This easy Rhubarb Cake is a delicious and wonderful dessert or breakfast cake. Similar to a coffee cake, this recipe has sweet and tart chunks of rhubarb throughout making it nice and moist!
If you like rhubarb as much as I do then you’re going to love some of my other rhubarb recipes. My favorites are Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream and Rhubarb Crisp. Of course, you can’t forget about Rhubarb BBQ Sauce or my Layered Rhubarb Pudding Dessert. All of them scream summertime and are perfect for using up the bountiful fresh rhubarb from the garden!
What is Rhubarb Cake?
Last year we did a great American roadtrip where we drove across 13 states and saw all sorts of site, including Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. It was while we were there staying in a really fantastic cabin that we found on AirBnB that we first enjoyed this deliciously sweet rhubarb cake. Our host's mother had made and left it wrapped in plastic wrap on the kitchen table of the cabin to welcome us.
It was so moist and delicious that we had to text our host and ask if she would be willing to share her recipe. His mom was kind enough to agree, so I'm including this rhubarb cake as part of my collection of recipes representing every state in my American Eats series, even though I'm not quite to South Dakota yet!
Rhubarb cake is an old fashioned recipe that doesn’t get nearly as much credit as it should! It’s so easy to toss together and it tastes as impressive and incredible as it looks. Topped with a cinnamon sugar coating, this fluffy moist cake is delicious for snacking, enjoying for a breakfast treat, or serving for a dessert with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on the side.
How to Make Rhubarb Cake
- Preheat the oven and prep your pan: Always preheat your oven before you begin baking for best results. I like to line my 9-inch square pan with a parchment paper sling for this cake. This makes it much easier to remove the cake perfectly after it’s baked. You could also use a round pan or even a muffin tin to turn this batter into muffins instead.
- Cream the butter and sugar: Use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to cream together the brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, then mix well. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl so everything gets evenly combined.
- Add dry ingredients and milk: Slowly stir in the flour, baking soda, and the salt, mixing just until combined. Then add the milk and mix until you have a nice thick batter.
- Stir in the rhubarb: Toss the rhubarb with a tablespoon of flour to coat it before adding it into the cake batter by gently folding it in. The flour helps to keep the rhubarb from sinking to the bottom while baking. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Make cinnamon-sugar topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Sprinkle it evenly over the cake. Bake in the oven at 350 F degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out clean.
You can serve the rhubarb cake warm, although I think it's best when it has time to cool down to room temperature. I feel like it's even better the next day!
Can I add more sugar to this rhubarb cake to make it sweeter?
Yes, you could add a little more sugar to the topping and in the batter as I did with my original version of this rhubarb cake recipe. I felt that the original version was a little too much on the sweet side, so I toned it down (and made it slightly healthier that way). You can try the original version and this one to see which one you like best!
Does rhubarb cake need to be refrigerated?
No, this cake can sit out at room temperature for a couple of days as long as it is covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. If you want to eat it warm, you can always place a slice on a plate and stick it in the microwave for a few seconds or in oven for a few minutes until warmed through.
Can you freeze rhubarb cake?
Yes, this cake is great for freezing for later. I recommend cutting it into serving slices and then wrapping each in plastic wrap before storing in an airtight container in the freezer. This helps for when you want a slice but don’t want to thaw the whole thing, you can simply grab a slice and thaw it on the counter for an hour before enjoying. This is also a great way to prepare it for future lunch bags!
More delicious cake ideas to try soon!
- Kentucky Butter Cake
- German Plum Cake
- Cherry Crisp Cake
- Tres Leches Cake
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- The BEST Carrot Cake
- Pineapple Sponge Cake
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (281g) + 1 tablespoon to toss with the rhubarb
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper.
- Cream brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes until light. Add egg and vanilla and mix well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing just until combined. Stir in the milk.
- Toss the rhubarb with the remaining tablespoon of flour, then fold into the cake batter. Spread into the prepared pan.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- This cake can be baked in a smaller 8x8-inch pan, but will take a few minutes longer to bake. Or for a thinner cake, you can bake this in a 9x13-inch pan for 30-35 minutes.
- The original recipe had twice the amount of sugar sprinkled on top, plus an extra ¼ cup in the cake. It was delicious, but definitely on the sweet side, so I cut it back to the measurements shown above.
More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • New Jersey • New York • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • South Dakota • Texas • Utah • Wisconsin