Before I moved to the South, I didn’t know a thing about Southern hospitality. In my mind, hospitality was something reserved for the hotel industry and Martha Stewart. What could the word possibly mean outside of those two instances? In the 15+ years since that I’ve lived in the Deep South, I’ve slowly gotten to tiptoe in to warmth that is Southern hospitality, and I gotta say, it feels good. The kindness, the intentionality, and the service of it feels like living and breathing love. There’s nothing like it.
Just yesterday, Charlie’s daycare teacher offered to share some blueberries she had picked from the bushes on her property. A few hours later, she showed up at my door with a 12-gallon storage bin filled to the brim with hand-picked summer produce. No charge, no request for anything in return, just an offer from a friend who knew my baby loved blueberries. I spent the next few minutes filling bags with berries to share with my friends and tried not to get teary-eyed over the obvious symbolism that was playing out right in front of me. I was reminded that when we love others, whether via blueberries, our words, our actions, or some other form of hospitality, that love almost always gets passed on and affects so many more people that we initially imagined. It multiplies and grows.
I’d like to be a person that grows love. The hospitality and generosity I received in that bin of blueberries reminds me that that every little thing can make a difference, and those simple offerings of kindness rarely affect just the person we’re sharing them with. They make a difference, and the world needs more of that love. So today (or sometime in the future!), when you have the opportunity to give generously yourself and your resources, I hope you’ll remember that hospitality isn’t a job set aside for a select few- it’s an opportunity for us all.
Now that I have a few freezer bags full of blueberries, I’m looking forward to recipes that will honor the fruit in a way it deserves. This berry buckle is one such recipe, and it’s so delicious and simple that I think you’re bound to like it too. Here, a vanilla and almond-scented buttermilk cake is dotted with fresh berries and baked with a simple and buttery almond streusel on top. The end result is a cake that is equal parts breakfast and dessert, which we all know is my very favorite thing to make. Served with a dollop of whipped cream or simply a cup of coffee, this berry buckle is definitely the perfect treat to make this summer. Let me tell you how.
To make this berry buckle, we start by creaming butter and sugar together until it’s pale and fluffy. A single eggs and extract come next followed by buttermilk and a few simple dry ingredients. The batter is spread into an 8″ or 9″ pan and then dotted with fresh berries- any of your favorites will do. The cake is partially baked before being sprinkled with the almond streusel.
After baking, this berry buckle tastes terrific served warm with ice cream or even on its own. If you happen to have some ripe summer produce on hand, this is definitely a terrible option for utilizing it. Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think! Happy Wednesday and Happy Baking!
If you like the berry buckle you should try:Print
This berry buckle is a moist buttermilk cake dotted with fresh summer berries and a simple almond streusel!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 9 Servings
- Category: Dessert
For the streusel:
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¼ cup sliced or chopped almonds
For the cake:
- 1/4 cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1–1/4 cups (150 gm) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (120 gm) buttermilk
- 1–1/2 cups mixed berries (I used 1 cup blackberries and ½ cup blueberries)
To prepare the streusel:
- Stir to combine the flour and sugar. Use the back of a fork to cut the softened butter into the dry ingredients until it is incorporated in pea-sized crumbs. Toss in the almonds and set aside.
To prepare the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 10” cast iron skillet and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and ¾ cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, almond extract, and egg and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter and stir to almost combine. Add half of the buttermilk and stir to almost combine. Repeat this process once more until all of the flour mixture and milk has been combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in any unincorporated bits.
- Spread the batter out in the greased skillet. Arrange the berries all over the top of the batter, pressing them down gently into the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, and then carefully sprinkle the streusel on top of the cake. Bake for an additional 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly prior to serving.