Active time: 15 min. Total time:2 hours, 15 min.
Yield: Serves 12 (serving size: 1 slice)

Our Rhubarb Cake is one sweet (but not too sweet) way to celebrate spring’s seasonal bounty. Even though it’s a cake, the texture is more reminiscent of a quick bread, such as banana bread, meaning it would be a great side dish for breakfast or fantastic if transformed into muffins. We tossed rhubarb in the flour so the pieces wouldn’t fall to the bottom in the oven. The granulated sugar provides just the right amount of sweetness to contrast the tangy rhubarb.


  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh or thawed frozen rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 cups (about 10 5/8 oz.) all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter, softened
  • 2large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Shortening, for greasing pan
  • 3/4 pound fresh rhubarb stalks, halved lengthwise and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss together finely chopped rhubarb and flour in a medium bowl to coat. Set aside. 

Step 2

Beat together brown sugar and softened butter with a heavy-duty stand mixer on medium speed, using the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat until combined. 

Step 3

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined, about 20 seconds. Fold in chopped rhubarb mixture. Spread batter evenly in a greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round springform pan. If desired, top with rhubarb pieces in a decorative pattern, and brush pieces with melted butter. Sprinkle top evenly with sugar. 

Step 4

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack; remove sides of pan, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

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