It’s always time for sweet spring rhubarb cake.
You’ll love whipping up this easy rhubarb cake recipe that combines tart, fresh rhubarb with moist vanilla cake. Top with whipped cream or ice cream for the win.
Rhubarb Pie vs. Rhubarb Cake
This recipe developed not from any particular genius inspiration, but from . . . laziness. Rhubarb is fantastic: one of the quintessential spring ingredients (a vegetable, actually), with gorgeous color and a no-apologies tart flavor.
But that most famous of rhubarb desserts — I speak of strawberry rhubarb pie, of course — can be a little fussy. Rhubarb has a high moisture content and needs just the right amount of thickener and sugar to make it sweet and gooey without being funny or stiff. Then there’s the whole pie crust project.
But this easy rhubarb cake recipe lets you enjoy the best of rhubarb, without any fuss. It’s an easy vanilla cake recipe folded with chopped fresh rhubarb and baked in a 9 x 13″ pan. The result is a sweet, moist cake studded with pink rhubarb. I love to serve this as a weekend breakfast cake, but this works just as well for dessert.
How to Make This Rhubarb Cake
This cake recipe comes together easily, and can be baked in a 9″ x 13″ baking pan, or in a tube pan. Here are the main steps:
- Cream together the oil and sugar.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Add the baking powder, all-purpose flour, and milk.
- Stir in half of the chopped rhubarb. Pour the batter into the greased cake pan.
- Top the cake with the remaining rhubarb. Sprinkle with sugar and bake.
How to Prepare the Rhubarb
To use rhubarb:
- Discard the leaves and trim the top and bottom ends of the stalk.
- Chop the rhubarb into approximately 1/2-inch pieces, more or less. You will need about 5 long stalks of rhubarb to make this cake.
What to Serve This Rhubarb Cake With
This cake, like all cakes, is better the next day. When it come time to dig in, serve the cake plain, dusted with powdered sugar, dolloped with fresh whipped cream, or with ice cream.
Want some more rhubarb ideas? You’ll also like:
Easy Rhubarb Cake
- 1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola
- 2 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 generous cups chopped rhubarb (from about 5 stalks, cut into 1/2" pieces, leaves discarded)
- Grease a 9" x 13" cake pan and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand with a large whisk, beat together the oil and sugar until emulsified. Add the eggs, vanilla, and the lemon zest. Beat until very smooth and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. (If using an electric mixer, I would use a medium- to medium-high setting.)
- Scrape the bowl. Add the baking powder, flour, and milk. Stir until the batter is smooth and combined. Do not overmix. Stir in half the chopped rhubarb.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Scatter the reserved rhubarb all over, and then sprinkle the top of the cake with sugar.
- Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, more or less. The cake is ready when a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.