Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rhubarb Big-Assed Crumb Cake Fresh From the Garden

It's rhubarb season, something I learned to look forward to here in Germany. In the States, I mostly ignored rhubarb until I had a hankering for a strawberry rhubarb pie. Then I would furiously whip one up, most likely at after 10:30 at night.  This was perfectly normal at the time as I worked insane hours as a TV producer.

Since moving to the country a few years ago,  I learned a new appreciation for rhubarb. We have some in the garden. My mother in law maintains the garden. I have nothing to do with it. And believe me, that garden is better off without me. As previously mentioned, I kill more than my share of houseplants and potted herbs.

We did need to do something with all the rhubarb around here. My mother in law says the local variety is only good until June.

One of my all time favorite cakes is a nice fat NYC coffee crumb cake. The kind piled Empire State Building high with crumbs. 90% crumbs 10% cake ratio is fine by me. Ooh, I get a little homesick just thinking about it.

When I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, a kindred crumb cake soul, I knew I had to make it.  I ate one piece. The one I photographed. The rest was quickly jettisoned next door to the family. There's no way I could have it taunting me on the counter. I would be swiping at it with a fork (more likely without one) every time I passed by until no crumbs were left at all.

This cake is the bomb. Seriously. The tart flavor of the rhubarb juxtaposed with the brown sugary crumbs is just heaven.

There are more steps than usual for this cake. You have to prepare four separate ingredient batches (bowl use alert). Believe me, it's worth it.

You mix the rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch, and ginger and set aside.

Then you make the crumbs and squish them down to the bottom of the bowl.

The remaining wet and dry ingredients you mix up separately and then add together to get the cake batter. The final step is layering the cake batter, rhubarb, and crumbs in the baking dish.

I made sure I made jumbo (big-assed) crumbs.

Big-Assed Crumbs
 Pop it in the oven and about 45 minutes later you have sheer bliss.


  1. RhabarberRhabarberRhabarber

  2. Lora,
    I am so glad you caught my post because it brought me over here. Love it. Love the name, referencing an oft-overlooked classic, and you haven't lost touch with your colloquial English. Good stuff!
    Janice (from


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