Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake

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.