Moist, butter cake is topped with fresh rhubarb for a beautiful seasonal Rhubarb Cake. This cake is easy to make and perfect for late spring and early summer during rhubarb season.
On the quest to test out a variety of rhubarb recipes, I wanted to venture out from pie and crisps to try something new. I love cake, it’s an easy dessert to make, and I thought it would be a great way to showcase the beautiful and unique rhubarb.
Technically, rhubarb is considered a vegetable, and although its bright red color and shiny exterior may lead us to believe it is sweet, it’s in fact, not. Rhubarb can range from pale green to pink or red. Its color is not at all an indication of ripeness or sweetness. It’s naturally tart and is traditionally baked or cooked with a good amount of sugar.
Experimenting with rhubarb can be fun. For such a unique ingredient, it can transform into so many delicious desserts. Pies are wonderful options. Strawberry rhubarb is very popular, but I always prefer Rhubarb Apple Pie for the complementary combination of crisp, sweet apples, and tart rhubarb. Unfortunately, the rhubarb season is shortlived lasting only from late spring through early summer. So while it does last, I highly recommend you take advantage of this ingredient and try out a variety of recipes.
For a recipe that’s easy to make and pretty to serve, this Rhubarb Cake is the one to make! It’s a simple butter cake that’s topped with rhubarb and baked to perfection. You can use any range of color of rhubarb and create a design of your choice. For those who have never tried rhubarb, it’s the perfect way to introduce this delicious baking ingredient.
Before you begin
Take out the following baking equipment.
Digital kitchen scale
9-inch springform pan
2 small bowls
Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
1 pairing knife
Wire cooling rack
Allow all of your ingredients to come to room temperature.
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
This slightly dense cake resembles a butter cake. To create a cake that balances tenderness with denseness, use all-purpose flour. Using a lower protein flour such as cake flour would result in a softer and cakier texture. All-purpose flour has just the right amount of protein to create tenderness and a beautiful crumb.
Sour cream creates a fine, tender crumb. The acidity and a higher amount of fat contribute to this texture. Additionally, sour cream adds a lovely flavor to the cake. You can opt to substitute an equal amount of whole milk for the sour cream. Doing so will yield a cake that is slightly darker in color, has a more coarse crumb, and has a somewhat more mild flavor.
Rhubarb season is short-lived, so it’s important to know what to look for when selecting rhubarb for your pie. Choose thinner stalks, as this indicates that they are more tender and sweet. Additionally, select stalks that are firm and crisp with shiny skins. Discard any leaves as they are toxic.
How to make rhubarb cake
Begin by sifting together all of your dry ingredients into a medium bowl. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl using a hand-held mixer add your butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. On medium-high speed beat together the ingredients to create a smooth and creamy texture (this should take about 4-5 minutes). Occasionally stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything mixes evenly.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined before adding the second egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to ensure everything mixes well. Beat in the pure vanilla extract and then add the sour cream and mix until fully incorporated.
Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the sifted flour mixture. Mix the batter just until combined. Do not overmix the cake so that it will not become undesirably dense. Pour the cake batter into the prepared springform pan. Set aside to prep your rhubarb.
Layer your rhubarb on top of the cake in your preferred design. Brush the rhubarb with the melted butter and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar for an added texture. Place your prepared cake into the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. The edges will begin to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, indicating doneness. Additionally, when you push lightly down on the top of the cake, it should spring bake and not leave an imprint of your finger. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature in the springform pan before attempting to release it.
How to make a rhubarb weave pattern
To create a weave pattern for this rhubarb cake similar to the one I have done, begin by cutting your trimmed rhubarb stalks into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces. Always begin layering your rhubarb from the center of the cake and moving outwards. Create a 2 x 2-inch square with the rhubarb. On each side of the square, create another square of 2 x 2-inch rhubarb that is perpendicular to the original square. Continue to move outwards. As you approach the sides of the pan, cut each piece of rhubarb to fit in the allotted space while keeping with the design.
Tips and takeaways
- Play around with the rhubarb design on your cake. You can do a weave similar to the one I made or make a chevron style pattern. Create whatever design calls to you.
- Use a serrated knife to slice this cake as it is easier to slice the rhubarb. It will keep your beautiful design intact.
If you love rhubarb, try these other recipes
Make sure to tag me @thesweetoccasion on Instagram and leave me a review below if you make this Rhubarb Cake. I’d love to see your creations and read your feedback. And if you would like to make this recipe later, be sure to pin this recipe using the button on any of these images. Let’s make every occasion a sweet occasion!Print
Moist, butter cake is topped with rhubarb for a beautiful seasonal Rhubarb Cake. This cake is easy to make and perfect for late spring and early summer during rhubarb season.
- 280 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 3.8 g (1 teaspoon) baking powder
- 3.4 g (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
- 2.8 g (1/2 teaspoon) salt
- 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 110 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 55 g (1/4 cup) light brown sugar
- 100 g (2 large) eggs, at room temperature
- 7 g ( 2 teaspoons) pure vanilla extract
- 120 g (1/2 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
- 340 g (3/4 pound) rhubarb trimmed and halved lengthwise
- Melted butter, for brushing
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together softened butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in vanilla until mixed well. Add the sour cream and beat until incorporated.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Cut your rhubarb into desired sizes and create a design of your choice. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Place into the preheated oven.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The edges will begin to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Place on a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature before removing from the pan.