Wild Blueberry Grunt

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Do you have a go-to dessert that brings back memories of warmth and comfort? For many, that dessert is wild blueberry grunt. This traditional dessert has been enjoyed by various cultures for centuries, and it’s easy to see why. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this may quickly become your new go-to dessert recipe.

freshly cooked blueberry grunt

Wild blueberry grunt is a classic dessert that has been passed down from generation to generation. They are similar to a cobbler, but grunts are cooked on the stovetop rather than baked in the oven, making them a perfect dessert for campfires and potlucks. They’re also incredibly versatile – you can use any fruit that’s in season, from apples to peaches to, of course, wild blueberries.

ice cream melted into a freshly baked dumpling dessert

I first encountered the blueberry grunt (more on this below!) when I attended the first-ever Honey Bee Summit on Prince Edward Island in Canada a few years ago. I was able to attend thanks to an invite from Wyman’s of Maine, as they have thousands of acres of wild blueberries growing on PEI and in New Brunswick, Canada.

What is a Blueberry Grunt?

First things first, if you have never heard of a grunt before, don’t feel bad. I hadn’t either!

Wild blueberry grunts have been a favorite dessert in many households for generations. This delicious dessert, which originated in New England, has a rich history dating back to the early days of colonization. Small balls of dough are spooned onto a shallow bowl of wild blueberries. Topped with a lid, the sweet dumplings are steamed to perfection.

blueberry grunt dumplings cooking

As the dumplings steam, the juices work through them, and they make a “grunting” noise. Hence, the name. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this dessert seems familiar, but its unique cooking method puts it in a category all its own.

Early versions of this dessert were made with whatever fruits were in season, including apples, peaches, and raspberries. But in the 1800s, wild blueberries became a popular ingredient due to their abundance and delicious taste.

blueberry dumpling with ice cream

Over time, the recipe for wild blueberry grunts has evolved, with different regions, families, and individuals adding their own personal touch. Some recipes call for adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, while others include ingredients like heavy cream or lemon zest. Despite these variations, the core ingredients of blueberries, dough, and sugar remain the same.

Today, wild blueberry grunts continue to be a beloved dessert, especially in the Northeastern United States. They are a delightful way to showcase the unique flavor of wild blueberries and the simplicity of home cooking. In the next section, we’ll explore what makes wild blueberry grunts so delicious

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Wild blueberry grunts are more than just a simple dessert; they are a sensory experience that satisfies both the palate and the soul.
  • The combination of juicy, tart blueberries and warm, fluffy dough creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures. When the two are baked together, the blueberries release their juices, infusing the dough with their sweet, tangy flavor. The result is a comforting dessert that is both rustic and sophisticated.
  • This dessert is very easy to make. The recipe is simple and there are no fancy ingredients or complicated techniques involved.
  • It’s bursting with summer flavor. I don’t know about you all, but there’s something about blueberries that just scream summertime to me. Sometimes, I just need a hit of summer (yes, even in the dead of winter!).
  • You can easily double or triple this recipe. Looking for something to feed a crowd? This is a great option!
dessert with blueberry sauce and vanilla ice cream


Since it’s an older recipe, this dish is very simple to make and can probably be put together with items you already have in your fridge and pantry. No new-fangled ingredients are required.

You’ll need:

  • blueberries – I typically use frozen, but fresh is good too, as long as they are ripe.
  • sugar
  • lemon juice – fresh is best here; it will make a difference!
  • ground cinnamon
  • all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • butter – you’ll want your butter to be cold, so don’t soften it. Make sure to choose an unsalted variety.
  • buttermilk
  • vanilla ice cream – technically, I guess you could say this is optional, but in my book, it’s a must have!
close up of blueberry grunt

There are a few different ways to make grunt. However, I followed the method I saw in PEI where the whole dumpling is submerged into the blueberry goodness, rather than just resting on top.

Because of this, you might have a little extra blueberry juice and berries. No worries, though. The extra berries and juice make a delicious topping for ice cream or a great base for a fruity cocktail.

How to Make Blueberry Grunt

Let’s get into the recipe. I will walk you through the process below. I’ve also provided a full ingredient list and detailed instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. To make this grunt dessert, you’ll need a large cast iron pot. Inside it, add the blueberries, water, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Then, give it a stir to combine and bring it to a gentle boil on medium-high heat.
blueberry sauce for dessert
  1. Meanwhile, you can begin preparing your dumpling dough. To do this, grab a large bowl and within it, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using your fingers, cut the butter into the dry mixture. Finally, stir in the buttermilk until the dough just comes together. Don’t overmix!
  2. Now it’s time to add the dumplings to the blueberry sauce. When the blueberry mixture hits that low boil, turn the heat to low.
  3. Then, carefully spoon in scoops of dough and submerge each in the blueberry mixture. Each dumpling should be about 1×2 inches, so you’ll get 16 out of this recipe.
how to make blueberry grunt
  1. Once all the dough is in, cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, until the dough is cooked. Make sure you listen for the grunt sound! 😉
blueberry grunt dumplings cooking
  1. Then, serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Don’t forget to spoon extra blueberry sauce over the top!
blueberry grunt in a cast iron pan

Pretty amazing, right? Granted, it’s not the most elegant-looking dessert, but I love it just the same. In fact, I probably love it even more because it looks beautifully homemade and tastes out-of-this-world.

My favorite part is that while the dumpling looks mostly blue from the outside, when you cut in, you see this gorgeous white fluffy dough.

scoop of freshly baked blueberry grunt

Recipe Variations

Wild blueberry grunts, with their warm and comforting flavor, have become a staple dessert in many households. While the classic recipe is simple, it’s also easy to switch things up and create your own unique twist on this timeless treat. Here are just a few of the many variations of wild blueberry grunts that you can try at home:

  • Maple Blueberry Grunt: With the addition of maple syrup, this variation brings a rich and sweet flavor to the dish that pairs perfectly with the tartness of the blueberries.
  • Lemon Blueberry Grunt: Adding a touch of lemon zest or juice to the dough or filling can brighten up the flavor of the grunt and add a refreshing zing.
  • Almond Blueberry Grunt: Adding a handful of slivered almonds to the dough or sprinkling them atop the finished grunt can add a delicious crunch and nutty flavor to the dish.
  • Ginger Blueberry Grunt: Adding a bit of fresh grated ginger or ground ginger to the dough or filling can add a warming and spicy kick to this already comforting dessert.

Whether you choose to stick with the classic recipe or try one of these variations, wild blueberry grunts are sure to delight your taste buds and provide a warm and cozy dessert that’s perfect for any occasion.

flour dumpling covered in blueberry sauce, topped with ice cream

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called grunt?

I’ve been making this rustic dessert for years, and when I make it for anyone the number one question that comes up inevitably is…why is it called a grunt?

The simple answer is that the berries make a “grunt” sound as it cooks.

When you make this dessert, keep an ear out and see if you can hear the sound!

What’s the difference between wild and regular blueberries?

If you’ve seen the label “wild blueberries” on a bag, you may be wondering what the difference is. The wild variety of blueberry is smaller. They also have a more intense flavor with the sweet-tart combination coming in strong. They are my personal favorite!

wild bluieberries vs fresh

Can I use fresh or frozen blueberries?

I typically make this dessert with frozen berries. I’m still a big fan of Wyman’s wild blueberries, which are available year round. The berries are frozen within 24 hours of harvest which locks in the flavor. Plus, frozen fruits boast the same health benefits (antioxidants, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid) as fresh.

That being said, if you are a lucky duck who has an abundance of fresh blueberries around you—this is a great way to use them!

wild blueberry grunt in a cast iron pan with ice cream

More Delicious Desserts to Try

Plus, don’t forget to check out my post with the absolute best blueberry recipes too!

If you’re looking for a unique and totally delicious dessert idea, I hope you’ll give this blueberry grunt a try.  If you do, please leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. 

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Wild Blueberry Grunt

An old-fashioned and traditional dessert from Nova Scotia, this Wild Blueberry Grunt is served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice to create a unique and comforting dessert recipe.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bluberries, grunt
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 648kcal



  • In a large cast iron pot, add the blueberries, water, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-low heat.
  • In the meantime, prepare your dumpling dough but whisking together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingers, cut the butter into the dry mixture. Then, stir in the buttermilk until the dough just comes together.
  • When the blueberry mixture is at a low boil, turn the heat to low. Spoon and submerge the dough into the blueberry mixture. (Each dumpling should be about 1×2 inches, yielding about 16 dumplings.) Cover with a lid and cook over low heat until the dough is cooked. About 15 minutes.
  • Serve the dumplings with the blueberries and sauce spooned over top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Calories: 648kcal | Carbohydrates: 110g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 498mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 78g | Vitamin A: 783IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 2mg

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  1. Hi, Michael! I love blueberry desserts, especially in the summer. But what if I don’t have a cast iron pot? Can I make this in a teflon (or non-teflon) pot?

  2. Michael, bee’s are a major importance to the food we all eat. Unfortunately in recent years, their numbers have declined rapidly due to the toxic pesticides farmers and gardeners have been using. These are called neonicotinoids. These chemicals weaken the bee’s immune systems and make them susceptible to disease. Here in Ontario, we have lost millions of bee’s due to these practices. It isn’t only here in Ontario, but globally. Beekeepers approached our government and the government agreed to start phasing out the use of these chemicals. It should be done all over the world. We can’t even buy chemicals to kill weeds on our lawns anymore. Hopefully, other countries will educate themselves on this subject.

  3. My mom used to make this when I was growing up. I just love that you posted a recipe for it. She is gone now and I had no idea how to make it. I can’t wait to make it vegan (should be pretty easy since the recipe is so simple), and post about it on my own blog. I will be sure to include a link back to your blog. Thanks again… finding this made my day!

  4. My Mom made this a lot when I was growing up in Connecticut (her Dad was from Maine and I think it came from his family), but we called it Blueberry Slump. This brought back great memories of being a kid in August. Can’t wait to try it for my kids!

  5. My Mom made this a lot when I was growing up in Connecticut (her Dad was from Maine and I think it came from his family), but we called it Bluberry Slump. This brought back great memories of being a kid in August. Can’t wait to try it for my kids!

  6. The simple answer is: It’s none of our business. Either a businessman can use his capital the way he see fit, or he can’t. The former is liberty, the later is sevirtude.Tackle the issue of immigrant workers on the political level, fine; but let people use their own property. Don’t conflate the two issues into one.

  7. Um, how do I make that Hello popup happen on my site. I seriously just died laughing. More importantly, though, this dessert looks phenomenal! It was so great meeting you in PEI. Your laugh is contagious and I loved getting to know you. I hope our paths cross again.

  8. I have heard of grunt before, but have never made it. Oh my, does this look amazingly good. Best part, you don’t have to wait for fresh blueberries….love frozen fruit.

  9. YUM!!!! Michael, thank you so much for sharing this recipe and the story behind the wild blueberries. Have a wonderful weekend, Ardith