Rhubarb, vanilla, butter cake

A wonderfully simple and buttery rich cake with notes of zingy rhubarb.

A wonderfully simple and buttery rich cake with notes of zingy rhubarb.

I love rhubarb season and always make sure that I use as much as I can whilst we are lucky enough to have it. Naturally sharp in flavour rhubarb is a brilliant partner for something sweet and buttery (think crumbles and cobblers). Like most fruit it works very well in cake too. This cake is rich and buttery with hints of ginger and vanilla but the rhubarb is the star of the show giving it a wonderfully bold zing.

| makes roughly 10 slices |

  • 160g flour (I used a mix of spelt and rice but plain flour works well too)
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 120g butter (at room temperature) you could also use coconut oil but I would reduce it to 100g
  • 150g light brown soft sugar, or coconut sugar (plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling)
  • 1 tsp pure, organic vanilla extract or powder
  • 2 large, organic, free-range eggs at room temperature
  • 120 milk (nut, cow, oat, rice, goats work well but I wouldn't use coconut)
  • 180 g rhubarb, washed and cut in 5 cm (2 inch) pieces


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°. Line and grease an 8 inch spring-form, loose bottomed cake tin.
  • In a small to medium sized bowl mix your flour, almonds, ground ginger, baking powder and salt. Whisk and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add your eggs and vanilla and beat again until smooth.
  • Using a spatula, fold in half of your flour mixture followed by half the milk. Repeat for second half. You should have a smooth, sticky batter.
  • Pour batter into cake tin and use the spatula to ensure you have a flat surface and the cake tin has an even fill. Arrange your rhubarb pieces on top of the cake. 
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes before reducing the temperature down to 150° and continuing to bake for a further 35-40 minutes or until you can insert a tooth pick to the cakes centre and pull it out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about five minutes in the tin before removing the sides of the tin and allowing it to cool completely.

Enjoy with yogurt, crème fraiche or just as it is.