Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

A lot of times I get sad when a movie or, especially, a musical or play I’m watching ends.  Even if the show is not at all sad, I get a little choked up as the music swells (music always toys with my emotions) and I know the fun is coming to an end.  Suddenly, I want the story to continue.  I want it to keep me in the world of the action for another hour.  I want to keep following the characters, see what happens to them.  I take back that moment in the first act when I glanced at my watch.  I just don’t want it to end.  Unfortunately, it does.

I felt this was seeing Memphis on Sunday.  I knew I wanted to see it the moment I saw it on this season’s schedule.  The incessant TV promos kept me pumped, before Mom, Dad, and I headed to downtown Detroit to meet a friend and catch the matinee.

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

From the moment the singing and dancing began, I was riveted, completely engrossed in the musical.  I loved the music, the dancing, the story, the staging, the singing and acting.  I loved it all.  The two leads were actually both understudies, but were out of this world amazing.  They made the characters so believable.  The whole show was fantastic, perhaps my new favorite.  I loved it so much that I seriously would have gone back to see the evening show.  I really hope I get to see Memphis again one day.

You know when else I get sad?  When my serving of dessert comes to an end.  That was surely true of this Rhubarb Crumb Cake.  I love rhubarb with its soft texture and tart flavor.  I also love that it means spring, even if spring is still barely happening (I had to wear my winter coat Sunday!)

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

This cake is one of my favorite treats.  Soft, moist, buttery cake topped with tart, super soft rhubarb, and tons of crumbs, some soft, some crunchy, all delicious.  We even smuggled some into the theatre to share with the friend that met us.  She later warmed it and ate it with a scoop of ice cream.  I like her thinking!  I know you’ll enjoy this delectable rhubarb cake too!

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

5.0 from 1 reviews
Rhubarb Crumb Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan. Line it with parchment, leaving an overhand and butter the parchment.
  2. Make the crumbs. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and cinnamon until combined. Pour in the butter and mix together with a fork until all ingredients are moistened and crumbs of various sizes have formed. Refrigerate while you make the cake.
  3. Make the cake. In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, brown sugar, and ¼ cup flour. In a small bowl, stir together remaining ¾ cup flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar by hand or using a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until once again light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Mix in the flour mixture and pour into prepared pan. Spread into an even layer. Top with an even layer of rhubarb and finally an even layer of crumbs.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan before cutting and serving. May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours or in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

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  1. I totally hate it when dessert comes to an end. Good thing we’re food bloggers and we have an awesome excuse to make more. 😉

  2. Looks great but too bad I have never tried rhubarb before, kind of crazy right? lol

  3. I’m glad I’m not alone…I always burst into tears at the end of a Broadway production!!! LOVE this crumb cake! I need to peek in my garden to see if the rhubarb is coming up yet…can’t wait 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh, you’ve read my mind. I REALLY need to cook or bake something with rhubarb this year. I’ve never, ever made anything with rhubarb. I even made it through 2 years of culinary school without touching the stuff! I’m not sure I’ve ever even tasted it. haha. But it’s my mission this year to use it!

    • I had never used rhubarb until a couple of years ago. I was so intrigued by it and finally found some really nice rhubarb so I gave it a go and fell in love.

  5. I agree, it is sad when dessert comes to an end! These bars look amazing and beautiful! I’m dying to try rhubarb!

  6. I also love rhubarb..It tastes great in cakes! I can actually eat it alone too:)

    • I am really surprised you can eat rhubarb alone. Don’t you find it to be tart, or do you stew it down with sugar. I could eat it alone then too!

  7. I love the sound of a rhubarb crumb cake, this looks absolutely gorgeous!

  8. I love rhubarb and always feel I don’t make use of it enough when it is in season. This looks like a delicious way to bake with it – love the generous crumble topping!

  9. There’s a recipe in Baked that I keep seeing for crumb cake that has those big chunky crumbs like yours but a Martha recipe is always a winner, too. This is the epitome of the perfect crumb cake with huge nuggets like that and a soft, tender cake/interior!

    • I’ll have to go check out the Baked recipe. I can never get enough crumb cake! Thanks, Averie!

    • I am so excited to find a rhubarb crumb cake recipe. My mom made it when we were young, and I never got her recipe. She was a wonderful baker. How I miss her baking. What is the Baked site you are referring to? It’s new to me. Thanks!

      • I love this crumb cake and have actually been craving it like crazy. I know you’ll love this cake, Sherrie! Please let me know how it goes, if you make it!

  10. Love crumb cakes! I’ll eat it any time of the day. 🙂 Your pictures really get across how moist this crumb cake is. Yum!

  11. Looks amazing Laura! I just made crumb cake yesterday. I can’t wait to share it! Wishing I added rhubarb. so good!

  12. I’m the same way! I’m just too dang sensitive and emotional when it comes to even the simplest of things like how the dessert time is over. I love every minute of it with my fam. I even invite neighbors over when I’ve made extra…because dessert should always be shared with friends and family. Unless you get in those emergency situations when you just need a sweet-something asap! This cake rocks!

    • Dessert is such a special thing. I am amazed at how much it can bring people together. Thanks, Gloria, and thanks for visiting 🙂

  13. I feel the same way about books. I care about these people, and now it is just over!? How do I cope!?!? With yummy cake I guess 🙂

  14. Hi, this is a great post. I wondered if you would like to link it in to the new Food on Friday which is running right now over at Carole’s Chatter. We are collecting recipes using rhubarb. This is the link . I hope you pop over to check it out. There are some great recipes already linked in.

  15. What my family will be drooling over for this weekend’s Brunch…or warmed up with a scoop of Haagen Daz Vanilla Bean ice cream for dessert. You mention that this should completely cool before serving….if I want to serve it warm with vanilla ice cream…should I wait and reheat just prior to “table appearance” …or is it best served room temp…or even chilled? I have never seen “crumb” with such stellar “nuggets”…nor one photographed so magnificently. Stellar post.

    • I would eat this cake as hot out of the oven as possible without burning my tongue, but this, like most recipes, may fall apart, so I suggest in the recipe to allow it to cool. However, if you don’t care if it’s a little messy, by all means eat it warm. It is also great at room temperature. I don’t recommend it chilled. You could pop it in the oven for a few minutes, though it will get a little toasty, or the microwave for 15-30 seconds for it to stay softer. Thank you so much for your kind words, Donna. I hope you enjoy the cake 🙂 Please let me know how it turns out!

  16. My mother always used to steal the neighbor’s rhubarb and her peonies, too! In any case, this looks fab and music always makes me cry. Always brings back to many memories so I only listen to new stuff when I’m by myself.

  17. I just love this recipe. It makes me think of my dad, he grew his own rhubarb. I now have it in my yard since I bought his house.

    • So cool that you have always had home grown rhubarb. I bet it is way better than the stuff at the store. Thanks for visiting, Kim!

  18. I have yet to find rhubarb here, it´s a very rare thing to see it in the market. I have to wait until spring anyway. I love crumb cake so much, I´m dying for a piece of this one Laura!

    • Rhubarb is relatively rare here too. We actually never got any last year in the stores, so I have been buying a little more than my fair share this year. Thanks, Paula!

  19. It looks incredibly tempting. I want to get a big bite!

  20. Absolutely wonderful! Great job! The pictures are great too

  21. Very nice post for Crumb Cake. Thank you for sharing the market news. Keep up your great work and i will check more later. Keep sharing such blog posts.


  1. […] and I also love rhubarb and here is her wonderful Rhubarb Crumb Cake. Another recipe I have to try. Wander on over to Pies and Plots and see what she is all about. […]

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