Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb Cake

Thought to be a “DeWitt Family Recipe” this turns out to be an “extended-family recipe”. It was written down by Ruth Smith, my Uncle Dick Dailey’s mother and then passed from my Aunt Rosemary (DeWitt) Dailey to my mother, Dolores (Chioccarello) DeWitt. To make it truly inter-generational, I’ve added a touch of my own–walnuts in the topping. Regardless of its origins, it is YUMMY! and a great alternative to my favorite Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. Thanks to the Dailey cousins for their help in tracking this down.

1-1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2-3 cups raw rhubarb cut in small pieces

1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13″ pan.

Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add egg.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Measure out the buttermilk.

To the butter/sugar mixture, gradually add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.

Fold in the rhubarb. Spread batter into prepared pan.
[LD: I’ve seen similar recipes that have you spread the batter in the pan and then gently scatter/press the rhubarb into the top of the batter. I haven’t tried that technique yet, but it might keep the rhubarb from sinking to the bottom of the cake. If you don’t have the patience for that technique, folding in the rhubarb works just fine! 🙂 ]

Stir together topping ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, nuts) and sprinkle over cake.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F.

Allow to Cool and then,

Note: The sugar-nut topping will not “melt” during cooking, but will “meld” with the cake as it cools.  If you want more of a “crumble” topping, you will need to add some butter and possibly flour to it (see coffee cake and/or crumble recipes for details).

Copyright © 2008, Lucinda DeWitt

[Updated 5/26/11 to include instructions about spreading the batter in the pan. LD]


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