Memorial Day

Cory Schreiber & Julie Richardson's Rhubarb Buckle with Ginger Crumb

May 21, 2013
11 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8 to 12
Author Notes

There's a secret ingredient in here: ginger (times two). Fiery candied ginger is minced up in the crumb topping, and ground ginger in the cake too -- just enough to give it a warm, flirty je ne sais quoi that doesn't try to shout over the rhubarb. Adapted very slightly from Rustic Fruit Desserts (Ten Speed Press, 2009) —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • Ginger Crumb Topping
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Cake
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round baking pan that is at least 3 inches tall. (Otherwise, use a larger pan or it may overflow.)
  2. Make ginger crumb topping: Mix sugar, flour, and candied ginger together in a bowl, then stir in melted butter. Put the topping in the freezer while you mix up the cake.
  3. Make the cake: whisk flour, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beaters, or a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Gently fold in rhubarb.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle the crumb topping over the cake—make sure the crumb is totally frozen, and that you move quickly to sprinkle it over the cake and transfer to the oven. Otherwise it will melt into the cake, which will still taste good but won't look as spectacular. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until lightly golden, and firm on top.
  5. Store wrapped in plastic, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
  • Elle Tee
    Elle Tee
  • butterygoodness
  • LeeLeeBee
  • saramarsh
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

66 Reviews

NXL May 23, 2022
My visiting friend, who does not care for sweets, said this is the best cake she ever ate. 😋
Carol K. October 11, 2020
This recipe came highly recommended by my sister. I made a version with Pears. I used a 10" spring form pan which I lined the bottom with parchment paper. It did need to cook a good 25 minutes longer due to the pears water content. I put about a tablespoon of fresh grated ginger in the batter along with the powder ginger. Also doubled the topping. Put fresh grated ginger in the topping as well. Had a small dinner party and everyone raved about it.
Smartscallion October 2, 2020
I've made this dozens of times with no problem. Comes out perfect every time. I did make some adjustments though. I make it in a 10" pan, double the topping recipe, and add 10 minutes to the baking time.
Smartscallion October 2, 2020
I've made this dozens of times with no problem. Comes out perfect every time. I did make some adjustments though. I make it in a 10" pan, double the topping recipe, and add 10 minutes to the baking time.
Cheryl P. June 25, 2018
I love this cake. I double the candied ginger and put half in the cake batter. I often use plain yogurt instead of buttermilk. It’s moist, gingery, and delicious.
Kristen M. July 21, 2017
After seeing some of the comments on this recipe, I've clarified a couple points about the pan height and crumble topping. I hope this helps!
Elle T. June 2, 2017
I really like to try and follow a recipe as written the first time I make it (especially when I'm being told it's "genius"), but it was a bad idea in this case. It didn't overflow in my 9 x 2 round pan, but was definitely too full to bake properly, even after extra time. And the topping sunk for me too. A waste of money, time, and precious rhubarb. :-(

butterygoodness May 14, 2017
I baked this recipe in a 9" pan. It took an extra 20 minutes, a bit of overflow. My kid's review: "This barely tastes like anything." So this is gingery but not gingery-hot. I would try this recipe again with a bigger pan and another fruit. I think peaches and ginger sound really good.
butterygoodness May 16, 2017
I baked it in a 9x13" pan with frozen berries I had on hand and it came out fruity but not as gingery as the previous attempt (unless you bite into some candied ginger.) I used the milk/vinegar sub like always and freezing the crumb is effective. All in all, a nice recipe to work with to make it your own! Nice texture, good with coffee in the morning.
LeeLeeBee June 13, 2016
I love the flavors of this cake, but the recipe is problematic. After several overflow experiences, I now either bake it in a 9x13" pan or a very tall 9" springform pan. As others have said, the crumb topping just disappears into the cake.
saramarsh June 28, 2015
Just put it in the oven with some new ideas after having such great success with this recipe numerous times.
1. Fresh blueberries (2.5 C) instead of rhubarb, with a little bit of flour mixed in.
2. 2.5 Tblsp. lemon curd and a drizzle of lemon juice in with the butter and sugar, near the end of the whipping process, at the 4 min. mark (I let mine whip for 5 min.)
3. doubled the candied ginger in the crumble
4. doubled the dry ginger
It's baking now, the batter tasted fantastic, so we shall see!
saramarsh June 29, 2015
And it was magic. It took only 50 min. to bake instead of the 1h 15min for the rhubarb. Give it a try!
fearlessem June 3, 2015
I don't know what happened here -- I followed this recipe to the letter, and it was kind of a disaster. The crumb topping basically dissolved into the top of the cake, so it ended up looking nothing like the picture and had no textural contrast on top. There seemed to be way too much rhubarb for the amount of cake batter, so that the cake ended up being almost soggy... I really wanted to love this, but I'm not sure where I went wrong...
erin May 22, 2015
Eating this as I type. It's beautiful and worked out perfect for me, with some minor notes:
- No candied ginger to hand for the crumb so I threw some powdered ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg in.
- Replaced buttermilk with whole milk curdled with a squeeze of lemon.
- It was still wobbly at 45 minutes. Took 1 hour 10 minutes in my oven with the last 10 at 400 degrees.
- As noted by others, you need a good deep cake pan for this, not a shallow layer cake pan.
Danielle V. June 29, 2014
I love this recipe, but still can't help but personalize it with whole wheat pastry flour, slivered almonds in the topping and a splash of vanilla in the batter. Also felt that the rhubarb made the cake too moist, so I tossed the rhubarb in 2TBSP of flour before adding it to the batter. Finally, to prevent the overflow issue, I used a 9x12 pan. Amazing!
ghainskom June 15, 2014
Used carrots instead of rhubard. Little lessthan a pound. Very moist cake, really delicious.
fablee May 21, 2014
I made this yesterday and the cake was delicious, but like several others, I had an overflow problem with a 9-inch pan. I assumed since it was an American recipe, the pan should be a layer cake pan, but that obviously isn't deep enough. What should the depth of the pan be? Should it be a springform pan? In any event, I ate the non-burnt bits that overflowed with relish and I will certainly make this cake again.
Lyn C. May 20, 2014
Just out of oven. Looks perfect in 9" pan, fresh rhubarb with no overflow. Will serve tomorrow. My question: serve in pie wedges or clumps?
Kate May 15, 2014
Mine took about 60 minutes to bake, too - still worth it, though!
gretchen W. May 15, 2014
I used rhubarb just picked out of the garden and was careful about making the cake and folding in and my cake did the same as one other persons which was it was very wet so it took a long time to back and is very it the rhubarb?? or did I do something else wrong.
J. P. May 13, 2014
I have made this cake no less than 10 times and every single time it's turned out perfect. I've also tried it with blueberries - which works well if you can't find rhubarb.
June D. May 13, 2014
Made this two days ago but didn't add the crumb topping because my husband doesn't like toppings like that. The cake is absolutely delicious. What a great way to serve rhubarb. This is on my "make again " list. But next time I would add the candied ginger to the cake.