Thursday, August 9, 2007

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Lately I've been checking out a few food blogs (like this one), and coupled with the fact that I picked up some really handsome stalks of rhubarb at our farmer's market I thought I'd post one of my favorite and most nostalgic recipe's in case any are interested.

Rhubarb is admittedly a confusing vegetable, as we use it like a fruit. It looks like thick red celery, and I know at least one friend that will tell you it tastes just about as good in desserts... It's taste and smell raw, reminds me of a crab apple, but cooked it becomes very complex. It's chuck full of Vitamin C and fiber. The leaves are poisonous, so I think those especially with small children are reluctant to work with it. But even if you don't plan on using it in the kitchen it can add quite a desirable texture to your garden with its broad ruffled leaves and shocking red stalks.

My experience with rhubarb goes way back to my maternal grandfather. He kept a pretty large and meticulously neat garden. Beans, zucchini, raspberries, plums, figs, and rhubarb plants with leaves as gigantic as an elephants ear! My grandmother would chop the stalks and cook it up with a ton of sugar until it melted into a slightly stringy tangy sauce. It was a treat, and I ate bowls full. Another treat she would bake up was the recipe I'm going to share with you;

Rhubarb Crumb Cake with Cinnamon Crumble Topping

Chop enough stalks of rhubarb to measure 3 cups, set aside
In mixer cream 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup shortening
Add in 1 egg, 1 cup sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla
Then sift 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda and add to the mix
Dump in rhubarb. and mix
Pour and pat evenly into greased/floured 9X13 glass pan
Sprinkle with topping as follows:

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 TBS flour
Cut in 1 TBS butter

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes

I have loved rhubarb for a long time, when it's on the menu, I order it. Blackbird Bakery on Bainbridge Island made an out of this world rhubarb tart, if you're ever in the neighborhood stop in and order a slice!


  1. yum! that rhubarb crumb cake you make is delicious.

  2. oops, that was from "tania" not tower of song :)

  3. My mom used to make rhubarb pie when I was little. I don't think I have had rhubarb since then. I have never known how to prepare it. Now I will have to try it out again! thanks for posting the recipe.

  4. i LOVE rhubarb! and your post was written like a pro! maybe you should write for a foodie mag!

  5. I haven't had rhubarb since I left the south but it's a big deal down there! Rhubarb cobbler is really common.