Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

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Sometimes I forget to check on my rhubarb … I didn’t quite realize that it would be ready to harvest in the spring, because I harvested a bunch last fall. Rhubarb is a beautiful thing! So the other day I went out and got a HUGE batch out of my garden.

We were having a family dinner and I knew that I would be searching for an awesome rhubarb recipe to bring for dessert. I settled for a Rhubarb Coffee Cake recipe that was recommend by The Pioneer Woman since she never leads me astray. It was just the perfect combination of cake, fruit, and crumble. I took all the leftovers home and ate them for days.


Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen which was adapted from New York Times recipe 🙂


Rhubarb Filling:
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Crumb Topping:
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 butter, melted
1 3/4 cups white flour

Cake Batter:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter


Preheat oven to 325. Grease an 8×8 baking dish (if doubling the recipe use a 9×13 pan). Slice the rhubarb into small chunks and mix with other filling ingredients. Set aside.

For crumb topping, whisk together all ingredients except flour. Then slowly add flour until it forms a dough. Press in bottom of bowl and set aside.

For cake batter, combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Slowly add dry mixture to wet in a mixing bowl. Mix together for several minutes until smooth.

Reserve 1/2 cup of cake batter. Pour the rest into baking dish. Spoon the rhubarb filling over the cake batter. Top with reserved cake batter. It doesn’t have to cover it completely. Break crumb topping into large chunks and spread over top of cake.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Tips for Growing/Harvesting Rhubarb

I had very little experience with rhubarb and still don’t feel like much of an expert. It seems to grow pretty easily here in Utah so I haven’t stressed about proper care very much. I planted it in my raised garden beds last spring and harvested a big crop in the fall, and another this spring. It still seem to keep growing. I love it! Here are some tips for harvesting that I found from almanac.com when I had no idea how I was supposed to do it 🙂

  • Do not harvest any stalks during the first growing season so that your plants can become established.
  • Harvest the stalks when they are 12 to 18 inches long. Usually after 3 years, the harvest period runs 8 to 10 weeks long. If the stalks become thin, stop harvesting; this means the plant’s food reserves are low.
  • Grab the base of the stalk and pull it away from the plant with a gentle twist. If this doesn’t work, you can cut the stalk at the base. Be sure the discard of the leaves!
  • Always leave at least 2 stalks per plant to ensure continued production. You may have a bountiful harvest for up to 20 years without having to replace your rhubarb plants.
  • After harvest time, the stems may die back. Just remove all plant debris. Once your ground freezes, it’s best to cover rhubarb with 2 to 4 inches of mulch, preferably well-rotted compost; by adding nitrogen to the soil, you’re preparing the rhubarb plants for a good spring season.

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