The top of this cake is tacky and golden. The inside is the colour of a gentle sunset. The rhubarb hiding inside is fruity and tart while the sponge is moist and with a gentle orange kick. It’s the perfect cake to eat with your morning coffee.
I love rhubarb, it’s colour, shape and taste. So when my mother in law, Liz, gave us 1.5 kg of her home grown rhubarb; I felt like a child in a sweet shop. What would I make, the options seemed endless? Rhubarb fool, rhubarb and ginger ice cream or perhaps a creme brûlée flavoured with rhubarb. I then remembered a rhubarb cake I had made a few years ago for my birthday.
For my thirtieth we decide to invite friends for a weekend camping on the Isle of Wight. We had a BBQ on the Friday night while our friends began to gather. I decided that for the puddings, cakes were going to be easiest to fly down from Edinburgh with. I made a double batch of Jamie Oliver’s brownies and a rhubarb cake. Both went down a treat and I wanted to remake that cake with Liz’s rhubarb.
I couldn’t find the rhubarb cake recipe, but with my new found cake confidence (based on the apple, prune and almond cake) I wanted to come up with my own recipe. When handing me the rhubarb, Liz mentioned that she thought rhubarb and orange went well together. That was all the persuasion I needed, and so here it is – my first rhubarb and orange cake.
The first cake came out well, the sponge was a beautiful colour with good texture. The orange flavour was there but not over powering. However most of the rhubarb was at the bottom of the cake. On my second attempt I put all the cake mixture in the tin and then scattered the rhubarb on top, rather than mixing it into the cake mixture first, this gave a much better distribution of rhubarb. I wanted to add something to the texture of the top of the cake, to make it something other than fruity sponge, so on my third attempt I scattered brown sugar over the rhubarb before putting it in the oven. This sugar gives a warm brown and slightly tacky top of the cake. I need to get some more rhubarb now, so that we can enjoy this cake again!
6 oz / 170 g butter at room temperature
6 oz / 170 g caster sugar
3 large eggs
4 ½ oz / 125 g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ oz / 40 g ground almonds
10 ½ oz / 300 g rhubarb
1 oz / 25g brown sugar
23 cm / 9” springform (loose bottom) round tin
Total carbohydrate per portion – 31g
Preparation time – 34 minutes
Cooking time – 60 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 160 C fan / 350 F / Gas mark 4.
2. Grease and line the tin.
3. Using an electric whisk in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together, until creamy and fluffy, and any lumps have disappeared.
4. Add the eggs and beat until well combined. This may take a minute or two.
5. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add in the ground almonds and the rind from the two oranges. Stir well to combine and pour into the prepared tin.
6. Chop the rhubarb into 2.5 cm / 1” chunks and distribute evenly over the cake mixture.
7. Scatter the brown sugar over the top and put in the oven.
8. The cake is done when the top is brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. This will take 50 – 60 mins.
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