Cherry Almond Buckle

This cherry almond buckle combines a soft and buttery cake with plenty of fresh, sweet cherries. Hinted with almond and lightly topped with a brown sugar crumble, this dessert is just as simple as it is delicious. There’s truly very little effort for a big reward– and isn’t that what summer baking is all about?

cherry almond buckle in white pie dish

What Is a Buckle Dessert?

Fruit cobbler, crisps, and crumbles– though different, these specialties all fall under the same dessert umbrella. There’s also slump, pandowdy, boy bait, and more. A lot of these are cobbler-like desserts made with fruit and each are tasty in their own right. Serious Eats breaks down each into detail if you’re interested in reading more!

A buckle cake is an old-fashioned coffee cake or crumb cake studded with lots of blueberries or other various fruits. You mix the fruit into the batter and as the buckle dessert bakes, it “buckles” or warps around the fruit which gives the surface an indented and textured appearance. Though it’s topped with crumbs like breakfast crumb cakes, buckles are usually enjoyed for dessert. (Though there’s every excuse to serve this first thing in the morning!)

So isn’t this just a fruity crumb cake that we eat for dessert? Yes. And it’s awesome.


Cherry Almond Buckle Details

  • Flavor: This is a dessert where cherries shine because there’s not much else in the way. (You’ll love cherry crisp for the same reason.) Of course there’s also the impossibly buttery cake with hints of almond extract, plus a lightly cinnamon-spiced brown sugar topping, but even still… those cherries take the cake. Literally!
  • Texture: You may recognize this recipe because it’s based off of a popular favorite. Many readers absolutely adore our raspberry almond crumb cake and with good reason– the cake is extra buttery and soft with a layer of juicy raspberries and crisp crumbs on top. Today’s cherry buckle has the same texture, but we’re using more fruit and mixing the cherries directly in the batter. (Which is what we do when making this blackberry cream cheese crumb cake, too.)
  • Ease: This falls under our beginner recipes category. The batter is made from very basic baking ingredients like butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. The crumb topping is optional, but you might as well throw it on top considering how easy it is. Mix flour, brown sugar, and a touch of cinnamon together, then gently mix in melted butter until crumbly. That’s it. Deciding if this is for breakfast or dessert will be your hardest job.

cherry buckle

Key Ingredients in This Cherry Buckle

Here’s everything you need to know about key ingredients used in this cherry buckle recipe. Give it a quick read before starting at home!

  • Flour: You’ll use all-purpose flour in both the cake batter and crumb topping. Some buckle recipes call for cake flour, but it proved much too light for the heavy cherries.
  • Baking Powder: The original crumb cake recipe uses both baking powder and baking soda. I skip the baking soda in this recipe because I didn’t want the cake to rise too tall. Really, the center of attention here is the cherries.
  • Sugar: Use white granulated sugar in the cake batter and brown sugar in the crumb topping. To simplify it, you could certainly use white granulated sugar in the topping but you’ll miss the brown sugar flavor. Do not use brown sugar in the batter because the baked buckle will taste too heavy.
  • Sour Cream: Cake recipes usually call for a liquid such as milk, but we’re using semi-liquid sour cream here. It keeps the crumb extra moist and tender– I wouldn’t swap for buttermilk because the dessert may end up tasting gooey. As a result of using sour cream, the cake batter is pretty thick. Do your best to fold in the cherries without over-mixing.
  • Cherries: I use and recommend fresh dark sweet cherries in this recipe. Pit them, then slice in half or quarters. You could easily use rainier or sour cherries with no changes to the recipe. You can use frozen cherries if needed, but make sure they are halved or quartered. Do not thaw. If using canned cherries, drain all liquid and chop in half before using. Do not use cherries canned in heavy syrup and do not use cherry pie filling because both are already sweetened.
  • Cinnamon & Almonds in Crumb Topping: These two add a little flair to the brown sugar crumb topping. I didn’t want anything to overpower the cherries, so I went light on both. We definitely enjoyed the crunch of the almonds on top and if you love a little texture, so will you.

halved pitted cherries in cake batter

step photos showing cherry cake batter, crumb topping, and the buckle before baking

slice of cherry almond buckle

*Special Baking Tools: I don’t use it often but when I need it, I am massively grateful that I have it… a cherry pitter. You will save so much prep time, effort, and mess. You’ll also need the correct size baking pan and I recommend an 8-inch square baking pan (here’s one I use and love), a deep dish pie dish, or a 9-inch springform pan for this cherry almond buckle. A 9-inch round cake pan is a little too small. A 9-inch square baking pan could work, but the buckle will be thin and thus require a shorter bake time.

(The pictured pie plate I’m using is from Target a few years ago and I can’t find it anymore!)

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cherry buckle

Cherry Almond Buckle

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Follow this easy recipe to make a soft and buttery buckle cake that’s loaded with sweet cherries and topped with brown sugar crumbles.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/3 cups (166gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150ggranulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (335g) halved or quartered fresh cherries*

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup (31gall-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons (30gunsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (22gsliced almonds*

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie dish, a 9-inch springform pan, or an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled; that’s ok. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until smooth. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick. Carefully fold in the cherries and do not overmix. The batter will likely have streaks of pink; that’s ok. Spoon and spread into prepared pan. Set aside.
  4. Make the crumb topping: With a fork, mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. Stir in the melted butter until crumbs form. Do not overmix because the mixture will turn into a paste. Keep it crumbly. Sprinkle the crumb mixture and sliced almonds evenly on top of batter.
  5. Bake for 36-42 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The buckle is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top of the buckle is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
  6. Remove from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Those cherries are pretty hot.
  7. Cover leftover dessert tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Because of the fresh fruit, this dessert tastes best within the first couple days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Freeze baked and cooled buckle for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Baking Pan: I recommend an 8-inch square baking pan (here’s one I use and love), a deep dish pie dish, or a 9-inch springform pan for this cherry almond buckle. A 9-inch round cake pan is a little too small. A 9-inch square baking pan could work, but the buckle will be thin and thus require a shorter bake time.
  3. Sour Cream: Full fat sour cream is a key ingredient in this batter. I don’t suggest subbing the sour cream with a liquid. Plain full-fat yogurt is the best replacement.
  4. Almond Extract & Almonds: Feel free to skip the almond extract and/or sliced almonds on top. If skipping the almond extract, I recommend adding about 1 teaspoon of lemon zest for some extra flavor. And if you’d like to top with another nut, chopped pecans or walnuts are excellent here.
  5. Cherries: I use and recommend fresh dark sweet cherries in this recipe. Pit them, then slice in half or quarters. You could easily use rainier or sour cherries with no changes to the recipe. You can use frozen cherries if needed, but make sure they are halved or quartered. Do not thaw. If using canned cherries, drain all liquid and chop in half before using. Do not use cherries canned in heavy syrup and do not use cherry pie filling because both are already sweetened. If you’d like to substitute the cherries, we’ve tested this with the same amount of blueberries (fresh or frozen– do not thaw) and they work wonderfully. For extra flavor, feel free to add 1 teaspoon lemon zest when you add the vanilla extract.

Keywords: cherry almond buckle

55 Comments

  1. Hi Sally. This recipe looks like one my family would love. Can I use fresh strawberries in place of the cherries?

    1. Hi Ann, we haven’t tested it but I can’t see why not. If the strawberries are extra wet, you may want to toss them in 2 teaspoons of flour before folding into the batter.

  2. Hi there can you any other berries? Blueberries raspberries blackberries or a combination of each?

    Thanks

    Phil

    1. Hi Phil, we’ve only tested this as written and again with blueberries (but here is a similar recipe with blackberries and we assume they would work here as well).

  3. patricia majka says:

    can i use dried tart cherries or cranberries in this recipe instead of cherries?

    1. I’m sure either would be great. If using dried, I would reduce down to 1 cup.

  4. maria caballero olins says:

    Hellow Sally. Excelente receta. Se riquísima y fácil de preparar. En Perú no es fácil encontrar cerezas. Por cuál fruta puedo reemplazar?
    Un abrazo
    Mary

    1. ¡Hola! Perdón por cualquier error en mi respuesta porque estoy usando un traductor. También nos encanta usar arándanos en esta receta. Vea el final de nuestra nota de receta de cerezas.

  5. I made this yesterday and it was a hit! My husband and son raved about it and my son suggested I add this to my dessert recipe file. I live in Hawaii and shipping can be a problem. Last week they had cherries but not this week so I substituted Oregon brand red tart cherries. I used 1 1/2 cans of the 14.5 oz size and used them whole after draining (save the liquid for drinks or smoothies). I think the tartness really added to the whole flavor profile cutting the richness of the cake. I think I will use them from now on. They are already stemmed and pitted so it is a lot less work too! Thanks for the recipe Sally.

  6. Deb- The Baking Nurse says:

    As usual- I got the ‘itch’ to bake something with ingredients I already had- never heard of a ‘buckle’ cake before. I used this idea, which sounded lush as we like cherries & almonds( reminds us of the British Bakewell flavours) and mixed it up with 2 other recipes of Sally’s ( raspberry almond crumb cake & the strawberries & cream).
    Baked in a 9 x 13 rectangular tin lined with parchment. Used 1.5 times ingredients. Baked at 160°Fan. Used frozen cherries. Made sour cream/cherry jam/almond drizzle.
    Lush, lush, lush end product!!
    As always your recipes are so easy to work with!- especially since you already give the ‘grams’.
    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  7. Srividya Ravi says:

    Hi Sally,
    How would whole milk ricotta cheese go in place of sour cream ??

    1. I feel like that would be a wonderful substitution, but I haven’t tested it myself. Let us know if you try it!

  8. Do you think that frozen cranberries would work in the recipe as well? I don’t have enough frozen cherries but for some reason I have tons of frozen cranberries!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jill, frozen cranberries should be wonderful! Do not thaw before using.

  9. Ann McDonald says:

    Delicious! Thank you for posting!

  10. Jackie Sterling says:

    I made this yesterday and served it to some friends at the thrift shop where we volunteer at church. We LOVE Ed it. Wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for another great recipe.

  11. Can we use almond flour instead of all purpose flour? We have a gluten free dessserter.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lee, we haven’t tested this recipe with almond flour — it has very different baking properties than all-purpose flour and isn’t necessarily always a 1:1 swap. If you do decide to give it a try, we’d love to know how it turns out for you.

  12. Robyn Pooldaily says:

    Only one word to explain it -AMAZING. My wife and I including my kids loved it… but I added extra peanut butter we love peanut butter…. So Yummm!!!

    1. Peanut butter? You sure you made the Cherry Almond Buckle?

  13. After taking out of oven, do you take it out of baking dish to cool on wire rack or leave in baking dish to cool on wire rack ? Thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Helen! You can leave it in the dish. Enjoy!

    2. Thank you, it was delicious !!

  14. Denise Powell says:

    Can I double this recipe and bake in a 9×13?

    1. Hi Denise, I assume yes but haven’t tested it to be certain. I do feel like it will be too much batter, so you could try 1.5x the recipe first. Whichever you choose, let us know how it turns out.

      1. Denise Powell says:

        I went ahead and doubled it exactly on ingredients and then I baked it an extra 5-8 minutes (my oven is precise) and it came out perfect! I made this recipe and a double recipe of the apple pie squares for church social and both were a huge hit. No one could decide which they liked better.

  15. Ana Vazquez says:

    Thank you for this recipe, my family loved!!!

  16. Looking for a way to use some fresh cherries and don’t want to make a pie? Well, we had a Cherry Buckle with dinner tonight, and it was fantastic and definitely a repeat recipe.

    I did leave out the almonds and almond extract (both on my nanned fooda list this pregnancy), and the cinnamon, because I don’t like cinnamon with cherries. With those modifications it was still excellent: rich, moist, with refreshing bites of juicy cherries everywhere. Highly recommend.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Thank you so much for this sweet review, Kari! We’re so glad you enjoyed this cherry almond buckle.

  17. I paired this with vanilla ice cream and it was a big hit with the family. Love the cherry almond flavor combination.

  18. Penny Barry says:

    We loved this! Made it for work. One friend said this is her new favorite! Ok, she does say that about all YOUR recipes I make. But I loved the cherries in it. Will have to try the strawberry one soon. Love the texture the almonds bring. Thank you Sally! Delicious!

  19. Made this last week and it is delicious and perfect as written. Super easy but looks like it was difficult to make. Will definitely make again.

  20. One of the best ‘coffee cake’ type cakes I have ever made and I am an old girl that bakes almost every day! It was delicious ! I baked it in my 9 inch springform pan. I used my cherry pit tool and it was a breeze getting the pits out. I followed the recipe exactly. I made this cake last Thursday and it is the following Sunday and another one is in the oven as I type! My friends went crazy for it! Thank you Sally for ALL your great recipes! I have lots of yours that are keepers and I am adding this to the pile!

  21. Barbara Solomon says:

    Can I put it together ahead of time and bake it the next morning? Sounds yummy!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Barbara, we don’t recommend it. Leaveners are activated as soon as they are added to the batter, so the longer it sits, the less likely it will bake up nicely. It’s best to bake the batter right away, and then cover tightly to enjoy the next morning. Hope this helps!

  22. Hi Sally, This was so good! Made this delicious cake last Saturday with a combination of Spelt and Oat flours with fresh dark cherries…outstanding and a definite keeper!

  23. Patti Petree says:

    Made with Rainier cherries and used pecans instead of almonds. Still added the almond extract. And it was delicious. Even better next day after chilled in frig. Ordered the oxo Cherry pitter after pitting by hand haha! Making again this week with new pitter!

  24. This was delicious and easy to make! Thank you Sally

  25. Hi, is the weight of the cherries before or after pitting please? Thanks

    1. Hi Lois, it’s after pitting.

  26. My son and I made this yesterday and it is all gone by today. SO GOOD!

  27. Madeleine Cogbill says:

    It came out absolutely delicious!

  28. I made this yesterday for the 4th and it was incredible!! I made it gluten free with bob’s red mill 1:1 all purpose flour and I’d have never known the difference. Perfect texture, not too sweet, and amazing balance of flavor!

  29. Amazing like other posters have noted. I’m always reticent to make ‘cake’ because mine are too dense, dry, etc. I usually make muffins with a liquid fat to get the texture I’m looking for. However, using patience beating the butter/sugar for enough time and then mixing wet ingredients just until combined and basically folding in flour and then cherries made the cake so moist and perfectly textured. I know-duh. I cut it into small pieces and froze so I could have a little almost guilt free treat with my morning coffee. So delicious. Thanks again.

  30. Love it! So good ! I thought will be to many cherries but wasn’t at all. Thank you for another delicious cake!

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