Recipe Revamping: Blueberry Buckle

“Simply relax and enjoy when you can….”

Two graduations, a wedding, a family reunion, visits with extended family, and a funeral, sprinkled in between doctor appointments for all family members and added on top of a summer work schedule and preparing our daughters to go away in August for their masters and bachelors programs, has left no time for vacation during our summer. So, we have been making the most of little pockets of time – playing family board games when we can, doing an Escape the Room adventure, getting massages, taking an afternoon walk.

This week, we took time to bake together, making the most of prime blueberry and peach season, and one of the items we made was a blueberry buckle. For folks not familiar, blueberry buckle is similar to a coffee cake but the ratios of fruit to batter are flipped. In coffee cakes, the cake is the star with fruit lending flavor. In a buckle, the fruit is in abundance and the batter is scant, just enough to suspend the fruit. Both have signature crumb toppings.

I wanted to make a blueberry buckle which was gluten and dairy free and which didn’t use white refined sugar. It turned out to be quite easy. I simply substituted a store bought gluten free flour blend for the flour, used half the amount of coconut sugar for the regular sugar, and creamed vegan butter instead of regular butter. The result was quite tasty when we had it for dessert with nondairy vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Buckle



1/2 cup gluten free flour blend

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 tbsp vegan butter


1 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup vegan butter

2/3 cup coconut sugar

2 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

4 cups fresh blueberries

Baking Instructions:

  1. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the topping flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. Using clean hands, squeeze the vegan butter into the dry ingredients until you have thick crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the batter flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. In a mixer, cream together the vegan butter and coconut sugar. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between. The batter will look messy, like it’s all broken, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
  6. Add the dry batter ingredients to the wet and mix just until blended and smooth. The batter will be thick.
  7. Gently fold in the blueberries until the batter is completely mixed in with the berries.
  8. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, turning the pan halfway through at 25 minutes.
  9. The buckle will be golden and puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when it is done.
  10. Cool for ten minutes on a wire rack. Loosen the sides of the cake with a butter knife from the springform pan, and release and remove the side pan. Let the cake cool completely and enjoy!



Menu Suggestion: Oatmeal Pancakes

website oatmeal pancakes

“What do you mean it’s blue and black?”

There’s an experiment making it’s rounds on the internet these days which is a picture of a striped dress, partially in shadow and partially in light. The question asked is “What color is the dress?” What’s interesting is that a percentage of folks will say the dress is white and gold striped, while another percentage will say it is blue and black striped.

According to the explanation given, the two different answers represent how people’s brains process information. If your brain sees the dress only, regardless of the shadow or light around it, you will see the dress as blue and black (which it actually is). If your brain looks at the picture as a whole, incorporating the shadows and light around it, then you will see the dress as white and gold.

Interestingly enough, my husband and middle child, who lean toward more big picture, conceptually-minded thinking, see the dress as white and gold, while my oldest and youngest and I, who are extremely detailed-oriented thinkers, see the dress as blue and black. And of course, both sides think the other is nuts for seeing as they do!

I was reminded of this experiment when my son asked yet again for chocolate chip pancakes. Whereas I view food as fuel for my growing son which needs to be healthy and thought out, my son sees food only as an opportunity for gluttonous pleasure. On this particular occasion he and my middle child both had friends sleeping over, and my son thought it would be a valid argument in favor of chocolate chip pancakes – “But mama, don’t you want to serve our guests something they’d like to eat?”

I personally thought the kids wouldn’t care what I served them, but I decided in the interest of the dress experiment, that maybe I should work out a compromise with my son. Yes, to chocolate chip pancakes in deference to his view of food, but also yes to the pancakes being healthy to stay true to my food views. The result was a gluten, dairy, egg free oatmeal pancakes with both blueberries and mini chocolate chips.

Below is the recipe for folks interested in trying them out. You can make them without the chocolate chips and only blueberries; you can omit the blueberries and make them only chocolate chip; you can omit both. Your choice.

Gluten, Dairy, Egg Free Oatmeal Pancakes

(Makes a lot; may want to half the recipe for a small family)


4 cups “milk” of choice (soy, flax, rice, cow, etc….)

4 tbsp lemon juice

2 cups gluten free quick oats

2 tbsp ground golden flaxseed

6 tbsp water

2 cups favorite Gluten Free flour blend (I used a garbanzo and fava bean blend for the protein and fiber)

1 cup sorghum flour

1 cup gluten free oat flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup Enjoy Life allergen free mini chocolate chips (can use regular mini chips if you aren’t allergic to them)

1/3 cup melted “butter” of choice (vegan, soy-free, or cow)

1/4 cup Agave

1 tbsp safflower oil

12 oz frozen wild mini blueberries

Cooking Instructions:

1. Mix the milk with the lemon juice. Add the quick oats, blending well, and let sit.

2. Mix the flaxseed with the water, and let sit.

3. Combine the gluten free flour blend, the sorghum flour, the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the chocolate chips.  Set aside.

4. Mix the melted butter, agave and oil. Combine this with the milk/oat mixture and flaxseed mixture, and add the blueberries.

5. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry until everything is well blended. Let sit while the griddle or pan heats.

6. Heat a pancake griddle to 350 degrees or a pan over medium heat. Grease with favorite method (oil, spray, butter).

7. Ladle pancake batter by 1/4 cups and let cook until the pancakes begins to bubble and get dry around the edges (usually just a minute or two). Flip and cook on the other side another minute or two.

8. Serve and enjoy! (I found them to be sweet enough without anything, but the kids still poured maple syrup on top!)