If you are looking for a special treat to make for your family for breakfast on Easter morning or need something to take to a brunch or get-together this weekend, this recipe for strawberry rhubarb crumb bars will be your best friend! This traditional coffee cake with a cinnamon crumb topping is taken to a whole new level with the addition of beautiful bits of ruby red strawberries and rhubarb. I made this for the first time recently and my husband and I both loved it. The buttery cake was perfect with the cinnamon brown sugar crumbs that were sweet with just a hint of salt. The berries and rhubarb kept this cake nice and moist while adding additional sweetness. I don't know about you but, but there is nothing worse than having a dry coffee cake that sticks in the back of your throat like its been left on a shelf too long. Well, this coffee cake is definitely not THAT-- there is nothing dry or cardboard about it!
The original recipe calls for just plain rhubarb so you can make this with all rhubarb or all strawberries, for that matter. I really enjoyed having a combination of both since its rhubarb season and plus I can't pass up a chance to use strawberries in a recipe since they are one of my favorite fruits. But, I may make this with all strawberries later in the year when rhubarb is out of season. This recipe makes an 8x8 size cake so if you are feeding a crowd or taking this somewhere you may want to think of doubling it.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
For the Streusel:
6 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
For the Cake:
1/4 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 pound strawberries, cut into roughly the same size pieces as the rhubarb
1 tbs light brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray Baker's Joy or other baking spray on an 8-inch square baking pan. Or, you can also butter and flour an 8- inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Butter and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour. I used Baker's Joy and my coffee cake turned out great!
2. Make streusel: Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Make cake: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup flour. In another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle strawberries and rhubarb over batter and top with the streusel.
4. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Cut into bars.
Adapted from Everyday Food