This tender Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake is studded with tart bites of rhubarb and topped with a thin and crispy sugar baked crust. Every coffee cake recipe deserves sour cream in the batter!

Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake in a baking pan


There’s no coffee in this Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

Is that confusing, that there isn’t actually coffee in a coffee cake recipe? Because I continue to be surprised by comments I get from people when I post a coffee cake recipe here on the blog or on social media, asking me where the coffee is in the cake.

I grew up eating coffee cake, so it’s a term that has been in my vocabulary since childhood. But “coffee cake” simply refers to a cake you’d serve with coffee.

Or not with coffee. Ha. Now that IS confusing. But not everybody enjoys a cup of coffee. I know I surely didn’t when I was eating coffee cake as a kid. Back then, a glass of cold milk was my choice.

Simply put, coffee cake is one of my favorite easy-to-make cakes. Usually topped with an irresistible crispy sugar baked crust, it goes beautifully from weekend brunch to afternoon coffee to weekday breakfast. I’ve enjoyed it every which way. There’s no wrong time to eat coffee cake. And there are no requirements to drink coffee with it.

Just make this rhubarb sour cream coffee cake – and then relax and enjoy it, whenever and however you like!

*Here are a few more rhubarb recipes I’m loving right now: my mother in-law’s Rhubarb Nut Coffee Cake, this Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread with Brown-Butter Glaze, and these Lemon Rhubarb Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze.

a pan of Coffee Cake made with sour cream and rhubarb

Rhubarb sour cream coffee cake in a 9″ x 13″ pan

A coffee cake baked in a tube pan or Bundt pan, with a gorgeous cinnamon ripple through its center will always be a dazzler at brunch. But there’s just something so comfort-inducing about serving a coffee cake from a 9″ x 13″ pan.

It’s kinda like slipping on a favorite pair of jeans. It just feels good.

whipped egg whites

This coffee cake recipe is a little different than most, due to stiffly whipped egg whites getting folded into the batter.

When I first made Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake, I was fascinated by its texture and flavor. I loved the chocolate, of course. But I immediately started dreaming about this same recipe procedure utilizing fresh spring rhubarb.

coffee cake batter in a mixer

A sour cream cake is always welcome here

The whipped egg whites get folded into a very thick batter, rich and tangy with a generous amount of sour cream. I bet you won’t be able to help yourself from sneaking a swipe of it!

Another way we like to incorporate sour cream in our baking is with this recipe for Sour Cream Banana Bread. It’s a longtime favorite.

batter in the pan before baking

Rhubarb coffee cake with a crispy sugar topping

Then thin slices of rhubarb are folded into the batter, and the batter is spread into the pan.

A simple mixture of sugar and a little bit of cinnamon are sprinkled over the top. I know the sugar amount seems slightly excessive, and you might be tempted to reduce it, but please don’t. It’s essential to creating that signature sugar crunch on the top of a coffee cake.

sliced Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Why make a coffee cake recipe with sour cream?

The rhubarb sour cream coffee cake bakes up perfectly. Perfectly!

Moist is a controversial word when used in the kitchen, but I don’t know another word or term that suffices. Possibly “not dry”?

All I know for sure is that sour cream was meant to be in coffee cake. It ensures that the cake is tender and “not dry”, plus it adds wonderful tangy flavor. It’s absolutely beautiful with the tart pieces of rhubarb and the crisp sugar topping.

pieces of coffee cake on plates

Rhubarb cake will always be a springtime winner

I just never tire of baking with rhubarb, and feel that there could never be too many rhubarb recipes. Do you agree?

This lovely rhubarb cake recipe promises to be your next rhubarb win. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Like this rhubarb coffee cake? Pin it! 

pinterest image of Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake

*Here are a few more rhubarb recipes I’d like to try: Classic Rhubarb Pie with a Lattice Crust from That Skinny Chick Can Bake, Rhubarb Sherbet from Pint Sized Baker, Triple Berry Rhubarb Crisp from Barbara Bakes.

Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Yield: 20 servings
prep time: 25 minutes
cook time: 40 minutes
total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
This tender coffee cake is studded with tart bites of rhubarb and topped with a thin and crispy sugar baked crust. Every coffee cake recipe deserves sour cream in the batter!
4.7 Stars (23 Reviews)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups full fat sour cream
  • cups thinly sliced rhubarb, divided


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Very lightly spray a 9" x 13" pan. If you want to have very clean cuts of coffee cake, line the bottom with parchment paper, letting the paper extend over the long sides of the pan. This will allow you to lift the whole cake out of the pan for slicing. If that's not a concern, just spray the pan. Set pan aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently transfer whipped egg whites to a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Return same bowl to stand mixer (no need to wash the bowl first) and add the butter and 1½ cups of the sugar; cream together for two minutes. Then beat in egg yolks and vanilla.
  • Alternately mix sour cream and flour mixture into butter & sugar mixture in 2 additions each. Mix on medium speed until batter is incorporated and smooth – it will be very thick.
  • Gently fold in whipped egg whites until incorporated. Then fold in 2 cups of the rhubarb.
  • With a rubber spatula, spread batter into bottom of prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle top of batter with remaining ¼ cup of rhubarb. Then, gently press the exposed pieces of rhubarb into the batter just a bit, leaving rhubarb pieces exposed as much as possible.
  • In a small dish, combine remaining ½ cup of the sugar and remaining ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over top of batter.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.


Store on the counter for up to a couple days. To keep the crisp, crackly texture of the sugar topping, do not cover the pan.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 244kcal Carbohydrates: 36g Protein: 4g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 53mg Sodium: 225mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 21g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
a piece of Coffee Cake