It’s on a rare occasion you will hear me say that I’m excited to go to the grocery store. It’s not because I don’t enjoy grocery shopping, because I do. The difficulty lies in the fact that I have a three year-old who wants something in every single aisle and won’t stop screaming until she gets a cookie from the bakery. That makes for an unpleasant trip.
But this week I had a great trip to my local Publix grocery store. Justin, the produce manager, clued me into a special delivery coming in on the Thursday truck – fresh rhubarb! I found that wonderful, but very peculiar considering it’s still snowing up North where it grows. When I asked where it exactly came from, I got a very humorous response, “The Truck.” Enough said.
I bought 3 lbs of the bright pink, super sour, fresh from “the truck” rhubarb. I immediately went to work on adjusting a recipe that Jill and I received from a woman who won first place at the Iowa State Fair in the Division 111A, class 617 division. I’m not sure what all those numbers stood for, but I do know that she deserved first place for her version of Rhubarb Coffee Cake.
The recipe was out of her mother’s very old, Wellsburg, Iowa Christian Church Cookbook. I decided to “lighten it up” a little bit and the results were outstanding! The moist texture of the cake surrounds the tart flavor of the rhubarb while the crunchy sweet topping gives it a super sweet finish.
I honestly think this is one of my top 5 favorite desserts ever!
If you can’t find fresh rhubarb at your local grocery store, check in the freezer section. If you still can’t find any, talk to your store’s general manager and see if they can have some special ordered. It’s worth the extra effort.
Your favorite Chick from the South – Jamie
- all-purpose flour - 2 1/2 cups
- baking soda - 1 tsp.
- salt - 1/2 tsp.
- butter, room temp - 1/2 cup
- sugar - 1 1/2 cups
- egg - 1
- vanilla - 1 tsp.
- buttermilk - 1 cup
- rhubarb, chopped - 4 cups
- light brown sugar, packed - 1 cup
- walnuts, chopped - 1/2 cup
- butter - 6 Tbsp.
- sugar - 2/3 cup
- evaporated milk - 1/2 cup
- vanilla - 1 tsp.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray; set aside.
To prepare cake, combine flour, baking soda & salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar for three minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat together. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Start and end with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in rhubarb.
Combine brown sugar and walnuts in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly on top of batter. (Note: I set aside 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and spread that on 1/4 of the cake for my anti-nuts husband.)
Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Frosting: While the cake is baking, start the process for the frosting. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, evaporated milk. When the cake is finished baking, start the burner on the saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil for 3 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, beat well. Using a knife or a handle to small wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake to allow the frosting to soak in. Spoon the hot frosting evenly over the cake. Cool on a wire rack for 2-3 hours. Good luck with the cooling down process. I have yet to let the cake cool even 10 minutes before I've cut into it.
Makes 20 servings