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Cheese-Filled Rhubarb Coffeecake

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

Author:

This mammoth coffeecake, designed to feed a crowd, elicits praise 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.

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
twenty-four 3" x 3" pieces

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Fruit filling

  • about 4 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped into 1/2" pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups (one 16-ounce can) crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Crust

Cheese filling

  • 3 cups (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Topping

Instructions

  1. To make the fruit filling: Clean the rhubarb and chop it into 1/2" pieces. Put in a bowl, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar, and let sit several hours or overnight, until the rhubarb releases some of its juice.
  2. Place the rhubarb and its juice in a heavy saucepan, add the 1/2 cup sugar and undrained pineapple, and stir to combine.
  3. 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.
  4. When cool, stir in the vanilla.
  5. To make the crust: Heat the milk and butter, cut in pieces, in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture reaches about 120°F.
  6. Combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a bowl.
  7. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients, stirring to mix well.
  8. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add an additional 3 1/2 cups of flour, mixing to combine.
  9. Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  10. 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 puffy, about 2 hours.
  11. To make the cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
  12. To make 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 the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
  13. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a 12" x 18" (a half-sheet pan).
  14. To assemble the coffeecake: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide it into two pieces.
  15. Roll one piece of dough into a 12" x 18" rectangle. Fit into the pan.
  16. Spread the cheese filling on the dough in the pan to within 1/2" of the edge, then top evenly with fruit filling.
  17. Roll the second piece of dough into a 14" x 18" rectangle, to stretch over the filling. Place it on top of the filling, then seal the edges, trimming off any extra dough.
  18. Brush the top crust with melted butter, and sprinkle with topping.
  19. Let rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 350°F.
  20. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until it is golden brown and firm to the touch. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  21. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.