It’s been a wet, grey Spring thus far, more rainy days than sunshine. I find myself craving all the springtime deliciousness in between making homemade chai lattes in the middle of the afternoon just to warm up. I’m ready for “Hood Strawberries” even though we are probably farther out than usual due to the lack of warm weather. One springtime treasure that has been popping up is rhubarb, which I absolutely love prepared every which way in baked goods, jams and cocktails. If you scroll through my blog you’ll find several rhubarb posts throughout the years.
This little beauty of a cake is an absolute must if you’re craving a moist buttery pastry with the brightness of rhubarb and strawberries. If you haven’t made a buckle now is your chance to try a rustic bake that’s super simple. You can make a buckle two ways, one rendition is to mix the fruit into the cake batter, then top with the crumble mixture. The second preparation is to top the batter with fruit and then add the crumble, essentially creating three layers. I prefer the latter, topping the cake batter with fruit allowing it to sink into the cake while it’s baking, hence making the cake “buckle”. I’ve made this cake for so many occasions, picnics, brunches, my favorite is to have a slice for breakfast with coffee.
I hope you have an occasion to whip up this cake this Spring, if you do please drop me a note and let me know how it turns out.
1 pound rhubarb trimmed and cut 1/2 inch thick
1 pound strawberries sliced in half or quartered if large
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
the zest of a medium lemon
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°, with rack in the center of the oven. Coat two 8 inch square pans with butter and line with parchment, bottom and sides. Stir together rhubarb and strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar, set aside to macerate.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat together butter, remaining cup of sugar and the lemon zest until light and airy. Beat in buttermilk, add eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. Mix in flour in two additions.
Crumb topping: Stir together flour, brown sugar and salt. Mix in butter and form crumble with your fingers or a fork.
Divide batter between pans. Top with fruit mixture, and sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake until golden and cooked through, roughly one hour and fifteen minutes. Let cool completely.