Rhubarb and Orange Coffee Cake Recipe from Fruit on the Table Cookbook

There’s no coffee in this coffee cake. It’s meant to be eaten with coffee, either as breakfast or for elevenses. I found the recipe in one of Grandma’s books and added the orange peel and zest for an extra zing. Coffee cakes are best eaten on the day they are made, but if you don’t manage to finish it, wrap it up and pop it in the freezer for another day. Serve with cream or yogurt or spread with butter.

Makes a 33×23×5-cm (13×9×2-inch) cake or 12 large servings


For the cake

– 110 g (4 oz) butter (chopped)
– 280 g (10 oz) sugar
– 250 ml (9 fl. oz) buttermilk or sour milk
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla essence
– 1 tsp baking powder
– ½ tsp salt
– 310 g (11 oz) plain flour
– 1 medium orange (juice and zest)
– 400 g (14 oz) rhubarb chopped into 1-cm (½-inch) pieces

For the topping 

– 170 g (6 oz) brown sugar
– 60 g (2 oz) chopped walnuts


Make the the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and grease a 33×23×5-cm (13×9×2-inch) cake pan.
2. Put all of the cake ingredients except the rhubarb into a food processor and mix at medium speed for 2 or 3 minutes until smooth.
3. Add the rhubarb pieces to the batter, mix gently and pour into the greased cake pan.
4. Bake for 45 minutes until golden on top and cooked through. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Make the topping

1. For the topping, mix together the sugar and the nuts. Sprinkle on top of the cake batter.


If I’m making this cake for a bake sale or coffee morning, I will spread the batter into a parchment-lined baking tray (39×27 cm/15×11 inch) instead of a cake pan and cook it for a little less time – about 30 minutes. This makes it much easier to portion out neatly.


FRUIT ON THE TABLE COOKBOOK BY THERESA STOREYBorn in Detroit but raised in County Clare Theresa Storey now lives in rural County Limerick where she puts her Botany degree to good use growing fruit and vegetables and managing the family orchards and woodland.

She uses the fruit of her labour to make fabulous preserves for her company The Green Apron which has won many national and international food awards.

She also teaches sustainable living, blogs and tries to keep up with her three kids.

From Fruit on the Table by Theresa Storey, published by The O’Brien Press. Priced €19.99/£16.99, available from all good bookshops now.

The Green Aproness GreenAproness



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