This easy Rhubarb Coffee Cake with buttermilk is for you if you like simple homemade cake recipes from scratch. No mixer is required for this simple recipe. Great for breakfast, brunch or dessert!
Do you have an abundance of fresh rhubarb and are unsure what to make with it?
Or perhaps you are looking for a great-tasting simple coffee cake recipe to make with that last bag of rhubarb you froze last spring.
Whatever the reason, if you have rhubarb, fresh or frozen, I have the perfect recipe for you!
All you need to make this buttermilk rhubarb cake are a few bowls and a whisk. You will love how it comes together in less than 15 minutes -no need for a stand mixture!
It is the most delicious way to use up this wonderful vegetable and the addition of buttermilk guarantees a moist and flavorful coffee cake every single time.
It tastes great the first day it is made, and it tastes better on the second. Like this fresh peach or apple cake, homey cake recipes should be in everyone’s repertoire!
If you like easy baking recipes from scratch that taste great and are perfect for dessert, an afternoon snack, or even breakfast; this easy rhubarb coffee cake recipe is for you.
Mise en place
The most time-consuming step in this scratch-made buttermilk cake is cutting up the rhubarb, which only takes 5 minutes!
Once the rhubarb is properly washed and dried, cut it into ½ pieces. You need a total of 2 cups. Set the chopped rhubarb aside for now.
Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175°C), grease and flour (or use non-stick spray) a 9 x 9-inch square glass pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together 2½ cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon baking soda, set aside for now.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of brown sugar with ⅔ cup sunflower or vegetable oil.
To this, add 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, whisk to combine properly together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine them with a wooden or rubber spoon. Do not overmix.
Fold in the 2 cups of rhubarb (chopped) to the cake batter and combine gently.
With the help of a rubber spatula, transfer the thick batter to the prepared square pan, sprinkle the top of the cake with 1 tablespoon of turbinado (or raw) sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool down for about 15 minutes before slicing.
- Sifting the dry ingredients together will allow for better distribution of all the ingredients throughout the dry mixture. The process also aerates the dry ingredients making the final product lighter in texture.
- Do not overmix the batter, as this will result in a tough cake.
- Use buttermilk as this creates an extra moist cake crumb.
- Use room temperature ingredients. This creates a smoother batter that results in a cake with a uniform texture. Take out your ingredients one hour before beginning.
- If you don’t have enough rhubarb, replace half or even the total amount with strawberries.
- Replace the vanilla extract with almond extract.
- Substitute the buttermilk with greek yogurt or sour cream.
- You can also use an 8-inch-square baking pan can also be used.
As a dietitian, I often get asked this question. Rhubarb is a vegetable that is widely used in desserts. It is a perennial plant that produces edible stalks. It also has leaves that are inedible because they contain oxalic acid. [source]
Yes! Freezing rhubarb is a great way to preserve this spring vegetable. Rinse and dry the rhubarb stalks properly; there is no need to blanch. Cut the stalks into small pieces, about ¼ inch or any size, depending on how you plan to use them. Please place them in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze. It makes a great addition to muffins, cakes, or even pancakes.
To use frozen rhubarb in any cake or muffin recipe, thaw and drain the excess moisture before adding it to the batter. Discard the excess liquid.
Yes, freezing your baked goods is a great way to save them for the future. Once completely cooled, wrap the rhubarb cake in plastic wrap or cut it into slices and then wrap it individually. Place inside a large freezer-safe container or zip lock bags, label and freeze. Use within two months.
The easiest way to defrost your frozen rhubarb cake is by leaving it at room temperature for 2-3 hours. You can also allow it to thaw overnight in your refrigerator.
What to make with rhubarb
If you are wondering what other recipes you can make with rhubarb, look no further. Try these delicious rhubarb muffins!
If you enjoy baking with rhubarb, be sure to consult my step-by-step procedure on how to freeze rhubarb so that you can easily make your favorite rhubarb recipes any time of the year.
One of the ways I keep in touch with my readers is by sending out a weekly email newsletter where I highlight new and seasonal recipes.
Recently, I sent out a broadcast e-mail highlighting the use of buttermilk in recipes.
A very generous reader took the time to share her family recipe for a rhubarb cake made with buttermilk. Not only did she share it with me, but she was also thrilled to share it with all of you! Thank you so much, Krystyna, for your generosity.
I tried it three times in the first week! I made the recipe with strawberries, rhubarb, and a mixture of strawberries and rhubarb. I’ve also replaced the buttermilk with Greek yogurt and the results were simply amazing!
It tastes great on the first day it is made, and it actually tastes better on the second.
I just recently created a blueberry sour cream coffee cake variation that I also think you are just going to love!
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Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this easy rhubarb coffee cake recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Easy Rhubarb Coffee Cake Recipe with Buttermilk
- 2½ cups flour 350 grams, all-purpose
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil or sunflower oil
- 1 egg lightly beaten, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 2 cups rhubarb washed, dried, and chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon turbinado (or raw) sugar for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175°C).
- Grease and flour (or use non-stick spray) a 9 x 9-inch square pan. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar with the oil.
- To this, add a lightly beaten egg, the buttermilk and the vanilla or almond extract. Whisk to combine properly together.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine with a wooden or rubber spoon. Do not over mix.
- Add the chopped rhubarb to the cake batter and combine gently together.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of turbinado (or raw) sugar.
- Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes until golden and cake tester comes out clean.
- Transfer pan to a rack where it can cool down for about 15 minutes.
- Sifting the dry ingredients together will allow for better distribution of all the individual ingredients throughout the dry mixture. The process also aerates the dry ingredients making the final product lighter in texture.
- Do not overmix the batter as this will result in a tough cake.
- Use buttermilk as this creates an extra moist cake crumb.
- Use room temperature ingredients. This creates a smoother batter that results in a cake with a uniform texture. Simply take out your ingredients one hour before beginning.
This post was originally published on July 3, 2020, and republished on May 9, 2022, with updated content and a video. Thanks for sharing!
OMG! I made this cake yesterday, actually made two because just like my dear Italian mother, I can never turn on the oven for just one cake! I combined equal parts of strawberry and rhubarb and also sprinkled some finely chopped pecans and cinnamon along with the turbinado sugar. I added a bit less sugar since I had the sweetness of the strawberries and also a bit less oil and the results were amazing! It was moist with just a touch of crispness on the crust. It will be making it again with different fruit.
I am so happy to read this! Thanks so much for sharing Cathy ♥
Hi Maria! Thank you for sharing can we use any fruit for this recipe be it fresh or frozen? I have made your apple cake just wondering if it can be used here or which other fruit you would recommend ty!
Thanks for your interest Anna. I have made this cake with strawberries, a combination of strawberries and rhubarb, blueberries and raspberries. I have also posted a variation I made with peaches.
It really is a great base for any fruit. I have not tried frozen fruit but I think you will get a great tasting cake. Have fun experimenting!
Antonietta Di Marco
Happen to have fresh rhubarb in fridge when I saw this recipe, decided I’d try….
Smells like an apple cake but when you bit into it – what an awesome flavour (tangy, moist and flavourful)!
Thank you for sharing and Maria your step by step instructions always results in a perfect baking adventure – well worth it!
Thank you for your kind words, I am thrilled to read this Antonietta! Thanks so much for sharing!
Hi, thank you for this recipe. I’d like to know if I can substitute yogurt for buttermilk?
Hi Maye, although I haven’t tried I have used this substitution in other recipes and it works well. I think you should get great results.
Fabulous, Maria! Thanks for posting, with your skillful culinary touch.
I’m sure your other readers will enjoy the simplicity of this recipe and the
Thanks again for sharing this wonderful recipe with all of us Krystyna ♥