Rhubarb Strawberry Coffee Cake

For a taste sensation with a moreish texture, this rhubarb, strawberry and coffee cake recipe is a must. The tart rhubarb and rich coffee are a great contrast.

Baked in America
From the book Baked in America
By &
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Introduction

This may look complicated, but it’s not. Simply follow each step for an amazing combination of crunch and squidge. The addition of strawberries has converted rhubarb detractors into lovers. If only everything were that simple …

Makes 12 portions, if cut into 3in/8cm squares

Ingredients

For the streusel top:
5½oz / 160g / 1 cup all-purpose or plain flour
8oz / 225g / 1 cup granulated sugar
6oz / 175g / ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
For the filling:
16oz / 450g / 3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1in/2.5cm dice
16oz / 450g / 3 cups fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
4fl oz / 120ml / ½ cup water or orange juice
8oz / 225g / 1 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp cornflour
For the batter:
16oz / 450g / 3 cups all-purpose or plain flour
8oz / 225g / 1 cup, packed granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp kosher salt
8oz / 225g / 1 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
8fl oz / 240ml / 1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs

Essential kit

You will need a 12 x 9 x 2in/30 x 23 x 5cm pan and an electric mixer.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Butter a pan, 12 x 9 x 2in/30 x 23 x 5cm, and line the bottom with baking parchment. Dust the sides with flour and tap out any excess.

First make the streusel top. Combine the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until you have pea-sized crumb. Cover, chill and set aside.

Place the rhubarb, strawberries and liquid in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the fruit begins to soften. Combine the sugar and cornflour and add to the pan. Stir and continue heating for 5 to 10 minutes, until bubbly and thick. Watch carefully – this sticks to the bottom of the pan, so make sure to stir continuously with a flat, wood or rubber spatula. Set aside to cool.

For the batter, measure the dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer and stir it all together on low speed. Add the butter bit by bit until the mixture gets crumbly, as it would for scones. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then slowly add to the mixer just until everything is consistently moist. Spread half the batter in the prepared pan, followed by the rhubarb filling. If desired, sprinkle with sliced almonds to cover the rhubarb mixture. Dollop the remaining batter over the filling and smooth as best you can. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter in various-sized clumps.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until firmish. The filling will stick to a tester knife, so check the batter for doneness as best you can. Leave to cool completely in the pan. Because of the rhubarb filling, this needs to set longer than most cakes before cutting.

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