Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Have I ever told you I’m nuts about Rhubarb? Ever since I was little – we kids used to take the old blue Melamine sugar bowl (this is before we got the Corelle) and sit in the shade of our honeysuckle hedge and pull rhubarb, dip it in the sugar and take a bite. And repeat. Sweet & tart. Just like this Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake.


Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I love this Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake or any Rhubarb Coffee Cake for that matter! Coffee Cakes are just the thing to have on hand when you have a brunch or overnight guests. Or maybe just for the family. I already have a Rhubarb Coffee Cake on my blog. It’s a little delicate and has a gorgeous Vanilla Sauce. You might want to check it out, too. It’s a whole different animal from this coffee cake which is super easy and casual.

About Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake:

Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake is so easy (no mixer needed) and is big and fluffy and supremely moist! It is a beautiful thing. Seriously, it’s outstanding. If you love cinnamon, you can add a teaspoon to the batter, but I like this just plain. I think it lets the Rhubarb flavor shine through in all its unadulterated glory. And if you’d rather use yogurt instead of sour cream, that works well, too.

The streusel topping with the white sugar may not be the standard streusel we think of today. In this recipe and almost all the older Rhubarb recipes I’ve seen, white sugar is used rather than brown sugar with rhubarb. So the topping is almost just a crispy layer on the top. It complements the rhubarb flavor perfectly.

The white sugar topping doesn’t get melty and gooey like a brown sugar streusel, though; the sugar stays a little grainy and crunchy. You’ll find after a day or two the topping softens up, and while it’s still delish, isn’t quite at its peak.


Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Making Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake:

Did I mention “mix by hand!” Yes, I did. Seriously this is going to be the easiest coffee cake you’ve ever made. You might want to think about using this as a base for other coffee cakes. Just sub out the rhubarb. This cake would be a perfect 1st project for a budding baker, too.

Usually I have quite a few hints and helps when I post a recipe but in this case, there’s hardly anything to it. Ya gotta love that! Actually, I think I need more recipes like this in my life. The only thing I can think to add is if you use a frozen rhubarb, don’t thaw it, just put it in frozen.

Saving Money on Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake:

The interesting thing about this recipe is there is no butter, which is usually one of the pricier ingredients when baking. There is a good amount of sour cream, though. I make an effort to buy sour cream during the holiday sales; almost any holiday will have sour cream on special in the preceding weeks. Then I make sure to keep it clean, don’t leave it open on the counter and only dip into it with clean utensils. And store it upside down in the fridge. It makes an airtight seal.

It goes without saying that picking your rhubarb, either your own or some from a neighbors is going to cost less than buying. So many people have rhubarb they don’t do anything with. It’s a shame because as the stalks are picked, more grow in. It’s like magic! If your neighbor gives you rhubarb, make sure to give them a piece of the Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake. 🙂 If you are picking or buying fresh rhubarb, you’ll need a little more than a pound because you’ll need to trim the leaves and ends off.

Rhubarb comes frozen in 1 pound bags, which, depending on how it is cut, may be just slightly less than you need for this recipe. I wouldn’t sweat it, just use the pound bag. Look to see if rhubarb isn’t included when frozen berries are on sale. It’s usually not going to go on sale by itself, it’s just not popular enough. Frozen items like this are usually cheapest in late summer after harvest. Supply and demand, right? Prices will rise over winter, but look for sales around holidays.


Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake


Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake

A big, fluffy, super easy (mix by hand) rhubarb coffee cake.

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x






Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour a 9 x 13″ pan.


In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the flour and mix until crumbs form. Set aside.


In a large bowl, stir together sugar, baking soda, salt and flour. In a smaller bowl, mix eggs and sour cream until smooth, then add to the above mixture, stirring until incorporated.

Fold in the rhubarb, spread into the baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with the topping.

Bake about 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

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I’ll be sharing at Throwback Thursday Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me! And sharing at Angie’s Fiesta Friday – this week is Fiesta Friday 124, and the co-hosts this week are Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.

If you like Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake, you might also like:

When the spring rhubarb is out, this is the coffee cake you're gonna want to bake - and eat! A big, light, fully Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake with just the right sweet tart kick. Bonus for super easy and mix by hand. #SourCreamRhubarbCoffeeCake #RhubarbCoffeeCake

60 thoughts on “Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Naomi, here in the States we call these easy pan-type cakes “Coffee Cakes” because they come from an old tradition of having a bit of cake with midmorning coffee. There’s never any actual coffee in the cakes. (Usually)

      Thanks for visiting!


  1. gillian howie

    Coming from the west coast of Scotland we are in full rhubarb season right now, this is the first time I have made this recipe but WOW it certainly won’t be the last. Fabulous, it’s going to be a firm favourite I think.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Gillian, I’m so tickled to think my little recipe has made it halfway across the world! Or at least a third of the way, lol!! I’m so glad you liked it and thanks for commenting.


  2. Lisa Jean Anderson

    My sister in law made this Rhubarb cake and I couldn’t believe how great it was. I have been eating and baking with rhubarb my whole life. I summer Rhubarb and add a little sugar and put on my pancakes. Mmmmmm

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I am so glad you guys enjoyed it! I recently moved from Minnesota to Georgia, where rhubarb doesn’t really flourish. It’s one of my fave things about spring! It sounds like it would be marvelous on pancakes…I’ve yet to try it, so thanks for the idea!


    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Cindy, I have never frozen it but I think it would freeze well. It might affect the topping a little.

  3. Judy H

    This was awesome! I’ve made it 3 times in the past week (took to work for our birthdays). I really liked the recipe just as it was written, but on the 2nd and 3rd I cut the sugar down in the topping, added another cup of rhubarb and a couple of splashes of Almond Extract. I really like how easy this recipe is to make, it’s not fussy, it doesn’t make a lot of dirty dishes, and it is easy to customize. I always am drawn to recipies that take a lot of rhubarb and at 4 cups it was great and I am happy to say it was also great with 5 cups. Texture and flavor were excellent just as it was written-very crunchy topping.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Judy, thanks for stopping by and reporting back! So glad you liked it and next time I’ll try the five cups! More rhubarb = more better, lol!! 🙂

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Lou, yes, absolutely. I think the proportions of flour, brown sugar and butter are going to be about right, although I haven’t personally tried it. 🙂

    • Debbie, the rhubarb is a little more subtle than you’d guess, so I think anyone would love it, but if you love rhubarb, I KNOW you’ll love it!!

      My folks are big fans, too!


  4. This looks a delicious cake to have with coffee. I haven’t tried out any rhubarb recipes, because it is hard to come by here, but your photo and recipe makes me want to try it out. Thanks for sharing this at the fiesta.

  5. Mollie– this looks so tender and amazing!! I’ve never ever heard of rhubarb in coffee cake, but I’d love to try it!! I love a simple cake, that you whip up and enjoy with a mug of tea and this looks like that kind of cake. thanks! xo

    • Thanks Rhonda. I grew up with a lot of rhubarb recipes – maybe it’s more of a midwestern thing, or a rural one? because I’ve had several people comment that the concept was new to them. This one is really worth making, even if you have to search out rhubarb. 🙂

  6. Errrrrrrrrrg
    It looks soooooooooooo GOOD and I’m jealous!! Do send me this cake – pl;easeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    We don’t have rhubarb here

  7. Andrea

    I used to eat rhubarb like that as well! Your cake looks great — always on the lookout for new rhubarb recipes.

  8. I haven’t ever knowingly eaten rhubarb and I don’t see it happening in the near future even though your coffee cake looks delicious. I’ll stick with stone fruits. 🙂

    • So even though this is called coffee cake here in the states it doesn’t actually have coffee in it – I think the name came about for these casual cakes that are almost like a quick bread but a little softer because back in the day when the men went off to work, the wives would kick back with the neighbors and eat cakes like this and drink coffee!

      But yes, it is yum!!

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