If you love rhubarb, you’ll adore this moist, fluffy Rhubarb Cake! It’s packed with tender chunks of rhubarb, the flavors of orange and vanilla, and it’s versatile enough to serve for dessert or brunch. It’s extremely easy to make and it takes about 15 minutes of prep time!

Rhubarb cake on a marble board

Rhubarb is one of the ingredients that I look forward to the most every spring and summer.  It adds a nice tangy flavor to my strawberry rhubarb pie and rhubarb crumble bars, and it also makes amazing strawberry rhubarb jam.

My latest obsession is this Rhubarb Cake, which is an elegant way to showcase the beautiful red stalks of rhubarb.

I love cakes like this because they can be whipped up in just a few minutes, and they can incorporate a variety of fruits to change them up based on what you have on hand.

They’re great with just a dusting of powdered sugar, ice cream or a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

Dessert doesn’t get much simpler or delicious than this. 🙂

Rhubarb cake with rhubarb and whipped cream alongside

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This rhubarb cake is moist and fluffy with tender chunks of rhubarb and the flavors of orange and vanilla.
  • It’s an easy cake recipe that takes about 15 minutes of prep time.
  • This cake is extremely versatile as it can be served dessert, with tea or for brunch.
  • It can be changed up with your favorite fruit, extract, or add a streusel topping!

Recipe Ingredients

Rhubarb cake recipe ingredients
  • All purpose flour. Sub with whole wheat white flour for added fiber.
  • Almond flour. The almond flour adds flavor and a bit of heartiness that works very well in this cake. For best results, use super fine almond flour as it will produce a lighter crumb. Do not use almond meal as the cake will have a mealy, dense texture. Sub with the same amount of all purpose flour if you don’t have any on hand (the texture will vary slightly).
  • Rhubarb. Fresh or frozen rhubarb may be used. If frozen, thaw it completely and blot it dry with paper towels. Reserve one stalk of rhubarb to make a design on top of the cake, or chop it and fold it into the cake batter. If you love rhubarb, be sure to my collection of rhubarb recipes for exciting new ways to use it.
  • Butter. Softened butter is creamed with sugar to produce a super fluffy cake, and it adds great flavor. Cut it into small cubes and let stand at room temperature to soften it faster. See the recipe notes below to make this rhubarb cake dairy-free.
  • Sugar. I used maple sugar in this recipe, but it will work with granulated sugar, coconut sugar or brown sugar as well.
  • Eggs. Use room temperature large eggs. Place the eggs in a bowl of lukewarm water to bring to room temperature faster.
  • Buttermilk. No buttermilk? Simply combine whatever type of dairy or non-dairy milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and stir. Let stand for 10 minutes to sour.
  • Baking powder and baking soda. Baking power is essential for leavening. Baking soda reacts with the acid in the buttermilk, creating carbon dioxide and provides even more lift in the cake.
  • Orange zest and vanilla extract. The orange zest and vanilla add a ton of flavor to the cake. You can change up this cake by adding a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or cardamom, or substitute the vanilla with almond extract.
  • Powdered sugar. The powdered sugar is a completely optional garnish.

How to make this recipe

This rhubarb and orange cake is incredibly easy to prepare. There is minimal prep and it comes together in about 15 minutes.

Pro tip: Cut the butter into small cubes and let stand at room temperature to soften it faster. Place the eggs in a bowl of lukewarm water to bring to room temperature faster.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

How to make rhubarb cake
  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy with a mixer, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until incorporated, then beat in the vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 cup dry ingredients alternately with 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, mixing just until combined after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Gently fold in the rhubarb.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth with a baby offset spatula.
  7. Top the cake with rhubarb for decoration (optional).
  8. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Rhubarb almond cake cut into slices

Recipe FAQs

What does rhubarb taste like in a cake?

Rhubarb has a tart flavor when it’s raw, but it’s flavor mellows considerably when it’s cooked or baked.

It adds a mild, tangy flavor in this rhubarb cake, which is complemented perfectly with the flavors of orange zest and vanilla.

Should rhubarb be cooked before baking?

There is no need to cook rhubarb before adding it to this rhubarb orange cake. Simply chop the rhubarb into 1/2″ pieces and fold them into the batter.

Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes, and the rhubarb is so tender that it literally melts in your mouth.

Can this cake be made gluten-free?

To date, I have not tested a gluten-free version of this cake. This recipe for gluten-free rhubarb cake by the Bojon Gourmet would be a great cake to try.

Can I make rhubarb cake dairy-free?

You can easily make this a dairy-free rhubarb cake. Simply substitute the butter with your favorite oil and make dairy-free buttermilk by combining your favorite non-dairy milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and let stand 10 minutes.

You won’t need a mixer — simply whisk the wet ingredients together well, then fold in the flour mixture, followed by the rhubarb.

How to store rhubarb almond cake?

Store the cake in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to one week.  The cake may also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Rhubarb almond cake sliced with powdered sugar

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve this rhubarb and orange cake as-is or with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.  
  • Top with a dusting of powdered sugar or a quick glaze.
  • Make this a rhubarb coffee cake by topping it with streusel for a delicious brunch option! See the streusel recipe in my strawberry rhubarb crisp.
  • Change things up by adding a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or cardamom, and substitute the vanilla with almond extract. You can also top the cake with sliced almonds as well!

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: Cut the butter into small cubes and let stand at room temperature to soften it faster. Place the eggs in a bowl of lukewarm water to bring to room temperature faster.
  • Fresh or frozen rhubarb may be used. If frozen, thaw it completely and blot it dry with paper towels. Reserve one stalk to create a design on top of the cake, or chop it and fold it into the cake batter with the rest.
  • Do not substitute almond meal for almond flour as they are not interchangeable. Almond meal contains the skins of the almonds and is more coarse, which will affect the texture of the cake.
  • Store leftover cake wrapped tightly at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.  Cake may also be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Dairy-free option. Substitute the butter with your favorite oil and make dairy-free buttermilk by combining your favorite non-dairy milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and let stand 10 minutes. You won’t need a mixer — simply whisk the wet ingredients together well, then fold in the flour mixture followed by the rhubarb.
Slice of rhubarb cake on a plate with whipped cream

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram

Rhubarb cake on a marble board

Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb cake is perfect for rhubarb lovers! It's moist and fluffy with tender chunks of rhubarb and the flavors of orange and vanilla.  It's an easy spring dessert that takes 15 minutes of prep!
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour sub with additional 1/2 cup all purpose flour (texture will vary slightly)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup coconut sugar sub with maple sugar, granulated or packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk see notes to make homemade buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 lb. rhubarb chopped into 1/2" pieces (about 5-6 stalks); reserve one stalk to decorate the top of the cake if desired
  • powdered sugar, for garnish optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9" springform pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    1/2 cup almond flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • In a medium bowl, cream the butter, sugar and orange zest with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time on low speed just until incorporated, then beat in the vanilla.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup coconut sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 cup dry ingredients alternately with 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, mixing just until combined after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Gently fold in the rhubarb.
    1 cup buttermilk, 3/4 lb. rhubarb
  • Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth with a baby offset spatula. Top with rhubarb pieces, if using for decoration, and bake for 40-50 minutes. until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack, then remove from the pan and serve. Enjoy!
    powdered sugar, for garnish

Notes

  • Pro tip: Cut the butter into small cubes and let stand at room temperature to soften it faster. Place the eggs in a bowl of lukewarm water to bring to room temperature faster.
  • Fresh or frozen rhubarb may be used. If frozen, thaw it completely and blot it dry with paper towels. Reserve one stalk to create a design on top of the cake, or chop it and fold it into the cake batter with the rest.
  • Do not substitute almond meal for almond flour as they are not interchangeable. Almond meal contains the skins of the almonds and is more coarse, which will affect the texture of the cake.
  • Store leftover cake wrapped tightly at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.  Cake may also be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Dairy-free option. Substitute the butter with your favorite oil and make dairy-free buttermilk by combining your favorite non-dairy milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and let stand 10 minutes. You won’t need a mixer — simply whisk the wet ingredients together well, then fold in the flour mixture followed by the rhubarb.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 340kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Sodium: 286mg, Potassium: 211mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 518IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 130mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

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