servings