Desserts

Rhubarb Crumble Cake

Hi everyone, Nicky here calling in from Kitchen Sanctuary with a cake that’s perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Rhubarb Crumble Cake - A moist and tender cake, dotted with pocket of sharp rhubarb and topped with a brown sugar streusel.

Rhubarb is one of my favorite desserts – in cobblers, streusels, jellies and of course cake! Today I’m combining cake and streusel for a cake that’s tender, with a topping that’s sweet and crunchy!

Rhubarb Crumble Cake - A moist and tender cake, dotted with pocket of sharp rhubarb and topped with a brown sugar streusel.

Rhubarb can be quite difficult to work with when it comes to cakes. If releases a lot of moisture, which can be great, so long as you don’t add too much.

It’s also quite a heavy fruit, which means it can sometimes sink to the bottom – especially if the pieces are too big.

Rhubarb Crumble Cake - A moist and tender cake, dotted with pocket of sharp rhubarb and topped with a brown sugar streusel.
My recipe uses three techniques to reduce the likelihood of this happening:

  1. The rhubarb is left in a bowl with some sugar – which sweetens the fruit, but also releases a little of the moisture. Just before it goes into the cake, it’s dredged in flour. The flour sticks – as the rhubarb is moist. The flour then helps it ‘cling’ to the cake mixture.
  2. The cake batter is quite thick, so the rhubarb is more likely to stay where it is.
  3. The rhubarb is added in two layers to the cake – rather than being mixed with the cake batter. Half the cake batter is spread on first, followed by half the rhubarb – so already we can ensure there’s no rhubarb right at the bottom of the pan. The rest of the cake batter is then added, then remaining rhubarb is placed on top. The crumble goes over the rhubarb layer to protect it from the heat of the oven.

Rhubarb Crumble Cake - A moist and tender cake, dotted with pocket of sharp rhubarb and topped with a brown sugar streusel.

I love serving this cake after a roast dinner on a Sunday afternoon. Serve it with cream, ice cream or custard (or maybe all three!!).

Rhubarb Crumble Cake - A moist and tender cake, dotted with pocket of sharp rhubarb and topped with a brown sugar streusel.

Rhubarb Crumble Cake

A moist and tender cake, dotted with pocket of sharp rhubarb and topped with a brown sugar streusel.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb (cut into small chunks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup soured cream
  • 1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Crumble topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, chopped into small chunks
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line the base and sides of a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin with baking parchment and put to one side.
  2. Place the chopped rhubarb in a bowl and top with 2 tbsp of the granulated sugar. Stir and put to one side.
  3. Next make the crumble topping. Place the flour, baking powder and cold butter in a bowl and rub the flour into the butter with your fingertips until you have rough breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar and put to one side.
  4. Next make the cake.  Place the granulated sugar and butter into a large bowl. Using a mixer or a hand whisk, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.  Stir in the eggs, vanilla extract and soured cream.  Then gently fold in all but 2 tbsp of the flour, the baking powder and the salt.
  5. Spoon out half of this mixture into the cake tin, and smooth using the back of a spoon. Ensure all of the base is covered.
  6. Sprinkle the 2 tbsp of flour onto the rhubarb, and scatter half of the rhubarb onto the cake mix in the tin. Spoon the rest of the cake mix on top, then scatter on the remaining rhubarb. Sprinkle all of the crumble topping on. Make sure it goes right up to the sides, otherwise the cake mixture will try to rise up the sides of the tin and on top of the crumble topping. Place in the oven for 75-90 minutes – until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  It’s worth covering the cake with some tinfoil after about 50-60 minutes to prevent the top from burning.
  7. Once cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes.  Then remove from the tin and leave to cool further on a cooling rack. Serve with fresh cream.

This cake will stay fresh for 2-3 days, wrapped and stored in an air tight container at room temperature.

Rhubarb Crumble Cake - A moist and tender cake, dotted with pocket of sharp rhubarb and topped with a brown sugar streusel.

Nicky Corbishley

Nicky lives in Cheshire in the UK with her husband and two children. She blogs over at Kitchen Sanctuary where she creates family friendly recipes and mouth-watering photos.

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