Rhubarb coffee cake

Last year we moved my mother’s rhubarb plants from their once sunny garden spot to a new place in our garden. We dug up a friend’s plant too and divided it but neglected to keep it watered and weeded, so this year only a few of the divisions have come up. Not to worry though, we still have at least a dozen plants. Not quite enough is coming up yet to make pie, but there is just enough for a coffee cake topping.

This coffee cake can be a little confusing. You probably won’t notice it with fresh fruit, especially rhubarb, but if you choose to make it with frozen berries you may have a hard time deciding if it’s baked enough. It can look very soupy when you take it out of the oven, especially with blueberries. But let it sit for several hours and all of that juiciness soaks into the cake, no harm to the cake or the streusel topping. It does help to spread out frozen berries and remove any big pieces of ice stuck to the berries. We’ve made it with raspberries, blueberries, cherries, rhubarb, rhubarb with strawberries, and a triple berry blend. Use whatever you like best, but today I’ve got rhubarb, the perfect tart complement to a sweet cake with sweet streusel.

– Joan, 9 April 2018

Rhubarb coffee cake

  • Servings: One 9x13 pan
  • Print

Streusel toppingimg_0100

  • ½ cup (114 grams) cold butter
  • ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (75 grams) rolled oats

Cake batter

  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) sugarDSCF2288
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (340 grams) sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb, or fruit or berries, for topping

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a 9″x13″ pan.

Prepare the streusel by cutting cold butter into small cubes, then use your hands to mix it with the sugars. When well mixed and no large pieces remain, stir in the flour and oats till combined. Set aside.

DSCF2290Mix all of the dry ingredients for the cake in a large bowl, leaving a well in the center. Mix together the eggs, melted and cooled butter, vanilla, and sour cream or yogurt. Add this to the well in the center of the dry ingredients and blend gently. Don’t be aggressive – this is a cake so it is best when mixed carefully but not too much. Some streaks of the sour cream or yogurt and specks of flour may still be visible.

This is a fairly dense batter. When you put it in the baking pan spread it out evenly and top with the rhubarb or fruit. Scatter the streusel over the top. Bake for 45 minutes, till the streusel is brown and crunchy and a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Check after 20-30 minutes and cover the top with foil if it is getting too dark. Allow to cool to just slightly warm before serving.




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