Julia Turshen’s Berry and Buttermilk Cobbler

published Jun 11, 2020
Berry + Buttermilk Cobbler
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berry cobbler in baking dish
Credit: Gentl & Hyers

The main small victory here is having a really delicious, incredibly easy dessert up your sleeve. Plus, all you need is one baking dish and one bowl (and a couple of measuring devices). To save on cleanup, I melt the butter right in my measuring glass in the microwave and then just add the buttermilk to it (a very small victory, but a victory nonetheless). The cobbler topping could be used on top of any fruit mixture, and the topping itself can be varied — check out the Spin-Offs for more ideas. One final bit of advice: Don’t use a smaller baking dish (such as a pie plate) because the filling-topping ratio will be way off. If you don’t have a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, use the largest skillet you have, preferably one that’s 12 inches in diameter.

Julia Turshen’s Small Victories is Kitchn’s June pick for our Cookbook Club. See how you can participate here.

Berry + Buttermilk Cobbler

Serves 8

Nutritional Info


  • 2 pounds

    mixed berries, rinsed (strawberries are not ideal because they contain so much water)

  • 2 tablespoons

    fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup


  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup


  • Vanilla ice cream for serving


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the butter wrapper.

  2. Put the berries in the prepared dish and drizzle with the lemon juice. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and a generous pinch of salt. Use your hands to combine all of the ingredients. (Taste the berries to check the sugar and lemon levels. If you’re at the height of berry season, they should taste perfect — sweet enough for dessert, but cut with enough lemon so not too sweet. If you’re making this with not-amazing berries, fear not . . . just add a little more sugar to taste.) Mix in the cornstarch and set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk everything together. Drizzle the butter and buttermilk over the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

  4. Use two teaspoons to dollop the dough evenly over the berries. Put the baking dish on a parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any drips and make clean-up a breeze.

  5. Bake the cobbler until the topping is dark golden brown and the berries are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving so that the juices collect themselves and don’t run everywhere.

  6. Serve the cobbler warm with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted from Small Victories by Julia Turshen with permission by Chronicle Books, 2016.


Substitute 2 pounds of just about ANY TYPE OF FRUIT for the berries, or use other fruit in combination with the berries. I like a mixture of sliced nectarines (I don’t bother peeling them) with blueberries. Or try all fresh cherries (pitted) when they’re in season (a mix of sweet and sour cherries is terrific). A plum and blackberry cobbler is lovely, as is a fresh apricot and raspberry one. Whatever you choose, keep the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and pinch of salt.

The COBBLER TOPPING can be made with all-purpose gluten-free flour. Or use 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour in place of half of the all-purpose flour. Or try substituting 1/4 cup of the flour with cornmeal or almond meal. Almond meal goes really nicely with cherries — and you can even add a couple drops of almond extract to the topping, along with a handful of sliced or chopped almonds, if you go down that nutty road.