Rhubarb Sour Cream Cake

Rhubarb Sour Cream Cake

A delicious rhubarb cake recipe, flavoured with sour cream, which makes it super moist. Topped with a lovely cinnamon, sugar and almond topping.

Despite the string of 25° C. days that we’ve been enjoying in Muskoka the past week, my rhubarb plant has just now dared to poke out of the ground. So I went to check out my Dad’s patch, which is usually earlier than mine, and it was only up a few inches. What’s a girl with a craving for something rhubarb-y to do when the rhubarb is not cooperating? Thankfully, rhubarb freezes beautifully and my Dad came to the rescue with some of last year’s crop that was still in his freezer. (Thanks Dad!)

I found this recipe at the Australian food blog Insanity Theory, and adapted it for North American kitchen measures and ingredients (if you’re looking for grams and/or have lots of self-rising flour to use up, head on over there for her original).

Now about this cake. Yes, it has good bit of sugar in it and on top of it. But believe it or not, the finished cake will not make your teeth ring. I’d call it just pleasantly sweet. I think it’s the combination with the tart rhubarb that stops it from going over the top. That said, you may not need to use all of the topping sugar, if you’d like to cut back a bit. I used about 3/4 of it. I saved the rest for cinnamon sugar toast topping.

This cake is wonderfully spiced with cinnamon, which goes really well with the rhubarb. I loved the bit of almond on top, but I think it would be nice without, as well. This is a great cake to use up frozen rhubarb or an excellent use for a fresh crop, if yours is ready now.

The Recipe

Rhubarb Sour Cream Cake
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Rhubarb Sour Cream Cake
Prep time
Cook time
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This is a lovely, moist cake, lightly spiced with cinnamon. You can make this lovely cake with either fresh or frozen rhubarb. The almonds on top are optional.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8
  • Cake:
  • 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp. vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste in same amount)
  • 1 cup sour cream (I used full fat)
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (I used frozen)

  • Topping:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup flaked almonds (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 355° F. and grease a 10-inch cake or springform pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment (just to make your life easier, as this is a moist cake and it will just come out of the pan more easily). Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until it is well combined and resembles wet sand. Add the egg and beat until the mixture is well combined and there are no lumps of brown sugar. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat to combine.
  4. With mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in rhubarb. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
  5. Sprinkle top of the cake with flaked almonds, if using. Combine the Topping sugar (1 cup) and the 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle liberally over the top of the cake. You may not use all of it (it is a lot!). I used about 3/4 of it. Any leftovers are great on toast or for other baking.
  6. Bake in the preheated 355° F. oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Place pan on a wire cooling rack and, if using a springform pan, allow to cool for 10 or 15 minutes and then run a knife around the edge and remove the side or the pan. Allow to cool further before removing bottom. If using a regular cake pan, allow to cool to lukewarm before removing from pan.
  8. Serve warm with ice cream or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or just enjoy it straight up.

Adapted from Insanity Theory



  • There’s so much rhubarb around at the moment and I love it! Gorgeous looking cake.

    • Jennifer M says:

      Thanks so much. I think this is my new favourite rhubarb treat. I’ll definitely be making it again when my rhubarb is ready.

  • Sophie says:

    How good does that look! My husband adores rhubarb. I should make this :) Could pass as a coffeecake for breakfast, yes? The texture looks amazing!

    • Jennifer M says:

      Thanks Sophie and absolutely, could work for breakfast. It’s great morning, noon and night!

  • Renee says:

    My rhubarb is just poking its head out too, and I can’t wait to chop it up and make it into a beautiful cake like this one!

  • Liz says:

    I wanted to make something with rhubarb last week and I couldn’t find frozen rhubarb anywhere! I remember seeing once in the grocery store but I can’t find it anymore. When it finally comes in season I’m definitely stocking up, freezing it and making this cake….and the recipe I was originally going to make!

    • Jennifer M says:

      Hi Liz. I saw some in the store recently too, but just couldn’t bring myself to buy it when it grows like a bad weed around here :) Hope you get a chance to try this. It was delicious.

  • Hi Jennifer – this cake looks fab! Rhubarb reminds me of my childhood when it used to grow in my Mum’s garden. Me and my friend would pick it straight out of the ground and were given a bowl of sugar to dip it in – I cannot believe nowadays that we were ever given sugar with our fruit! Anyway your cake proves that there is a more grown up way to enjoy the sweetness of the rhubarb and sugar combo! Thanks for this recipe – I love your blog, it is one of my favourites.

    • Jennifer M says:

      Hi! And thanks so much. We would eat rhubarb that way when I was young as well. Great memory. This cake is definitely in the same spirit.

  • Katarina says:

    I love rhubarb and this cake looks delicious! Have a great day!

  • That is a seriously gorgeous looking cake! I’ve never really tried cooking with rhubarb, but your photos are making me really want to give it a go!

    • Jennifer M says:

      Thanks so much, Rosie. Hope you get a chance to try it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how nice cooked rhubarb is.

  • This looks amazing! I’ve never been one to enjoy rhubarb, ever since I had one bite of a really bad rhubarb pie. However, since then I’ve grown to enjoy it. I recently posted a saucy rhubarb dessert. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ll have to convert it to gluten free!

  • Benthe says:

    I made it and love, love, loved it! Perfect with vanilla ice cream :)

  • Your cake looks so delicious, I’ve just started baking with rhubarb and this looks a recipe to make really soon. It sounds fantastic!

  • Wow! This looks great! Love rhubarb!
    Your pictures are amazing!

    • Jennifer M says:

      Thanks so much Jennifer. I loved this cake. If you are a fan of rhubarb I am sure you would enjoy it.

  • Linnylou says:

    I am making this for coffee this afternoon

    Last week I made a rhubarb custard pie that was to die for….I will let you know how this goes for me….sure looks good. I am tired of my oold recipe that I have had for 35 yrs.

  • angelique says:

    Would you have any tips for making this and then shipping it? I’d like to make it for Father’s Day and then perhaps pack it in a tin and mail it overnight? 2-day? My father loves loves loves rhubarb so any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jennifer M says:

      Hmmm. It does keep well, so should be good to ship on that front, though I’d do overnight, if it’s affordable – just so it’s as fresh as possible. It’s also a fairly sturdy cake, so I think if you let it cool and then wrap well, it should be good. I’d do a layer of plastic wrap around it and then several layers of foil wrap. You could also ship it in the springform pan, for the ultimate in protection. Maybe the pan is a Father’s Day gift, too :)

  • I love rhubarb, definitely saving for future baking. Beautiful photo’s.

  • Becky M says:

    I have just made this fabulous cake to take to work and share with colleagues mid way through a flu vaccination clinic. It went down a treat. Next time, and there will be a next time, I may use coriander as the spice as I think it may go rather well with the rhubarb and the flaked almonds.

  • Gorgeous looking cake! Perfect for a springtime party!

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