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Rhubarb Cake

In rhubarb season this year, I bought ten pounds of rhubarb from a lady who grows and sells it from her farm. It was fresh picked just for me and it wasn't long after it was pulled from the plants that it was washed, in my oven or in the freezer.
One of my aunts shared a tip with me about freezing rhubarb. She said instead of freezing it pre-chopped, it preserved much better left in full stock with part-ends on. So I tried it that way this year - one immediate advantage is that it saved me a lot of chopping time!!

My husband's mother was known as a good baker and she made a rhubarb cake that my husband loves ... He doesn't like rhubarb pie 😞, which is my favorite pie ... but he does like this rhubarb cake. Especially since his Mom has been gone many years.

Above is a photo of my mother-in-law's handwritten recipe ...  and the translation below.
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour 
  • 2 cups rhubarb (or amount as desired) 
  1. Beat eggs well, add sugar and beat until well mixed.
  2. By hand stir in sour cream.
  3. Blend dry ingredients and stir into egg/sour cream mixture until smooth. 
  4. Pour into 9"x14" baking pan and smooth top with spoon. 
  5. Sprinkle chopped rhubarb over top of batter. 
  6. Follow instructions for crumb topping. 
  7. Bake for 35- 40 minutes in 350 degree F oven. 

crumb topping 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
  1. Mix sugar and flour.
  2. Rub butter into sugar/flour until evenly crumbed.
  3. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.
  4. Sprinkle contents of vanilla sugar package over the top of crumbs. (This really MAKES the crumb topping!) 


  1. This looks so good! I must get some rhubarb and make this. I love the hand written recipe....those that are passed down are the best recipes!

  2. Love the German handwritten recipe - so precious! This recipe sounds wonderful. I have never used vanilla sugar before (will look for it at the grocery store today).

  3. What is vanilla sugar? How much is in a package? Could you make your own? Thanks!

    1. There's a brand name, "Dr Oetker vanilla sugar"

  4. What is vanilla sugar? How much is in a package? Could you make your own? Thanks!

    1. Noah... Vanilla sugar, used often in European recipes, might be substituted with your own ... using regular sugar in which you have stored a (used) vanilla bean for flavoring. Not sure how much is in the packet of Vanilla sugar but use your own judgment, about a good table spoon full. I save scraped bean pods... even if they have been in milk for instance and dried somewhat... and put them in a jar of regular sugar to make my own Vanilla sugar. Hope this helps.

  5. Lily - YellowknifeJune 21, 2017 at 7:58 AM

    Could you not also add 1 tsp of vanilla to your butter mixture and blend in, if you don't have vanilla sugar? It might not be quite the same taste but would probably work.

  6. Thank you for your reply comment Willemenia, and yes, Lily you can just add vanilla - I find it doesn't quite give the same results - but if I don't have vanilla sugar, I do just use the extract.
    Vanilla sugar comes in little packages -- here is the one I use that I find in most grocery stores.
    And I have tried to make my own with used vanilla beans but I was just not happy with the results - didn't match Dr. Oeker's.
    hope that answers the questions ... thank you all for your comments.

  7. I made this exact recipe Saturday. Though I substitute plain yogurt for the sour
    cream and I cut the sugar to 1 cup. The extra 1/4 cup is not really needed. I
    consider it a coffeecake and that is how we eat it, not as a dessert cake. I add
    2 tsps of vanilla to the batter and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice. As I package my frozen
    rhubarb into 4 cup amounts that is what I used. It makes a very nice moist coffeecake.
    I never use the struesel topping recipe as I make struesel in bulk and store it in
    the refrigerator. The person that gave the recipe said that is came from another person
    via a newspaper clipping.

    The recipe card of your mother in law looks like the handwritten recipe cards of my maternal
    grandmother though she would have called this a kuchen not a cake.

    1. und I like that is does not have shortening so with using non fat
      yogurt it would be a low fat recipe.