Very Crumbly Coconut Rhubarb Cake

rhubarb crumble cake 06   I’ve no life event or personal anecdote to go with this post, except for this recipe. I’ve kept it a secret and not blogged about it for the past week. And so bit by bit it has been savoured with coffee over breakfast, elevenses, tea and as a midnight snack. I couldn’t help it. rhubarb crumble cake 03 On a rainy day, I just needed an excuse to use up the rhubarb I’d bought over last weekend and tried out the recipe from New Zealand’s ‘Pioneer Woman’ – Annabel Langbein. rhubarb crumble cake 02 And I realised the moment I took a bite that I’ve found my favourite cake. Where have you been all my life? I’m not going to rattle on anymore as you need to make this asap! I never liked recipe titles that brag theirs to be THE best (because its utter nonsense). So I’ll tell you this… of all the rustic cakes I’ve made, this one’s the most perfect to me. rhubarb crumble cake 05 If you look closely, you’ll see a very crunchy crumble top. The crunchy walnuts and raw sugar bits are to die for! And if you make it and eat it, you’ll know how moist and soft the interior is. It tastes even better the next day. rhubarb crumble cake 01 You’ll need to be very careful as you cut the cake as the crumble surface is so crunchy, it breaks. Use a serrated knife and cut slowly. Bits will fall apart but don’t you worry. That’s the beauty of a rustic coffee cake.


If you’ve made any of my recipes, please post a picture on my Facebook Page or Instagram Account and tag your pictures with the hashtag  #cupcakesncurries . I’ve already showcased a few of the recipes that readers have tried. I’m excited to see what you’ve made!

Very Crumbly Coconut Rhubarb Cake

Adapted from Annabel Langbein

For the cake

  • 140g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup / 200g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream (from packet is fine)/ greek yoghurt
  • 2 cups/  250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 200 g rhubarb, thinly sliced (any fruit can be used)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the very crunchy crumble

  • 1/2 cup / 50-55g raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 45g walnuts, cut into quarters
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp long coconut threads
  • 60 g cold butter, cubed

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Line and grease a 25 cm, 10 inch springform pan.

2. In a large bowl,sift plain flour, ground spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. In another bowl, rub the ingredients for the crumble between your fingers until most of them resemble ‘marbles’. Set aside in freezer.

4. In your kitchen mixer, cream the caster sugar and butter till pale and creamy.

5. Add eggs, one at a time and then vanilla essence.

6. Add coconut cream and sifted flour mix alternately in 3 batches. Don’t over mix. The last batch can be mix by hand using a spatula.

7. Fold in sliced rhubarb.

8. Pour cake batter into prepared tin.

9. Sprinkle over crumble mix evenly over the top.

10. Bake for 45-50 minutes. A skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean.

11. Cool in tin for 20 minutes before removing it.

Recipe Notes

  • Any fruit can be used for this recipe. I think bananas, pears, apples or any stone fruit would be lovely.
  • You can use any nuts for the topping. (How about bananas and salty peanuts?)
  • You can omit the coconut threads and spices. Just use 1 tsp of mixed spice or cinnamon powder instead
  • I prefer to freeze my crumble topping as they tend to keep their shape more when baked. If not they melt and spread like lava and sometimes they ted to burn, especially with a longer baking time.
  • Also, raw sugar (also known as demerara sugar) is better than brown sugar for a crumble as it doesn’t ‘melt’ into the mixture. But you could use brown sugar if that’s what you have at home.
  • You could add the fruit on top of the cake before adding the crumble mix but I think that would get in the way of its crumbly awesomeness. So I mixed the fruit into the cake batter. But either way should be fine.

rhubarb crumble cake 04



I’m taking this dish to the Fiesta Friday party hosted by Angie and her co-hosts!


  1. I never imagined coconut with rhubarb. This one deserves a try.

    btw…I clicked Print and only got the title part of the recipe. You might want to check the settings. 🙂

    1. They work quite well together, I think. The coconut is subtle, tastes a lot like creamy milk. Yes, I’m having issues with that. Been trying to solve that for days now.

      1. Appreciate your assistance. Still no change. I’ve written to the wordpress fairygods. Hope they can find the problem. I think it’s specific to the theme I’m using.

      2. Today I baked the rhubarb and coconut cake. It turned out very well. Instead of a round spring form pan, I used to 2 loaf pans. We will freeze one and eat the other.

        Thank you for posting the recipe.

      3. Perhaps coz there’s not much surface area on loaf pans? You could freeze the extra crumble and use it to top any muffin/ cake.

      4. Vasun, have you found a solution for your recipe settings? Jim told me this is a good recipe, btw. I trust him 🙂 I’ll have to give this a try!

      5. Sadly, nope. But the recipe that I’ve just posted seems to be fine. Yes, do give the recipe a go. It’s my go-to coffeecake now 🙂

  2. Well, how lucky I am to be reading this post! Yesterday I noticed a huge bag of frozen rhubarb in my freezer and was wondering what to do with it! I can’t wait to try your recipe because it sounds ever so wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at FF! 😀

    1. Hi Julianna! Don’t you love it when such things happen? Tadah! Your main ingredient right there in your freezer! I’d drain the rhubarb & add a little corn starch to the frozen rhubarb as it might be too ‘wet’. Hope your cake turns out v delicious!

      1. Great! How did it turn out? Do you mind posting a pic on my facebook page or instagram (@cupcakesncurries). Would love to see how it turned out. No pressure.

      2. Will do – made a German rhubarb cake though, which I duly dropped. Into the oven. No evidence of that one, other than inside the oven, the areas that you can’t reach … The crumble will follow next week, though! And I will send you pictures!!!

  3. What a selling description of this cake! I love the rustic look and I can imagine how nice the crusty top must be…!! The bit of ginger and cardamom sounds delicious 😀

    1. The coconut flavour isnt very strong from the coconut cream. In the crumble, the coconut threads give a diff texture to it. It works for me as the flavours dont compete with each other 🙂

    1. Thank you Julie! Rhubarb gives a slightly tart yet sweet & jammy contrast to the soft cake & crumble topping. Hope you like it 🙂

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