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Cranberry and Candied Ginger Buckle

12 Servings

1 hour 10 minutes 30 minutes active, plus cooling

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A buckle is a fruit-studded cake with a buttery crumb topping; it’s a great breakfast treat, an excellent midday sweet alongside tea or coffee or a casual, not-too-heavy after-dinner dessert. Our version is loosely based on a recipe in “Rustic Fruit Desserts” by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson. Instead of making an entirely separate crumb topping, we remove a portion of the flour-sugar-butter mixture that is the base of the cake, then mix in a few additional ingredients to create a mixture that bakes up with the just the right crumby texture. Covered tightly at room temperature, leftovers keep for up to three days.




Don’t forget to thaw the cranberries, if using frozen. If the fruits are freezer-cold and firm, they will cause the batter to stiffen and make mixing difficult.

1 hour 10 minutes

30 minutes active, plus cooling


  • 390

    grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

  • 214

    grams (1 cup) white sugar


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Michele R.

Cut this in half and used 8x8 to replace 13x9 pan. (Cook time on the 8x8 = 41 min.) Delicious outcome and looked just like the photo too. (My experience with Milk Street recipes is they are reliable for flavor and looks.) Just sweet enough but not too much in cake that is moist from butter and sour cream and tart with the cranberries and the finely diced candied ginger mixed in is lovely flavor note. I thawed frozen cranberries given I was making this in April when fresh crans cannot be found...and yet this was a really good early Spring option. (Also it was a spirit lifting covid19 'stay at home' baking project too.) Really good streusel topping that is both easy to do as part of recipe as well as a bit unique in technique applying it and a just right sweet bit in bites of cake when eaten. Good looking to serve in a homespun sense of itself with the bright cranberries in it. Versatile given it is good morning, afternoon or evening. Travels well and is good the second day too. The "how does it freeze?" experiment is under way as we popped a couple of pieces in the freezer to try again in a week or two. Definitely a keeper recipe to go in rotation.

Diana M.

It’s rhubarb season, so I used fresh rhubarb cut into a dice. DELISH

Michele R.

1) Re the freezing "experiment" of the first pass of this cake per recipe using cranberries, as mentioned in my 4/24/20 comments it freezes really well. We just took the foil wrapped cake pieces from the freezer and put them in a low'ish oven (325) to heat until thawed and slightly warm.

2) Re using rhubarb to replace the cranberries, that worked splendidly too when I tried it today. Delicious and tender texture just like the original recipe. Riffing on a similar recipe (but frankly not as good as this one) for rhubarb cake by Melissa Clark and since I was once again cutting this recipe in half (using 8x8 pan), I replaced the cranberries by doing the following:

*cut 8 oz rhubarb into roughly 1/4"dice to mimic size of cranberries in original. (Note if you're making the full recipe you probably want 12 oz+ rhubarb)
*tossed rhubarb with about 3 T sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch (to sweeten rhubarb just a bit and help it suspend in cake batter)
*handled rhubarb to mix in batter just as if they were cranberries for instructions

Although I was using rhubarb from my garden, so it was very tender, I did peel off the outer 'skin'. Next time I will try leaving that on as when the cake bakes the rhubarb doesn't stand out for color with any red 'zing'. For tender, garden fresh stalks I think leaving skin on will work and so contribute the color pops. Soon to be determined. Because this cake is so good and so easy it and so versatile to use any time of day and travels so well that it will be on the 'bake and repeat' list.

William H.

Is candied ginger the same as crystallized ginger? Thank you.

Lynn C.

Hi William -

The terms “candied” and “crystallized” ginger are typically used interchangeably. If a distinction is made, crystallized ginger is usually candied and *also* coated in sugar. Either kind will work here.

The Milk Street Team