Rhubarb Custard Cake

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This cake is my final goodbye to rhubarb for the season.  I hope you can still find some to make this recipe because it’s such a perfect showcase of rhubarb.

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This is a stand mixer-free wonder: you just need a couple bowls and you’re set.  The lemony cake batter complements the tart rhubarb perfectly.  I sprinkled a crap-ton of sugar on top because I love when soft-tender and crispy-crunchy play together in the same recipe.  If you take your cake out towards the 45-minute mark, you’ll be rewarded with a soft, custardy interior and a crunchy exterior.  Leave it in towards the 55-minute mark, and you’ll have a delicious but more firm cake.  Your choice.

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Try I did to get the rhubarb to stay on top of the cake like the pretty pictures of perfectly poised rhubarb from Bon Appetit, but two attempts failed and I ran out of rhubarb.  I even read through all of the comments on the recipe (and I know I wasn’t alone with this problem).  Trust me, this cake is still so so so good even if your rhubarb sinks to the bottom.  AND IF YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO KEEP IT ON TOP, HIT A GIRL UP BECAUSE I WANT A PRETTY CAKE TOO.

So I just liberally dusted with powdered sugar and pretended like it wasn’t supposed to have rhubarb on the top.

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Dollop with some of that delicious strawberry-rhubarb jam we made the other day and try to hold your tears back as you say goodbye to our favorite rhizome.  But guys, we’re getting into summer and we all know the best produce happens then.  We’ll be okay.

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Rhubarb Custard Cake

  • Author: Amanda
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • Category: Cakes


A lemony sour cream cake batter that perfectly complements tart rhubarb with a soft, custardy interior and a crispy, crunchy sugary crust!


  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) butter, melted and cooled, plus more for softened butter for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
  • 3/4 teaspoons (3 grams) baking powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1-1/2 cups (297 grams) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling the top
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (such as Meyer’s)
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 12 ounces rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, tapping the bottom and sides of the pan to remove excess flour.  Set aside.
  2. Combine the baking powder, salt and flour in a small mixing bowl and stir to mix.
  3. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until lightened in color and thick, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the melted butter, sour cream, rum and lemon zest just until combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently fold together until smooth.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to the edges and level the top with a spatula.  Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.
  4. Generously sprinkle the top with granulated sugar.  Arrange the rhubarb over the cake batter in whatever design you like, cutting the rhubarb to fit as needed.  Don’t press the fruit in to the batter; just gently place on top and let rest on the surface.  Sprinkle with a little more sugar.  Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out mostly clean, about 45 to 55 minutes.  Remove from the oven  and let cool for 10 minutes.  Run a thin paring knife around the sides of the cake.  Gently invert onto a plate or cooling rack, immediately inverting again to turn the cake right side up.  Allow to cool completely before serving.


Removing the cake around the 45-minute mark will result in a more custardy texture to the cake; removing the cake around the 55-minute mark will result in a more firm, set cake.

Inspiration: Rhubarb Custard Cake on bonappetit.com

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Comments (4)

Wow looks and sounds amazing! I love these kinds of cakes. Thanks for sharing! I highly recommend these Japanese savory pancakes that I made 🙂

Thank you!

This looks great and I happen to have sour cream I have to use. I will try with cherries though as my rhubarb is slowly infusing in gin and will finish its boozy life in strawberry preserves. Will make a double batch – 1 large cake and small individual ones – and edit comment upon results!

That sounds amazing! Please report back!

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