Rhubarb Coffee Cake 

Coffee cake was an alien food to me when I first came to Canada. I was invited to ‘coffee mornings’ where you drank coffee and ate coffee cake. “I don’t like coffee”, I would tell people. “No problem”, they said, “there’s no coffee in the cake and we make tea”. This morning we were hosting our monthly book club meeting and I really fancied making an old-fashioned coffee cake, with no coffee. They generally have some kind of sugar and cinnamon topping and many of them include fruit. This recipe is from “The Harrowsmith Country Life Baking Book”. 

Cream 1/2 cup shortening with 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add 1 egg and beat well. In a separate bowl mix 2 cups all-purpose/plain flour with 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. We added 1 tsp baking powder as well. Add some of this to the creamed mixture and then add part of 1 cup buttermilk. Add alternatively the flour and buttermilk until it is all combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb and 1 tsp vanilla. Pour into a prepared 9×13-inch pan. 

Combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of the cake batter. Bake at 180C/350F for 35-40 minutes. 


This was a light fluffy cake with a bit of crunch in the topping. The rhubarb did not overwhelm the cake, but seemed to keep it moist. It went down a treat. 


It was nice enough to sit out and enjoy the garden. 


We all had seconds. Our next book choice is “My Italian Bulldozer” by Alexander McCall Smith. Looks like a fun read. One person left with cake, one person left with rhubarb and one person left with plants. What a lovely way to spend a morning. 

Have a great weekend!

Cheryl and Becky

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About chebandbecky

I was born in Birmingham, England and emigrated to Canada in 1988. Becky is my daughter who was injured in a car accident. We are working towards her independence.
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10 Responses to Rhubarb Coffee Cake 

  1. Sounds like a delightful morning! The cake, your garden…lovely! I was new to the concept of coffee cake as well.
    Your rhubarb flavoured one looks and sounds so delicious!

  2. Sounds like awesome! We just cut a bunch of rhubarb to make. Was just thinking about rhubarb coffee cake. Although probably will get some strawberries for it.
    And I’m officially jealous! You have clematis! I bought two and they both didn’t survive the winter. At least my neighbors have it and they crawl over to our yard..haha!
    Have an awesome weekend!

    • chebandbecky says:

      We are finding more and more great recipes for rhubarb. This was definitely a winner.
      We have three clematis that I found in the hedge when we moved here. I moved them to sunny spots and they have done very well. They are so pretty in June 🙂

      • Have you tried to just make like cooked rhubarb? I did that once out of desperation and it was pretty tasty. A pleasant surprise 🙂

      • chebandbecky says:

        Yes. We had rhubarb and custard after Sunday dinner most weeks. You can probably use rhubarb in a lot of desserts. Strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my favourite pies. We have also made muffins, rhubarb marmalade, rhubarb ketchup and rhubarb relish, which was perfect for samosas. I think it’s a really underused fruit. Hope you have fun cooking with rhubarb. We love it 🙂

      • chebandbecky says:

        I should add that rhubarb and custard was in England when I was growing up 🙂

  3. Love the sound of this cake! I always make a cake for our book club meetings too; it’s almost as good as discussing the book 🙂

  4. restlessjo says:

    No coffee in the cake and tea to drink? You Americans are Irish! 🙂 🙂 But that cake sounds wonderful. Happy Saturday, Cheryl!

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