A delicious and moist rhubarb cake, topped with a cinnamon sugar and flaked almonds. You can make this cake with fresh or frozen rhubarb.

rhubarb cake sliced on black background

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.

Rhubarb FAQ

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.

round, sliced rhubarb cake on a black background

Cook’s Notes

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.

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.

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.

round rhubarb cake, cut into slices on a black background

rhubarb sour cream cake sliced on cake stand

Get the Recipe: Rhubarb Sour Cream Cake

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.
5 stars from 6 ratings
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Yield: 10



  • 2 1/3 cups (291.67 g) all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp (14.79 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp (3.7 g) salt, reduce to 1/2 tsp if using salted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.39 g) cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1.23 g) nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp (59.15 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (330 g) brown sugar, I use light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large (1 large) egg
  • 3 tsp (14.79 ml) vanilla, or vanilla bean past
  • 1 cup (230 ml) sour cream, full fat recommended
  • 4 cups (488 ml) rhubarb, fresh or frozen, diced


  • 1/3 cup (47.67 g) flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup (200 g) white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2.46 g) cinnamon

For Garnish:

  • Icing/Confectioners' Sugar, for dusting


  • 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.
  • 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.


Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, where I share some valuable tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Author: Jennifer
Calories: 417kcal, Carbohydrates: 78g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 213mg, Potassium: 405mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 53g, Vitamin A: 360IU, Vitamin C: 4.1mg, Calcium: 173mg, Iron: 2mg
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