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Remarkable Rhubarb Cake – an Old Fashioned Simple Delight

Rhubarb Cake

Large Cakes | 6th June 2016 | By

Remarkable rhubarb cake may seem a bit of a lofty claim, but this bake is so easy to make and tastes so good that I made it twice in quick succession. It’s a great way to use rhubarb, which is in season right now and it’s delightful both eaten warm as a pudding or enjoyed for afternoon tea.

A Simple Rhubarb Recipe

I may have called this remarkable rhubarb cake old fashioned, but in truth I just made it up. It’s old fashioned in the sense of method and a reduced fat and sugar content. Modern cake recipes seem to have so much more sugar than they did when I was growing up. The nation’s sweet tooth has become even sweeter. My recipe uses only five ingredients too: flour, butter, sugar, eggs and rhubarb. Unusually for me, I chose to use wholemeal spelt flour mixed with plain flour. For this sort of cake, this mix makes for a lighter bake than using 100% wholemeal flour.

So, for this cake, no creaming of butter and sugar is required. This means you don’t have to wait ages for the butter to become softened. Instead you rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips. All you need to do then, is stir in the rhubarb pieces followed by the eggs. Easy peasy. Oh! You may just need to spoon the mixture into a baking tin and put it in the oven too.

Rhubarb Cake

Remarkable Rhubarb Cake

I have to confess I’ve made many rhubarb cakes in my time and all of them are good. You’ll find a few of them in a list further down the post. This one, simple as it is however, is destined to become a firm favourite. It’s quick to make, rises really well and is light, juicy and delicious. The tartness of the rhubarb dances on the tongue. The cake has a slightly crunchy top enhanced by sprinkling a little sugar over it before baking.

A Touch of Rose

The second time I made this cake, I scattered a little homemade rose sugar over the top. This gave it a subtle rosy flavour and an added air of sophistication. We found that a dollop of whipped cream made a fine accompaniment. But I’m pretty sure custard would work well too.

Rhubarb Cake

If you like the idea of a rose enhancement, but don’t have any rose sugar, rose cream makes a delicious alternative. Just whip up some double cream along with a drizzle of rose syrup, a sprinkling of rose water or a drop of rose extract.

Pudding or Cake?

So, is this cake a dessert? Or is it best left for afternoon tea? It’s good for both in my opinion, so I’ll leave this one for you to decide.

Other recipes for rhubarb cake you might like to try

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this deliciously simple fruity cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share a photo on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot it. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Remarkable Rhubarb Cake. PIN IT.

Remarkable Rhubarb Cake.

Remarkable Rhubarb Cake – The Recipe

Rhubarb Cake
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4.3 from 10 votes

Remarkable Rhubarb Cake

The simplest and most delicious rhubarb cake you're ever likely to bake. With only five ingredients, it's quick to make and good served as pudding or afternoon tea.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cake, quick, rhubarb, simple, vintage
Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 100 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 100 g plain unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 110 g golden caster sugar I used cardamom sugar + 1 tsp
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g rhubarb - washed and trimmed
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, rub the fat into the flour, baking powder and sugar with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Chop the rhubarb into small pieces and stir into the cake mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Stir together with a flat bladed knife until it all comes together.
  • Tip into a 20cm (8") silicone round cake mould or lined tin and level with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the remaining tsp of sugar over the top.
  • Bake at 180℃ for about 35 minutes until the cake is well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for about ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

A dollop of clotted or whipped cream makes a very nice addition.
Sprinkling the sugar over the top before baking will give additional crunch to the top. Alternatively, omit this and sprinkle on a flavoured sugar after baking. I've used rose sugar to great effect.

Linkies

I’m sending this remarkable rhubarb cake off to Katie at Feeding Boys for Simple and in Season. Rhubarb has a wonderfully long season in the UK. It starts in April and goes on until September, but it’s probably at its best now.

50 Comments

  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    6th June 2016 at 10:51 am

    I prefer cakes without frosting…don’t get me wrong, buttercream frosting is always sexy and beautiful to stare at, but not sure that’s for me to eat…so this is my kind of cake…a real cake and treat!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th June 2016 at 5:26 pm

      I know what you mean Angie. A good cake really needs no other adornment. Having said that, I quite like some of my own frostings, but I generally fine if I buy cake when I’m out, the buttercreams etc are way too sweet and sugary.

      Reply
  2. Henk Kooiman

    6th June 2016 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for the reminder: it definitely is rhubarb-time and I need to find some and bake something(s) with it ! As usual I make the Nigella-Domestic-Goddess-recipe, which is very nice (add 2 tbsps of crystallized ginger and it will taste even better !!), but in your list of ‘other recipes’ in this post, I see some very interesting suggestions too ! I’ll let you know.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th June 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Yes, I’ve made Nigella’s recipe a few times and your ginger addition sounds like a must. I used to make a fabulous rhubarb and ginger cake, but I’ve never blogged it and haven’t made it for years. it was the sort of cake everyone wanted the recipe when they tried it. Mind you this one, simple as it is, is pretty special.

      Reply
      • Henk Kooiman

        7th June 2016 at 6:38 pm

        OK, I ‘get the message’ Choclette. I’ll make this recipe too then :)) Today I went to visit my neighbour and when I asked if he could spare some rhubarb, he told me to take as much as I needed. He’ll get some of it back in the form of a cake of muffins of course. And yesterday I visited the good-looking goosekeeper in the next village and I got the last 8 eggs of the season for the price of 4 ! I promised him a piece of cake too.

        Reply
        • Choclette

          7th June 2016 at 9:14 pm

          Hahaha Henk, you’d better get baking then 🙂

          Reply
          • Henk Kooiman

            8th June 2016 at 10:50 am

            And so I did, yes ! Just brought a piece of cake and some muffins (the ones with rhubarb and white chocolate) to my neighbours. It’s a very nice cake and an easy one to make. This time I didn’t change much. Instead of cardemom I used a bit of ginger, that’s all. I love the little crunch on top. Just simple elegance; everybody should try it.
            I’m feeling all rhubarby right now. The whole house is smelling of rhubarb, as I’m cooking (Icelandic style) jam. Delicious !

          • Choclette

            8th June 2016 at 3:38 pm

            Oh phew, glad they passed the Henk test, although I’m quite astonished not much got changed 😉

            Now, you’ve got me wondering what Icelandic style jam is?

  3. Janice

    6th June 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I love your cake, it does remind me of those everyday cakes we ate as children, I’ll definitely be trying your recipe.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th June 2016 at 5:20 pm

      But what’s so remarkable is that such an everyday cake can be so delicious. I sort of get carried away with adding lots of unusual ingredients and trying out different methods, but this is as good as anything I’ve made.

      Reply
  4. Brandie

    6th June 2016 at 7:15 pm

    That cake looks perfect for an afternoon snack or a grab and go breakfast. This would be easy to make vegan. Now I’m wanting cake 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th June 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks Brandie – it’s definitely perfect for an afternoon treat 🙂

      Reply
  5. sharon catterall

    6th June 2016 at 8:37 pm

    it looks yummy,im going to try and make it at the weekend

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th June 2016 at 9:08 am

      It’s my absolute current favourite and if I had more rhubarb, I would be making it again this weekend too. Would be great to hear how you get on with it.

      Reply
  6. Kari

    6th June 2016 at 10:09 pm

    In my book, you can’t go wrong with rhubarb. Though it may be old-fashioned, I’ve never tried rhubarb in a cake recipe – looks delish!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th June 2016 at 9:04 am

      Oh, you’re missing a treat Kari, rhubarb cakes are some of the best out there and this one is particularly good 😉

      Reply
  7. Katie Bryson

    7th June 2016 at 12:51 pm

    What a glorious bake! I just love old fashioned cakes like this – rhubarb is one of life’s pleasures and I can just imagine how wonderful this tastes with its crisp topping and soft interior. We’d be having it with lashings of cold custard… Thanks for sharing it for Simple and in Season!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th June 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks very much Katie. Hmmm, first thoughts are “not sure about the cold custard”, but on reflection I don’t know why I feel like that. Cream is cold after all.

      Reply
  8. Angela / Only Crumbs Remain

    7th June 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I love the sound of this, simple understated but still up there with the best of them. I love rhubarb but for some reason have never tried it in a cake but can imagine it making a lovely flavoursome moist bake. Will defo try your recipe choclette, pinning,
    Angela x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th June 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks Angela. Sometimes it’s really nice to get back to basics. Do try a rhubarb cake, they are one of the best; its the tart contrast to the sweetness which is so good. Obviously I’d recommend this one as a starter though 😉

      Reply
  9. Kate @ Veggie Desserts

    7th June 2016 at 2:11 pm

    What a lovely cake to make use of the season’s rhubarb! And I bet that spelt flour gives it such a wonderful extra flavour and texture. Yum!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th June 2016 at 9:13 pm

      I love spelt flour. I’ve been baking with it for at least 20 years. I haven’t yet tried some of the other old fashioned wheat varieties though and really should.

      Reply
  10. Lucy

    7th June 2016 at 8:01 pm

    What a glorious cake, rhubarb is one of my favourite flavours and always reminds me of childhood and my parents growing it on the allotment. I love a simple cake which always goes down well with the family and this is the perfect contender!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th June 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks Lucy. It would be interesting to see how it came out in your slow cooker. I think it would be a different cake, but equally delicious I’m sure. I used to hate rhubarb when I was little and always pulled faces when presented with it in the form of a crumble. I wasn’t allowed to be fussy though, so I had to eat it and lump it! Now of course, I love it.

      Reply
  11. Lucy

    7th June 2016 at 8:02 pm

    P.s. Thanks for linking to my cake as well, you have so many rhubarb recipes!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th June 2016 at 9:17 pm

      I have many more rhubarb recipes than these ones Lucy, these are just the cakes 😉

      Reply
  12. Aimee

    8th June 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Rhubarb cake is one of my all time favourites and this looks spot on!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th June 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Rhubarb has such a good flavour and the tartness works really well in cakes.

      Reply
  13. Henk Kooiman

    8th June 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Tonight I’ll probably make two more of these cakes. My mum will love it, I’m sure. This time I intend to alter a few things: replace some of the flour with ground almonds and replace some of the butter with goat’s yoghurt. Just to see what happens. Maybe I’ll even try to make a glutenfree version as well, using a combination of corn flour/ground almonds and rice flour.

    I

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th June 2016 at 10:03 am

      Hahaha and why not Henk? It wouldn’t be you if you didn’t try a few different versions.

      Reply
  14. Camilla

    9th June 2016 at 9:25 am

    There can’t be too many rhubarb cakes in the world as I just love them, yours looks and sounds fabulous:-) Thank you for linking to mine:-)

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th June 2016 at 10:04 am

      I’m with you on that one Camilla – bring on those rhubarb cakes 🙂

      Reply
  15. Claire Jessiman

    9th June 2016 at 9:06 pm

    YUM! I can’t get enough of rhubarb at this time of year. Particularly like the idea of the crunchy topping.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th June 2016 at 9:39 am

      It’s such an old fashioned vegetable, but it seems to be making a comeback, which is ace.

      Reply
  16. Beverley

    13th June 2016 at 4:42 pm

    If you were to make 2 rhubarb cakes to save on fuel, would it be OK to freeze one of them?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      13th June 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Beverley. I’ve not tried freezing this, but it’s the sort of cake I think would freeze very well.

      Reply
      • Beverley

        14th June 2016 at 10:39 am

        Thanks, I will try it and freeze one for later.

        Reply
  17. Kate - gluten free alchemist

    20th June 2016 at 10:05 pm

    What a delicious cake. Sounds totally divine. I especially love the pretty pink bits showing through and the idea of a crisp top!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      22nd June 2016 at 9:44 am

      Thanks Kate. It’s a fabulous cake and as I’ve just been given some more rhubarb I can see another one coming along very soon 🙂

      Reply
  18. Henk Kooiman

    22nd June 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Just baked another 3 of these cakes (everybody loved the previous editons !, so I’m making some more as they are easy bakes and make nice presents). Rhubarb season is nearly finished, but my neighbour gave me a large bunch yesterday. This time I used 20 % oat flour, some cinnamon and 2 tbsps of candied ginger. I also substitued 25 % of the butter with yogurt.
    They are on the cooling rack now …. and looking good.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      25th June 2016 at 9:38 am

      So glad the recipes proved a hit with your friends and family. As usual, your alterations sound like good ones. I’m off to friends for tea today and will be making one. I think I might add rose again, though I quite like the idea of your ginger – hmmm!

      Reply
  19. Fiona Maclean

    7th May 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I really like the sound of this – I am not a fan of very sweet cakes and I think the rhubarb would work so well!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th May 2017 at 4:06 pm

      I’ve made many rhubarb cakes and this is the best one ever – plain but delicious.

      Reply
  20. Mark

    13th May 2017 at 3:21 pm

    I’ve just pulled my rhubarb washed and cut it, made this cake. Just brought it out of the oven, it smells amazing. Looking forward to a large slice with some Greek yogurt on the side. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      22nd May 2017 at 3:00 pm

      I hope it was as good as you were expecting Mark. I haven’t made one this year, but I really think I should. It’s my favourite rhubarb cake and I’ve made a lot of them.

      Reply
  21. Sarah

    4th June 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Just made the cake and wolfed down two pieces. I added half a tsp of ginger and mixed spice then laughed when I saw the comments about the other tweaking that went on. Anyway it’s delicious so thank you for the recipe. I’m off work with a chest infection and feeling miserable so thanks for cheering me up with great cake.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th June 2018 at 2:05 pm

      Sorry to hear you’re feeling miserable and I hope you are well on the mend now. Thanks so much for getting back to me and letting me know you liked the cake. Tweaking recipes is part of the course. Ginger sounds like a particularly good addition.

      Reply
  22. Elizabeth D'Agostino

    24th April 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe, I picked some rhubarb and made one this morning to take into my old work colleagues for tea break. They all loved it, only crumbs left.
    It’s quite a plain cake but this allows the rhubarb to sing, I like a cake that you can eat and not feel too guilty, I’d say it was quite a homely cake. I think it’s probably best eaten fresh and warm and would be great with cream or custard as a pudding, great for “soup and pudding nights”
    I didn’t have spelt flour so used all plain, I’m looking forward to trying it with spelt the next time.

    Thanks again, sure to become a favourite, looking forward to trying others from your blog.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th April 2019 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Elizabeth. So glad you and your colleagues liked it. It is a plain old cake, but one of my favourites, nonetheless.

      Reply

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