A delicious and moist rhubarb sour cream cake, topped with a cinnamon sugar and flaked almonds. You can make this cake with fresh or frozen rhubarb!
This old fashioned rhubarb cake is wonderfully spiced with cinnamon and I love the bit of almond on top. This is a great cake to use up frozen rhubarb or an excellent use for a fresh crop, if yours is ready now. Thanks to the addition of sour cream, this is a wonderfully moist cake, that keeps well.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Rhubarb – you can use either fresh or frozen rhubarb for this cake. If frozen, no need to thaw!
Sour Cream – full-fat sour cream is recommended for the nicest texture and moistness of the finished cake.
Flaked Almonds – flaked almonds make the prettiest cakes, but if you need nut free, simply omit and use just the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Can you eat rhubarb leaves? No! Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, a poisonous compound, so should not be eaten. It is perfectly fine, however, to add rhubarb leaves to your compost pile.
Can you freeze rhubarb? Yes! And you absolutely should, as rhubarb freezes really well, with no preparation needed. Simply cut into cubes or even lengths, place in a freezer bag and enjoy from the freezer for up to 1 year.
Do you need to peel rhubarb? No, you typically don’t, but if you have a particularly thick stalk, you can use the edge of a knife to pull off the stringy bits, much like you would do with celery.
- You may feel like there is a good bit of sugar going on top of this cake, but the cake itself is fairly lightly sweetened and of course, rhubarb is quite tart, so it really doesn’t put this cake over the top in the sweetness department. It’s just right for my taste.
- You can make this cake a little ahead, though I think it’s best on the day it is baked.
- This cake is lovely served warm with a little bit of vanilla ice cream.
- You could probably use a 9-inch springform quite successfully, if you don’t have a 10-inch. As the cake will be thicker, it will need to cook longer, of course. I feel like an 8-inch springform would be too small for all the batter here.
- When testing this cake, be sure to poke several holes, as it is chock full of rhubarb and you will likely hit some when testing, that may make it look not done, when it is. That said, be sure not to under-bake this one either, especially if you started with frozen rhubarb. The frozen rhubarb keeps the batter colder longer and has extra moisture, that needs to cook out of the cake.
Be sure to have a peek at this cake around the 50 minute mark of baking and if it is already browned enough, lay a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over-top to keep it from browning too much as it finishes baking.
Get the Recipe: Rhubarb Sour Cream Cake
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour, spooned and levelled
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, reduce to 1/2 tsp if using salted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, I use light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 3 teaspoons vanilla, or vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup sour cream, full fat recommended
- 4 cups rhubarb, fresh or frozen, diced
- 1/3 cup flaked almonds
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Icing/Confectioners’ Sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350° F. (regular bake/not fan assisted) 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.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- 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.
- With mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in rhubarb. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
- Sprinkle top of the cake with flaked almonds. Stir together the 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon for the topping, then sprinkle liberally over the top of the cake. You don't need to use it all, if you don't want. Just use what feels like the right amount for you.
- Bake in preheated oven until golden and a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, 60-70 minutes, checking at about 50 minutes and if cake is browned enough, lay a sheet of aluminum foil loosely overtop to cook it longer without over-browning. *If starting with frozen rhubarb, the cooking time will be the closer to 70 minutes.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the outside and carefully remove the outer ring. Transfer to a cooling rack (with the bottom part of the pan still on) and allow to cool until warm. Serve immediately or allow to cool completely, then remove bottom part of pan.
More Rhubarb Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
Should the frozen rhubarb be thawed an drained prior to adding to batter?
Hi Susan and no, you can add the frozen rhubarb directly to the batter. Using frozen rhubarb sometimes needs a few more minutes of baking time, as the extra liquid from the frozen rhubarb needs a bit more time to cook off. Enjoy!