Here’s my version of rhubarb streusel cake, a traditional German sweet yeast dough baked with lightly stewed rhubarb and a streusel topping.
This cake was a staple in our house as I was growing up. We ate it for breakfast and afternoon coffee during the work week. That’s right, cake for breakfast! While it sounds odd now, I think we simply thought of it as bread with fruit and streusel on top. It was hearty and sturdy – something you could pick up in your hand and easily pack for lunch in the field. As good as it was, it was not deemed refined nor fancy enough for Sunday afternoon coffee – that was reserved for the more dignified tortes and pastries that required plates and forks.
The arrival of rhubarb season marked a sudden craving for this German rhubarb streusel cake. And so I set out to recreate what we called rhabarber kuchen. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do.
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp quick rising yeast (1 pkg)
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter
- In large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt. Stir well.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add milk to butter. Heat or cool mixture to ensure it is lukewarm (110-115º F or 43-46°C). Add egg.
- Make a well in the center of flour and add lukewarm liquid mix. Mix ingredients incorporating more flour as needed to form a soft dough.
- As dough forms a ball, use hands to knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Dough should be soft and stretchy without being sticky.
- Cover dough and let rest for 45-60 minutes.
- Meanwhile make rhubarb filling and streusel topping.
- In medium saucepan, bring rhubarb, sugar and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until rhubarb is just starting to soften.
- Dissolve cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and add to rhubarb. Cook until boiling and mixture thickens and rhubarb retains its shape. Remove from heat.
- In medium bowl, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon.
- Cut in butter with pastry blender or fingers to form crumbs. Set aside.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to form a rectangle to fit a 12 1/2 x 17 1/2" baking sheet with sides.Transfer dough to pan, tucking it into the corners. Let rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Poke holes in the dough with a fork.
- Top with rhubarb filling.
- Sprinkle with streusel topping.
- Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes or until streusel begins to turn golden brown.
- Remove from oven, let cool on wire rack.
- Try this recipe with other fruit throughout the year.
Here it is with the crumb topping getting ready to go into the oven.
And finally, the finished piece.
Other rhubarb recipes you might enjoy this rhubarb season.
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.