Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb coffee cake is a wonderful way to prepare fresh rhubarb. This can be served as a delectable breakfast, it also goes well with a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

two pieces of rhubarb coffee cake on a plate

Chances are you can’t buy a rhubarb coffee cake, but you can make one!

What is rhubarb?

Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but by law is known as a fruit. Rhubarb has been used for cooking and for medicinal uses for a long time. When uncooked the stalks tend to be bitter, but when cooked, it is a flavorful fruit that has a unique flavor that can be described as sour or even bitter. It is often paired with sweeter ingredients like strawberries to balance out the flavor.

Rhubarb looks like a funny type of celery, but we only eat the stalks. The leaves have oxalic acid and cannot be eaten. So always discard the leaves, and enjoy the stalks.

How to pick the best rhubarb for baking

Depending upon where you live, rhubarb is in season from April through June. This is a popular plant among many gardeners, but grocery stores also carry it this during the spring. When choosing rhubarb, be sure to pick stalks that are firm and plump. Stay away from stalks that are wilted or shriveled. The stalks that are deeper red tend to have more flavor, so those are the ones that are perfect for baking.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

This recipe is actually from my grandmother. She would plant rhubarb in her garden, and in addition to making a couple of fresh strawberries and rhubarb pies, she would also make this delicious coffee cake. The fresh fruit will help keep this coffee cake moist for a couple of days after baking.


Here’s what you need to make the cake:

  • Rhubarb
  • Brown sugar
  • Shortening
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Vanilla
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

rhubarb coffee cake ingredients

How to Make Rhubarb Coffee Cake

This cake is so easy to make!

Simply mix together all the batter ingredients.

rhubarb coffee cake batter in a mixing bowl

Place the batter in a greased and floured 9 X 13-inch pan.

Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top.

rhubarb coffee cake in a pan before baking

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Allow cake to cool.

Serve and enjoy!

slices of rhubarb coffee cake on a plate and on a cake stand

More Rhubarb recipes

Best Coffee Cake Recipes

Delicious Quick Bread

Be sure to take a look at more of my easy cake recipes and quick bread.

Recipe by Ethel Eynard. Jefferson City, Mo. 1983.

two pieces of rhubarb coffee cake on a plate

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

You can use fresh rhubarb to make a delicious coffee cake with cinnamon sugar topping. Buttermilk and brown sugar give it a special flavor.
4.75 from 4 votes
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coffee Cake, Rhubarb
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 326kcal


Cake Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Mix all cake batter ingredients together. Place in a 9x13 inch pan that has been greased and floured.
  • Stir together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle mixture over top of the cake.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.


Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 145mg | Potassium: 155mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1.4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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