Skip to Content

Easy Rhubarb Coffee Cake

This Rhubarb Coffee Cake is a delightful explosion of tangy rhubarb and sweet strawberries with a tender and soft moist crumb, and a sweet buttery streusel crumb topping. It is perfect for a weekend brunch, afternoon tea, or simply a sweet treat anytime you crave something delicious.

Square slice of coffee cake on a wood platter next to a silver fork and fresh strawberries and rhubarb and a glass of milk in the background.

One of my son’s favorite baked cake is a fluffy, moist coffee cake. But he has also recently fallen in love with rhubarb after this week of enjoying our strawberry rhubarb pie and our rhubarb muffins. Since I still have rhubarb to use up, I decided to combine these two favorites together and bake this mouthwatering rhubarb coffee cake.

This baked delicacy combines the refreshing flavors of a rhubarb buttermilk cake with a cinnamon coffee cake and crumb topping with the bonus of fresh juicy strawberry slices, which are completely optional.

With my ADHD pulling my attention every which way, I specifically designed this rhubarb coffee cake recipe to be quick and easy, yet it still delivers the classic coffee cake experience with a buttery, tender, and crumbly base, complemented by the satisfying crunch of cinnamon sugar streusel.

Looking down at a wood plate with a square of cinnamon coffee cake next to strawberries and a stalk of rhubarb and a silver fork

But here’s the twist! I’ve added a burst of freshness with juicy rhubarb and sweet strawberries, making this coffee cake extra special.

🥚 Ingredients & Substitutions

Overhead view of ingredients for a rhubarb coffee cake in white bowls on a white background.
  • Butter: Softened to room temperature.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Egg
  • All-Purpose Flour: you can also use Kamut Flour at a ratio of 3/4 cup to every 1 cup. I will include the exact amount needed in the notes section of the recipe card at the end of the this recipe post.
  • Baking Powder: acts as a leavening agent to help the cake rise.
  • Salt
  • Buttermilk:  gives your rhubarb cake a soft, tender crumb and keeps your coffee cake delightfully moist. Buttermilk also works in tandem with baking powder as a leavening agent, providing lift and a light, airy crumb.
  • Rhubarb: Sliced to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. You can also use Frozen Rhubarb. No need to thaw before baking. Just toss in the individualized frozen rhubarb pieces.
  • Strawberries: If you want a pure Rhubarb Coffee Cake, simply leave out the strawberries and use 3 cups of rhubarb.
  • Cinnamon Streusel topping: made from softened butter, flour, light brown sugar, and cinnamon.

🍓 Can I use Frozen Rhubarb and Strawberries?

Yes! Thaw your rhubarb and strawberries and drain off the excess liquid, but don’t squeeze it out. Toss them into the batter at the same time as fresh rhubarb and strawberries, fold in, and bake as usual.

Just be sure you are using diced and sliced frozen rhubarb and frozen strawberries, not whole.

If you love this rhubarb coffee cake you might want to try our rhubarb muffins or even our strawberry rhubarb muffins! They are a little less crumbly, so they are easier to take on the go, but still pack that fun coffee cake flavor thanks to the cinnamon crumble topping.

🎂 Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

Make the Streusel

Step 1
Stir together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon into a medium mixing bowl. Work the softened butter into the flour mixture until completely incorporated and the mixture clumps together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use or up to overnight (12 hours).

Alternatively:
You can combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter in a food processor and pulse until a course crumb forms.

Homemade cinnamon streusel in a white mixing bowl on a marble surface

Make the Cake

Watch the video where I guide you through every step of this easy recipe. Having a visual can be incredibly helpful. You can find our complete collection of recipe videos on YouTube or right here on our website alongside their corresponding recipes.

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. And grease a 9X9 baking pan.

Step 2:
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides and bottom occasionally to ensure there are no unprocessed clumps of butter. Add in the vanilla and egg and mix until smooth.

Step 3:
In a seperate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour in half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and beat together until all the flour is absorbed. Pour in the Buttermilk and mix until it is evenly combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until it is incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom to ensure there are no pockets of dry ingredients. But do not overmix. Simply mix until there are no longer any dry ingredients visible.

Step 4:
Add the rhubarb and strawberry slices, and gently fold until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Rhubarb coffee cake batter in a silver mixing bowl

Step 5:
Pour the cake batter into the greased 9X9 baking pan. Spread the batter evenly to all four corners. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the cake batter. Gently pat or press lightly into the batter until it adheres.

Looking down at a square white baking pan filled with rhubarb coffee cake batter
unbaked Rhubarb coffee cake in a white pan with cinnamon streusel spread across the top ready to be baked.

Step 6:
Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the rhubarb coffee cake from the oven and cool for a minimum of 1 hour, but preferably until cool to the touch, on a wire rack before serving.

Side view of a rhubarb coffee cake on a wood cake stand with strawberries and rhubarb

🍰 How to Serve Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

This delightful rhubarb cake recipe is a star on its own, but a few simple additions can take it over the top!

A la Mode: Warm up a slice and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a classic and irresistible dessert.

Whipped Cream Delight: Keep it classic! A dollop of freshly whipped cream adds a light and airy touch to the cake’s richness. You can also try a coconut whipped cream for a hint of a nutty tropical escape.

Warm & Cozy: Pair your coffee cake with a warm beverage for a cozy and comforting treat. A steaming cup of hot chocolate or even a spiced wassail would be delightful companions. A nice cup of coffee or tea would obviously be a perfect pairing as well. 😉

👩🏻‍🍳 Tips from the Chef

Don’t Serve Too Soon: Allow your Rhubarb crumb cake to cool for at least an hour before you try to slice. If you try to serve too soon, the cake will not hold it’s shape but will crumble into a mess on the plate.

Don’t Overmix: Mixing too vigorously will result in a dense texture that is not ideal for a fluffy tender Rhubarb buttermilk cake.

Center Swirl of Cinnamon Crumb: If you want the iconic swirl of cinnamon streusel in the center of your rhubarb streusel cake: Add half of the batter mixture into the pan. Then sprinkle half of the cinnamon crumb topping across the batter. Then finish adding the remainder of the batter and top with the rest of the crumb topping. Essentially layering the batter and cinnamon crumb. Bake as directed.

🫙 How to Store a Rhubarb Breakfast Cake

Keep this rhubarb cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you’re only storing it overnight, simply cover it with plastic wrap.

To freeze coffee cake, first let it cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe bag. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.

When ready to enjoy, thaw the cake at room temperature, keeping it wrapped to avoid moisture. Optionally, reheat it in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10-15 minutes if you prefer it warm.

Yield: 12 Servings

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb coffee cake on a wood cake stand with rhubarb and strawberries in front of a forested background.

This rhubarb coffee cake is incredibly moist, buttery, and full of cinnamon flavor. But also packs a refreshing twist of pockets of vibrant tangy rhubarb and sweet juicy strawberries topped with a crunchy, crumbly, buttery cinnamon streusel. Perfect to pair with ice cream, whipped cream, coffee, tea, or a mug of hot chocolate. And is the perfect bring-along dish for any tea party, breakfast, or brunch party!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

  • 5 Tablespoons Butter (softened)
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

Coffee Cake

  • 1 Stick Butter softened (1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 Cups Rhubarb (chopped to 1/4-1.2" pieces)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Strawberries (hulled and sliced)

Instructions

Plan Ahead

Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9X9 baking sheet.

Cinnamon Streusel

  • Stir together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Work the softened butter into the flour mixture until completely incorporated and the mixture clumps together. 
  • Set aside. Can make ahead by 1 day and store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Cake

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides and bottom occasionally to ensure there are no unprocessed clumps of butter.
  • Add in the vanilla and egg and mix until smooth.
  • In a seperate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Pour in half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and beat together until all the flour is absorbed.
  • Pour in the Buttermilk and mix until it is evenly combined.
  • Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until it is incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom to ensure there are no pockets of dry ingredients. But do not overmix.
  • Add the rhubarb and strawberry slices, and gently fold until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Pour the cake batter into the greased 9X9 baking pan. Spread the batter evenly to all four corners.
  • Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the cake batter. Gently pat or press lightly into the batter until it adheres.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  • Remove the rhubarb coffee cake from the oven and cool for a minimum of 1 hour, but preferably until cool to the touch, on a wire rack before serving.

Notes

**See Post content for Important information on variations, substitutions, and Tips!**

Don’t Serve Too Soon: Allow your Rhubarb crumb cake to cool for at least an hour before you try to slice. If you try to serve too soon, the cake will not hold it’s shape but will crumble into a mess on the plate.

Don’t Overmix: Mixing too vigorously will result in a dense texture that is not ideal for a fluffy tender Rhubarb buttermilk cake.

Center Swirl of Cinnamon Crumb: If you want the iconic swirl of cinnamon streusel in the center of your rhubarb streusel cake: Add half of the batter mixture into the pan. Then sprinkle half of the cinnamon crumb topping across the batter. Then finish adding the remainder of the batter and top with the rest of the crumb topping. Essentially layering the batter and cinnamon crumb. Bake as directed.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 Slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 4g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although Busy Creating Memories attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe