Rhubarb coffee cake



30 min


1 h 50 min


8 to 10

* PLUS 1 hr 10 min cooling time
Rhubarb coffee cake

Photo, Erik Putz.

We've modernized the upside down cake: instead of chopping the rhubarb into small pieces, the stalks just need to be cut to fit in the pan. (Bonus: Each slice ends up with an Insta-worthy pink diagonal pattern! The layout doesn’t need to be perfect, because the warm, glossy jam that gets brushed on at the end covers up flaws.) We also updated the flavour profile from our original recipe, which called for cinnamon, vanilla extract and almond extract. We eliminated the cinnamon and offer a choice between vanilla and almond extract to cut down on competing flavours. In addition, we added buttermilk and baking soda (in place of just using milk) to create a more tender cake crumb. And the result? Both show-stopping and downright delicious. If you’re going to make one rhubarb dessert this spring, we highly recommend this one.


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter , cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb


  • Position rack in centre of oven, then preheat to 325F. Spray a 9-in. springform pan with oil, then line bottom with parchment.
  • Streusel: Combine flour and sugar in a medium bowl and, using fingers, work in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans.
  • Cake: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, until fluffy, about 3 min. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping side of bowl as needed until combined, then vanilla. Beat in half of flour mixture, then sour cream, then remaining flour mixture, until just blended. Fold in rhubarb.
  • Transfer batter to pre­pared pan, smoothing top with a spatula. Sprinkle with streusel mixture.
  • Bake, covering with foil if nuts are browning too quickly, until a cake tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean, about 1 hr 20 min. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 min, then release springform ring and let cool completely, about 1 hr. Cake will keep well, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Kitchen tip

This cake can be made ahead and refrigerated for 2 days (if it even lasts that long).

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 436,
  • Protein
  • 7 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 50 g,
  • Fat
  • 24 g,
  • Fibre
  • 2 g,
  • Sodium
  • 297 mg.
  • Excellent source of
  • Folate

Kitchen tip: For people with nut allergies, skip the streusel topping and simply dust the cake with icing sugar before serving.