Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

This sweet strawberry rhubarb coffee cake is the perfect combination of sweet cake and tangy jam. If you’re still looking for the best sweet treat to bring for Mother’s Day brunch this needs to be on the menu. Eat for breakfast or for dessert, it’s perfect either way! 

This sweet strawberry rhubarb coffee cake is the perfect combination of sweet cake and tangy jam.

I made this cake a few weeks ago and ate it within 2 days. Now you know my shame.

I have always had a passionate love for rhubarb. My dad had several plants growing in our yard and we used to walk outside with the salt shaker and cut off a few stalks. Then we would pull off the leaves (they’re toxic), peel off the outer red layer, sprinkle the stalk with salt and chow down. Raw rhubarb is super tart and had the texture of celery. Oh man, my mouth waters just thinking about it. I’m also a little freaky in the fact that I will happily eat an entire lemon (sprinkled with salt) like it’s an orange. My tooth enamel hates me.

I cannot be the only person out there that likes raw rhubarb. Right….right?


This sweet strawberry rhubarb coffee cake is the perfect combination of sweet cake and tangy jam.

I personally think this coffee cake would be perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch but it’s also great for everyday breakfast, everyday lunch, everyday dinner, everyday dessert and midnight snacks. Pretty much it’s the perfect cake for any occasion.  The filling layer is more “jammy” in consistency than thick chunks of fruit. I could have eaten that jam with a spoon but I obviously needed it for the cake…sigh. My plan is to make the same filling mixture for some scones this weekend. So good!

The most important thing to know about this strawberry rhubarb coffee cake is that you must let it cool before you devour. Since it’s made with a jam layer that layer is very runny until it’s cool and set. If you try to cut out a hot slice of that cake you will be left with a runny jammy mess. Not horrible, but not great either.

This sweet strawberry rhubarb coffee cake is the perfect combination of sweet cake and tangy jam.

{Looking for more cake recipes? Try my zucchini coffee cake, blueberry fritter cake, maple cake with maple cream cheese frosting or my pumpkin spice latte coffee cake.}


Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

This sweet strawberry rhubarb coffee cake is the perfect combination of sweet cake and tangy jam. Make for breakfast or enjoy for dessert. It's perfect either way.

Yield: 8 inch cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes


For filling:

  • 1-1/2 cups diced fresh rhubarb
  • 2 cups cut and slightly mashed fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

For topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

For cake:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Slightly adapted from YesterDish


For filling:
In a large saucepan add rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes until the rhubarb and the strawberries start to soften. While stirring the fruit mash it so it starts to breakdown and become smooth.

In a small bowl mix together browns sugar and cornstarch. Pour into the hot fruit mixture, stir constantly and bring to a boil. Keep stirring until the mixture is thick and then remove from heat and set aside.

For topping:
In a small microwave safe mixing bowl add butter and melt. Once melted stir in the flour and brown sugar until it looks like coarse crumbs, set aside.

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line the bottom a 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper and then spray the pan with non-stick spray, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until mixture resembles wet sand and has some pea size crumbles.

In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract.

Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir till combined.

Spread half the batter into the prepared pan making sure to cover the bottom. Carefully spread the cooled filling on top of the batter in the pan. Gently drop the remaining batter on top of the filling and if you can gently spread it over the filling.

Sprinkle crumbly topping over top the cake and add to the oven.

Bake for about 35-45 minutes until the cake is fully cooked. The jam will bake up around the edges and be slightly jiggly but you should be able to see that the top is browned and the top layer is fully cooked.

Once cooked remove from the oven and let cool completely. This is an important step - if you do not let the cake completely cook and attempt to cut a slice or remove from the pan the jam will run. The cooling process helps the jam set up so it cuts nicely with the cake.

Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar if desired.


25 Responses to “Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake”

  1. #
    Medeja — May 1, 2014 at 6:25 am

    I wish it was strawberry and rhubarb season here.. 🙂 This cake looks great!

  2. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 1, 2014 at 8:42 am

    This cake straight up rocks. Strawberries and rhubarb are soooo yummy together – especially with caaaaaake!

  3. #
    Beth @ The First Year — May 1, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Brandy, I am loving your styling – great recipe friend!

  4. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — May 1, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I am so glad to hear that you eat raw rhubarb! My husband will be happy to hear that I’m not the only one! 😉 Love this cake! Wish I had a slice right now!

  5. #
    Christine from Cook the Story — May 1, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Strawberries and rhubarb are the perfect warm weather combo!

  6. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — May 1, 2014 at 10:16 am

    That jammy filling has my heart forever and ever. YUM. (Also, need to try raw rhubarb; I’m intrigued!)

  7. #
    Amy @Very Culinary — May 1, 2014 at 11:00 am

    When we lived in Minnesota, my next door neighbor had rhubarb growing on the side of his house. He hated it…considered it a weed. So he gave me free rein to pick some any time I liked. Needless to say, I made strawberry-rhubarb pie all the time. Love this! And 2 days? Pffft. I probably would have polished it off in 1 😉

  8. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — May 1, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Coffee Cake rules my world.

  9. #
    Meredith in sock monkey slippers — May 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I’ll eat it raw too! Love it and this looks fab!

  10. #
    Stephanie @ Back For Seconds — May 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Ahhhhh I want this in a bad way. Looks amazing!!

  11. #
    Brenda@SugarFreeMom — May 1, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    My grandmother always loved rhubarb but I’ve never been fond of it. Adding it with strawberries and made into coffee cake and I’m in, wow!

  12. #
    sue/the view from great island — May 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    This really does look special, I love how the fruit layer is at the bottom!

  13. #
    Marly — May 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    What a perfect way to start out the day!

  14. #
    Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos — May 1, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Confession: I have never tried rhubarb but this cake might actually convince me to give it a whirl 🙂 It looks delicious!

  15. #
    Susan — May 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    This lasted two days? You have self control, pretty sure I can see myself sneaking back at this all day long if it was in my house.

  16. #
    Marjory @ Dinner-Mom — May 1, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Love the strawberry and rhubarb combination! Looks amazing!

  17. #
    Kim Beaulieu — May 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous. I love a good coffee cake. This fits the bill. II’d eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  18. #
    leslie — May 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I can’t believe I have never had rhubarb! This looks amazing!

  19. #
    Jenn @ Deliciously Sprinkled — May 1, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Loving anything strawberry right now and this coffee cake looks delicious! Perfect for spring 🙂

  20. #
    Christiane ~ Taking On Magazines — May 2, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Me, me! I LOVE raw rhubarb. It reminds me of being a little kid and playing outdoors. It’s just a bummer that I can’t find it just growing in the yard like I used to. I adore the idea of your coffee cake. It’s such a perfect combination.

  21. #
    Joanne — May 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I don’t know that I could handle the tart of raw rhubarb…but the thought of eating this cake is making me drool! BIG TIME.

  22. #
    Jocelyn@Brucrewlife — May 7, 2014 at 12:18 am

    I’ve never had raw rhubarb, but now I’m intrigued by the thought of it! And this coffee cake has my name written all over it! Yum!

  23. #
    Rebecca — May 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    It looks amazing! I never had raw rhubarb, but I would happily endure this cake 😉 Such a great combination!
    Thanks, Rebecca


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