Rhubarb coffee cake with browned butter streusel recipe

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In some parts of the world, rhubarb is the first “fruit” of the year, appearing in shades of pale pink while frost still permeates the ground. The best rhubarb is grown in dark barns and hothouses that are heated slowly to force the rhubarb from the cold earth. The darkness intensifies the ruby-red color when the peak of the season hits in mid-February and March.

  • Yield: 1 (9 x 13-inch) cake


  • Unsalted butter, for greasing
Browned Butter Streusel
  • 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups (341 g) full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • ½ cup (65 g) Candied Citrus Zest, drained and chopped
  • 1 recipe Slow-Cooked Rhubarb
How to Make It
  1. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan and line the bottom and long sides with parchment paper.
  2. Make the Streusel
  3. In a small, light-colored saucepan, bring the butter to a simmer over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, cook the butter, without stirring, until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes. The butter will foam a little; that’s the sign that you are almost done. Once the butter is browned, and a nutty aroma wafts from the saucepan, remove the butter from the heat and transfer the browned butter and all the browned bits on the bottom to a heatproof mixing bowl. Cool to warm room temperature.
  4. Combine the sugar, flour, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add the browned butter and mix using a fork, until you have a crumbly, cereal-like mixture; set the streusel topping aside.
  5. Make the Cake
  6. Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a small bowl.
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until light and very fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  8. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time. Mix thoroughly after each addition. Add the yogurt, vanilla, and candied citrus zest and mix until incorporated.
  9. Still mixing on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter in three parts, mixing after each addition just until no dry bits of flour remain. Transfer half the batter to the prepared pan and spread half the rhubarb over it. Cover the rhubarb with the remaining half of the batter. Drop the remaining rhubarb by the spoonful over the top of the cake.
  10. Cover the cake with the browned butter streusel. Use all the streusel but do not press or pack the topping into the cake. Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the streusel is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  11. Cool the cake in its pan for 1 hour. Remove the cake from the pan and remove the parchment paper. Serve warm or at room temperature. The cake will keep well stored in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

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