Make Ahead

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

April 26, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8-10
Author Notes

Rhubarb is a relatively new introduction into my culinary life. My favorite incarnation so far is this classic crumb cake with tangy pieces of pink rhubarb studding the sweet, cinnamon-y cake. It’s great for breakfast, with a good English cup of tea or as dessert. —TheRunawaySpoon

What You'll Need
  • For the Crumb Topping
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • For the Cake
  • 12 ounces fresh rhubarb, to produce 4 cups, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch round cake pan.
  2. Cut off the dried ends of the rhubarb and cut the stalks into chunks about a ½ inch thick. If the rhubarb is fat, cut them in half lengthwise first. A quick note: rhubarb will turn what it touches pink, so use a washable cutting board and wash your hands immediately. Wear gloves if you have just had a manicure so you don’t ruin your polish.
  3. For the crumb topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to another bowl and set aside. Wipe out the mixer bowl.
  4. For the cake: Combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder in a small bowl.
  5. In the bowl of the mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk and mix until combined.
  6. Stir in the chopped rhubarb. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle the reserved crumb over the cake batter and spread out to an even layer. It may look like an awful lot of topping, but that’s what makes this so good.
  8. Bake the cake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle come out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • cpc
I think I am like most people. Somewhere in the middle between food snob and food schlub. Just being in the kitchen makes me happy.

2 Reviews

cpc September 1, 2014
This was a fantastic recipe although it overflowed my cake pan like an I Love Lucy episode. I was really glad I decided at the last second to put a cookie sheet under it when I put it in the oven. The only thing I'd change is a deeper cake pan and more rhubarb. I felt like the rhubarb blended into the cake a little too well so it wasn't very noticeable. This recipe would be good as cupcakes/muffins too. I think this may be my new go to recipe whenever I'm forced to cook something without nuts for school where nuts are banned.
TheWimpyVegetarian April 27, 2010
Yum!! Really sounds great!