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Skillet Cranberry Buckle

Skillet Cranberry Buckle is a beautiful and delicious cake that's perfect for anything from breakfast to dessert.

Oh, cranberries. I do love baking with them, but I don’t like their short season of availability. Of course, that scarcity is likely part of their appeal. That’s some kind of mind game, isn’t it? Regardless, I think it’s really more about that wonderful tart flavor.

Anyway, after weeks of supermarket stalking, I was so excited when I saw fresh cranberries available that I bought far too many and started mapping out my cranberry baking spree.

One of the first things I wanted to make was this simple Cranberry Buckle. If you aren’t familiar with a buckle, it’s essentially a delicate cake that “buckles” under the weight of fruit on top.

Fresh cranberries take center stage in this simple and delicious Skillet Cranberry Buckle. - Bake or Break

It’s really quite a versatile cake. It fits right in on your brunch table, pairs perfectly with your afternoon tea or coffee, and serves as a fine dessert, too.

I topped off this cake with just a bit of crumb topping. While I absolutely adore crumb toppings, I opted to go a bit lean with it here. There’s just enough to add a little extra flavor and texture. If you want more crumb, you can easily double the topping recipe.

Skillet Cranberry Buckle is a great choice for anything from brunch to dessert. It's so, so good! - Bake or Break

If you don’t want to go the skillet route, you can certainly make this beauty in a baking pan. I’d recommend a 10-inch round or a 9-inch square pan to keep the thickness of the cake about the same.

I am really just so enamored with this cake. Those cranberries are just beautiful, and that sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar on top just makes me giddy. Most importantly, of course, is the fact that it’s wonderfully delicate and delicious. Make this one before cranberry season passes us by!

Skillet Cranberry Buckle

Yield 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes

This Skillet Cranberry Buckle is a lovely cake versatile enough to go from breakfast to brunch and even dessert!

Skillet Cranberry Buckle is a beautiful and delicious cake that's perfect for anything from breakfast to dessert.


For the buckle:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cranberries

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes
  • confectioners’ sugar, for garnish


  1. Place butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Melt over medium-low heat. Then, remove from heat and transfer butter to a large mixing bowl to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Stir together melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla, mixing until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of milk. Mix just until combined.
  5. Transfer batter to skillet. Scatter cranberries over the top of the batter, leaving about a 1-inch margin around the edges.
  6. To make the topping, combine brown sugar, flour, almonds, and salt in a small bowl. Add butter and mix with a fork or your hands until crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.
  7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
  9. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar when serving.

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Snap a pic, tag @bakeorbreak, and use #bakeorbreak on Instagram. Can't wait to see your creation!

This recipe was originally developed in my continuing collaboration with Go Bold with Butter.

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    21 Comments on “Skillet Cranberry Buckle”

  1. I’ve made this before, but never with the crumble top! It is on my Thanksgiving menu this year. MMMmmm…

  2. This will be perfect for Thanksgiving morning, tasty, and warm up to dinner.

  3. This looks so delicious and festive! Love cranberries, will have to give this one a try!

  4. This looks so lovely. Looks like a wonderful holiday dessert.

  5. Ohh this is just perfect for lazy weekend brunch!!

  6. I do love cranberries, but I’ve never used them in baking before. This buckle cake looks like just the perfect thing for fresh cranberries!

  7. This would be perfect for a holiday brunch!

  8. Wow – this looks delicious! It looks perfect for a holiday table! Pinned!

  9. Thanks for explaining the term “buckle” — I’ve always wondered!!!!! Looks delish and perfectly seasonal.

  10. yum!! I Love cranberries — this is my kind of cake 😉

  11. I love to make buckles and have got to make this one. What a fantastic idea for using cranberries!!

  12. Love this! I have never made a buckle with cranberries. Pinned!

  13. This buckle is gorgeous! I’ve never made a buckle before. Hopefully this will be my first.

  14. I love cranberry season and this skillet cranberry buckle looks delicious and perfect for the holidays! 🙂

  15. I have never heard of a buckle before – I like the idea that it has so much fruit, makes it feel healthier! Like a cobbler, but maybe less dough….

  16. Is everything automatically more awesome when it’s baked in a skillet? It really seems that way! This is lovely!

  17. Yum! This looks fabulous… I have a similar relationship with cranberries. Of course, I tend to stash them in my freezer for later. I think I still have a 3 pound (yup… 3 pounds!) bag from last year hanging out in there. I might have to make this ASAP so I can justify buying some more cranberries.

  18. I’ve been overbuying the cranberries also…and LOVING EVERY SECOND OF IT. So excited try this out with one of the gazillion pounds I have in my fridge!

  19. can you use dried cranberries in lieu of fresh cranberries ? thks

    • Hi, Pat. I’m sure that would be fine. However, I think that you’ll be happier with the final result if you use fresh berries. If you don’t have cranberries, you can substitute another berry.

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