Serves a Crowd

Blackberry Cornbread Buckle

July 15, 2013
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes One 10" x 10" pan
Author Notes

In the south, blackberries are a summer staple. They grow wild in many places and are just as easy to add to your own landscape. The hardest part of picking blackberries is deciding what to make with them: jam or cobbler.

This recipe puts two classic southern dishes together in one; sweet white corn bread topped with a tangy blackberry cobbler. The cake rises in spots, the cobbler sinks, and together it looks a little buckled which is how it gets its name. Southerners traditionally bake with white cornmeal because it is sweeter than yellow, but you can use any kind for this recipe. For mine, I used a roasted yellow cornmeal. —janeofmanytrade

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Janeofmanytrade is a pastry chef, CIA graduate, blogger, bee-keeper, master gardener, marble-collector, and cookbook writer.
WHAT: With a sweet, fruity addition and a generous amount of addictive crumbs, your favorite Southern side is about to become your favorite dessert.
HOW: Drop tangy blackberries in cornbread batter and scatter with crumb topping. Then watch the cake rise, sink, and buckle in the oven.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We didn't think perfectly tender cornbread could get any better. But once we tasted it punctuated with tart berries, spiced with cardamom, and finished with a buttery crumb, we quickly changed our minds. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Cobbled Cake
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 batch crumb topping, recipe below
  • Oatmeal Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  1. Cobbled Cake
  2. Combining the first five ingredients in a bowl. Set aside so that the fruit juices while you mix up the cornbread.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10" x 10" pan and set it aside. Cream the butter with the sugar, vanilla, and salt until light, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and scrape the bowl as you go. Sift the flour and baking powder over the batter in the bowl and fold it in a few times until combined. Sprinkle the buttermilk over the top of the batter and continue folding until no streaks remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the surface.
  4. Top the cornbread evenly with the cobbler mixture. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the fruit, and bake until a pick comes out clean when inserted into a cakey part, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Carefully invert it onto a tray, then invert it again onto a serving platter. serve it a little warm with some buttermilk ice cream or serve it as is -- either way will be wonderful!
  1. Oatmeal Crumb Topping
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them a little. Add the butter cubes and rub the ingredients together with your fingers until pea sized crumbs are formed.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Laura Dembowski
    Laura Dembowski
  • chefrockyrd
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • hardlikearmour

22 Reviews

LULULAND August 30, 2018
It came out good, so it worked!
LULULAND August 29, 2018
There are several errors in this recipe, so I winged it. Making it now, I'll let you know if it turns out. This recipe doesn't give you a cornbread recipe, so I am assuming that was it meant instead of cornbread is cornmeal. It says to top the cornbread with the cobbler mixture and then to sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Where did the fruit come in? I added the cornmeal to the cobbler mixture, put that in the pan. Then I put all the fruit over that and then the crumb topping. I hope it turns out. Surprised the editors didn't catch this or the person who authored the recipe. I'll let you know if my deciphering of the recipe turns out.
rj March 3, 2018
Great recipe, Jane. I altered the age limit and instead of rosewater, gave the blackberries a nice light shower of very fine port.
rj March 3, 2018
The cornmeal is not mentioned in the directions. Is it to be sifted in with the flour and baking powder?
Laura D. August 8, 2016
I made an absolutely love this cake! All the different textures are just wonderful. Since I didn't have a 10 by 10, I used an 8 by 8 and some ramekins and it was perfection! I posted about it on my blog:
janeofmanytrade August 14, 2016
Thanks Laura! This recipe is a favorite of ours and I love hearing from other bakers who have had success with the recipe August 22, 2015
This recipe was wonderful and easy to make. For a bit of over-indulgence we ate it with good vanilla ice cream, but truthfully it wasn't necessary. And unlike many berry recipes, the inside did not get too wet over the course of a couple of days.
Ian July 5, 2015
This is an amazing recipe. The mix of rose water, lemon, cardamom, berries, vanilla and cinnamon is perfect. We used an Emile Henri 9x12 pan which worked perfectly (cook time 1 hr).
This will be included in our favorite summer recipes.
Anne November 16, 2014
Hello there,
I am impressed by your inventive flavoring for this recipe and love the whe concept.
I see you mentioned you use roasted cornmeal. Is there a source? Or do you pan dry roast your cornmeal?
I usually use yellow medium grind cornmeal by Bob's Red Mill because I enjoy the extra texture. I am now curious to experiment with roasted cornmeal.

Do you have a blog? Love to read more of your recipes!
chefrockyrd August 26, 2014
Can you tell me the brand name, if possible, of the 10 x 10 pan you are using?
Its not something I am familiar with. I have many other sized pans and could
use one of those in its place using a substitution chart.
TheWimpyVegetarian July 10, 2014
This just went into the oven!
arlineofva January 28, 2014
Is it ok to use frozen berries instead of fresh ones during the winter months? Or would you recommend something better? Thanks.
hardlikearmour August 4, 2013
Marian B. August 2, 2013
I am in love with this buckle.
Anne August 1, 2013
Jane can't wait to try your blackberry crumble when I get my black berries this week-end Your demonstration makes it so easy, can't wait to make it.
EmilyC August 1, 2013
Congrats janeofmanytrade -- so honored to be in the finalist circle with you! I love buckle and make a blueberry version often, but I'll freely admit that this looks so much better. Can't wait to try it!
healthierkitchen August 1, 2013
Love the combination! This will be a hard week to vote!
Kukla August 1, 2013
Congratulations janeofmanytrade on being a finalist! I love how your Buckle looks; everything is intact and the contrast between the golden color of the batter and the burgundy gems of the blackberries is beautiful. Good luck!
savorthis August 1, 2013
Congrats on being a finalist. I love the combination of lemon, rosewater and cardamom in the berries!
AntoniaJames August 1, 2013
Congrats, janeofmanytrade. Such a nice-looking dessert, or breakfast, or snack, or well, I'd eat this for lunch, too. My blueberries for some reason (drought, maybe?) taste a lot like blackberries this summer. I think I'll try this using those blueberries, soon. Stay tuned . . . . ;o)
fiveandspice August 1, 2013
Congratulations! This looks really wonderful! What a perfect combination of flavors, and such a nice laid back everyday sort of cake, too.