This delicious rhubarb coffee cake is a lovely moist rhubarb cake, topped with a crunchy crumb topping. It’s a great snacking cake and keeps well for days!

rhubarb coffee cake sliced on plate with cup of coffee

Why you’ll love this rhubarb coffee cake

  • This is a great snacking cake and it keeps really well, thanks to the addition of sour cream! We were still grabbing pieces of this cake 5 days out and it was just as good as the first day.
  • You can start with fresh rhubarb or frozen. If using frozen, you don’t need to thaw it before using in this cake.
  • This rhubarb crumb cake freezes well, too!

Ingredients and substitutions

Rhubarb – you can start with fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb. For frozen rhubarb, no need to thaw. Use it from frozen.

Sour Cream – full-fat sour cream is recommended. The fat in sour cream ensures a moist crumb and extends the shelf-life of this cake. A lighter sour cream may affect the quality of the cake. If sour cream isn’t available, you could substitute yogurt, though I would recommend a higher-fat, thicker Greek yogurt, if possible. It’s important to note that even a higher-fat yogurt is only about 5% butterfat, vs. about 14% for sour cream, so the reduced fat of yogurt may also affect the quality of the cake and shelf-life.

Recipe Tips!

This is a great base crumb cake recipe, so if you can’t get hold of (or don’t like) rhubarb, you can swap out just about any fruit (fresh or frozen) for the rhubarb.

rhubarb coffee cake sliced on plate with cup of coffee

Making ahead, storing and freezing

This cake is perfect for baking ahead, as it stays moist really well (covered at room temperature). It also freezes well!

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Get the Recipe: Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Delicious rhubarb coffee that can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb. Keeps well for days and freezes well, too!
5 stars from 8 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 12 servings


For the crumb topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, at room temperature

For the cake:

  • 3 cups rhubarb, fresh or frozen
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, full-fat recommended


  • Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugars and cinnamon. Using your fingers, rub in the butter, squeezing to form clumps. Place bowl in freezer until needed.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. (regular bake/not fan-assisted).
  • Make the cake: In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with 2/3 cup white sugar until combine. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Scrape down bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With mixer on low, stir in flour alternately with sour cream, making 3 additions of the flour and 2 additions of the sour cream.
  • Spread batter into a parchment-lined 9×9-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle batter with 1/2 of the crumb mixture. Top with rhubarb. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. white sugar over the rhubarb, then top with remaining crumb mixture.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven until a tester comes out clean, about 55-65 minutes.


Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 294kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 198mg, Potassium: 191mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 423IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 71mg, Iron: 2mg
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