A wonderful rhubarb loaf cake, served with a rhubarb syrup that soaks into the cake in the most wonderful ways. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of crème frâiche for a fabulous dessert.

rhubarb tea cake with rhubarb syrup on plate

Why I Love This Rhubarb Loaf Cake

  • The lovely rhubarb cake is a great cake on its own, but is also the perfect texture to soak up the rhubarb syrup.
  • This simple cake and syrup makes a great presentation and an ideal finish for a special meal or for a special tea.
  • This rhubarb dessert can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb, so it can be made throughout the year.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Rhubarb – you can use either fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb for this recipe. If frozen, use from frozen. No need to thaw.

Heavy Cream – there is a small amount of heavy, whipping cream (35% b.f.) in the cake itself. Heavy cream will produce the nicest results, but you could substitute a lower fat cream or even sour cream.

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t throw out the rhubarb used to make the syrup. It is essentially stewed rhubarb which is something enjoyed by many over the years. Simply eat warm from a bowl, maybe with a sprinkling of cinnamon, if that appeals to you.
  • To serve, slice a piece of the loaf, then cut it diagonally. Layer the two pieces on a plate, overlapping slightly, then drizzle with rhubarb syrup. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of crème frâiche on the plate.
rhubarb loaf cake on plate with fork and whipped cream

Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing

This dessert is best if enjoyed within a few hours of making, as once the syrup is drizzled over the cake, the clock starts ticking.

If you really need to make it ahead, you could make both the rhubarb syrup and the rhubarb loaf cake can be made ahead and keep them separate, until closer to serving. Store the cooled cake well-wrapped at room temperature. Refrigerate the syrup if making ahead. When ready to drizzle, warm the syrup slightly, poke the holes in the cake and drizzle. Serve with additional syrup.

The cake and the syrup can be frozen up to 2 months.

rhubarb tea cake with rhubarb syrup on plate

Get the Recipe: Rhubarb Loaf Cake

A fabulous rhubarb cake, served with an equally fabulous rhubarb syrup. The magic happens when it soaks into the cake!
5 stars from 1 rating
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings


For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 35% b.f.
  • 1 cup rhubarb, fresh or frozen, chopped

For the Syrup:

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups rhubarb, fresh or frozen, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (regular bake, not fan-assisted)
  • Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch or 4 x 10-inch loaf pan with baking spray, then line the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Make the Loaf Cake: In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix together well. Stir in butter cubes, sugar, eggs and cream. Beat with an electric or stand mixer for 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and a bit fluffy. Stir in rhubarb, then spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake loaf for 45 to 55 minutes or until top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake to a cooling rack, remove parchment paper, then return still warm cake to pan.
  • Make the Rhubarb Syrup: Combine the sugar, water and rhubarb in a pot while cake is baking. Bring to a boil then simmer 15 minutes or until rhubarb is very soft. Strain mixture into a clean pot pressing down on the solids. (You can discard the cooked rhubarb, but it is delicious enjoyed warm in a bowl!)
  • Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to syrup. You will have about 1/3 cup. While cake is warm, make holes on top with a wooden skewer. Brush or pour over about 2 tbsp (30 mL) syrup. Reserve remainder. Cool.
  • Cut cake into thick slices to serve. Slice in half. Place 2 halves on a plate, drizzle syrup around and top with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.


Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card for more tips on making this recipe.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 426kcal, Carbohydrates: 69g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 259mg, Potassium: 148mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 50g, Vitamin A: 547IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 1mg
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