Buttermilk Peach Buckle {gluten-free}

Buttermilk Peach Buckle- BoulderLocavore

I’m excited about the long weekend coming up, aren’t you?   It seems a just reward for the first full week of the new school year.  What I love best about Labor Day weekend is the sense of a break only a long weekend conveys.  The opportunity to sleep late, stay up late, catch up on things a normal weekend doesn’t allow.

The historical roots of Labor Day took me back to traditional Americana desserts.  I periodically dive into these vintage desserts, tweaking them oh-so-slightly to mesh with modern day sensibilities but holding true to their roots.  I love the Slumps and Pandowdy’s of our American heritage.  The desserts our grandmothers and great grandmothers delighted in serving at the height of the fruit season.  They are unpretentious, rustic and approachable, featuring whatever fruit strikes one’s fancy.

Buttermilk Peach Buckle (gluten-free) - BoulderLocavore.com

We all love a good Cobbler and in the midst of peach season they abound on dinner tables everywhere.  I decided however I wanted to try my hand at making a Buckle.  Typically made with blueberries, I chose to make a buckle with peaches.  A buckle is close to a coffee cake with fruit.  The fruit is layered on top of a cake batter then topped with a streusel mixture allowing the cake to envelop the fruit when baking and the streusel to melt forming a crisp, sugary top crust.  It is oh-so-simple to make and would be as welcome on the breakfast table as it would to end a casual meal.

Buttermilk Peach Buckle (gluten-free) - BoulderLocavore.com

Buttermilk Peach Buckle (gluten-free) - BoulderLocavore.com

Buttermilk Peach Buckle {gluten-free}

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Classic Americana desserts such as a fruit Buckle as not only very easy to make but they showcase in season fruits with a rustic charm that not many can resist! This vintage recipe redo uses updated spices of freshly ground nutmeg and Chinese Five Spice as a nod to the original staple cinnamon but adding a fresh, citrusy twist to the peach flavor.


  • ¼ cup (softened) plus ¼ cup (cold) unsalted Butter
  • ¼ cup Shortening (I use organic vegetable shortening)
  • ½ cup plus ¼ cup granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup plus 1/3 cup Flour (gluten-free blend or regular if not gluten-free)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cup Peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10 inch cast iron skillet or a 9x9 baking pan.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer* cream the ¼ cup butter until soft. Add the shortening and mix to fully combine.
  3. Add the ½ cup sugar to the butter mixture and beat to combine.
  4. Add the egg to the mixture and beat to fully combine.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl combine the 1 ¼ cups flour, baking powder, salt; mix together thoroughly. Slowly pour into the butter mixture while running the mixer on a low speed. The mixture may be a bit dry.
  6. While the mixer is still running slowly pour in buttermilk and beat until fully combined.
  7. To make the Streusel: Cut the cold ¼ cup butter into small pieces. Combine ¼ cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and the Chinese five spice in the bowl. Using dinner knives or a pastry blender, cut the ingredients together forming a gravely mixture.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared skillet or baking pan. Layer the peach slices on top of the batter to cover it. Sprinkle the fresh nutmeg on top of the peaches. Layer on the streusel.
  9. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the top is a light golden brown. Allow to sit for five minutes before serving warm!


*a hand held mixer and mixing bowl can replace the standing mixer if needed


Buttermilk Peach Buckle (gluten-free) - BoulderLocavore.com

Other versions of classic Americana desserts you might enjoy:

Fruit Crumble in mini Mason Jars

Plum Slump

Raspberry Pandowdy

Spicy Apple Crisp with Cranberries and Walnuts


  1. says

    This looks delicious. I have been wanting to make something gluten-free but I only have gluten-free flour and not the xanthan gum or other things often needed. Will this turnout great with just the gluten-free flour?? Thanks! The five spice sounds like a nice ingredient to have added

    • says

      Jaime everything I make on my blog is gluten-free even when providing gluten alternatives so each photo you see is the gluten-free end result (to answer your question about how it will turn out). For this recipe I used King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour blend (one of my favorites as the consistency and flavor is more similar to gluten All Purpose Flour). I also rarely use gums any more. They are to help with binding as you may know, which gluten naturally affords, but I find they can be gummy a bit. In most cases when adapting a recipe like this (vintage) I have not found leaving out the Xanthan Gum to make a difference. This Buttermilk Peach Buckle turned out exactly as expected, stayed together perfectly and was gobbled up by my family taste testers!

  2. says

    This recipe looks wonderful, I still have a refrigerator full of peaches from our tree, looks like I might be able to use up a few peaches with this recipe, yum! Thanks.

    • says

      I agree completely on the Chinese 5 Spice. Feels a bit more updated than just using cinnamon. Though a buckle recipe is pretty simple I felt I had to put a little spin on it to keep it ‘fresh’!

  3. Dinah says

    I was looking for a recipe to use my ripening peaches and ‘ripened’ milk. I made a few alterations and it looks quite different. But my, what a delicious desert and beautiful, too.

    My only suggestion is one I learned long ago when baking cheesecake or other moist desert. COOK THE WIGGLE OUT, i.e. when you think that it is done, jiggle it on the rack. If it shakes/wiggles, leave it in for a few more minutes.

    • says

      Thank you Dinah for your comment and I’m so glad you were able to use this with your changes to use your peaches! I feel summer is coming to an abrupt end.

      When I made the recipe as written I actually would not have considered it a ‘moist’ recipe. My cake batter was as you can see in the photos, a fairly typical batter but not overly watery. I love your tips in general and wonder if your mention of yours after the alterations being quite different if maybe it did not bake quite the same as the base recipe? Baking is closer to chemistry than cooking I’ve decided and smallest of changes can sometimes make large impacts!

      • Dinah says

        By ‘moist’ I meant the end product. Cheese cake, zucchini casserole, and persimmon pudding are difficult to test with a toothpick or broom straw. My batter looked similar to yours or maybe thicker.

        The biggest impact was that I had so many ripe peaches and much sour milk I made a triple batch. It was more convenient to bake two buckles than to find another pan. I, also, had to combine several different flours and meals because I did not have the 4+ cups of all purpose flour which the triple recipe required. I have been baking GF for 3 years and like the insurance of a fraction of a teaspoon of xanthan gum when baking. Many all purpose GF flours and mixes have the xanthan gum in them.

        The Chinese 5 Spice threw me until I looked it up on Wiki. I just took all the spices in my cabinet listed there and added sparingly to the topping. Maybe this, the fact that I used Sugar in the Raw and added a few tablespoons of almond and flax meal to level out the cup of flour) is why my topping stayed crumbly.

        You concoct a pretty good recipe if I can do all that improvising and still get the best desert I have made in a year. It will be a very pleasant weekend here with this dish to nosh on. Thanks!

        • says

          ‘Got it’ Dinah on the moistness. You are right; those recipes are very hard to judge for doneness. I admire your adventurous nature in endeavoring your seneu baking extravaganza. The fact that you are so happy about it speaks to your sense of proportion.

          I almost always use King Arthur Flour (GF), liking the ‘normal’ flavor and consistency. I’ve had very good luck with it. Enjoy your dessert-filled weekend, remembering to give your self a pat on the back with each serving for your accomplishment!


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