I was going through my freezer the other day when I came across a small bag of chopped frozen rhubarb from last spring. Since it’s been a year and we are once again in the middle of rhubarb season, I figured I should finally use up my previous supply. As luck would have it, Smitten Kitchen recently posted a recipe for Rhubarb Crumb Cake, which sounded great and which (when doubled) conveniently called for just about as much rhubarb as I had on hand!
It also called for a whole bunch of butter, but that’s never been an issue for me…
In any case, I gathered my ingredients and made a truly gigantic crumb cake. It was heavy, it was dense, it was rich… and it was quite tasty! The rhubarb added just enough tartness to keep it from being cloying, and the giant pieces of crumb topping were excellent. I admit I didn’t actually like the addition of ginger to the mix, but that may just be me.
This cake makes an excellent breakfast with a big glass of milk, or a nice snack with a cup of tea.
Rhubarb Crumb Cake (from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes a 9×13″ cake
For the rhubarb filling:
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed (frozen is fine)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
For the crumbs:
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, melted
3 1/2 cups flour
For the cake:
2/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tbs. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ baking pan. For filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.
2. 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 and stir/press together until it forms a stiff, crumbly dough. Set aside.
3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, 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 cup batter and set aside.
4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even. (sorry, forgot photos of the top batter and crumb layer)
5. 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), 60-90 minutes.
6. Batter will ooze up to cover some of the crumbs– don’t worry about this, it’s fine. Also, that batter may end up getting very brown during the long baking time. If necessary cover the pan with foil after 45 minutes to avoid burning.