The DCF Grape Buckle is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon tea. Each bite of this flavourful dessert is texturally pleasing with its dense cake, sweetly flavoured grape filling and crispy topping. To reduce preparation time, grape filling may be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to two days, but be sure to bring it to room temperature before assembling the buckle.

Tip: Freezing grapes is simple. Wash, dry and de-stem grapes. Pack in airtight containers and freeze. No sugar is required because the natural high sugar and acid level in DCF table grapes act as a natural preservative.

Makes 8 to 10 servings


3 tbsp cornstarch 45 ml
2 cups de-stemmed DCF table grapes (fresh or frozen) 500 ml
2/3 cup sugar 150 ml
1/8 cup water 25 ml
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice 7 ml


1/3 cup flour 75 ml
1/4 cup granulated sugar 50 ml
1 tsp cinnamon 5 ml
1/4 tsp salt 1 ml
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces 50 ml


3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 175 ml
1 cup granulated sugar 250 ml
1.5 tsp vanilla extract 7 ml
3 large eggs 3
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 325 ml
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 7 ml
1/2 tsp salt 2 ml


Add cornstarch into a measuring cup and add enough water to make 1/3 cup (75 ml) liquid; set aside. Add grapes, sugar, water and lemon juice into a pot and stir to combine (if using frozen grapes, include any ice that has formed). Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil; cook for 5 to 10 minutes, continuing to stir. Add cornstarch to grape mixture and continue to cook until it no longer looks cloudy from the cornstarch mixture, about five minutes.

Remove pot from heat and transfer grape filling into a bowl; cool to room temperature. Do not skip this step. When assembling the buckle, if the filling is not at room temperature it will bubble and overflow creating a mess in your oven.

In medium bowl, add flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter. Using fingertips, work butter into dry ingredients, until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Refrigerate for later use.

With a stand mixer or hand mixer, blend butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time until well blended. In separate bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Pre-heat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).

Grease and flour a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan and pour in cake batter. Drop spoonfuls of grape filling on top of the batter and gently swirl with a butter knife creating a marble effect over the surface area. Top with the streusel mixture and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.