Buckles, simple streusel-topped cakes studded with fruit, are traditionally made with summer berries. For his autumn version, Jan Birnbaum substitutes tart apples, for a denser, more coffee-cake-like dessert.Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips

October 2002


Credit: © Anna Williams

Recipe Summary

3 hrs
30 mins
10 to 12


crumb topping


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan.

  • In a food processor, pulse the flour with the brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles moist sand. Add the walnuts and pulse 3 times. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and press into large crumbs.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, ginger and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the honey. Add the lemon zest, vanilla and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the half-and-half and beat at low speed until smooth. Fold in the apples.

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake the buckle in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the topping is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for at least 1 hour before unhinging the springform and removing the ring. Cut the buckle into wedges and serve with sweetened sour cream.

Make Ahead

The buckle can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Rich late harvest-style wines with hints of fruit, honeysuckle and toasted nuts, as well as a delicate sweetness, echo the flavors in many autumn fruit–and–nut desserts. Look for a Moscato d'Andrea.