Pipe Dream #285: To Be Honest – Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

rhub cake 4

I haven’t made a single crisp this summer with all the summer fruits (it’s a heavy shame), but I have made a strawberry rhubarb crumb cake, and it was only ever the most toothsome. You too, can have toothsome cakes. Too toothsome. I want to combine that into one word, but it just ends up becoming…toothsome. So.

rhub cake 1

No idea what “China Powdered #1” is. I’ll be on the lookout for “Azerbaijan Ground #5” next to do a taste comparison. But it is Penzey’s ginger, so it must be good.

Honestly, I couldn’t taste too much of the ginger in the final product, though I included some fresh ginger in the compote and the powdered ginger in the cake. Also honestly, I wasn’t on high alert for the ginger when I ate some of it (ahem, I was at a bachelorette party). Maybe it’s a good thing that the ginger isn’t too punchy/in yo face. This is really about the strawberry rhubarb, or, if we’re being even honester, this is really about the crumb. Everyone knows that crumbs are the best part.

rhub cake 7

Compotes are the easiest, and don’t worry about the rhubarb being too tart. It’s not, and it’s nice. Using fresh fruit might have made the cake firm up a little better (see the recipe linked below or this one for examples of the fresh fruit version), so I recommend giving that a go if you don’t want to take the extra time to make compote.

rhub cake 5

Despite this thick layer of crumb heaven, my cake still boiled up like lava through the cracks. I wonder if this could be remedied by spreading out my fruit to cover the entire surface area of the bottom cake. Or maybe I didn’t whisk my ingredients, and had big pockets of baking powder bursting through.

Maybe sifting the dry ingredients actually has a purpose.

Maybe following directions is the right thing to do.

rhub cake 3

Make sure to sprinkle your powdered sugar just prior to serving. I didn’t, and it soaked in a bit in the middle. (This is also because, since we’re being honest, I underbaked it a little, and the middle was slightly sogged. Will she never be better?)

rhub cake 2

Never better,


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

For the streusel:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the cake:

2 cups strawberry rhubarb compote, like this one
2 T. light brown sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9×9 square baking pan. (I used a rectangle, but I think it is approximately the same proportions, maybe slightly smaller). Set aside.

For the streusel:

Whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the cake:

Whisk the flour, baking powder, ginger and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Top with rhubarb and strawberry compote in a thick layer, then top with refrigerated  streusel.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.



1 Response to “Pipe Dream #285: To Be Honest – Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake”

  1. 1 Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat August 4, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Sounds wonderful. I love the combination of strawberry and rhubarb.

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