I made this rhubarb cake for a friend’s birthday camping trip and everyone loved it. This is my new go-to rhubarb cake recipe. It’s easy to make, it’s moist and delicious, and the tart rhubarb contrasts the slightly sweet cake perfectly. This recipe makes a lot of cake, but don’t worry, because the cake is freezer friendly.
Rhubarb Cake Recipe
adapted from Taste of Home; this recipe makes a 9 x 13 inch cake, but it can be halved to make a 9 x 9 inch cake.
for the cake:
4 tablespoons of salted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar (Note: If you prefer a sweeter cake, use up to 2 cups of sugar. Personally, I prefer a slightly more tart cake.)
2 large eggs
4 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk (Note: You may substitute this with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar topped up to 2 cups of milk, stirred and allowed to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.)
6 cups chopped fresh or frozen and thawed rhubarb (Note: If you don’t have enough rhubarb, you could use as little as 4 cups. If you are using frozen rhubarb, measure it while still frozen and allow it to defrost completely in a colander, but do not squeeze the liquid out of the rhubarb.)
vegetable oil cooking spray
for the streusel topping:
Note that this streusel topping is optional, but it adds a nice texture and it makes the top of the cake look much prettier.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
8 tablespoons salted butter, melted
Generously grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan using vegetable oil cooking spray or softened butter. (Note that I used a non-stick metal baking pan.) Use a pencil to trace out the bottom of the pan onto a piece of parchment paper. Cut the shape out and place it in the bottom of the greased baking pan. Then generously grease the top of the piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle all purpose flour all over the bottom and the sides of the greased baking pan. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the pan. Gently tap out any extra flour and set the prepared pan aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Start by making the cake. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg over medium speed until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir on the lowest speed until they start to become incorporated with the creamed butter and sugar. Then add 1/2 of the buttermilk and continue to stir on the lowest speed until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Add the remainder of the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Pour the rest of the buttermilk into the mixing bowl, and beat until just combined. Then increase the speed to medium for just a few seconds to ensure that the batter is well mixed, but do not overbeat. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the rhubarb into the batter. Transfer the better to the prepared baking pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top of the cake.
Make the streusel topping by stirring together the flour, sugar, and melted butter. Then sprinkle this evenly over the top of the cake batter. Bake the cake in the centre of the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or, preferably, with a few crumbs attached to it, about 45 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. Then cut out square or rectangular pieces and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled through in the refrigerator. Once cooled completely, this cake should be stored in the refrigerator. This cake is also freezer friendly.