Recipes, Photography, Musings

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Kick off summer with this lovely coffee cake studded with the fresh fruits of June.  Slices of strawberries and rhubarb are baked in a sweet, moist cake topped with baked brown sugar.  On a sunny weekend morning, a piece of this beautiful strawberry rhubarb coffee cake, a cup of coffee, and a chair on our porch are all I need for breakfast.

What I most like about this cake, besides the fact that it uses strawberries and rhubarb, is that it is both sweet and tart at the same time.  The cake part is rich and sweet, while each bite has a burst of brightness to it because of the fruit.  It makes a great breakfast treat and also works as an afternoon snack.  I adapted the recipe for this strawberry rhubarb coffee cake from one of my favorite cookbooks, Cranbrook Reflections: A Culinary Collection.  I mixed in strawberries instead of all rhubarb, and I skipped the glaze on top, since I personally like coffee cake without a glaze.  This cake is plenty sweet without it, and the flavor of the fruits really shines.

strawberries and rhubarbMy aunt and uncle have been so awesome to give me so much rhubarb from their yard to work with this past couple weeks!  It is truly one of my favorite fruits to bake with, and we have enjoyed a couple of rhubarb pies and some strawberry rhubarb crisp  in this house before this delicious strawberry rhubarb coffee cake.  Honestly, I cannot say which is my favorite, because they are all good.  And they all make me feel like summer has begun, even though the calendar says it won’t begin for another couple of weeks.  My son had a soccer tournament on a small island in the Detroit River last weekend, and my daughter and I walked all over the island exploring.  Spending the whole day watching soccer and exploring, all the while surrounded by water and fresh air, made me believe that summer is here.

strawberry rhubarb coffee cake 1157It has been a crazy few weeks.  This evening is the first evening in awhile that we will not have one or more events going on.  My brain is a bit fried and I spilled a box of rice all over the pantry this morning.  Who knew grains of rice could fly so far?  It took awhile to sweep/vacuum those up!  Anyway, I am looking forward to eating dinner on the porch and later, possibly watching Coco on Netflix.  But amidst all the craziness, with all the end-of-the-year awards ceremonies and games, I have to say I am really proud of my kids and their classmates/teammates.  Hard work pays off.  It is so satisfying to see the positive results and rewards of hard work.

strawberry rhubarb cake in handsEveryone needs to rest sometimes though, and now I can see pockets of time when we can all relax.  That is the beauty of summer–it is made for slowing down.  I hope we can all have a chance to make some wishes

dandelion wishesand take the quiet way home.

path in the fieldAnd to embrace and experience all that June has to offer, including coffee cakes made with fresh fruit!  I hope you all have a great weekend!  (These last two photos were taken by my son in our backyard).

I will be taking this cake over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday,  co-hosted this week by Lizet @ Chipa by the dozen and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 16-20 pieces
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, just add a tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of milk)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 cups of rhubarb, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of strawberries, sliced
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar


Wash and slice your rhubarb and strawberries.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the granulated sugar.  Then add the egg, buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla, and salt.  Stir well, until all the ingredients are combined.  If the butter is too chunky, I use a hand mixer (or you could use an electric one), to break it down and smooth out the batter.  Gradually stir in the flour.  When the flour is incorporated, fold in the rhubarb and strawberries.  Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with the brown sugar.  Bake in your 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes before cutting and serving it. Enjoy!


  1. Jhuls

    Reading your post makes me want to make my coffee and take a slice or two from this moist and delicious cake!? Thanks for bringing this at Fiesta Friday party!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Jhuls! Thank you for co-hosting FF this week!

  2. Laura

    Three of my favourite things in one cake Jenny – however I couldn’t spot the coffee in the list of ingredients? Also did you realise there appears to be a problem when followers try and comment directly the wordpress blog reader?

    • Jenny

      Hi Laura, thank you for stopping by! Where I live, we refer to coffee cake as a cake to be eaten while drinking coffee, so there is not any coffee in the actual cake. Sorry if the title is misleading! 🙂 I did not know there is a problem with commenting in the wordpress reader. I will look into it and hopefully get it fixed. Thank you for letting me know!

  3. Amanda | Whats Cooking

    Beautiful cake and beautiful end of school year sentiments. Rhubarb is a lovely gift. Anything from someone’s garden can make me swoon. Lol te rice everywhere. I did the same with red lentils recently. I’m still finding them a week later. Have a wonderful summer!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Amanda! I keep finding little pieces of rice everywhere too! I hope your summer is starting off well too, and hope you are well! 🙂

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