Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rhubarb Cake

I spent most of last Saturday at Featherstone Farm - it was our annual Spring Open House and farm tour day.  I had a great time talking with all kinds of people - "locals" and CSA shareholders from the Twin Cities alike.  Several families made the trip down to see where their food comes from.  Welcome to all the folks who are trying a CSA share for the first time and welcome back to those of you who have been practicing better living through vegetables for years.  We all have a lot to learn from "box veterans" like you.

In addition to having conversations with people, I also was serving my homemade rhubarb cake.  I think we went through about 180 pieces.  Some little kids had three or four pieces and that was okay with me.  You have to turn people on to rhubarb when they are young.  Vegetables too, for that matter.

In response to popular demand, here is my tried and true recipe for Rhubarb Cake.  I probably have made this over 100 times.  I served it to my Bed and Breakfast guests for years.  It is basically a simple buttermilk coffeecake.  It freezes well and is not too sweet.  You could eat it for breakfast or as a dessert or snack.

Ingredients for cake:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 cup each white flour and whole wheat pastry flour)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk (or maybe a bit more if the flour is on the dry side)
2 cups cut up rhubarb (about 1/2 inch slices)

Cream together butter and sugars.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Mix together all dry ingredients.  Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk in two or three portions.  When batter is uniformly mixed, fold in rhubarb.  Spread in greased 9 x 13 baking pan.  Sprinkle on topping and bake at 350 degrees about 40 minutes or until firm to the touch in the center and lightly browned on the sides.

Streusel topping:  mix together 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar until crumbly.  I like to add about 1/2 cup chopped black walnuts - the flavor is very compatible with rhubarb.  If you like nuts and don't have access to black walnuts, try English walnuts, almonds or even hazelnuts.  There is getting to be a small hazelnut growing industry in SE Minnesota and it is worth seeking out some Minnesota Grown hazelnuts.


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  2. Hey, I ate some of that! :) This is a really nice cake...not too sweet and easy to carry around for stand-up get-togethers (such as a farm open house!) Thanks for posting it!

  3. Thanks for the testimonial Anne Marie! If you don't have rhubarb, apples will work too.