Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake

Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake Recipe

I bought some seductively aromatic, wild huckleberries from Far West Fungi. They were deep violet in color and sweet, tart, and floral in flavor. I ate a big handful and decided to bake the rest into a maple-accented, crumble-crowned coffee cake - the finale of a lunch I was making for my sis. Maple is a nice match for many berries and I made it my sweetener of choice for this cake. In the back of my mind, I was aiming for a rustic cake that used no white sugar and no white flour. It's a stunner of a cake - the huckleberries burst and bleed into the crumb of the cake in quite a dramatic fashion. The crumble crust plays off the tenderness of the cake nicely, so be sure to get a bit of it in every bite.

Coffee Cake recipe

If you can't find wild huckleberries, no worries, substitute blueberries or chopped blackberries - if it's juicy, fruity, and goes with maple I suspect it'll be good.

Coffee Cake recipe

Oh! And I almost forgot. I added a bit of thyme and rosemary from my herb garden. Just a hint to play off the berries, and perfume the cake - barely a whisper.

Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake Recipe

I used a 1-pound loaf pan here, but you could likely get away with a 8 or 9-inch cake or pie pan. Just check in more frequently as the coffee cake is baking because the cooking time will be different. If you have trouble locating whole wheat pastry flour, I suspect spelt flour would make a good substitution - unbleached all-purpose flour is an option as well. I used maple sugar as the granulated sweetener in the crumble top - but I recognize that it can be expensive and/or hard to find - feel free to substitute raw cane sugar or brown sugar.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or spelt flour)
3 tablespoons rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cups fresh wild huckleberries (or other berries), well picked over

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut 1/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup maple sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup chopped pecans

special equipment: a 1-pound loaf pan

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees, rack in the middle. Butter a 1-pound loaf pan, and line with parchment paper. Alternately, you could just butter and flour the pan, but I've found that lining the pan with parchment makes removing the cake from the pan after baking no problem.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, thyme, and rosemary. Set aside. In a separate large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer or by hand - until light and fluffy. Drizzle in the maple syrup and beat until well incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times along the way. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again. Add half of the flour, stir just a bit, now add a splash of the buttermilk, stir again, but not too much. Add the rest of the flour and stir a bit, and now the rest of the buttermilk. Stir until everything barely comes together and then very gently fold in one cup of the huckleberries. Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.

To make the streusel topping, place the flour, butter, maple sugar, thyme and pecans in a food processor and pulse 20-30 times or until the topping is a bit beyond sandy/crumbly. It should be moist-looking - on its way to being slightly doughy. Crumble 2/3 of it over the cake batter, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup huckleberries on top of that, and then add the last of the crumble. Barely pat in place with your fingertips.

Place the coffee cake in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for five minutes and then remove it from the pan to cool on a rack (this way the cake won't steam in the pan as it's cooling.

Serves 12 - 16 modest slices.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 50 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Oh my gosh, I think my brain is going to fall out and I haven't even made this yet. My boyfriend and I are going to his grandparents later this week, I think this will be perfect to bring over!


This look amazing. Another winner! Just out of curiosity, have you ever thought of putting the nutritional ingredients on your site? I know this recipe is prob one of the last ones that i would even think about calories, although some other ones you have on the site would be great to know their caloric intake, fiber, sugar, ect. Just a thought. Thanks for this one - I'm still hooked on those flour less and sugarless cookies you posted the other day. I made them with pumpkin filling. Delicious.


WOW!! that looks so moist and delicious, I do not have those kinds of berries i will look high and low if i do not find them i will use a variety of mixed berries and see how that will turn out! thanks

Tomasina Harper

I wonder how cranberries would looks delicious and perfect for fall!

Fit Bottomed Girls

This, like, personifies fall!

S. from The Student Stomach

OOOOOH! I'm originally from Montana, where we're oddly obsessed with all things huckleberry. Can't wait to try this one!!


Looks amazing! Mmmm...a perfect breakfast.


Ahhh, you are killing me with that first picture! I'm so hungry now.

The Wind Attack

Oh goodness! This looks INSANELY delicious. I MUST find huckleberries so I can make this immediately! :)


Yum! This looks wonderful. I have never tried a huckleberry baked good before, but it looks delish. Adding the herbs sound like a great addition as well.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Mmmmm Yummm mmmm i'm making audible delicious sounds over here – looks amazing! I have no idea what huckleberries are but I'm going to find some blueberries and make this pronto.

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

I'm almost crying. I've just used up most of my last batch of blueberries from a local farm shop, and I know it's now too late for the berries to be around where I am. Oh well. The saving grace is that I'm going to have some blackberries at hand - but they're frozen. Would they make the cake too soggy? Might as well give it a try and see how it goes.


mmm huckleberries! The only time I've had them was in Montana and they were sooo good! My favorite was the huckleberry ice cream!! Unfortunately, I've yet to see them in the midwest. I'll have to substitute some blueberries for this recipe. Yum!


I was just opening your post and my husband came by. He only said: "God it looks very appealing and delicious! When do you make one like that at home honey?" Straight from the heart :-)


This looks absolutely amazing! Thank you for the recipe! :D


I have never seen this kind of berry before,but I bet it would be very nice with black-currants or blueberries too.


looks fabulous, Heidi. I love anything with maple - so I'm happy to see this!


This one is about 200 calories a slice (12 servings).


I remember picking huckleberries in the mountains in Montana with my parents when I was a little girl and I always ask my dad to freeze me a few bags of the last huckleberries of the summer from the farmer's market for my next trip home (a long flight home from Australia), thanks for the lovely reminder!


Do you ever go to Mission Beach Cafe on Guerrero? They had a huckleberry pie on the menu last fall that I am still dreaming about...

This, of course, looks delish as well:-)


Heidi -

You are tickling my fancy with this recipe, but I am from the Northeast! Where do I get fresh/frozen Huckleberries? Even Far West Fungi don't have it on their website! WAH!

Kristina C.

Beautiful! The cake looks as yummy as it sounds .... thnx for this :-). Although I have never seen huckleberries here in Oz :-(


Hi Heidi, I have been a huge fan of your blog for ages. I am not sure how political you are...

But I am doing a little side project directed at foodie types and promoting voting.

Hope you can check it out at


Looks great, but is it possible to avoid the egg and replace with something else?


Being from the Northwest, we are obsessed with Huckleberries and this recipe looks simply heavenly. Anyone have a good source that ships, frozen, I guess? Somehow I can't imagine, but that would be a dream come true. We typically settle for just Hucklberry jam, but oh the things I could do with the actual berries... such as- see above :)


I must try this! Where exactly can you find huckleberries?




Oh my, that looks positively scrumptious.


Is coffee cake what you have with morning coffee, or is it a general term for a dessert cake? I have often wondered.
Whatever, this cake looks lovely, I wish we had access to even half of the ingredients you use, we do have blueberries, and English blackberries are wonderful, but I have never seen a Huckleberry.
Wonderful cooking Heidi, I wish I had taught you.

Jenny Mac


This looks fabulous! For those of us who are currently cooking for one, can this be baked as muffins for easier portioning and freezing?



My grandfather would surely think it odd you bought huckleberries at all, let alone at a place called Far West Fungi. He was a man that gardened in the city of Middletown NY and also was a gatherer. He gathered 50 pound sacks of butternuts every autumn, for instance. Oh these were heavenly. I would crack them on his vice as they are so so difficult otherwise, but the nutmeats inside are sinfully fattening and delicious. He also gathered huckleberries by the bucket full and always also brought home wonderful tales of adventure as bears also love the wild blueberries and he further made claims of "copperheads" being fought off for the berries but gramps was a bit colorful with those stories of his. My grandmother always made a huckleberry cake but scorched the bottom every year, but the best thing was she made me this huge thick huckleberry pie every year for my July 3 birthday. I loved that! My family was sort of centered around picking wild huckleberries, actually. We picked in Delaware County in NYS and gramps picked in Orange County, NY. They just grow wild and you just traverse the natural pastures until you find them. My mother says she also remembers going cranberry picking with her dad but there are subdivisions there now. Anyways, if you own 10 acres you could manage to start a huckleberry patch. The idea of actually buying them, Heidi, is just odd.

HS: I wish I had 10 acres of huckleberries! Great story Kathleen.

Kathleen in NYS

I thought that there was coffee in the ingredients -coffee cake like chocholate cake


Gorgeous. Oops... sorry drooling on the keyboard!

Life Chef

This looks FAB!! I can't wait to try it!

On an unrelated note. I bought Heidi's Totally Natural Cookbook, and LOVE it! So many awesome recipes. You proabably already have it but if you don't GET IT NOW!!


Oh my Heidi the fall bug must be in the air, for all the recipes from the last few e-mails have been wonderful, so I too will be getting some berries at the local farmers market up here in Maple Grove, MN to make this recipe for brunch!


the wood that seems to be the background for a lot of your photos is beautiful. Could you post a picture of the whole table sometime?


This looks scrumptious! I want to make some right now! Thanks for sharing!


you really have a great writing style, it's visual, floral. The cake looks great, and I love far west funghi

HS: Cute site Ursula!


This looks so good. I'll have to sub the huckleberry's for another type. Darn northeast!

What a great combo, maple and berries. Heck who am I kidding. Maple is good with just about everything.


What are huckleberries?


yum: to explain them...well, they're like blueberries but differently-shaped and with a slightly thicker skin. I have never seen them for sale in a store, but I suspect that if you found a grower like Heidi did, you could find them. I grew up in the Northwest, where you-pick berry farms were abundant and I just rode my down the street to gather berries in a plastic detergent bucket.

Heidi, the crumb in the cake looks fantastically...well, crumbly, as it should be. Is this a denser or a lighter cake? The salt-kissed buttermilk recipe came out a bit tougher than I was expecting, but I had to use white instead of pastry flour (I had no idea how good I had it in the West until I moved to the Midwest and any flour besides white is hard to come by).

Thanks for post! And I agree, you always have such complementing backgrounds for your shots.

Erin @ Sprouted in the Kitchen

What a gorgeous cake! Love the beautiful color from the huckleberries and your crumbs are awesome!


I made this and woweeee! Best baked good I've made in ages. Unfortunately, I was out of wheat and had to use white flour, so can't really comment on the recipe all around. Also, I used frozen blueberries b/c it's what was around - defrosted and drained.

I just can't believe how delicious and pretty it was! Heidi, you are so right about the parchment paper - I'm going to start using it all the time. It's been gathering dust on my shelf for ages.

Sara Grace

This is perfect! I just recently bought some wild huckleberries at a local farmer's market and was wondering what to do with the rest of them before they went bad. I can't wait to try it out! :)


Hate to be picky, and this does sound like a wonderful recipe, but it isn't gluten free - oats have gluten in them and therefore unsuitable for those of us with gluten allergies.

HS: Hi Kath, this recipe isn't tagged GF, it has wheat flour in it in addition to the oats. But as an aside, my understanding is there are oats that are GF and not cross-contaminated - but you have to seek them out.


Lovely description, photo and recipe. I wish I could cut a piece out right now. I'd brew a fresh cup of coffee and have at it.


wow...a reason to find huckleberries!

Sim@ Still Good News

A perfect addition for the Thanksgiving spread...coming from SE Asia and living here in North America, we don't usually prepare turkey, we roast instead a whole pig! I wonder how this recipe would play like if I use purple yam, but it's totally different from huckleberries...but on it's own, this creation is BOLDNESS and GENIUS!...and a whisper of thyme and rosemary to perfume the cake...ooh! I can smell it already from here in Canada, we've got lots of maple!


My sisters and I have been picking huckleberries since we were kids in Washington state. I have a freezer full. I am always looking for a good recipe for them. This one looks yummy. I am definitely going to try is, and send it to all my sisters. Thanks!!!


i live in montana,, they grow usually above 4,000 feet. everybody loves them. they sell for $40.00 a gallon up here.. lots of folks pick them and sell to stores and make $200.00 on a good day. i don't pick them anymore. bears like them too. (;-) ,, also you can mix them up with pancake mix and have huckleberry plancakes an you can put them in ice cream and mix them up there also.. yum yum.. they make jams, jellies, and syrup with them too and we can also get HB candy.


My parents got engaged while picking huckleberries, and my whole family has a soft spot for them.
Both of them past away within the last year. My daughter sent me this recipe because it made her think of them.
I will bake it an remember them. Thank you.


I have been searching for a coffee cake with no white flour in it! Thanks!


I just realised that I've never eaten a huckleberry. Seems as though your post signifies it's time I remedied that.


Simple beautiful! It reminds me of a blueberry buckle that I made a few years ago -- loaded with fruit and super moist. I've only had huckleberries a few times in my life - they are wonderful.

Allen of EOL

hmmmmm? I'm thinking Blueberries! Like the idea of Cranberries! That would definately give you a sweet/Tart taste. Going to try making this this upcoming weekend as a treat to self;o)


That looks SO good! My favorite thing is the crumb topping. I love that it is whole grain and good sugar!


This looks really to find some Huckleberries. I'll be your couldn't resist!!


The cake looks amazing, so moist and tender. I love how the huckleberries have bled into the cake in little purple pools.


As always, this looks delicious! I recently made your buttermilk cake with blueberries and it turned out beautifully (as well as your cobbler and crisps recipes....I bought too many blueberries from the farmer's market!) I look forward to trying this with the last of the season's berries.
Thanks for having such a great website, Heidi. You are full of good ideas and this is always my first stop when looking for a new recipe.


Not a single Huckleberry here in France, I don't even know if the name of that little fruit can be translated in French, so I'll try your recipe with blueberries.

Flo Makanai

Delicious! We made this for my co-op tonight, with liberal substitutions (blueberries, brown sugar instead of maple, and then veganizing the whole thing) and it was still spectacular. The recipe really showcases the berries.

Thanks for another winner, Heidi!

HS: Glad you liked it!


I made this with blackberries. i added fresh rosemary & thyme. yuck. i wish i hadnt added those 2 items. next time i wont. otherwise, i could eat the whole thing!

HS: Hi Dawn, sorry you didn't like the herb accents. In my cake the flavor of the rosemary and thyme was barely there - just a hint.


I just finished baking this and it is the BEST coffee cake I have ever made! We have tons of huckleberries this year on our property. I'll have to make it again before the season ends.


I posted my comment twice by mistake and now have to add to it, too. (Luckily my baking skills today are much better than my computer skills.) The recipe took a bit of time (I also had a one-year-old hanging on my skirt,) but was certainly worth it. I substituted walnuts for pecans, since that is what I had at home. But, then forgot to add them to the topping. (Did I mention the one-year-old.) So, I just sprinkled them on top of the whole thing and it worked out fine. Also, I used a bundt cake pan and it looked nice like that. The cooking time stayed the same. And the herbs were subtle and wonderful -- fresh from the garden. Yum! Yum!


Ok, I finally got around to making this recipe last night. And instead of huckleberries I ended up using chopped Black Mission Figs. Delicious! And i LOVE the hint of rosemary/thyme. Next time I'd use a litte more. Thank you!

HS: ooooh. Love the fig idea.

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

I made this yesterday to serve as "the" birthday cake for a colleague today. I used blueberries, but otherwise followed the ingredients list to the letter. I made it in a springform pan, which eliminated the need for parchment paper, and allowed for a more "torte" looking appearance. Since I knew the volume would be spread out more, I didn't layer the topping with the batter--just added all the topping across all the batter. I did scatter a few flash-frozen wild blueberries across the top just before popping it in the oven. My colleagues went WILD over it. The birthday girl is on a "no refined flours or sugars" diet, and this was my way of treating everyone without trotting out chocolate ganache. What a success!

HS: So glad it went well Jenifer! Thanks for reporting back. Also glad to hear the springform worked nicely. -h



Wonderful -- can't wait to make! Question -- is whole wheat pastry flour the same thing as whole wheat flour? Can I use the latter for this recipe? Thank you!

No, whole wheat pastry flour is different. It's a softer flour with less protein, less gluten, and a mild flavor - it is great for baked goods that you want to have a tender crumb.


Haha! I just got an instant message from my co-worker with a link to this recipe. I think it might be a hint! We'll have to see. They *might* have huckleberries at Idylwilde Farm, and I'm going there tomorrow anyway. If not, I'm almost certain they have wild blueberries.

Dawn of Dawn's Recipes

I made this with home picked blackberries and it was delicious, despite accidentally using maple syrup instead of maple sugar (oops) for the topping. It was a beautiful cake, the lemon taste was phenomenal and it was delicately moist. It certainly didn't taste like I made a mistake, but I would use maple or brown sugar for the topping next time just for a texture difference.

HS: It's good to know the syrup substitution works ;)...


I made this yesterday, exactly as written, but with chopped blackberries. The herbs were from my little kitchen garden, and I chopped them ever so fine. They were not discernible as such by taste, but they really added an extra dimension to the flavor and the aroma. My book group went wild about this, and there was a showy chocolate dessert there also. I'm making another batch this weekend. Would it work to use oil instead of the butter for the cake?

Nancy (n.o.e.)

I just want to say that I made this for a ren faire tailgate party today (hah) and it was a hit.

I used blueberries and didn't add any thyme to the streusel. Mine ended up pretty lemony though. I guess I had too much zest? (it wasn't too much lemon flavor, but I, at least, definitely tasted it over the blueberries, for instance)


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