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
Total time
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



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