A lovely rhubarb crumble cake, filled with fresh (or frozen) rhubarb and has a delicious and unique crumble topping.

Rhubarb crumble cake on cooling rack sliced.

Why I love this rhubarb crumble cake

This is a lovely rhubarb cake and a great way to use your Spring rhubarb, but it is also a great way to enjoy all the Summer fruit, simply by changing up the fruit. This cake is versatile.

Secondly, this cake has a really unique crumble topping and one that I think any baker would love to “discover” (if you haven’t already) because it’s one of those baking things that you can tuck away and use on other cakes or coffee cakes.

Ingredients and substitutions

A few notes about the key ingredients …

Rhubarb – You can make this crumble cake with fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb. For frozen rhubarb, use from frozen. No need to thaw. If starting with frozen rhubarb, allow a little extra baking time for your cake, as the cold rhubarb cools the batter and slows baking a bit.

Brown sugar This recipe specifies light brown or “golden” sugar. If you only have dark brown or old-fashioned brown sugar, you can use that without issue. Your cake crumb will be a touch darker.

Recipe Tips!

  • The cake itself is what I would call almost a pound cake, but not quite as dense. It’s a lightly sweet cake and buttery. It’s a great base cake for rhubarb and just about any fruit, for that matter.
  • This cake takes a while to bake! Mine took almost 1 hour and 30 minutes. Yours may take more or less than that. This is the kind of cake where you should start testing it at about the one-hour mark and then just keep cooking and testing until it’s done, however long that takes
  • So I mentioned the unique crumble topping above and what makes it unique is that it’s not what you might expect by looking at it. It’s not a brown sugar/butter topping. It’s made from a small amount of the cake batter, that gets mixed up with some cinnamon and some more flour, forming into a crumble mixture. As such, it delivers the crunchy, crumble, without adding a layer of butter and sugar on top. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a cake that’s not all that.
  • The above note is also why there is a sprinkling of sugar on top (and you thought it was just sugar on sugar :) I used white sugar on top, but I think brown sugar would have been a nice choice, too. You can use either.
rhubarb crumble cake sliced

Storing and freezing

This cake will keep well on the counter (well wrapped) for several days or you can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

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rhubarb crumble cake sliced

Get the Recipe: Rhubarb Crumble Cake

A lovely rhubarb crumble cake filled with fresh (or frozen) rhubarb and has a delicious and unique crumble topping.
5 stars from 8 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 12 servings


Cake Batter:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups rhubarb, fresh or frozen, diced


  • 7 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Before baking:

  • 1 Tablespoon light brown or white sugar, or white sugar


  • Preheat oven to 325F. (regular bake/not fan assisted). Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl several times, as needed. Add the flour and mix, just until combined.
  • Remove 1/4 cup of the batter to a small bowl. Add the 7 Tbsp flour and 1 tsp cinnamon and stir together using a dinner knife, until it becomes a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
  • Fold the rhubarb into the rest of the cake batter, then spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan, spread to the sides and level the top. Evenly scatter the crumble mixture over-top of the batter, then sprinkle the top with 1 Tbsp of light brown sugar (or white sugar).
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, but check and test regularly after the 1 hour mark and cover the top loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil if the top of the cake is browning too quickly. Bake until a tester comes out clean, as long as that takes. (*If starting with frozen rhubarb, cooking time will be slightly longer).
  • Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.


Be sure to read the notes above the Recipe Card, for more tips on making this cake.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 408kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 125mg, Sodium: 198mg, Potassium: 259mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 698IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 102mg, Iron: 2mg
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