Sunday, May 11, 2014

the perfect mother's day cake

it's a very good year for rhubarb. we've got a double row of it and it's almost literally coming out of our years. we've picked a whole wheelbarrow full twice and you can't scarcely see it. it hasn't made a dent. these are very old rhubarb roots that we moved to another spot when we moved here four years ago. we divided a bunch of the roots at that time and it obviously made the rhubarb very, very happy, as it's thriving incredibly. i find myself thinking up ways of using rhubarb. i've made 6 bottles of cordial so far and should make about 10x more (seriously, i could probably do this in commercial quantities if i had the time). so in honor of mother's day on this rainy sunday afternoon, i turned to my mom's recipe for rhubarb coffee cake to provide us some comfort and to use up a bit of that rhubarb.

i had a conversation with husband about why it's called a coffee cake, when there's no coffee in it, but i explained that it's because you eat it with your afternoon coffee. i think for me, coffee cake is also darker and deeper than normal cake. in this case, the recipe calls for brown sugar, rather than white and i think that lends to the deep coffee cake goodness. i think it also has to do with not having frosting per se. so a coffee cake is a simpler cake.

mom's rhubarb coffee cake

Cream together:

1/2 C butter
2 C brown sugar
3 eggs
1 C buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla


2 C flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
3 C rhubarb, cut into small pieces (between 1/2" and 1", depending on how thick your rhubarb is).

Pour it into a buttered/floured 9x13 baking pan and sprinkle with:

1/2 C sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Bake at 180°C/350°F for 30-35 minutes.

Serve with coffee or even a cup of tea. Enjoy.

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