rhubarb picnic cake

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The day started with a phone call from my daughter Andrea, inviting me and Gracie to go out to tea and breakfast at Caribou with her and the grand girls. So, we popped out of bed and got ready in a little less than 15 minutes and ran out the door. Sometimes I love the spontaneous breakfast/tea party. It was fun to hang out and sip iced mango black, and munch on my favorite brekky sandwich and chat with the girls for an hour-or-so.

Speaking of spontaneity, we’ve had a few “spur of the moment” picnics this summer. This is because we don’t get two sunny days in a row…and honestly, we usually don’t even get a whole day when we can count on the sun. What a weird summer. However, I am thankful that we have a beautiful back yard and deck that are conducive to last minute picnics. My friend Clare made this even more convenient by getting me this cute basket that holds pretty paper napkins and plates, silverware and straws. We keep in next to the back door, and we keep picnic food at the ready in the fridge. At the first glimmer of sun, we grab the food and the basket and run out the back door. It’s funny because it’s true 😉 We have yet to actually pack a picnic basket, but that’s not stopping us from dining al fresco. Where is your favorite place to picnic?

Here’s a yummy cake that travels well and makes a great potluck offering. Some people drizzle this classic cake with icing or slather it with frosting, but I love it plain with the cinnamon streusel topping. This also makes an amazing coffee cake.

preheat oven to 350 degrees F

butter a 9 x 13 glass baking dish

In a mixing bowl, combine:

2 cups brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup softened butter

beat in:

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a separate, small bowl, combine:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

fold in:

 2 cups raw rhubarb, cut into chunks

Add flour mixture to egg mixture in thirds. Alternate with 1/2 cup buttermilk in between the dry ingredient additions. (For a total of 1 cup of buttermilk.) Mix until everything is evenly combined, but don’t over-mix. Fold in 2 cups fresh rhubarb that’s been cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Spread batter into prepared baking pan.

for streusel topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup all purpose flour

5 Tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine all ingredients with fingers until large crumbs form. Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the cake pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (until a toothpick comes clean when inserted into center of cake  and the cake is golden brown and puffed.) Cool at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.  Makes 12 servings.

Enjoy!

~Melissa

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