Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Vanilla Sauce

IMG_3440Raise your hand if you know what a rhubarb plant looks like? Growing up we always had at least one rhubarb plant, if not two, in our yard. It looks like something that would be in a jungle with these huge elephant ear type of leaf and bright red stalk. My mom would have us go and cut some to make jams, crisps and streusels. Rhubarb by itself is pretty tart and so it tastes best if paired with something sweet. My favorite is strawberries. This streusel cake is absolutely divine especially after you drizzle the warm vanilla sauce on top. The tartness of the rhubarb just melts away with the hint of cream and touch of sweet vanilla. Perfect for a summer evening dessert or Sunday breakfast.




  • 2 TBS butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • *2 cups chopped fresh/frozen rhubarb (or mixed with other fruit)

Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4-5 TBS butter, melted
  • 3 TBS of old fashion oats (optional)

Vanilla Sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (normal milk works too!)
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 TBS vanilla


Preheat oven 350.

Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Beat in the egg. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together until the batter is just moistened. Fold in the chopped fruit, careful not to over mix the batter. Pour batter into a 9×9 greased pan.

In a different bowl, combine streusel topping ingredients. Mix them until it is coarse and combined.  Sprinkle over the cake batter. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the cake is lightly brown. Allow to cool in the pan.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add sugar, milk and cornstarch. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.  Remove from heat. Serve warm over the cake.

*If making ahead of time. Prepare the cake and sauce but keep separate until just before serving. Also, you can use any type of fruit with the rhubarb. I prefer 1/2 cup strawberries and 1 1/2 cup rhubarb.



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