Rhubarb Almond Crumb Cake

By • May 8, 2012 • 60 Comments

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Author Notes: Pretty pink slices of rhubarb suspended in a dense, moist, golden cake. Have a little slice for breakfast with a spoonful of crème fraîche. Or serve it up for dessert, alone or next to a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The batter is versatile enough to work with most any fruit. If you make it with a sweeter fruit, consider reducing the amount of granulated sugar in the batter.Bob Vivant

Food52 Review: WHO: Bob Vivant is a writer from Chicago.
WHAT: A crumb cake that celebrates the season.
HOW: Mix together your wet ingredients, add the dry, top with almond-y crumbs, and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is an any-time-of-day cake -- it's perfect for breakfast, brunch, snack, dessert, and anything in between. We can see ourselves adapting it to whatever fruit's in season -- and keeping this recipe in our back pocket for when guests drop by.
The Editors

Serves 8 to 10

THE CRUMB

  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

THE CAKE

  • Butter for greasing the pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch, deep, fluted tart pan or an 8-inch round cake pan.
  2. For the crumb, combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Using a fork or your fingers, gently work in the butter until pea-sized lumps are formed.
  3. Combine the eggs, sugar, salt, and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat on high until the mixture triples in volume, about five minutes. Fold in the melted butter, flour, and rhubarb. Evenly spread the thick batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top.
  4. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the topping is deeply golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the pan when it’s completely cool.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
  • This recipe is a Community Pick!
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Comments (60) Questions (2)

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about 10 hours ago Nancy Mck

Delicious.

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7 days ago Dianecpa

Excellent cake.

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13 days ago Stephanie Howard

This turned out so wonderful. Crispy crumb topping, buttery flavor, and the delightful little gems of tart rhubarb in every bite. I used a standard cake pan and it released easily and made a terrific presentation on a vintage platter I picked up thrift shopping. The only change I would make next time would be to cut back on the sugar a bit.

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8 months ago Maria

The cake is just definitely as good as it seems. I feel like I have been in a whole different level of culinary masterpiece. - Glendora Cosmetic Dentist

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10 months ago Marge

Definitely needs 1 tsp of baking powder. Made it many times this way and it turns out much better than without it!

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11 months ago Molly

I made this cake again today with sour cherries. I drained most of the juice from the cherries worried about their juiciness compared to rhubarb. It was absolutely delicious. I loved the rhubarb version as well. This recipe is a definite winner. I'm anticipating a blueberry version in a few weeks, and then peach. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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11 months ago twinjadojo

Fantastic! Such a lovely combination of textures and flavours. I baked mine in a 9" pan, which needed about 55 minutes to bake (with the recipe doubled and two pans sharing a rack in the oven). Thank you for this lovely addition to my rhubarb repertoire (which still pales in comparison to my rhubarb patch).

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11 months ago slberger

This was a delicious cake and was easy to put together. I didn't have any almond extract in the house, so I used vanilla.

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11 months ago Andrew

Made this for father's day dinner.
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

Followed recipe... Except 2 stalks rhubarb made almost 2 cups.

My oven runs a bit hot...done in under 60 minutes.

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12 months ago Molly

My mom made this today and it's delicious. I love the almond flavor and the crunch of the topping. Looking forward to trying this with other fruits as other commenters suggested.

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12 months ago ghainskom

Nice cake, especially the crumble. Rhubarb season is almost over but I don't see why this couldn't be made with other fruits. Peaches, bluberries, endless possibilities...

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about 1 year ago Tomina

I just made this and it smells outrageous!!!! When it said to just butter the pan I knew better but only buttered it anyway. Stuckville! Next time I'll grease and flour or brown paper the bottom for easy release.
I also made this with my gluten free flour blend and added an extra 1/4 cup of flour to the recipe along with a TBSP of Chia Meal. I think next time I'll also add 1 tsp. of baking powder and then it'll be perfect!

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about 1 year ago Tomina

That idea I had to add baking powder next time??? Don't do it. It didn't work. The cake rose quickly and the rhubarb and crumble topping sunk to the bottom.

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about 1 year ago Little Bake

I made this on the spur of the moment this morning and had to make some substitutions but still had wonderful results. I used pure vanilla extract instead of almond; regular whole wheat flour instead of white whole wheat; toasted pecans for the almonds and then added 1 teaspoon of baking powder. It may have been due to all the changes but the baking time was shortened to 45 minutes. Wonderful, adaptable recipe.....can't wait to try other fruit.

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about 1 year ago Lisanne

Delicious! I made muffin sized cakes using a #20 scoop for the batter and a heaping #60 of the topping. The recipe made 16 cakes and baked 30 minutes. I did increase rhubarb, as suggested by others, to 2 cups. Thanks for a great recipe!!

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about 1 year ago LittleKi

I made this yesterday for the first lovely spring weekend of the year. It was a hit. In fact, I sent a large chunk home with one of my guests because he said "next time you make it, make two and I'll pay for one!" I think, for a cake as simple as this, the key is in the freshness of the ingredients, particularly the eggs and flour. I used eggs from my hens, which fluffed up beautifully.

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over 1 year ago Michelle de Lima

I love the roasting idea, Grace. I forgot to post after I made it with peaches, but it came out delicious, and the peaches, which were not super juicy, didn't make the cake too wet or dense. I think my next version will feature pears--can't get enough of this recipe.

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over 1 year ago Emma Quick

I agree. Peaches would be a delicious substitute. It's true that they can be juicier than rhubarb, but they can also be dry and mealy. This would be a perfect way to use those up.

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over 1 year ago Michelle de Lima

What do folks think of making this with peaches (and maybe some lemon to add tartness) instead? I know there are great peach cakes out there but I love this recipe...

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over 1 year ago Natalie J. Vandenberghe

What a great idea! I love peaches and I think peaches would be delicious in it! The only thing I wondered about is if peaches have a greater water content than the rhubarb--would that change the consistency/texture? Let me know how your cake turns out.

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over 1 year ago GraceT

Peachs do have more water. You can roast them to "dry" them out so they don't make the cake runny by cutting the peachs in half and placing them cut side down on a rimmed cookie sheet and roasting at 350 for 30 min. turning them over halfway through. at end of time sprinkle with a little sugar and return to oven for another 15 min. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 mmin. before slicing to put in cake. That should help with the excess liquid from the peaches, I just don't know by how much.

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almost 2 years ago Lisakb

I also adore rhubarb, and you are right, I had forgotten that it already called for www flour.
I may try buzzing the coconut sugar so it's finer and/or add the baking powder that someone else mentioned earlier.
I have started to use a bit of most batters to make one individual portion (or just divide it between 2 smaller pans) so I can taste it without slicing into the large cake. Also, now that it's just the 2 of us, it's better to freeze one for later.

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almost 2 years ago Emma Quick

lisakb, didn't the recipe call for white whole wheat flour? That's what I used. It's what I always use. I also used organic "pure cane sugar", which is still basically sugar and not especially healthy, but it is organic. I also used a whipping beater and beat the eggs, sugar, etc. for more than five minutes while I was prepping the other stuff. Mine didn't increase in volume by a third either. Also the cake got stuck in the pan-- I probably didn't butter it well enough. But none of that matters. It's still moist, tender and delicious and very easy to make, so it will definitely be a keeper.

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almost 2 years ago Lisakb

I basically did the same thing (but used white whole wheat flour), and it is wonderful.
HOWEVER......that was my 2nd cake! I made it with coconut sugar the 1st time around (a bit healthier), and it was flat and dense. The eggs & sugar never increased in volume even after more than 5 min. of beating.
I am an experience baker, so I was really surprised that it flopped! I made it again with the reduced amount of regular sugar and used the whipping beater (I still don't think it beats up as much as the recipe indicates).
I'd really prefer to use a healthier sugar, but the only thing I can think of to change is to grind the sugar 1st in the food processor to make it finer. Anyone have thoughts on this?

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almost 2 years ago Emma Quick

The skies opened and this cake dropped from the heavens! I followed the recipe as directed except cut the sugar by 1/4 c. and increased the rhubarb by 1/2 c. It is so delicious! Made it as a surprise for my rhubarb lovin' hubs, who's out of town but it may not last until tonight.

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almost 2 years ago Bluejade

This is similar to the great blueberry cornmeal lemon cake recipe that's in Food52. That has a teaspoon of baking powder, so I put that in when I made this. I think it helped. I also probably could have used 3 eggs, as mine were small. Mixing on high for 5 min really whips this up. I added a handful of dried cranberries with the rhubarb. I will be making this again.

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almost 2 years ago Beth Hartong

I've made this twice and it is fantastic!

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almost 2 years ago kgindermaur

I took Michelle's advice (below) and added more rhubarb and cut some of the sugar. The cake itself is quite good; hard to resist a sugary crumble! Great with tea and milk.

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almost 2 years ago The Foodies' Kitchen

Hello all! Has anyone tried it with frozen rhubarb?
~ Kitty

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about 2 years ago DebJ

Just made this cake with blueberries and strawberries (what I had in the house) and it's delicious. This is a wonderful recipe I will use over and over again.

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about 2 years ago Debra Rohrbacher Ledsham

It was delicious, but as I was checking to see if I added everything I realized there was no baking powder or soda. I added some baking powder. I don't know if it would have turned out ok without it or not (maybe it would have since there were no comments to the contrary) I did halve the sugar and added more rhubarb. Lovely with Bird's custard.

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about 2 years ago skooj

I made this morning and must confess that when it comes to crumb or streusel toppings...I always double it! I can't help it. Really, I can't. Anyway, this cake is wonderful...even with the extra crumb weighing it down and perhaps keeping it from rising as it should. A keeper recipe.

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about 2 years ago Michelle de Lima

Delicious cake. The brown sugar crumb makes a nice crisp topping. This recipe works well gluten-free, with a combination of almond, rice and tapioca flours. Our rhubarb is so fresh and abundant right now that I couldn't resist adding an extra 1/2 cup. Even with the added rhubarb and reducing the sugar by 1/4 cup, the cake was a bit too sweet for my taste, so I'll probably reduce it more next time. There will definitely be a next time.

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about 2 years ago Emily_JK

Any-time cake indeed! It's so delicious and very hard to stop eating...

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about 2 years ago PaigeP

I made this yesterday for a pot luck - EVERYBODY loved it! I am going to make 2 more this week to take to friends - and will add a bit more rhubarb. I didn't have almond extract so I used vanilla instead. I can't wait to try the cake with the almond to see which way I like best - I have a feeling I'm going to like both ways!

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about 2 years ago Natalie J. Vandenberghe

I'm sure you're right. I actually did use almond extract, but I know it would be great with vanilla, also. What a find!

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about 2 years ago Natalie J. Vandenberghe

I made this delicious cake today with rhubarb fresh from our garden. The cake was perfect! It tasted so good that I ate two pieces!

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about 2 years ago Barbara MacEachern

I grow my own rhubarb so this looks like a good recipe to try.

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about 2 years ago Lisakb

I would say you could substitute another type of berry for the rhubarb. Just be sure to start with less sugar because berries are sweeter.
All purpose flour is white, but you can choose an unbleached, and/ or organic white flour. It's also okay to sub part white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour in most recipes. The King Arthur Flour site has directions for doing that.

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about 2 years ago catnip

What could you substitute for the rhubarb? The cake part sounds wonderful but I am not a fan of rhubarb.

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about 2 years ago nonniedb

Does all purpose refer to white or whole wheat flour?

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about 2 years ago smosann

Delicious, pretty, and easy to prepare (followed the recipe as written). A winner. Glad to have a new recipe to celebrate rhubarb season.

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about 2 years ago loubaby

My husband loves Rhubarb....going to make this and take the suggestion below with adding more to the batter...looks fabulous. Thanks

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about 2 years ago Lisakb

You had me at rhubarb!

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about 2 years ago bottomupfood

P.S. Adding creme fraiche to a dessert does not make it a breakfast food!

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about 2 years ago bottomupfood

This is a good recipe. It's easy to follow, and the texture of the cake is great - quite chewy. But it is much too sweet, and I couldn't taste the rhubarb much at all. If you like rhubarb, try reducing the sugar to 3/4 of a cup and increasing the rhubarb to 2 1/2 cups.

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about 2 years ago scott_nickerson

I made this cake this morning and it turned out great. Couldn't help doing a very New Zealand thing though and added some desiccated coconut to the crumble topping sort of ANZAC biscuit style.

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about 2 years ago Sarah | strawberryplum

This looks great. I just made a strawberry almond crumb cake last weekend. Maybe this weekend I'll try combining aspects of both recipes.
http://www.strawberryplum...

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about 2 years ago maryw.s.

Can't wait to try this! Looks yummy

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about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I've been looking for rhubarb crumb cakes! This one looks wonderful. Congratulations!

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about 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Ooh, MUST make this soon. Sounds marvelous!

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about 2 years ago Hilarybee

Looks wonderful! One of my favorite recipes ever is the Rhubarb Crumb Cake (with big crumbs) from Melissa Clark. This looks healthier and wonderful.

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Gorgeous, congratulations what a lovely cake.

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about 2 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh, that's gorgeous! Congrats.

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about 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Love it! Congrats, Bob Vivant. ;o)

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about 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!

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about 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Yes, yes, yes....rhubarb galore!

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almost 3 years ago Lisel

This crumb cake deserves a gold star, not only because it a supremely delicious medium for rhubarb but is so versatile! It is really the perfect breakfast nom masquerading as dessert. A lovely alternative to bringing another messy coffee cake into the office on Friday.

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about 3 years ago juju bee

I made this using freshly picked rhubarb from the garden.

It's a keeper...light crumb, crunchy topping (not too much) and the best part...beautiful bright pink nuggets of delicious tangy rhubarb.
I used a small convection oven to shorten baking time.
Eat warm out of hand.