Inspired by smitten kitchen‘s “snacking cake,” Anytime Rhubarb Cake is perfect for breakfast, an afternoon pick-me-up, or some post-dinner sweetness. In my research of recipes for something using rhubarb and yogurt, I came across rhubarb “snack cakes,” “breakfast cakes,” and of course, just “cakes.” This beauty is one heck of a multitasker.
How to Make Rhubarb Cake
It’s pretty simple to put together, too. You just macerate the rhubarb (only, please don’t be tempted to add strawberries) with a little sugar and lemon. After you whip up the batter, top with the fruit and a little crumble topping. Oh, and it has the most beautiful nooks and crannies. You just want to get up in there and crawl around in it.
I am slightly ashamed to admit this, but this was a cake of necessity. Not that I needed to eat cake now, but that I needed to use up some yogurt and rhubarb nearing expiration.
What yogurt to use
Have you ever had Noosa yogurt? Their lemon and strawberry rhubarb flavors are spectacular (as are all the others, but I love those the most). We already had fresh rhubarb, as I am compelled to buy it any time its vibrant red and green stalks beckon from the produce section. Originally, I had designs to make a simple French yogurt cake. This Anytime Rhubarb Cake just kind of took over.
I committed my signature move, which is planning and buying an ingredient with the intention of using it in a recipe and forgetting. In this case, I had planned to scatter some sliced almonds across the top crumble layer, but it didn’t happen. Next time I will (try to remember), in a gluten-free version with almond flour.
What is rhubarb, anyway?
In Montana, the house we bought had a giant rhubarb patch in the backyard. In June, we harvested all the rhubarb. We squirreled it away in the freezer so we could enjoy tasty treats all year long. One of my very favorite ways to use rhubarb is so simple. You just simmer chopped rhubarb with sliced strawberries and a few tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice. It slowly transforms into a brilliant pink compote that is dynamite spooned over a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
In the South, rhubarb can’t grow due to the searing temperatures, so I have to wait patiently until the spring when it pops up in stores for just a few weeks. And this past Sunday, I had waited long enough.
Anytime Rhubarb Cake
Anytime Rhubarb Cake is a buttery cake full of sweet-tart rhubarb, perfect for snacking anytime.
- 1 pound rhubarb trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar divided
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups flour all purpose
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup yogurt full fat–I used lemon-flavored Noosa
- 1 cup flour all purpose
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter cut in small pieces
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 and line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang on each side to make it easy to remove the cake.
In a medium bowl, combine sliced 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, salt and ground cinnamon together in a small bowl. Add one-third of this mixture to the batter, mixing until just combined.
Continue, adding half the yogurt, the second third of the flour mixture, the remaining yogurt, and then the remaining flour mixture, mixing between each addition until just combined.
Pour the batter in the pan and spread it around the pan evenly.
Pour the rhubarb mixture over the cake, spreading it into an even layer.
Add all the crumb topping ingredients together in a small bowl.
With your hands, squish up the crumb mixture until the butter is evenly incorporated and the mixture comes together and stays together in your fingers.
Scatter evenly over rhubarb layer.
Bake cake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes.
Cool completely on a rack.