I absolutely adore this Rhubarb Cake. It’s deliciously moist, simple to make and sweet without being overly sweet, thanks to the balance of tart rhubarb. Ground almonds, orange zest, a hint of vanilla and tangy buttermilk are what gives it that extra special taste. But what’s more, it so delicious you won’t want to stop at just one slice. It may become your favourite way to enjoy rhubarb this spring.
Tips on making this rhubarb cake
Thin stalks of rhubarb are best. They are also more tender and sweet, making them the perfect choice for topping a rhubarb cake. And with rhubarb season being so short, it is also important to choose fresh stalks of rhubarb. Meaning, the rhubarb should be firm and crisp with a shiny skin. And of course, the redder the stalks, the more impressive your cake will look.
As for the pattern, I like to cut the stalks into 4-5 cm long pieces and arrange them in a pattern. This can be done anyway you please, whether it be a chevron pattern, a weave pattern, in rows, or simply smaller pieces of rhubarb arranged every which way.
How to adapt this buttermilk cake with rhubarb
- As fans of rhubarb, you may also want to add a little sliced rhubarb to the batter. Simply, slice 1 or 2 stalks into thin slices and add them to the dough before spreading it into the tart pan and decorate with the rest.
- Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons sliced almonds, for decorating the top, before baking.
- Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.
- Pair this cake with other seasonal fruit. Try swapping in berries, cherries, plums or figs instead of rhubarb.
Looking for other cake recipes using fresh fruit?
Try one of these delicious recipes:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- Honey Rhubarb Tart with Almond-Oat Crumble (Gluten-free)
- Mixed Berry Crumble Cake
- Plum Crumble Cake
- German Apple Torte
Rhubarb Cake with Almonds & Buttermilk
- 50 g raw almonds or almond meal
- 170 g organic beet sugar or cane sugar
- 115 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
- 1 medium egg
- 125 ml buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon finely grated zest of an organic orange
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 170 g spelt flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (phosphate-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 250-275 g trimmed rhubarb, sliced into 4-5 cm pieces (thin stalks are best)
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)
Grease a shallow 24-cm tart pan with removable bottom with butter and line the base with parchment paper.
If using whole raw almonds, first grind them, in a food processor with 1 tablespoon of the sugar until fine. Otherwise, using a food processor, combine the almond meal, butter and sugar and pulse until fully incorporated. Add the egg, buttermilk, orange zest and vanilla and pulse again until well incorporated.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the almond-butter mixture to the bowl with the flour, and using a spatula, stir until just combined. NOTE: Do not over mix!
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the surface with the spatula. Lightly press the rhubarb into the batter and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C (155°C fan-assisted).
Remove the cake from the fridge and lightly sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the batter (if using). Transfer to the preheated oven and bake until the edges are deeply golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
- The cake keeps well for up to 3 days. Let cool completely, cover tightly and store at room temperature in a cool place.
- I find that chilling the assembled cake prior to baking it produces the best results for moistness and rise. And in the end, the best tasting cake.
- Using a serrated knife to slice this cake makes it easier to slice the rhubarb and will help keep your design intact.
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