Yes, more rhubarb. I know, I know. But what can I say? It’s a miracle fruit (I think it’s really a vegetable).
I was inspired to make this Rhubarb Crumb Cake because I’ve never made a crumb cake before. Crazy, right? But I don’t usually eat crumb cake. There’s something about all those crumbs and powdered sugar that make me feel like “It’s got to be the worst thing for you on earth, right?”
Wrong! I’d say it’s no worse than any other baked good, and considering crumb cake doesn’t have frosting, I’d go as far as to say it’s almost healthy! Plus, if rhubarb is a vegetable, this is basically diet food.
Don’t let the non-shininess of this cake fool you. It might not win beauty pageants but it is delicately layered, sweet, sour and indescribably addictive (those fat crumbs!).
When I brought it to a rained out picnic, people couldn’t stop saying how delicious it was. And they even went in for seconds and thirds. It’s also easy to do when I doubled the recipe and made it in an extra large sheet pan.
And if you’re just passing this recipe over like I might have in the past, I’d seriously consider making it before the rhubarb is gone for good.
Rhubarb Crumb Cake (adapted from Melissa Clark’s NYT recipe)
Use a half sheet pan, 18 x 13 inches
For Rhubarb Filling
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed, cut into one 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground ginger
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup melted butter
3 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons softened butter, cut into pieces
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease a baking sheet. For filling, slice rhubarb into 1/2 inch thick pieces and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger.
To make crumbs, in a large bowl, whisk together sugars, spices, salt and butter until smooth. Stir in flour with a spatula. It will look like a solid dough.
To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, eggs, egg yolks 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.
Spread remaining batter onto sheet pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb. It doesn’t have to be even. 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, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before slicing and serving.