As my rhubarb plants wither in the heat, and I look to the next seasonal fruits to bake with I am reminded of this rhubarb streusel cake I made a few short weeks ago.
Typically, when my rhubarb is at its fullest I whip up my fairly easy upside down rhubarb cake. This year, for whatever reason, I decided to make it more complicated for myself and mashed a few recipes and techniques together to land on this rhubarb streusel cake. It was absolutely worth it.
Between my Oma’s streuselkuchen recipe and the apfelkuchen recipe from Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss I managed to “hit the nail on the head” with this recipe the first time around. The dough was light and not too sweet, the rhubarb had just the right amount of tang and the streusel on top was exactly as I remembered it from anything my Oma would top it with.
Not only did it hit all the right notes for my tastebuds, but when both my Oma and my friend’s Danish husband whole heartedly agreed I knew this one was a keeper.
For now, I’ll be dreaming about this rhubarb streusel cake until I see the rhubarb poke up from the earth next Spring.
If you liked this recipe you are going to love these ones!
German Rhubarb Streusel Cake (Rhabarber-Streuselkuchen)
Yeast Dough (Hefeteig)
- 300 grams organic, all purpose wheat flour
- 45 grams granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 50 grams unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 large egg yolk
- 150 ml 2% milk warmed to 98F
- zest of half a lemon approximately 1/2 tbsp
- 500 grams rhubarb chopped
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 150 grams organic, all purpose wheat flour
- 25 grams granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 125 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Whisk the egg yolk, milk and lemon zest into the melted and cooled butter until combined. Drizzle the wet mixture onto the dry mixture. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until you have a shaggy looking dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes until smooth. Form into a ball, place it back in the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and place it somewhere warm away from drafts to proof until doubled. This will take approximately 1.5 hours at room temperature (21℃, 70℉).
Line a 9 x 13" baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the sides of the parchment to hang over the edge like a sling. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the streusel ingredients together with your fingers until it resembles course crumbs. Place in the fridge to chill.
Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface and press it down with your hands into a rectangular shape. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour, then roll it out to the size of the baking pan. Lightly dust the top with flour again, fold the dough into quarters, place it in your baking pan and unfold it, pressing the dough to the edges and corners with your fingers if needed. Make dimples all over the dough with your fingers, then cover and set it aside until the dough has become slightly puffy. This will take approximately 30-40 minutes at room temperature (21℃, 70℉).
While the dough is proofing, preheat the oven to 350℉. Mix the chopped rhubarb with sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.
Once the dough has risen, evenly distribute the rhubarb over it, gently pressing the rhubarb into the dough. Then sprinkle the streusel over the rhubarb. Bake for 50 minutes or until any visible cake is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool in the baking pan for 30 minutes before using the parchment sling to transfer it to a cutting board. Cut the cake into squares or any shape you like before serving. Best served with a big dollop of slightly sweetened whipped cream.