In my teen years we lived on a farm in Yorkville, Illinois. We had a vegetable garden, which was probably about a half acre in size, that we tended. We grew enough rhubarb to freeze some for other occasions. My mom would make strawberry rhubarb pie which was just out of this world delicious. Fast forward to my little family growing up, I planted rhubarb in my Lake Zurich garden. I wanted to make strawberry-rhubarb anything for my family, so I planted a few plants in our garden. A friend of mine also enjoyed rhubarb, which I shared with her, and she shared many of her recipes.
I was trying to come up with a coffee cake/crumb cake for Easter brunch and remembered Kathy Stadler’s Streusel Rhubarb Cake. She was such an excellent baker. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t make. This little streusel cake is not like others where most are really dry. Nope, the rhubarb and the topping make it stay moist. When Kathy would give you the recipe, you’d also receive a highlighted verbal tutorial on the nuances of the process. BTW, this was in the 90’s so no youtube vids.
To the untrained eye rhubarb looks like a weed. There are lots of large leaf weeds or similar vegetation that may be used for herbaceous medicinal purposes. The University of Illinois Extension, one of the finest organizations for all things agricultural, suggests different varieties to grow. I didn’t bother to check the variety when I saw the root available at Home Depot; I knew I just wanted to grow it in my raised bed. It’s better as a late Spring, early Summer harvest because the stems become woodier as the season goes on. There is nothing better than fresh rhubarb cooked up.
The cake portion of this recipe is very similar to a regular cake recipe. Don’t be deterred by the amount of cake batter in your 9 x 13 pan. This rises. I believe, for lack of time, I have also made this with a white cake mix. That method is for emergency purposes only.
FYI, I doubled the struesel topping recipe and used the entire 3 oz. package of strawberry jello.
Printed version: 2016 Struesel Rhubarb Cake
Streusel Rhubarb Cake
- ½ c sugar
- ¼ c butter, room temperature
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 1 c milk
- 1 extra large egg, cracked into a small bowl
- 3-4 c fresh rhubarb, cubed in small pieces
- 1 package strawberry gelatin
- ¼ c butter
- ¾ c sugar
- ½ c flour
- ½ t cinnamon
- ½ c Quaker quick cooking rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350. Spray Pam cooking spray in a 9×13 pan.
Topping: In a stand mixer, using your paddle, cream the sugar and butter. Add the remaining ingredients and combine. Put the crumble mixture in a container till you’re ready to use it.
Cake: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt then set aside.
In your stand mixer with your paddle, blend the sugar and butter. Add the egg, and blend. Alternating the flour mixture and the milk, mix till all the cake ingredients are blended.
Pour batter into a prepared pan, top with the rhubarb and sprinkle with 4 Tablespoons of the gelatin. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the rhubarb mixture.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or till toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream.