Inspired by one of my favorite summer desserts, my new Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Cake is the perfect cake to take you into summer.
Summer is officially here and I can’t think of a better cake to take us into the season than this Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Cake! This cake is inspired by one of my favorite desserts Ryan’s parents make every summer. Based off Bon Appetit’s Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble, my new cake has tender white cake layers, a strawberry and rhubarb filling, a cinnamon oat crumble and a whipped vanilla bean buttercream.
If you want to make this cake, this is the time to do it. Rhubarb is ripe and in stores now. When you’re buying your rhubarb, look for the brightest red pieces you can find. Of course, with any of my fruit filled cakes, if you can’t find fresh seasonal fruit, you can always use frozen fruit. If you do use frozen fruit, let the fruit thaw a bit and pat with a paper towel to remove some of the excess moisture.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Cake
The strawberry rhubarb crumble from Bon Appetit has been a favorite of mine for some time now. It’s a treat I look forward to every summer we visit Ryan’s parents. I actually first made a cake inspired by it a few years ago, using Tessa Huff’s recipe for her Riesling Rhubarb Crisp Cake. I loved her fruit filling and oat crisp, but wasn’t wowed by the swiss meringue buttercream. But, if you know me, I never like SMB. It just lacks flavor and is always hit or miss if I make it right anyway. (Anyone in that boat with me?).
So for my version of this cake, I decided to use my whipped vanilla bean buttercream from my Peach Crisp Cake. It’s my version of an American buttercream. I say “my version” because I always add heavy whipping cream to my buttercream and beat the buttercream on medium-high for about five minutes (two steps you usually don’t see with most AB recipes). This helps create a much lighter texture, similar to that of a SMB. I also love that this particular buttercream kind of tastes like vanilla bean ice cream – something we always serve on a warm crumble!
For the fillings, I slightly adapted Bon Appetit’s recipes to mimic their dessert the best I could. You’ll notice in the recipe that both filling recipes make quite a bit. I like making a lot of filling so I always have some to serve on the side with each slide of cake, just in case people want more (which they always do!).
You’ll see in the picture above, my filling mixture is quite fine. I think I over-mixed the filling and would recommend stopping when you achieve slightly larger clumps.
And then for my cake layers, I used my classic white cake as a base and added vanilla bean paste. It’s light and tender and compliments all the flavors so well.
Stacking and Decorating
With this cake, because there is a soft filling, you want to take a couple extra steps when you stack and decorate.
- Use chilled cake layers
- Pipe a rim of frosting around each cake layer to act as a barrier to the filling
- Don’t use too much filling in the cake – reserve the rest to serve on the side
- Freeze the cake after it’s stacked, but before it’s crumb coated, to help stabilize the cake as you crumb coat
- Freeze the cake again, after the crumb coat, to set the frosting and filling a bit more
I’ve included a short video below to give you a visual of what I list above. These steps are also included in my assembly instructions below.
For the swirls around the cake, I used the Wilton 1m tip. I love how simple this look is to create!
Can’t wait for you to try this one!
Here’s to a great summer!