This family recipe dates back to my great-great-Grandmother, who was “Nana” to her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren and something of a legend in my family as she was a formidable, caring and selfless woman. I never met Nana, but my Great Uncle Alex passed her famous Rhubarb Coffee Cake recipe down to my mom, who passed it on to me.
We always had rhubarb growing in the garden (as did every member of my family who had a garden!) so the seasonal flavor of rhubarb was a staple of my childhood. My mom used to make jams, chutneys, rhubarb meringue pie, and this coffee cake and I loved them all! This was one of the very unique recipes my mom used for meal trains, and was a staple for company when rhubarb was in season.
I’ve worked on adapting this recipe for the Paleo diet for years and was never quite happy with the texture until this version. It’s less sweet than the coffee cake of my childhood, but that suits the Paleo-adapted palate very well! Depending on where you live, rhubarb is in season anywhere from early-Spring to late summer, so look for it in at your local Farmer’s Market. And, some grocery stores carry fresh Rhubarb year-round now! You can also use frozen rhubarb for this recipe.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- ½ cup lard
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup less 1 tablespoon coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoon baking soda, divided
- 1 2/3 cups Otto’s cassava flour
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups finely diced rhubarb
Ingredients (crumb topping):
- 2 Tbsp ghee, melted
- 2 Tbsp maple sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup Otto’s cassava flour
- Optional: ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 7”x10” or an 8”x8” baking dish with lard, coconut oil, or ghee.
- Add lard, honey and egg to the bowl of a standing mixer. With whisk attachment at medium speed, cream together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine apple cider vinegar and coconut cream (tip: add vinegar to the bottom of a measuring cup and then pour in coconut cream to the ¾ cup line). Add 1 tsp baking soda and let sit for 2 minutes. (Caution: it will froth and expand, so use at least a 2 cup size measuring cup or do this step in a mixing bowl.)
- Combine cassava flour, spices, remaining baking soda and salt.
- With mixer on low, add thirds of flour mixture and coconut cream mixture, alternately. Once fully incorporated, remove whisk attachment and fold in rhubarb by hand.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
- Make the crumb topping. Combine ghee, maple sugar, cinnamon and cassava in a small bowl. With your fingers, gently drop crumbs onto the surface of the cake batter, breaking up any bigger pieces as you go.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans over the top of the cake, if using.
- Put in the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, increase oven temperature to 350F. Cook for a further 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool before serving.