Strawberry-Peach Cornbread Buckle

With a light and fluffy cornbread cake, sweet summer fruit, and a cornmeal streusel, you’ll want to serve this for breakfast, brunch, and dessert!

A slice of Strawberry-Peach Cornbread Buckle on a white plate

What is a “Buckle”?

Cobbler vs Coffeecake vs Buckle: what’s the difference? Technically, a cobbler is fruit, baked with a cake or biscuit topping. A coffeecake is a also a cake, usually flavored with cinnamon sugar, and normally topped with a streusel. A buckle is a blend of the two, a cake, with fruit folded or placed into the batter, topped with a streusel topping. Legend has it that it’s called a buckle because the addition of the fruit causes the cake to “buckle” on top. Whatever you want to call it, this recipe for Strawberry-Peach Cornbread Buckle is delicious!

The addition of a small amount cornmeal to my regular coffeecake batter brings a fantastic texture to this buckle. Not as crumbly as a traditional cornbread, it is soft and fluffy and it caramelizes a bit on the edges, for a “best of both worlds” cake. I am 100% a Southern cornbread girl, so the addition of fruit to a lightened up cornbread is ticking all my breakfast boxes!

A slice of Strawberry-Peach Cornbread Buckle with Cornmeal Streusel next to a cast iron pan with the remaining cake, all shot on the floor of a wooden deck

Ingredients for this cake

There are three parts to this buckle, the batter, the fruit, and the streusel. You probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now!

  • All-purpose flour I love using cake flour in cakes, but all-purpose flour is better at supporting all the fruit and the streusel.
  • Cornmeal The little bit of texture, and the light cornbread flavor you get from the cornmeal, are amazing with the fruit. I even used a bit of cornmeal in the streusel topping, and now I wonder why I haven’t always used it in streusel!
  • Buttermilk Cakes made with buttermilk tend to have a lighter texture and a finer crumb than cakes made with milk. When I add buttermilk to the recipe, I really want you to use buttermilk. Using milk or a milk alternative may give you a different texture than what I intend. That being said, if you don’t have/don’t want to use buttermilk, you could use regular whole milk. The cake might come out more dense and a little darker in color, but still be delicious.
  • Strawberries and peaches This recipe was specifically built around the amazing blend of these fruits with the flavor and texture of the light cornbread. If it isn’t peach or strawberry season where you are, I’ve tested this recipe with frozen fruit and it’s no less delicious! I just thawed the fruit on paper towels, to draw out the excess moisture, and followed the recipe from there.
  • Sugar and honey I like the combination of both sweeteners when making a cornmeal based cake. The honey gives you that extra crispy caramelized crust, while the white sugar keeps it from becoming too moist from the honey.

Making your Strawberry-Peach Cornbread Buckle

  • First you will macerate your fruit by adding honey and lemon juice to the fruit to increase their sweetness, and also to draw some of the moisture out of the fruit, so you don’t end up with a soggy cake. You’ll use the fruit, but leave the juice behind. You don’t have to waste those delicious fruit flavors though! It’s amazing mixed into sparkling water or stirred into your morning yogurt!
  • Next make the streusel. You’ll whisk together flour, sugar, cornmeal, and a tiny pinch of salt, then cut the softened butter in until it’s the texture of wet sand. I just use my fingers to pinch the cornmeal and the butter together, as shown below.
  • Make the batter, place half of it in a prepared pan, and top with half of the fruit. I prefer a buttered cast iron pan for this recipe, for even more amazing caramelized edges, but a regular 8 or 9 inch cake pan sprayed with nonstick spray will work just as well.
  • Spread the rest of the batter over the top of the fruit.
A photo collage depicting mixing peaches and strawberries together, making a cornmeal streusel, laying the fruit on a cornbread cake base, covering the fruit with more cornbread batter.
  • Top with the remaining fruit
  • Sprinkle the batter and the fruit with all of the cornmeal streusel
  • Bake at 375°f for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are nicely browned and a skewer poked into the center of the cake comes out clean
  • Allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving. You can do it.
A photo collage showing the layering of fruit on a cornbread cake, sprinkling streusel on the cake, the finished Strawberry-Peach Cornbread Buckle Cake, and a slice of the cake

How to store leftover buckle

Cover the leftover cake with plastic wrap or place in a covered cake stand or other airtight container for the rest of the day it is made. If storing longer than that, you can place it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

A cast iron pan with Strawberry-Peach Cornbread Buckle with Cornmeal Streusel

Looking for other delicious Breakfast and Brunch baked goods?

A cast iron pan with Strawberry-Peach Cornbread Buckle with Cornmeal Streusel

Strawberry-Peach Cornbread Buckle with Cornmeal Streusel

With a light and fluffy cornbread cake, sweet summer fruit, and a cornmeal streusel, you’ll want to serve this for breakfast, brunch, and dessert!
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Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 Servings

Ingredients

Fruit

  • 2 medium peaches sliced
  • ½ pint strawberries quartered or halved
  • 2 tbs honey
  • Juice of half a lemon

Cornmeal streusel

  • ¼ cup flour 33 g
  • 3 tbs granulated sugar 38 g
  • 2 tbs cornmeal 15 g
  • Tiny pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter 55 g softened

Cornbread cake

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 195 g
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal 60 g
  • cup sugar 67 g
  • cup honey 113 g
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk 240 g
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted 113 g

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375° F Prepare a 10 inch cast iron skillet or 9 inch cake pan by either spraying with either nonstick spray or coating lightly with butter.
  • Place sliced peaches and strawberries in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and squeeze over the juice of half a small lemon. Toss together and set aside.
  • To make streusel, whisk together flour, sugar, cornmeal, and just a tiny pinch of salt. Toss cubed butter in the dry ingredients then, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, combine them together until you have a texture of wet sand. You want some finer parts and some clumps. You’ll know it’s done when you can press down and it all seems to stick together.
  • Melt 1/2 cup of butter and set aside to cool. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs and add to the dry ingredients. Fold together until almost all the dry parts have been incorporated. Pour in the melted butter and fully mix everything until it just comes together.
  • Pour half of the batter in your pan. Hand place half of the peaches and strawberries on top. Cover with the remaining batter and arrange the last of the fruit on top. Leave the juice behind.
  • Sprinkle the streusel on top of the cornbread and bake at 375° F for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer poked in the middle comes back clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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