Sweet and Tart Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

Dear coffee lovers,

I am excited to share with you one of my favorite coffee cake recipes for this spring season – the Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake. This recipe is perfect for those who love the tart and fresh taste of rhubarb, and the buttery and crumbly texture of a classic coffee cake.

The recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen, and it has become a staple in my baking repertoire. I’ve made a few tweaks to create an even more moist and flavorful cake, and I’m confident that you’ll love it just as much as I do.

Now, let me tell you why this Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake should be on your baking list this season. Firstly, it’s an excellent way to showcase the vibrant and colorful rhubarb that’s in season during springtime. Rhubarb is a perfect ingredient for baked goods because of its juicy texture and tartness, providing a refreshing balance to the sweetness of the cake.

Secondly, the crumb topping on this cake is something else – it’s big, generous, and crunchy. The crumb topping is made with a mixture of flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt – creating an irresistible texture that complements the softness of the cake beneath.

Lastly, nothing beats having a freshly baked coffee cake sitting on your kitchen counter in the morning. The aroma of cinnamon and vanilla extract will fill your home with warmth and comfort – making this cake ideal for breakfast or morning snacks.

So what are you waiting for? Head to your local grocery store, gather all the ingredients needed for this Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake recipe, follow the step-by-step instructions, and enjoy a slice of perfect spring goodness.

Yours truly,

Your friendly barista

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake
Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake

Are you craving a sweet and sour treat that combines the perfect flavor balance of rhubarb and coffee? Look no further than this delicious Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake recipe.

Not only is this cake recipe perfect for spring, but its combination of moist rhubarb and a big crumb topping is sure to satisfy your taste buds all year round. The rich and nutty aroma of coffee will fill your kitchen while you bake away.

What sets this recipe apart is its versatility. You can easily substitute the rhubarb for strawberries or add almonds for a twist on the classic recipe, making it adaptable to your preferences. You can even use a strawberry cake mix if you’re looking for something different.

This Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake recipe also requires minimal effort, guaranteeing ease and convenience in the kitchen. With simple instructions and everyday ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, salt, vanilla extract, and eggs; baking has never been so easy. In just a few steps, you can create your perfect springtime coffee cake that’s ideal for breakfast or dessert.

Overall, the beauty of this recipe lies in not only its great flavor but also its adaptability and convenience. I guarantee it will become a staple in your home for years to come!

Ingredient List

 A slice of happiness in every bite.
A slice of happiness in every bite.

These are the ingredients you’ll need to make this decadent rhubarb crumb coffee cake recipe. Don’t worry, these ingredients are easy to find and probably already in your pantry.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Rhubarb Mixture:

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crumb Topping:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, browned*

The Recipe How-To

 Perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors.
Perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors.

Get ready to make an irresistible Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake that’ll make your taste buds sing. This cake recipe is the perfect spring treat and is made with fresh rhubarb and a crumb topping so big and delicious you might just skip the cake part altogether. In this section, I’ll provide you with a simple step-by-step guide, so let’s get started!


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of sour cream

For the Crumb Topping:

  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and set aside.

  2. In a bowl, beat together the egg, sour cream, sugar, and melted butter until smooth.

  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  4. Add the dry ingredients slowly into the egg mixture and mix until everything is well combined.

  5. Gently fold in rhubarb.

  6. Pour the batter evenly into your greased pan.

  7. For the crumb topping, combine butter, flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a separate bowl using a fork or pastry cutter until it forms big crumbs. Sprinkle crumb mixture over coffee cake batter generously.

  8. Bake cake for about an hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  9. Let it cool on wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Tips for Perfect Results

  • Be sure to not overmix the batter as this can make the cake tough.
  • If you have leftover rhubarb, try freezing it in a sealed container for up to three months.
  • For extra moist rhubarb, carefully strain off any excess liquid before adding to your recipe.

With these easy directions and some basic ingredients, you’ll be ready to bake up a perfect Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake in no time. Serve slices on its own or with whipped cream or ice cream. One thing is certain: everyone will want a second piece.

Substitutions and Variations

 Mouthwatering aroma that fills the room.
Mouthwatering aroma that fills the room.

One of the fun parts about cooking is experimenting with different variations and substitutions in recipes. Here are some ideas on how you can modify this rhubarb crumb coffee cake recipe to suit your taste and culinary preferences.

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of rhubarb or it’s not in season, you could substitute it with other fruits like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries. These fruits will add a sweet and tangy flavor that complements the buttery crumbs of the cake perfectly.

Instead of using a traditional all-purpose flour, feel free to substitute with whole wheat flour or even gluten-free flour to make the dish healthier or suitable for those with dietary restrictions. However, be aware that these flours may alter the texture and density of the cake.

For those who want an extra kick of spice, try adding nutmeg or cardamom to the recipe along with ginger and cinnamon. This combination creates a warm aroma and earthy depth that pairs well with the bright tartness of the rhubarb.

If you have a sweet tooth, don’t hesitate to use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar in both the cake batter and crumb topping to enhance caramel notes. You could also add nuts like pecans or almonds for a crunchy texture.

For people who love coffee and chocolate, swap out 1/4 cup of purpose flour with cocoa powder for a delightful mocha twist that will take your coffee cake game up a notch.

Finally, while serving this delicious pastry plain is perfect on its own, you can experiment by adding whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to it for an added level of richness. With these variations and substitutions, there’s no limit to how creative you can get with this rhubarb crumb coffee cake recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 Crumbly topping that adds an extra crunch.
Crumbly topping that adds an extra crunch.

Once your rhubarb crumb coffee cake is baked to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy this perfect spring treat. I recommend serving the cake warm, topped with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. The combinations of the warm cake and the cool creamy topping create a pleasing contrast in temperature and texture.

Since the rhubarb crumb coffee cake is not overly sweet, it pairs perfectly with a cup of hot coffee or tea. The light tangy flavor of the rhubarb balances out the rich buttery crumb topping and creates a harmonious balance between flavors. This cake is ideal for serving on lazy weekend mornings, or at brunch gatherings with family and friends.

If you are planning to serve the rhubarb crumb coffee cake for dessert, consider pairing it with a light-bodied red wine or a rosé with fruity notes. The semi-tartness of the rhubarb will enhance the sweetness of the wine, making them a perfect match.

In addition, this cake also pairs well with lemonade or iced tea, which can help cut through the richness of butter in the crumb topping. If you are looking for something stronger, try pairing it with a vodka-based cocktail that features fresh citrus or ginger flavors which can enhance its taste.

Overall, this rhubarb crumb coffee cake is incredibly versatile and adaptable to different occasions and times of day. Its balanced flavors make it perfect for breakfast time when paired with morning caffeine or as an elegant end to any meal either paired with wine has an after dinner treat.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A heavenly treat for coffee and cake lovers.
A heavenly treat for coffee and cake lovers.

One of the best things about this Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake recipe is how easy it is to make ahead of time, store, and reheat. Whether you’re prepping for a busy week or hosting visitors, having a delicious cake ready to go at any time is always a treat.

If you want to make this cake ahead of time, you can easily do so by baking it a day or two in advance. Once baked, let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to three days. Alternatively, you can freeze the cake for up to three months if wrapped tightly with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

When it’s time to serve your Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake, there are several ways to reheat it without compromising its texture and flavor. If your cake has been refrigerated, allow it to come up to room temperature before eating or reheating. To reheat the entire cake, simply place it on a baking sheet and warm it in the oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes until heated through.

If you prefer individual slices, you can microwave them quickly for about 30 seconds or briefly reheat them in a toaster oven. This method will ensure that each piece is warmed through without becoming dry or overcooked.

Overall, this Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake recipe is perfect for anyone who wants a moist and delicious treat they can make ahead of time and enjoy anytime they please. By following these handy tips for making ahead, storing and reheating your cake, you’ll always have a fresh slice of coffee cake at your fingertips whenever you need one!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect excuse for a midday coffee break.
The perfect excuse for a midday coffee break.

So, you’re all set to make a delicious rhubarb crumb coffee cake, but you want it to turn out perfectly. Here are some tips that will help you achieve that!

First and foremost, make sure you measure all of your ingredients carefully. Baking is a science, and even the slightest variation in measurements can affect the outcome of your dessert. Use measuring cups for dry ingredients and measuring spoons for smaller amounts such as baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Next, be sure to mix your ingredients well. A smooth batter will yield a lighter and more evenly baked cake. Don’t be afraid to use an electric mixer for this step; it’ll save you time and effort.

When working with the crumb topping, make sure the butter is cold. This will help create a crumbly consistency instead of one that is too soft or greasy. You can also use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles peas.

It’s important to bake your coffee cake at the right temperature. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place your cake on the center rack for even baking. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door too often during cooking time as it can cause fluctuations in temperature which can change your result.

One last tip – consider using fresh rhubarb instead of frozen whenever possible. The taste is far superior when using fresh produce that’s in season because it has proper nutrients that get lost in freezing.

Follow these suggestions, and you’ll have a beautiful rhubarb crumb coffee cake that not only looks great but tastes fantastic!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to indulge in a scrumptious treat that perfectly captures the essence of spring. The combination of moist rhubarb and crunchy crumb makes for a mouth-watering adventure that will leave you wanting more. With the right ingredients and following the simple steps, anyone can create this masterpiece at home. So, don’t hesitate to give it a try and let your taste buds do the talking. Impress your family and friends with this amazing dessert that will have them begging for your recipe. Trust me; you won’t regret it! So what are you waiting for? Preheat your oven, grab the ingredients and let’s get baking!

Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

From One Cake Two Cake blog.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 524.5 kcal


  • 1/2 lb rhubarb, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups flour (you may need slightly more or less to get a stiff dough)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round or an 8-inch square baking pan.
  • For filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.
  • To make crumbs, in a large bowl, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.
  • To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment (I just used the beaters on my hand mixer), mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.
  • Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.
  • Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 131gCalories: 524.5kcalCarbohydrates: 87.8gProtein: 7.2gFat: 16.3gSaturated Fat: 9.6gCholesterol: 106.4mgSodium: 389.7mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 48.7g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads
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