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Rhubarb Coffee Cake

May 25, 2011

I bought some rhubarb at the farmer’s market over a week ago so when I realized it was going limp yesterday I decided it was now or never!  I had a hard time deciding what to make but in the end I’m so pleased with what I chose!  I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Big Crumb Coffee Cake with Rhubarb.  The recipe seems a bit long because of the three components but it came together quickly for me!

‘Big Crumb’ Coffeecake with Rhubarb
Adapted from The New York Times 6/6/07

Not rhubarb season? Don’t fret. I think this cake would be amazing with a blueberry, raspberry, sour cherry or any other tangy fruit filling you can think of. Simply adjust the sugar level accordingly–most of these will need far less than rhubarb does to make them palatable.

Butter for greasing pan

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 (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour (I was out and used all-purpose and it worked great)

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (ditto on the all-purpose flour–worked just fine)
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.

1. 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.

2. To make crumbs [this step now updated, see comment #150] in a large bowl, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.

3. 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.

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

5. 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.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

IMG_2093

Some people in the comments had problems with the crumbs, so I just went light on the flour and I thought it turned out fine.  I actually didn’t put all the crumb topping on which I’m glad for.  I also didn’t put half the batter in pan, layer rhubarb, and then cover with the other half.  I only reserved enough to slightly cover the rhubarb.  And because I’m overzealous and didn’t read through the recipe first I cut my rhubarb smaller than it calls for, and I also used more – probably about 2 generous cups of chopped rhubarb.

IMG_2099

This was SO GOOD!  Moist and tasty and I could eat the whole pan!  I almost have!  So if you’re at the farmer’s market this weekend grab some rhubarb!  Although now I’m looking forward to trying it with sour cherries later this summer!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Tim permalink
    May 25, 2011 11:24 pm

    Days later it’s still super moist and amazing!!!!!!!

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