Big Crumb Rhubarb Coffee Cake

adapted from the New York Times, June 2007



½ lb rhubarb, washed and cut into 1″ squares
¼ c. sugar
2 t. cornstartch
½ t. ground ginger


1/3 c. dark brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
½ t. ground ginger
½ c. melted butter
1 ¾ c. cake flour (like Swan’s Down or similar)

Pinch Kosher salt


 1/3 c. sour cream
 1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. cake flour
½ c. sugar
½ t. baking soda
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. Kosher salt
6 T. butter, room temperature


1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter and flour an 8″ square baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.
3. Make the crumbs by placing sugar, spices, salt, butter and flour in a bowl. Using clean hands, pinch the ingredients together until they form a solid dough but is still a bit crumbly. Set aside.
4. To make the cake, in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the sour cream, egg, egg yolk, vanilla and butter. Then, in a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture bit by bit until it is totally incorporated, but not overbeaten. The mixture should be totally smooth and slightly sticky.
5. Pour ¾ of the batter into the greased 8″ baking pan and pat it down evenly. Distribute the rhubarb over the top in one single layer. Dollop the remaining cake batter over the rhubarb in a few spoonfuls and make sure it is somewhat even.
6. Using clean hands, crumble the large crumb dough over the top of the dough. The chunks should be anywhere from ½″ to ¾″ in size. The whole cake should be completely covered. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and serve.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

I’ve never tried this with any other berry but I bet it would be great with blueberries or blackberries. This cake is fantastic for entertaining and would be perfect to serve on a buffet table for brunch.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making this cake takes about 45 minutes, plus baking time.

Naptime Reviews

My daughter is slowly becoming a rhubarb fan and loves this cake as much as we do.

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