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Rhubarb Kuchen Recipe From the Nuns

Rhubarb Kuchen Recipe
Rhubarb Kuchen Recipe

Kuchen is the German word for cake but this rhubarb kuchen recipe doesn’t make the kind of cake you are probably envisioning! Instead, it’s kind of like a cross between a pie, coffee cake, and a cake. I know, it can be a little confusing but here’s all you really need to know: this recipe for rhubarb kuchen is fantastic. Unlike other recipes for the dessert out there, this one can be proudly proclaimed to be the best recipe for rhubarb kuchen based on one simple fact: it was found inside of a cookbook with nothing but recipes from nuns. I figured, if anyone knows how to cook, it’s probably them. Best $6.00 I ever spent.

Everything I have made from Into Our Second Century, the School Sisters of St. Francis, 1988 has been incredible. Although I found the cookbook at Greene’s Exit 213 Indiana antique mall in Rensselaer, Indiana seven years ago, I have made a slew of completely different items from it. Each one has been wonderful. You can’t say that about every cookbook, I know.

For the Love of Rhubarb

Great Homemade Recipes

I freely admit that I love rhubarb and I especially love finding rhubarb recipes to feed my craving at home. If there’s ever any dessert offered that involves rhubarb, I’ll take it. But this recipe kicks things up a notch. Unlike a basic cake, there’s no frosting. It’s okay. You won’t miss it. What you get instead is a delicious, soft base, a sweet and sour rhubarb filling, that is completely, enticingly topped with a delectable streusel topping. Served warm and topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s a beautiful ending to any meal. I admit that when ours finished baking, it was in between breakfast and lunch, so we did what any red-blooded, dessert-loving Hoosier would do: we ate it right then and there. You just can’t NOT eat a baked good warm from the oven. Impossible!

One pound of rhubarb equals roughly three cups chopped. I purchased two pounds of rhubarb from my local farmer’s market and managed to have a couple of stalks left over. Those will be saved and turned into pie. My personal favorite pie for rhubarb is a Blueberry Rhubarb pie that’s managed to become a family classic. Funny, I remember when our oldest went through a phase where he thought he hated rhubarb. Now, guess who think blueberry rhubarb pie might be his favorite ever?

For this recipe, well, I know it seems like a lot of rhubarb for one kuchen but resist the urge to trim it down. There’s a good amount of sugar in this so you need that tartness to compliment the sweetness. Trust me. It’s perfect for anyone with access to fresh rhubarb and especially for anyone who grows their own in great number. Neighbors who love to share are a great thing to have around, too. Finally, a yummy different way to use it up.

Rhubarb Kuchen Recipe

Rhubarb Kuchen Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: One 8 x 8 Dish

Rhubarb Kuchen Recipe

From "Into Our Second Century School Sisters of St. Francis Cookbook" Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1988.


  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Shortening
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • Filling
  • 6 Cups Rhubarb
  • 1/2 Cup Cornstarch (More or Less depending on how well rhubarb was measured)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • (for variation, sprinkle one red gelatin over rhubarb)
  • Topping
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter


  1. Mix Dough ingredients together and spread in bottom of lightly greased 8 x 8 dish.
  2. Mix Filling ingredients and spread over Dough.
  3. Combine Topping ingredients and sprinkle over Filling layer.
  4. Bake 350* for 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.

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About Jessica Nunemaker

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little More than a website, Little Indiana is a PBS segment on the state-wide program "The Weekly Special," a bi-weekly column in a local newspaper, and a book. Look for "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" published by Indiana University Press in April 2016--just in time for Indiana's BIG 200th Birthday Celebration.

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