Cheese-Filled Rhubarb Coffeecake

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Cheese-Filled Rhubarb Coffeecake

star rating (3) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This mammoth coffeecake, designed to feed a crowd, elicited lots of praise from our crew here at the office, both for its appearance and its taste. Featuring a cheese Danish-like filling enveloped by a yeasted sweet dough crust, topped with rhubarb/pineapple sauce, and gilded with streusel topping, this cake will easily feed 20 people, and it's equally good for breakfast or as a dessert.

Fruit Filling
1 pound fresh rhubarb (approximately 4 cups chopped)
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar
1 can (16 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

5 cups (21 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon (really!) active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
4 large eggs

Cheese Filling
24 ounces (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla

1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4ounces) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into chunks

For the fruit filling: Clean the rhubarb and chop it into 1/2-inch pieces. Put in a bowl, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar, and let sit several hours or overnight, till the rhubarb releases some of its juice.

Place the rhubarb and its juice in a heavy saucepan, add the 1/2 cup sugar and undrained pineapple, and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is like thick applesauce. Stir more frequently toward the end of the cooking time, so the filling doesn't burn. This will take about 1 hour. Remove from heat and set aside. When cool, stir in the vanilla.

For the crust: Heat the milk and butter, cut in pieces, in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture reaches about 120°F. Combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a bowl. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients, stirring to mix well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add an additional 3 1/2 cups of flour, mixing to combine. Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all surfaces, cover the bowl, and set in a warm spot to rise until the dough is doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

For the cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

For the topping: Mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cut in the butter, as you would for pie crust, working it in until mixture is coarse and crumbly.

To assemble: Butter a 12 x 18 x 1-inch rimmed baking sheet (a half-sheet pan). Punch the dough down, and divide it into two pieces. On a large, well-floured surface, roll one piece of dough into a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Fit into the pan. Spread the cheese filling on the dough in the pan to within 1/2-inch of the edge, then top evenly with fruit filling. Roll the second piece of dough into a 14 x 18-inch rectangle, to stretch over the filling. Place it on top of the filling, then seal the edges, trimming off any extra dough. Brush the top crust with melted butter, and sprinkle with topping. Let rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 24 3 x 3-inch pieces.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 6, May 1991 issue.


  • star rating 10/03/2010
  • bjmlorenz from KAF Community
  • This made a lot of cheese filling and I didn't use it all. I probably could have though. I also used apple and apple juice instead of pineapple. I didn't read throughly enough and started with all the flour then added all the liquid and kneaded just like bread dough. It seemed to come out fine- still tender. Maybe a little dry, but I replaced some flour with white whole wheat. Perfect with tea or coffee but a little dry on it's own. Quite tasty! Any thoughts on refrigerating the night before and baking in the morning?
    We think baking this and reheating in the AM will give you the best results. Irene @ KAF
  • star rating 07/30/2010
  • Teri from Pa
  • This was delicious. Easy to make but a little time consuming. The recipe states to serve warm or at room temperature but it was even more delicious cold. Took Melanie's suggestion and left the top layer of dough off. Will definitely make this again but I have one question. If I halve the recipe do I reduce the yeast to 1/2 tsp?
    You should still use the same amount of yeast if you half the recipe. JMD@KAF
  • star rating 04/19/2010
  • Melanie from Texas
  • This was delicious! I did substitute the fruit filling, I used a frozen berry mix that I sauteed with sugar and a bit of lemon juice. I thought that because the frozen berries had some sugar added I would only add about half the sugar, but I should have used more because it needed to be a bit sweeter. After I heated it, I did drain a bit of the liquid. I also wanted the eye appeal of having the cheese and fruit mixture on top, so I halved the recipe and didn't put a layer of dough on top. It was delicious and beautiful! I will definitely make this again!