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Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe

Rhubarb cake

This Rhubarb Cake Recipe is moist, sweet, and tart. It is a simple, old-fashioned cake with a buttery crumble topping. Perfect for spring and summer.

Hello there, my friend 👋! Is rhubarb in season? You need to try this delicious rhubarb cake! It’s a classic recipe that’s sweet, a little bit tart, and has a buttery streusel topping. Let’s get baking!

Utensils You Need

These are the utensils and/or equipment you need to make this recipe:

  1. Two large mixing bowls.
  2. Several smaller mixing bowls.
  3. A whisk.
  4. An 8×8 inch or 9×13 inch baking pan
  5. Oven mitts
  6. Serving plates.

The Recipe

Rhubarb cake

Rhubarb Cake

This moist cake is filled with fresh rhubarb and topped with a buttery cinnamon crumble. It is perfect for springtime and summertime dessert & brunch.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 350 kcal


For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb

For the crumble topping:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces


Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8×8 inch or 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg until well combined, then stir in the vanilla and milk.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Don’t overmix!
  • Gently fold in the chopped rhubarb.
  • Spread the batter into your prepared baking pan.

Make the crumble topping:

  • In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the cake batter.

Bake the cake:

  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving.


  1. Use fresh, firm rhubarb for the best flavor.
  2. For an extra touch of sweetness, drizzle a simple glaze over the cooled cake.
  3. To store, cover the cake and keep it at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Keyword crumble cake, rhubarb, spring dessert, summer dessert

Alternative Ingredients

If you don’t have the ingredients I listed above, do not worry. You can swap them out for the alternatives below.

All-purpose flourCake flour, whole-wheat flour
Unsalted butterSalted butter (reduce salt in recipe), shortening, vegan butter substitute
MilkButtermilk, sour cream thinned with a little water, non-dairy alternative
Granulated sugarBrown sugar, honey, maple syrup

What to Serve with Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb cake is delicious with:

  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Whipped cream.
  • A cup of coffee or tea.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is rhubarb?

Rhubarb is a tart vegetable with long pink and green stalks. It’s a springtime staple often used in desserts.

My cake is too tart, what should I do?

Adding more sugar to the batter balances the tartness of the rhubarb.

I don’t have fresh rhubarb, can I use frozen?

Yes. Thaw the frozen rhubarb and drain off any excess liquid before using it in the cake.

Can I make this rhubarb cake ahead of time?

Yes. Prepare the cake a day in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator.

How long does rhubarb cake keep?

Rhubarb cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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