Rhubarb Cake

by admin on July 8, 2010

Although the rhubarb season is coming to an end in a few weeks (and the best rhubarb is actually harvested in the early rhubarb season in May and June) I thought I might share this recipe for one of my favorites among all the cakes I have made so far this summer, whilst blissfully ignoring the bikini season.

The current state and the continuing expansion of my waistline is obviously not my own fault but a sacrifice I ruefully had to make in the pursuit of the culinary pleasure of others. A friend has asked me to make her wedding cake when she gets married in December so I am determined to have transformed myself to nothing less than a Goddess of Cakes by then. This of course means baking. A lot. The rhubarb cake is just one of the many “baking training” sessions in which I have to indulge to accomplish the skills that will allow me (and possibly her guests) to survive the task ahead.

The recipe for this rhubarb cake was invented a few days after I visited Howth’s wonderful farmers’ market, which takes place every Sunday. This market is by far one of my favourites among those I have visited in Ireland, as it allows me to stop by the many fish shops lined up next to each other along the pier. That day I came home with two lovely filets of turbot and two live crabs – I admit it, I was scared as hell by the prospect of killing them. However, it all ended well (for me that is – not for the crabs).

The rhubarb was only €3 for a massive bundle, and had I not been lazy in the days after making the cake, the extra bits could, with a punnet of strawberries, have been turned into the loveliest of jams (forget rhubarb and ginger jam – strawberry and rhubarb is the business, I tell ya).

The cake itself is dead easy to make, and the kick from the rhubarb is a wonderful contrast to the sweetness of the cake. Although I have not tested this yet, I am sure the cake would taste just as lovely if the rhubarb is substituted by blueberries or raspberries, although you do have remember to add a little less sugar if doing so.


  • 160 g butter at room temperature
  • 180 g caster sugar + 2 spoonsfuls to sprinkle over the top
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsb vanilla essence
  • 150 g flour
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 2 tsb baking powder
  • 250 g rhubarb cut into 2 cm long pieces
  • icing sugar to sprinkle over the top before serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Beat together butter and sugar until a creamy consistensy is reached and then beat in one egg at a time. Add vanilla essence and beat again. Mix flour, ground almonds and baking powder and stir it into the butter and egg mixture until completely dissolved. Put the cake dough into a buttered cake tin (around 22 cm), press the rhubarb pieces into the dough and sprinkle with the 2 spoonfuls of sugar. Bake the cake for 30 – 35 minutes. The cake is done when you insert a shewer into the middle of the cake and it comes out clean.

Let the cake cool, sprinkle with icing sugar through a fine sieve if desired, and serve with whipped cream, cremefraiche, vanilla icecream or custard.

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