Rhubarb Cake

The other day, an old friend left me a note on my Facebook wall.debIn addition to growing up in the same area of town and the fact she was in my sister’s class, Debbie and I worked together at a restaurant in Owego called The Cellar.   The restaurant is under different ownership now, and due to repeated issues with the rising Susquehanna River, it is no longer actually in the cellar, as it was back then.   It is still a great place to eat though. It was a fun place to work and I have very fond memories of my years there with Debbie and other great people like Kelly, Karen, Ellen, Lisa and a bunch of others. 

The note from my old friend and co-worker had me digging through my old recipe file athough and sure enough, there was the recipe I had given Deb.  I had forgotten about it because while my mother in law used to practically beg me to take some of her rhubarb crop every spring, her plants have since declined so she no longer has a surplus.  And, despite my intentions to plant a patch of our own, I never have.  [maybe this year?]   Mom was happy to spare me a few stalks when I asked though, so that I could make this wonderful cake again.  This is not an original recipe, and I have no memory of where I got it – a relative probably. So find yourself some rhubarb and let’s get started.

Cream together
1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter14Beat in
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla24In a small bowl, combine
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
Add to creamed mixture in thirds, alternating additions with
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk [add 1/2 cup in between dry ingredients]

Fold in 2 cups chopped rhubarb [leave the pieces fairly large – those pieces of tart fruit in the sweet cake are what make this truly special]34Spread evenly in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish44Then, make the streusel topping:
Combine, until well mixed [I just pop the bowl back on the mixer for this – no need to even wash it]
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup all purpose flour
5 tablespoon softened butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Spread evenly over the batter54Bake at 350º for 35 to 45 minutes. It will puff nicely around the topping and be very well browned when done and a toothpick inserted in a cakey area should come out clean.83 Cool for 15 minutes, at least before serving. 73I was trying to decide how best to serve it – with whipped cream?, ice cream?, a drizzle of glaze? – but it really doesn’t need a thing.92

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49 Responses to Rhubarb Cake

  1. I hate to admit this, but I have never made a rhubarb anything. I think I’m going to break myself in with this!

  2. Maria says:

    We have four rhubarb plants and I am looking for recipes to try. This cake looks wonderful!

  3. Ruth Ann says:

    You forgot the cup of tea. Just plain ‘ole lipton I think. :)

  4. Pearl says:

    ahh i have to find rhubarb in san diego.

  5. Marta says:

    I have yet to join Facebook, but certainly the internet is the ultimat way to reconnect and bring distant friendships back into live!
    This cake looks so nice and home-y, very comforting for afternoon coffee or tea.

  6. Kevin says:

    Looks good! I really like using tart rhubarb in sweet cakes like this!

  7. Donalyn says:

    Thanks everyone – it really is a simple and delicious little treat!

  8. Debbie Jean says:

    I have never had rhuharb before that I know of. Looks yummy although!! May have to try it!!!

    God Bless~
    Debbie Jean

  9. Charlane says:

    like the other comments, I’ve never had it before – sounds like something great to start with.

  10. Asthmagirl says:

    Not a rhubarb fan, but I imagine this cake could be adapted with other fruit. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. donna says:

    This looks totally scrumptious. Don’t you love when others make a recipe of yours and then continue to make it? They think of you eachtime they do, sorta a tribute:)

  12. This looks delicious and my mom is growing rhubarb in her garden this year. I’ll definitely try this recipe. Thank you!

  13. I love love love rhubarb and this looks absolutely delicious! I wish I had space in my garden to grow rhubarb actually but it’s just to big for our tiny garden, so I’ll have to do with the bought variety!

  14. Molly says:

    i’ve never had rhubarb, and i’ve never cooked with it. this makes me want to try it!

  15. Steph says:

    That cake looks delicious!

  16. Stacy says:

    Wow, that looks great! It looks like a buckle – I posted a rhubarb buckle recipe on my blog a few days ago. I’ll have to give your recipe a try!

  17. Jodi says:

    I have thought about adding this to my veggie garden, this recipe is inspiring me to do so! If not maybe I can find some at my local market?? This looks absolutely yummy!

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Your photos are fantastic! And, you are so right. This bread with the
    streusel topping can easily stand alone. Thankyou for sharing it.

  19. Donalyn says:

    Thanks again everyone – glad to see there are so many rhubarbs lovers out there!

  20. Michelle says:

    I made your Rhubarb Cake this morning and brought it to work to share with all the office staff. Everyone says it’s delicious! I have several rhubarb recipes and this is now at the top of the favorite list. SUPERB!!!

  21. I used your Rhubarb Cake recipe and it was amazing. Thank you for sharing it on the http://www.foodgawker.com website.

  22. Teej says:

    Thank you for the recipe! I made it tonight to bring to a potluck tomorrow and it smells absolutely divine! It will be really hard not to cut into it for breakfast!

  23. Karen says:

    Thanks for the delicious recipe. I love brown sugar cakes! This is one of the best rhubarb recipes I’ve ever used. I made it last night and my two adult sons stood in the kitchen bugging me to cut them a piece. I made them wait until it had cooled a bit. They said it was one of the best cakes they ever had. They thought it would be good with vanilla ice cream…I think whip cream…but really, it’s great all by itself! Thanks again, this recipe goes to the front of my recipe box.

  24. Pingback: week one: wrap-up « one girl, one csa share

  25. Lindsey says:

    Hi – I found this through a google search last week when I was trying to use up some frozen-since-the-summer rhubarb in my freezer. It was delicious! Thank you.

  26. Donalyn says:

    Hi Lindsey – so glad you found it. I often use frozen rhubarb myself.

  27. Cecdkc says:

    Made your rhubarb cake for our Mother’s Day celebration. Everyone LOVED it (family of big rhubarb fans), and my nearly-85-year-old mother who eats like a bird, had 2 pieces. I used non-fat plain yogurt to replace the sour milk/buttermilk. This will become a traditional cake in our family. Thank you so much for sharing!

  28. Donalyn says:

    Thanks Cecdkc – I am so glad that she enjoyed it!

  29. Maria says:

    We have 4 rhubarb plants so I will be making this one very soon:)

  30. megan says:

    This looks excellent!

  31. Donalyn says:

    Thanks Maria & Megan – I revived this for StumbleUpon this spring, because it is so good!

  32. This sounds fantastic! We are always looking for new ways to prepare rhubarb.

  33. Looks wonderful. Rhubarb is rare here in Florida, but I’m certainly inspired to hunt for some to make this lovely cake!

  34. Tracey says:

    This cake looks wonderful! My stepfather just brought me a TON of rhubarb so I’ll be trying this one for sure :)

  35. Donalyn says:

    I am envious Tracey – I wish someone would bring me a ton of rhubarb – we have some plants but they are still small. :)

  36. Karin Cope says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe for Rhubarb Cake, and for the lovely photos of the process. I like your site a lot & will be back!

  37. Donalyn says:

    Thank you Karin and welcome to the blog :)

  38. Margarita says:

    I baked this cake last night and it is one of the best cakes ever!!

  39. Donalyn says:

    Margarita – so glad that you liked it!

  40. Tonya says:

    My mom loves rhubarb, and I always make her a pie, but I’m going to try this cake for our 4th of July party tomorrow. I’m sure she’ll love it!

  41. Eunice says:

    My Daughter made this cake she said it is so good, I’m going to try it as soon as I get some rhubard.

  42. Karen Herman says:

    I just tasted this cake at my friend’s house – & it was fantastic! She used the same recipe, but hers had a caramel frosting instead of the streusel topping. One of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted.

  43. vickie says:

    I’ve made this cake twice this week for special events. It is delicious and gets lots of compliments. I substituted a surplus of plain yogurt for the buttermilk and a sprinkle of sugar instead of the streusel topping. The biggest problem is if there are leftovers. They keep calling me.

  44. DebDarling says:

    I was lucky enough to get some rhubarb this week and my mom made a wonderful cake that everyone adored – she’s gone now and even though I inherited her cookbooks and handwritten recipes, I couldn’t find this particular one no matter how hard I looked.
    So onto the web I went – and I find your recipe in my google search. Yours is exactly like hers – and when I saw the pic of the finished product I was grinning from ear to ear…just like mom’s!!!\
    I have added this recipe to my favourites and just want to thank you very much.

  45. Donalyn says:

    Aw deb – I am so glad that you found it and that is what you were looking for!

  46. Barbara says:

    i was browsing the internet and found your recipe, sounds like a cake my mother-in-law used to make. I am visiting Michigan and was lucky enough to get some fresh young rhubarb so I am going to make it today. Sounds wounderful!!!!!!

  47. June says:

    Hi, what a wonderful cake….i had one wonder that i pondered for a bit, it was the baking soda, 2 tsps…i thought it may have been a typing error, and you had forgot to add in the baking powder, so i added 1 tsp. of baking soda, and 1 tsp. of baking powder,,,,, this made the cake stand a little higher, i definitely will try your way too….

    Thanks for a great receipe

  48. Carmen says:

    Thanks for the great recipe. Family love it!!

  49. Rhubarb is easy to grow – and can (must) be divided when it gets large with pencil-thin stalks (don’t wait that long!). Just use a shovel, chop down thru the plant, roots and all, and stick these pieces in the ground & water them – you’ll see new leaves in a few days, and can start calling friends to tell them how good the stuff is & how badly they need their own – take them a piece of the cake and they’ll be sold!!
    One easy way to prepare just sauce is to chop the stalks in pieces, sprinkle sugar over, leave on pan overnight to draw out the juice, add a package of jello (sugar-free good = no more sugar; or start with a sugared one – red of course is best) for color and flavor, cook on med. till soft & thick; eat warm or cold, plain or with cottage cheese, ice cream, sour or whipped cream, cereal, etc. And of course there is always pie and many more ways to prepare as with any other fruit!

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