Rhubarb Snacking Cake

I grew up with an enormous rhubarb bush in our backyard but of course I couldn't stand the stuff. Quite ironic, since I can't get enough of the tart treat now and live for the day it comes in season and I can hand over up to $5 for a hand full of stalks. Gah! It's totally worth it though, once you dig into a rhubarb baked dessert, like this here snacking cake.

Now let me preface this recipe by explaining the epic failures I encountered while making it, through no one's fault but my own. I baked my first batch in a 9x13-inch glass dish for my father's retirement party, who happened to be retiring on one of the hottest days so far this year. No way was I making a cake to have it melt all over the backseat of the car. My dad was also the only person in our household who ate from that giant bush in our backyard. Rhubarb to the rescue. It was delicious and enjoyed by all... or so they say, at least.

I enjoyed it at least, so much so that I decided to buy more rhubarb and bake some muffins from the same recipe. This is when the epic failures began. I made this recipe not one, not two, but THREE times in one afternoon! First, I dropped an entire egg, shell and all, into the batter. Start over. Next I got all the way to the topping stage and realized I had mixed up my dry ingredients, so the cake batter was essentially just sugar and eggs. That ain't gonna rise. Scoop the rhubarb off each muffin cup and start again. Finally, I get through the recipe with no goofs and start sprinkling the crumble on top of the muffins and suddenly understand why you don't often see muffins with crumble on top. It makes a crazy mess. Oh man, where was my head?

When all was said and done (and cleaned up) even the muffin version of this recipe was delicious, and before you know it, rhubarb will disappear from the market and we will all cry. So, try this recipe while you still can, but for heaven's sake make it in a baking dish!

Snacking Cake
via Smitten Kitchen

1 1/4 pound rhubarb (2 bunches), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths on the diagonal
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup  sour cream

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or a nonstick cooking spray. Stir together rhubarb, lemon juice and 2/3 cup sugar and set aside. Beat butter, remaining sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at at time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Whisk together flour, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon table salt and ground ginger together in a small bowl. Add one-third of this mixture to the batter, mixing until just combined. Continue, adding half the sour cream, the second third of the flour mixture, the remaining sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture, mixing between each addition until just combined.

Dollop batter over prepared pan, then use a spatula to spread the cake into an even, thin layer. Pour the rhubarb mixture over the cake, spreading it into an even layer (most pieces should fit in a tight, single layer).

Stir together the crumb mixture, first whisking the flour, brown sugar, table salt and cinnamon together, then stirring in the melted butter with a spoon or fork. Scatter evenly over rhubarb layer. Bake cake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. The cake is done when a tester comes out free of the wet cake batter below. It will be golden on top. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

1 comment

Jill said...

I remembered this post - I'm just thinking about rhubarb after yesterday, I'm pinning it!