Layered Blackberry Buckle

Two confessions: 1) This is an adaption of a blueberry buckle from my mom’s collection that I adapted for not-quite ripe blackberries (sorry Mom!).  2) I’m an entirely overly-aggressive blackberry picker.

DSC03111The latter one is a problem.  Every time I get out there to pick, even it 90° weather, I always have to wear long sleeves, pants and boots.  Somehow I always end up in the thicket, Warrior 3/Virab 3-ing my way to blackberries that are just out of my reach, hands and wrists cut and dripping with juice, hamstrings taught, with thorns tearing at my hair and clothing.  Just another day in the life!

I don’t know why I do this.  Instead of picking all the easiest to reach fruit (far quicker and more practical), I thoroughly attack an area, obsessed with getting every single berry in my reach – standing on my car, jumping in the thicket, or crawling on the ground to do so.

I tell myself it is so the berries won’t be wasted. However, since no one picks in our area, there are always thousands of berries wasted, and really, I’m just wasting time and hurting myself.  Yet I can’t stop.  YOU GUYS, I have a blackberry picking problem. (But at least you know in life, I’ll never go after the lowest hanging fruit… ba-dum-CHING!).

DSC03507While I worked on this treat, I listened to Neil Young’s Harvest (a precursor to Young’s later album, Harvest Moon).  The incredible Harvest Moon/Super Moon was just last month, and many of us were out there staring at the young nighttime sky, patiently witnessing the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse.  It was special.  We went out and felt the night… and now I’m listening to Neil Young’s 1972 album, (which went on to be the top-selling album in the unites States for the year), swaying and misty eyed, baking while the moon climbs high.


Here’s blackberry buckle.  This is equal parts dessert and coffee cake.  And I LOVE it when I can eat my dessert for breakfast. Mmmm.


  • 12 cup butter at room temp
  •  1/2 cup sugar (next time I’m going to try 1/3 cup honey and less yogurt)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour (I use a mix of 1/3 wheat and 2/3 white)
  • 12 cup plan yogurt
  • 1 cup firm blackberries (or you could revert back to the original and use blueberries). *Frozen berries will do as well, but make sure to blanch thoroughly.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. butter (keep cold)


  • Heat the oven to 350°, and butter and flour a 8″ x 8″ glass baking pan.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar (or honey) together.
  • Add in eggs and vanilla and beat thoroughly.DSC03094
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Once mixed, add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and blend.
  • Blend in yogurt.
  • Gently stir in berries (be especially careful with blackberries, as they can break open and bleed easily, changing the color and character of the cake).
  • Pour 1/2 of the cake batter into baking pan, preserving the rest for the second layer.
  • For the topping, in small bowl mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and walnuts.
  • Take half of the this topping, and sprinkle on top of first cake layer.
  • Add remaining batter.  (Look Ma! We’re making layers!)
  • Cut in the cold butter into the remaining brown sugar mix.  Break into crumbles with hands, and then sprinkle on top of cake. DSC03096
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350°.

Drink with black coffee in the morning on a back porch in the sunshine, and don’t feel guilty. It has fresh fruit, remember? DSC03113


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