Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake

Breakfast and Brunch, Garden Recipes, Seasonal Recipes, Spring Recipes | 24 comments

I almost hate to mention it, because I know so many people are still under snow and freezing temperatures, but our garden is actually starting to come back to life. I was amazed when I saw it, because I hadn’t really been out there in months. We’re definitely not experiencing spring yet, but I guess our temperatures have warmed just enough that plants are waking up.


When I saw that the rhubarb was already coming back, I realized that I better use up what I have in the freezer from last year because I’d soon be needing more space.I happened upon this recipe a while back and have even made it once before, but with strawberries and I didn’t photograph it, so I thought this was the perfect time to make it again.


My friends and I enjoyed it during a “Mommy Play Date” (where the moms play instead of the kids). We let the kids out back to run around like crazy kids like to do while we enjoyed the rare experience of adult time. Coffee cake, a fun card game, other mom friends, and kids peacefully playing outside. What’s not to love? None of the kids liked the cake, but we didn’t care. There was more for us!

Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake

from The NY Times


For the Rhubarb Filling:

  • 1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the Crumbs:

  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour

For the Cake:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

To make crumbs, in a large bowl, whisk together sugars, spices, salt and butter until smooth. Stir in flour with a spatula. It will look like a solid dough.

To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.

Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.

Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Jessica @ How Sweet - February 22, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

    I have never even tried or tasted rhubarb! I always thought it was a fruit, and figured it tasted like strawberries. :) Your coffee cake looks wonderful!


  • 2
    Tasty Eats At Home - February 22, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

    This sounds like the perfect way to enjoy a Mommy Play Date!


  • 3
    carolyn - February 22, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    Who would have thought rhubarb in coffee cake? It sounds divine! Pretty pictures!


  • 4
    Jan (Family Bites) - February 22, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

    What a fun way to spend the day together! We are expecting five days of snow here, so I can't say we're anywhere near seeing our gardens blossom, but I love feeling hopeful by looking at yours. There is light at the end of these dark snowy days, after all.


  • 5
    Maria - February 22, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

    Yea, glad you posted the cake:) We have a couple rhubarb plants, I can't wait until spring!


  • 6
    Jamie - February 22, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

    Your play date sounds like such fun and your coffee cake looks amazing! We are still buried under a blanket of snow here; can't wait for it to melt!


  • 7
    Trish - February 22, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    Gosh, this looks good. And I love the photos. Wonderful. Rhubarb coming up? Wow


  • 8
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - February 22, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

    Yum… I love rhubarb! I tried to plant some last year, so hopefully it'll come up this spring (once our 2 feet of snow has melted). This cake looks amazing!


  • 9
    Amy from She Wears Many Hats - February 23, 2010 @ 12:21 am

    Yea! Spring is a comin'! I've yet to sit down and plan my garden out but hopefully will be doing that this next week. I'm not planning on rhubarb but it is such a lovely plant – great colors. The cake looks great – will have to pick up some rhubarb sometime for this one.


  • 10
    Erin @ Domestic Adventure - February 23, 2010 @ 3:00 am

    This sounds so good! I would like to grow rhubarb this year…it is a big favorite in our house.


  • 11
    picky cook - February 23, 2010 @ 3:44 am

    I can tell you are enjoying your new camera – the pics are just lovely! I have never baked with rhubarb – I think I need to change that.


  • 12
    arugulove - February 23, 2010 @ 4:37 am

    Looks fantastic! Like many others, I've never cooked with rhubarb, but this looks like a great recipe to try.


  • 13
    Peter - February 23, 2010 @ 10:02 am

    Wow,I love rhubarb and I lover coffee. But I never combined it in a cake. Thanks for sharing.


  • 14
    Lucy - February 23, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

    I can't understand why anybody wouldn't like this cake – it looks gorgeous! Rhubarb is one of my favourite fruits, this is a totally delicious use for it.


  • 15
    R. - February 23, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

    Yum! This rhubarb cake looks fantastic!


  • 16
    Wiosanna - February 23, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

    I hope I remember this recipe when there will be rhubarb time in Poland :)


  • 17
    Sweets By Vicky - February 24, 2010 @ 3:02 am

    You must've heard (read) this a thousand times but I really love lovelove your photography! And rhubarb. and crumble. and cake. So I guess I pretty much love this recipe! Awesome work, can't wait to bury myself in your archive!


  • 18
    justine - February 24, 2010 @ 4:16 am

    I have some rhubarb in my freezer, too … what good motivation!


  • 19
    diva - February 24, 2010 @ 10:24 am

    mmm this looks very delicious and I love anything rhubarb. Perfect for tea this is :)


  • 20
    Kasey - February 25, 2010 @ 6:50 pm

    I made this coffee cake for a brunch party and it was a runaway hit. No wonder it's been circulating around the blog! Gorgeous pics.


  • 21
    marla {family fresh cooking} - February 26, 2010 @ 5:58 am

    Katie, this looks so delicious! I don't think I have had rhubarb since I was a kid. Think I would have joined you guys inside for a slice of this and girl time. Glad to hear you had fun!


  • 22
    Megan - March 01, 2010 @ 1:34 am

    This sounds so delicious! I love making coffee cakes but I've never tried using rhubarb before. For some reason, it's just never appealed to me. I think you've convinced me to give a try!


  • 23
    Bugaboo - March 25, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    I love rhubarb, and this recipe sounds super tasty. Thanks!


  • 24
    SnoWhite {Finding Joy in My Kitchen} - March 25, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

    We love rhubarb around here — thanks for such a delicious recipe.


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