rhubarb coffee cake

May 27, 2014

rhubarb coffee cake

Things are a little frantic in my life just at the moment. Between day jobs, and daughters graduating from university, and travelling, and a recent writing retreat,  and a large, needy dog, and a massive renovation project on an 1840s  limestone rowhouse, and a new book I’m working on – there really hasn’t been time for all that much love in the kitchen.

But then this thing happened. I was visiting a friend and clapped eyes on her fabulous rhubarb patch. There’s nothing like rhubarb – there really isn’t.  It’s free. It’s perennial. I love perennials. Especially perennials you can eat. It requires zero maintenance. It’s tasty. It freezes well. The leaves are one of nature’s most potent natural pesticides. The red stalks are a cheerful harbinger of spring. The health benefits of rhubarb are numerous. A good source of both Vitamin C and potassium, it has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It’s also an excellent source of dietary fibre and a potent digestive aid. If you don’t have a garden, you can grow rhubarb in a large container. I could go on but I won’t. You get the idea – rhubarb just makes good sense.

I’ve raved about rhubarb before. I know. I’ve also posted this exact recipe before. But never mind that – some things are worth repeating. This is one of them. Last year (or whenever it was that I posted it) I wrote – that this rhubarb coffee cake is my favourite rhubarb recipe and that’s still true. I also wrote this, ” It’s great for dessert and even better for a weekend morning breakfast with coffee. Yes, cake for breakfast. In bed. Preferably with the sun streaming through the windows and the birds singing.”

I stand by that.  No matter what’s going on in your life – just make this cake. Get some rhubarb and make this cake and eat it whenever and wherever you like. Eat it standing over the kitchen sink, or on the back patio, or in bed. Especially eat it in bed. And make sure you have some really good coffee.


Rhubarb Coffee Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Dark Chocolate

Recipe from A Taste of Wintergreen

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped into ¾ inch pieces, you can use fresh or frozen BUT if you are using fresh – you may have to add a little more liquid to the batter- I added 2-3 tbsp of orange juice – but you could also use milk.
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (you could be generous here and use more. I LOVE ginger but sadly, not everyone else in my family does…)


  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter a 9-inch round coffee or bundt cake pan.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla together. Add the flour mixture and blend lightly until just mixed. Gently fold in the rhubarb, chocolate chips, and ginger pieces.

Spread the cake mixture into the prepared pan.

Combine the topping ingredients, working until crumbly. Spread over cake. If you’re using a bundt cake pan and want to serve the cake inverted – you can try putting the crumble mixture in the middle of the cake instead of on top.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes I think this is too long – or perhaps my oven temperature needs checking. Try cooking this for 40 minutes. I like my cake nice and moist – so cook it until the top bounces back slightly – but not long enough to dry it out.  Cool on a wire rack.

Serve with Greek yoghurt, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream. Although the cake is perfect all by itself.


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  • Reply Stacey Bender May 28, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Enough said; will do. I too love rhubarb and think your instruction to get rhubarb (and enjoy this cake with sun streaming in, in bed, shall be the best advice). Luck on the book and glad to see another post; you were missed.

    • Reply love in the kitchen May 28, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Thank you Stacey! So sweet. About to head over to my reader and spend some time getting caught up with you and my other favourites in the blogging world. xo

  • Reply Jennifer Smeltzer May 28, 2014 at 7:28 am

    What does that big, lovable dog think of this one????

    • Reply love in the kitchen May 28, 2014 at 8:14 am

      she’d like a chicken, sausage, and cheese coffee cake and she’d be very happy to eat it in bed!

  • Reply Amanda May 28, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Wow you have a lot of really wonderful things happening. Congrats on the graduations! Travel is always restorative and writing retreats, well we know how those go. I’ve never actually seen a rhubarb patch. I love coffee cake and your addition of crystallized ginger is brilliant. I’m definitely making this! It looks manageable and not too buttery. Yay!

    • Reply love in the kitchen June 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      Amanda – you sweet wonderful thing. I wish you could pop by and we’d go raid my friend’s rhubarb patch!

  • Reply apuginthekitchen May 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Whoa you have a lot going on congratulations on all, the book, buying an historic home, the daughters graduation, it’s all good. I love the cake, love rhubarb and coffee cake is and always will be a favorite of mine.

    • Reply love in the kitchen June 13, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Suzanne – am once again playing blog catch up. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Both of my daughters have now graduated. My youngest graduated on Wednesday night. My other half is a professor and he was on stage and hooded our daughter at convocation – such a beautiful moment when they hugged instead of shaking hands like everyone else. The old limestone will show up in the blog sometime soon. A wonderful project. We are SO lucky.

  • Reply Patty June 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Lindy this sounds so good I’m going to have to try it…

    • Reply love in the kitchen June 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Patty – I hope you tried it. Kendra contacted me to ask where to buy the ginger. Did you find some? xo

  • Reply Mary Frances June 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Lindy, I’m Mary from Mary’s Secret Ingredients, I found your blog through Suzanne’s! I love this recipe, any dessert that includes rhubarb is at the top of my list!

    • Reply love in the kitchen June 13, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      hello Mary Frances – pleasure to meet you! I’m heading over to visit….

  • Reply Cheesy Biscuit June 5, 2014 at 2:39 am


  • Reply flippenblog June 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    This sounds spectacular. Just adore rhubarb. Thank you!

    • Reply love in the kitchen June 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Isn’t the rhubarb the greatest thing ever. Any source of free food still thrills me!

  • Reply Kloesunny @ Kloe's Kitchen June 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Have I ever mentioned that I am a HUGE coffee and rhubarb cake fan??? This is totally me….

  • Reply milkandbun June 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

    The cake looks very delicious! I thought there is some coffee in a cake itself.. but it seems, the cake should be eaten with a cup of coffee, right? 🙂

  • Reply love in the kitchen June 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    You’re right. Cake that LOVES a cup of coffee alongside. 😉

  • Reply kathryningrid June 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Three huge favorites together in one coffee cake: YES, PLEASE! 😀

  • Reply Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) June 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    This sounds lovely. I love all things rhubarb flavored, and especially the rhubarb+ginger pairing!

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