An absolutely stunning and delicious Riesling Rhubarb Crisp Cake with an Oat Crumble from the beautiful new cake cookbook Layered.
There are few cookbooks that stimulate you visually and also satisfy the tastebuds. Layered is that cookbook. Thumbing through it, you are instantly transfixed by the gorgeous layered cakes and stunning fresh photography. Cake has never looked so good, and that’s because author Tessa Huff of Style Sweet CA is a cake goddess.
Tess and I have never formally met in person but we are kindred spirits. We love cake. We love all cake, all the time. We appreciate and compliment each other’s work, and because of that we are internet pals of the truest kind. When she told me about her book, I could not wait to get my hands on it. It was well worth the way.
This Riesling Rhubarb Crisp Cake is one of the cakes that truly spoke to me. With the Spring season in full force (well sort of if you live in Chicago), strawberries and rhubarb are a pair I cannot get enough of. This layer cake is really a stunner. The pretty pink color is gorgeous against the pale cake layers. And the oat crisp is seriously genius! I omitted the nuts because I have a nut allergy but I’m positive that it wouldn’t have made much of a difference in taste.
My favorite part of the cake was the insanely smooth and workable buttercream. It was such a joy to work with when icing the cake. It just glided on so effortlessly that my less than stellar decorating skills could be hidden in a second. I’m in love with it! And I know you will be too. If you want to up your cake game, definitely check out this gorgeous cookbook. You won’t be sorry.
Riesling Rhubarb Crisp Cake
For the Riesling Cake:
- Butter or nonstick cooking spray for the pans
- 3 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for the pans 425 g
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 225 g
- 2 cups granulated sugar 400 g
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sweet Riesling 360 ml
For the Rhubarb Strawberry Compote:
- 1 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered 8 ounces
- 1 cup fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/4 inch (6-mm) pieces 4 ounces
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the Oat Crumble:
- ½ cup quick cooking rolled oats
- ¼ cup sliced almonds I omitted these because of my nut allergy
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Rhubarb Buttercream:
- 2 medium recipes Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream below
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons large egg whites
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature 4 sticks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup rhubarb strawberry compote
- Pink gel food coloring
Make the Riesling cake:
- Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour 3 (8-inch or 20-centimeter) round cake pans and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to medium-low and gradually add the vanilla and egg whites until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the Riesling, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on medium for no more than 30 seconds after the last streaks of the dry ingredients are combined.
- Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, switching the cakes between racks halfway through, 23 to 25 minutes total. Let them cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
Make the rhubarb strawberry compote:
- Combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and cook them over medium-high heat, stirring intermittently with a wooden spoon, until the juices start to bubble.
- Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fruit starts to break down. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
Make the buttercream:
- Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk them together by hand to combine.
- Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place it over medium-high heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Whisking intermittently, heat the egg mixture until it registers 145°F to 155°F (63°C to 68°C) on a candy thermometer or is hot to the touch.
- Once hot, carefully fit the mixer bowl onto the stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until it holds medium-stiff peaks. When done, the outside of the mixer bowl should return to room temperature and no residual heat should be escaping the meringue out of the top of the bowl. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, and then the vanilla. Once incorporated, turn up the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the buttercream is silky-smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove all but 2 cups of the buttercream from the stand mixer bowl. Add 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of rhubarb compote (reserve the rest for serving) to the mixer and mix until combined.
Make the oat crumble:
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, brown sugar, flour, butter, honey, cinnamon, and salt with a wooden spoon until combined. The mixture should resemble clumps of sand.
- Sprinkle it over the baking sheet and bake, stirring halfway through, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden-brown. Let it cool and crumble the mixture into smaller pieces, if necessary.
Assemble the cake:
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, level them and choose which layer will be at the bottom. Place it on a cake plate or serving dish.
- Spread on 1 cup (240 milliliters) of the rhubarb buttercream with an offset spatula. Sprinkle it with 1/2 to 3/4 cup (50 to 75 grams) of the oat crumble. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat with the buttercream and remaining crumble, finishing with the final layer of cake.
- Frost the top and sides cake with the remaining vanilla buttercream. Top with fresh strawberries, if using, and serve with the remaining compote.