Category Archives: Desserts

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

I had a mad craving for some New York style crumb cake last week.  I obsessed over the idea for like, five days.  Which is weird since that’s about as much time as I’ve ever actually spent in NYC.  And whilst there I didn’t even have any crumb cake.  Hmmm.

Anyway… so this post is about the crumb cake, but more than that, it’s about this.

Rhubarb.  My most beloved vegetable-that-we-eat-like-a-fruit.  It grows well here in NWPA so we have several plants in our garden.  They come back every year and need very little care (my favorite kind of plant).

Have you ever gone to buy fresh rhubarb in the spring at the grocery store?  I don’t know how much it is where you are but around here it costs $6/pound.  (!!!) And it’s only available once in a while.  I don’t get why everyone doesn’t just grow their own.

Unless you are one of those people who’ve never had it or think you don’t like it.  I’ve come across you folk before.  I know.  It looks like celery.  And yes, the leaves are poisonous.  But it is a thing of beauty, a true sign of spring and all the fresh fruits and vegetables that will follow in it’s wake.  Made into a crisp, a pie, a cobbler, a coffee cake, it is sweet and tart and with a flavor all it’s own.  It goes delightfully with strawberries, raspberries, even apples.  I love it best on it’s own though.  Rhubarb pie is actually my favorite “fruit” pie.

My rhubarb in my garden often doesn’t get red.  Contrary to what you may read, there is nothing wrong with green rhubarb.  It just looks dreadful when baked into a pie with nothing else to redden it up.  Very soon, I’ll be putting up my strawberry rhubarb pie recipe.  But anyway, today, as you can see, I had some beautiful red rhubarb to pull out of my garden so I did.

First, mix up your dry ingredients.  To 140 grams of our gluten free flour blend we’re going to add 1/2 tsp Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp Baking Soda, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Whisk that all up and set it aside.

Next, in your mixer, combine 1/4 cup of oil with 1/2 cup of sugar.  Add an egg…

…1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup sour cream.  (Blue nails!  Yikes!)

Turn the mixer down to low and add in the dry ingredients slowly.  Your batter will look like this when you’re done.

Spread the batter into a greased 8″x8″ pan.

Next, we’re going to chop up 2 cups of rhubarb and add a couple teaspoons of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of sugar (you really don’t need more in this case since we’re going to cover the whole thing in sugary crumbs in a second here), and 1/2 tsp ground ginger.  I had no idea until recently how well ginger suits rhubarb!  Cinnamon is wonderful too if you’re averse to ginger.

Toss that around until it’s all nice and coated and sprinkle it over the top of the batter.

Finally, let’s make the crumb topping.  Melt a stick of butter in a bowl and add 1/3 cup brown sugar (this is dark brown but you can use light if that’s what you have on hand), 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.  Once this is combined, you can start working in 250 grams of flour (whatever kind you use!).

It makes a fairly solid dough.  Now, the fun part.  Grab roughly equal size hunks of your ball of dough and put them all over the top of your beautiful rhubarb.  You can go as big or small as you like with the crumbs.  Your choice!

I left mine kinda big as you can see.  This is straight out of the (325 degree) oven about 45 minutes later.  The house smells AMAZING.

We totally didn’t wait until it was cool to cut into it.  Nom.  Sweet and tart and buttery.  This cake is soft and fragrant – such a wonderful early summer treat.  We ate it for dessert one night and then again for breakfast the next morning.  It’s versatile like that 😀

You know it’s going to come to this.


Rhubarb Crumb Cake

(cake adapted from Ina Garten, crumb topping adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

For the cake:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sugar

1 extra large egg

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp vanilla

140 grams AP GF Flour Mix (or 1 cup of regular wheat flour)

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp salt

For the rhubarb filling:

2 cups sliced rhubarb

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of salt

a stick of butter, melted

250 grams AP GF Flour Mix (or 1 3/4 cups regular wheat flour)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8″x8″ glass baking pan.

For the cake – in a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer or a whisk – whatever you’ve got), mix the oil and sugar on medium speed.  Add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla.

Turn mixer down to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides to make sure it’s all incorporated.  Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth.

Combine sliced rhubarb, cornstarch, sugar, and ginger.  Toss to coat and spread in an even layer over the batter.

For the crumbs – combine brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and salt with melted butter until homogenous.  Mix in flour until you have a fairly solid dough.  Tear off roughly equal size nuggets (you can really go as small or big as you like with the crumbs) to cover the rhubarb.

Bake about 45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool before cutting into.

Serves 9-12.


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Filed under Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts

Raspberry Lemon Parfaits

Donkey: You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Hell no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious!
Shrek: NO! You dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden! Ogres are like onions! End of story! Bye-bye! See ya later.
(slight pause for reflection)  Donkey: Parfait’s gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet!

That would be from Shrek (obviously), one of my favorite kids’ movies.  I had to add that quote in here because every time I say the word “parfait” in my head, I hear Eddie Murphy’s voice.

Back to the real world… Hey everyone!  Hope you all had a lovely Easter.  We certainly did here.  It was a crazy busy weekend of cooking, cleaning, baking, and making my first “professional” cake.  There are pics up of that on The Decorator’s Corner section of this blog (which, if you’ve never checked out, you should!).

We had lots and lots of yummy food.  The only regret I have this year is that I did not make more because we actually ran out of a couple dishes.  There’s a first for everything I guess.  But all in all it was a great Easter.

These parfaits were on my short list of desserts for Easter.  I ended up doing Mini Lemon Meringue Pies but I couldn’t not make these.  Just too cute!  Can you picture serving these at the end of a spring dinner party?  A birthday party/baby shower/graduation/Mother’s Day???  They’re sweet and light and perfect for this time of year.

And easy.  Did I say easy?  Because they are.  Well, once you have Lemon Curd sitting in your fridge that needs to be used anyway.  These are put together so quickly I did it yesterday morning while the kids were eating their breakfast at the island.

Now, I’m going to preface this by saying that I’ve made “real” fresh lemon mousse many times.  Technically, for it to be a real mousse you need whip up egg whites and fold them in, usually in conjunction with some freshly whipped cream.  I’ve done it that way and had it turn out awesome.

But there is always the concern about salmonella with the raw egg whites.  I won’t serve them to my children or a pregnant woman or anyone with a compromised immune system (all of whom are represented in our family right now).  So recently I tried substituting pasteurized egg whites (which are not good for whipping).  The mousse was turning out too slack.  I then accidentally over-whipped the cream just short of butter and was not being able to fold that in well, ending up with a lemon mousse resembling egg salad.

After that I said, “You know what, we’re just gonna grab the Cool Whip and call it mousse.”

What remains of my Easter centerpiece.  (Thanks Pinterest!)  I’ve been slowly tearing it apart Peep by Peep.

Anyway, here’s everything you need.  Some leftover Lemon Curd, some Cool Whip, Seedless Raspberry Jam, Fresh Raspberries, and Creme de Cassis (not shown).  Alternatively, you could use Chambord.  Creme de Cassis is Black Currant liqueur, Chambord is made from raspberries.  Chambord is a lot more expensive.  I’m sure it’s great, I’ve just never bought it for that reason.  And Creme de Cassis goes wonderfully with raspberries – so use whatever you’ve got!  Or, if you’re not the type to have those kinds of things on hand, you could just sub in a slip of juice (orange or cran-raspberry or something that will go well with raspberry and lemon).

Gently fold equal parts lemon curd and cool whip together.

I only made enough for one large parfait but this recipe very easily doubles/triples/whatever.  The original lemon curd recipe on this site makes about 3 cups so if you just made the lemon curd you could make a ton of parfaits.

Here it is all homogenous and whippy.  Nom.

Next, spoon out some seedless raspberry jam…

…and whisk it until it’s thin and syrupy.

Next, pour in a splash of liqueur.  About 3 parts jam:1 part liqueur.  Just enough to punch up the flavor a bit.

Now, find some pretty glasses.  I used martini glasses but you could use wine glasses (stemmed or stemless), old fashioned punch cups, double shot glasses for cute little Parfait Shooters… whatever!  Spoon in a layer of mousse and flatten out the top.

Next, spoon on a thin layer of the raspberry sauce, making sure you spread it out to the edges of the glass so the layer shows through when you cover it.

Spoon on another layer of mousse and carefully flatten it out to the edges being careful not to mix the layers.

Top with another thin layer of raspberry sauce and some fresh raspberries.  I like odd numbers for garnish.  It just looks better that way.

And there you have it!  Perfect with some shortbread cookies or all by itself with a spoon.  The perfect end to an elegant brunch, dinner, party, shower, or any springtime occasion!


Raspberry Lemon Parfaits

2 cups Fresh Lemon Curd (or bottled)

2 cups Cool Whip

1/4 cup Seedless Raspberry Jam

4 tsp Creme de Cassis or Chambord (or juice such as OJ)

12 Fresh Raspberries


In a medium size bowl, gently fold cool whip into lemon curd until no streaks remain.

In a small bowl, whisk jam until thin and syrupy.  Mix in liqueur.

In a pretty glass, spoon in a thick layer of lemon mousse and smooth the top.  Cover with a thin layer of raspberry sauce, spreading out to the sides of the glass.  Repeat.

Top with three fresh raspberries.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 4 Parfaits or 12ish Parfait Shooters.


Filed under Desserts