Another Great Coffee Cake: Rhubarb Edition

May 28, 2016

IMG_8206“Want some rhubarb?”

When my friend Emily asked that question I was not expecting the massive stalks of rhubarb that showed up on my doorstep. 

I made rhubarb sauce, which I’ve been stirring into yogurt for breakfast every morning.  I made more and froze it.  Still the pile of rhubarb persisted.

So I decided to make a Rhubarb Coffee Cake.  (I used what I had on hand; you could substitute buttermilk or use all-yogurt instead of half milk, but this is what I found in my refrigerator. You could also use less rhubarb, although that would probably mean less time in the oven.)

The cake turned out to be so tender, so moist, so sweet/salty delicious that I’m about to call Emily and ask if she’s got any more rhubarb.

Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8 inch square baking pan.

Let a half stick of butter get soft, then stir in a cup of sugar and an egg.  Add a good splash of vanilla, and if you’re feeling so inclined, a grating of lemon rind.

Chop enough rhubarb to make 2 1/2 cups.

Mix a teaspoon of baking powder, a half teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of baking soda into 2 cups of flour.

Stir a quarter cup of milk into a quarter cup of full-fat yogurt.

Gently mix the dry ingredients and the yogurt mixture into the butter-sugar mixture, alternating, just until it is smooth. Stir in the rhubarb.  Don’t worry: the batter will be stiff but it’s supposed to be.

Make a crumb topping by melting a half stick of butter, then stirring in a half cup of sugar,  a half cup of flour and a really healthy pinch of salt.  (The salty crumb topping is part of what makes this cake so appealing.) 

Spoon the batter into the greased baking pan and top with the crumble mixture.

Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a rack.

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  • Rose says:

    Thanks for the recipe! Such good timing as I had just brought some rhubarb in from the garden. My cake is now in the oven baking. 🙂

  • I need a good rhubarb recipe and this one reminds me of a German Kaffekuchen my godmother used to make. Thank you!

  • thanks! i just harvested a TON of rhubarb in a wild garden beside my italian canadian boyfriend’s parents’ house. it was very ready to be pulled.

  • trudi says:

    This is perfect as my husband has brought rhubarb home. I just have one question here in Wales coffee cake has coffee in it in the formbof espresso or just coffee ggranules. In America coffee cake has no coffee in, why is that? What makes it coffee cake if there is no coffee in it? Thanks Trudi.x

  • admin says:

    Trudi, Interesting cultural difference. We call any cake you eat at breakfast (ie, a cake you’re eating while drinking your morning coffee), “coffee cake.” It’s generally less rich, and often less sweet, than a cake you’d eat for dessert.

  • Donna says:

    Rhubarb is plentiful in my garden right now…never made variation with yogurt. Looking forward to trying it.

  • Trudi says:

    What a fantastic custom, I think we shall adopting that one here.

  • Laurie says:

    I just made this cake from the rhubarb in my farm shares. Next year I will have a well established plant to harvest from and I will make this beautiful cake again! Thank you for the recipe. I love the way it’s written, as if it was shared in conversation. I found it very easy to follow.

  • Michael S. says:

    Happy Spring 2017! I made this cake this morning and it’s divine! Used buttermilk instead of milk. Baked in a 9″ round cake pan.

  • Linda Brawner says:

    A standard recipe format would have made this recipe much easier to follow.