This rhubarb coffee cake, with a sweet and crunchy streusel topping, is ready to bake in mere minutes, and is great to have around for snacking, breakfast, or a little sweet bite at the end of a meal.
I've been a rhubarb lover as far back as I can remember. Growing up in rural Quebec, we had a patch of it in the backyard and I can vividly remember pulling the huge stalks out of the ground, and dipping the crunchy, sour fruit in sugar.
A favorite late spring treat for sure.
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These days I still find rhubarb pretty easily at my local fruit store, for a few weeks a year, but the stalks tend to be kind of rubbery, and definitely not the same as fresh-picked.
Nevertheless, thankfully there are plenty of ways to prepare less-than-perfect rhubarb, and this coffee cake is a great one!
The rhubarb-to-batter ratio in this cake will probably seem a little crazy when you're stirring it together, but trust me it works and doesn't overwhelm at all.
As assertive as rhubarb is raw, I find you need quite a lot of it for the flavor to really come through in baked goods.
Here's how it goes!
How to Make Rhubarb Coffee Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 x 8 inch square pan.
2. Chop the rhubarb into ¼ inch pieces. Little tip: slice the rhubarb lengthwise once or twice first, and then chop horizontally across the stalk to get small pieces quickly. Works great for celery too.
3. Make the streusel topping: In a food processor (or with a bowl and fork), pulse together the flour, brown sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
6. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
7. Add the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.
8. Remove the bowl from the stand and stir the rhubarb into the batter by hand until well distributed.
9. Spread the thick batter evenly into the prepared pan.
10. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter, and bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve completely cooled, or slightly warm.
Sound good to you? If you make this rhubarb coffee cake, I would be thrilled and honored if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
Or pin for later! ↓↓↓
Rhubarb Coffee Cake
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- pinch salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ cup butter softened
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups rhubarb chopped into ¼ inch pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan
- In a food processor (or using a bowl and fork), pulse ½ cup flour, ⅔ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup butter, and salt, until crumbly (30 seconds or so).
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed (about 3 minutes).
- Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla, and beat to combine, scraping down the bowl as needed (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be thick.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the rhubarb until evenly distributed.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve at room temperature, or slightly warm.