917-604-7591 [email protected]


Joy Wilson’s Homemade Decadence has this great premise: the most important meal of the day, of the week, is brunch. Just the word “brunch” connotes something special. It’s not breakfast. It’s brunch. Here’s one of Joy’s favorite dishes: a breakfast cobbler with oatmeal drop biscuits. While her family serves this for holiday weekend brunches, I think it’s ready to go anytime. Joy mentions that strawberries are not the ideal candidate here. Blueberries and blackberries will work better. And, of course, you could always toss in a handful of cranberries.

This dish is easy to prepare and even easier to eat. Plus, there will be no leftovers so you won’t be struggling where to fit the remaining pieces in your fridge.

This recipe is on the list of things that Suzen and I want to do, but have yet to find the time. We face a cold week in New York City so one of these morning we may forgo breakfast and just upscale to brunch. All I have to do is tell Suzen I am reforming my diet and would like some oatmeal with buttermilk. I don’t think, when she reads the whole recipe, she can fight the tide.

Breakfast Cobbler with Oatmeal Drop Biscuits

Yield: serves 6


For the Cakes:

  • 4 cups fresh mixed berries, or frozen, thawed and drained (strawberries aren’t great in this recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Biscuit Topping:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk


Put racks in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch square or 8-inch round pan with butter. Set aside. Line a baking sheet with foil and put it on the lower rack in the preheating oven.

In a medium bowl, combine the berries and cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves. In a separate small bowl, combine the orange juice, brown sugar, and salt, and then pour it over the berries. Gently combine the mixture and pour it into the prepared baking pan.

Bake on the center rack until the berries soften and begin to burst, about 15 minutes.

For the biscuit topping, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, the ¼ cup sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, salt, and orange zest. Add the butter and, using your fingers, quickly break up the butter in the dry mixture until the butter is the size of small peas. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and gently stir until all of the flour mixture is moistened.

Remove the berry mixture from the oven. Dollop six ½ cup scoops of the biscuit topping onto the berry mixture. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

Return the pan to the center rack directly above the foil-lined baking sheet, which will catch any drippings. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the berries are bubbling and thick, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. This dish is best served the day it is made.

Source for both Recipe and Photo: Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson [Clarkson Potter2014]