I’m obsessed with tart fruit desserts. In this Martha Stewart recipe, the sour tang of rhubarb elevates crumb coffee cake to another level. I also love the look of this cake, with the bright pink of the fruit peeking through the streusel.
As she suggests, I subbed stawberries for half of the rhubarb. I made this cake twice, once in a square pan that I cut into bars (like Martha does), and another time in a 9-inch cake pan that I cut in wedges. It is quite dense, so I preferred eating it like a coffee cake with a knife and fork. I took it to Palm Springs for a weekend trip with friends, and it was perfect for breakfast and dessert.
Rhubarb Strawberry Crumb Cake
For the Streusel
6 tblsp unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
For the Cake
1/3 lb rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 lb strawberries, quartered
1 tblsp light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9 inch cake pan, including the sides. Cut a circle of parchment paper in an 11 inch round. Line the pan with the parchment and press the overhang into the sides. Butter and flour the parchment, tapping out excess flour.
2. Make streusel: Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Make cake: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup flour. In another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in a prepared pan. Sprinkle with rhubarb and strawberries and top with streusel (I didn’t use all the crumb topping made by the recipe).
4. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. let cool completely in pan. Using the paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into slices.