Yum! Here’s my Rhubarb-Ginger Compote all souped up in a sour cream streusel coffee cake! (Betcha can’t say that three times fast.) Enjoy it warm from the oven; cooled to room temp and cut into big, satisfying slabs; or reheated with a dab of unsalted butter. The surprise rhubarb filling keeps the cake nice and moist, so butter is pure indulgence and by no means a necessity.
Yield: 1, 10-inch cake
Prep Talk: Make the compote first to allow it to cool to room temperature before spreading on the batter. The cake will stay fresh and tasty for several days if you cut it to order and keep it well wrapped. (Cut ends are best covered flush with plastic wrap.)
- 1 cup Rhubarb-Ginger Compote, cooled to room temp
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (measured by spooning into the cup; then leveling)
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, cooled and coarsely chopped
Sour Cream Coffee Cake:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream (full fat!)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (again, measured by spooning into the cup; then leveling)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely minced orange zest
- 3/4 cup (3/4 stick) vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 | Make the compote. Prepare the compote as instructed in the link above; then cool to room temperature before use in Step 5.
2 | Prep the streusel topping. Place the ingredients in a small bowl, and mix (or gently knead with clean hands) until all ingredients are uniformly distributed. Note: Be sure the nuts have cooled completely, or the butter will melt and the streusel will end up loose and sloppy. The streusel will still be a bit crumbly once mixed, but it should come together into a tighter mass when squeezed in the palm of your hand.
3 | Prep the pan and oven. Grease and flour a standard 10-inch tube pan, ideally one with a removable bottom – unfortunately, not what I used in the pictures to the right! (Note: It’s much harder to get this cake neatly out of a pan without a removable bottom . . .) Place a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
4 | Mix the coffee cake batter. Whisk the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Place the next five ingredients (flour through orange zest) in another bowl and gently whisk to evenly distribute the ginger and zest.
Place the shortening and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sour cream mixture alternately with the dry ingredients in 2 to 3 additions. Mix just to combine after each addition. Alternatively, mix by hand, as pictured right. (Note: Avoid over-mixing once you’ve added the dry ingredients. Too much handling will strengthen the gluten in the flour, and can lead to a chewy, rather than a delicate, crumb.)
5 | Assemble the cake and bake. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and level with an offset spatula. (Note: The pan will only be about one-third full, but have no fear, this coffee cake rises quite a bit. Still skeptical? The proof is in photos 7 to 9, right!) Top the batter with the 1 cup compote prepared in Step 1, and bake about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the reserved streusel evenly on top and bake another 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out largely clean with a few damp crumbs attached to it.
For the neatest slices, cool the cake completely in the pan; then run a thin paring knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Push up on the removable bottom to extricate the cake, and cut into thick slices. Bite, savor every last crumb, wash down with coffee, and repeat!