Nothing beats the flavor of a sweet cake made with slightly sour rhubarb in this rhubarb cake recipe. 

With just a handful of ingredients that you likely have on hand, this rhubarb cake recipe is easy to make, extra moist, and full of tart rhubarb flavor.

It’s rhubarb season and this fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) is making appearances in everything from pies to muffins! This recipe for rhubarb cake showcases its unique color and flavor, in a lightly sweetened, fluffy cake that’s perfect as a quick snack or dessert.

plated slice of Rhubarb Cake

A Delicious Summer Cake

Moist and delicious, rhubarb is used in cakes, pies, cobblers, crumbles, and crisps, and is also made into jams, syrups, and sauces.

  • Moist and delicious, rhubarb cake is a sweet/tart treat with its own unique flavor.
  • This recipe uses ingredients you likely have on hand along with some rhubarb stalks.
  • This cake can be made when rhubarb is plentiful but it also freezes beautifully. So make a cake or two (or muffins) to save for later?
  • Fresh rhubarb is always best but if the craving for rhubarb cake comes up off-season, frozen will do. Simply allow it to thaw and pat dry with a clean paper towel before using.
  • It tastes so good with some ice cream, whipped cream, or vanilla custard.
Rhubarb Cake ingredients with labels


Rhubarb: Choose stalks that are ripe and firm with a clean, sweet scent. Rinse the stalks thoroughly and chop them into even pieces. If there isn’t enough rhubarb to equal 3 cups, add sliced strawberries or chopped apples. Or, if you have extra rhubarb, if can be chopped or you can freeze it.

  • Flour – This cake batter uses all-purpose flour.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter. If you only have salted, reduce or leave out the salt in the recipe.
  • Lemon – Fresh lemon adds flavor and also reacts with the soda to make the cake light and fluffy (so it cannot be left out). If you’d like zest the lemon and add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to the cake.
  • Other – Use large eggs and granulated sugar.

When preparing the rhubarb, be sure not to include the leaves as they contain a toxic substance and should not be ingested. The leaves should be discarded.

process of adding ingredients together to make Rhubarb Cake

How to Make Rhubarb Cake

This is a delicious and sweet way to use up that harvest of rhubarb.

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl and wet ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Toss the rhubarb in the dry mixture.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients (per the recipe below). Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish or cake pan.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake.

Tips for a Perfect Cake

Create a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour the wet into the dry. Gently fold the dry into the center and turn the bowl as you stir. This method aerates the batter ensuring a light, fluffy cake.

  • Mixing the rhubarb with the flour first ensures it doesn’t sink to the bottom of the cake.
  • Rhubarb is very tart so there is a little bit of extra sweetness in this cake.
  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
cooked Rhubarb Cake in a dish

Storing Rhubarb Cake

Keep rhubarb cake covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. Freeze leftover portions by wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and storing them in zippered bags for up to 10 weeks.

More Rhubarb Recipes

Did you make this Rhubarb Cake? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Rhubarb Cake with ice cream and a bite taken out
4.99 from 62 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Rhubarb Cake

Sweet & tart rhubarb cake is the best way to use up all that summer harvest!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups fresh rhubarb chopped


  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
  • Whisk flour, salt, & baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine sugar, milk, melted butter, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir in the egg.
  • Add the rhubarb to the flour mixture and gently mix.
  • Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until combined.
  • Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the cake.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool and serve with ice cream.


Create a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour the wet into the dry. Gently fold the dry into the center and turn the bowl as you stir. This method aerates the batter ensuring a light, fluffy cake.
  • Mixing the rhubarb with the flour first ensures it doesn’t sink to the bottom of the cake.
  • Rhubarb is very tart so there is a little bit of extra sweetness in this cake.
  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
Leftover cake can be kept for up to 3 days at room temperature in a covered container. 
Freeze portions by wrapping in plastic wrap and storing in zippered bags for up to 10 weeks. Thaw at room temperature. 
4.99 from 62 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 404 | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 489IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
close up of slice of Rhubarb Cake with a title
plated Rhubarb Cake with ice cream and a title
slice of Rhubarb Cake with a bite taken out and writing
cooked Rhubarb Cake in the dish and plated with writing



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. It was fantastic! I substituted lemon extract 1 tsp instead of lemon juice. I substituted 1 apple diced up for 1 cup of rhubarb as I only had 2 cups. Everyone loved it!5 stars

  2. Husband LOVED this fresh rhubarb cake! Didn’t have a lemon or any lemon juice, so I subbed white wine vinegar for the chemical reaction. Will be keeping this recipe. From garden to table was 1-1/4 hours.5 stars

  3. I really like this cake in general, but it has WAY too much salt! Need to knock it back to 1/2 teaspoon.

    I also left out the vanilla, because I usually find that it clashes with lemon flavors in a way I personally don’t like.

    But the rest is great!4 stars

  4. Hi All,
    I’ve made this about 5X so far. It’s easy. I like the light colour of the cake. It set’s of the colours in the rhubarb well. The taste is good. I’ve given the recipe out to others as well. A little thing not so great is that the cake can be a little too wet so I do not underbake it. Today I ran out of fresh lemons so I am using the bottled stuff – hope it works. Very happy to have the recipe. Thank you!5 stars

  5. This cake was easy to make and very good. I used frozen rhubarb. The bottom of the cake was wetter than I wish but still fine. I baked it 50 min. Also had that larger grind of sugar that was nice in the topping.5 stars

  6. Hi, would it be possible to provide a button that converts ‘cups’ measurements to ‘metric’ please?
    It would be so much simpler than converting each ingredient ‘cup’ measurement into metric. Recently became a subscriber and will have try at the rhubarb cake and let you know, once I’ve sorted out the ingredients.

  7. After stumbling upon some fresh rhubarb at the grocery store (sort of uncommon in my area), I decided to give this recipe a try – and wow! So simple and delicious! It easily secured its place somewhere in my “top 5 favorite cakes”.5 stars

  8. This cake is beyond delicious. The small bit of sugar and cinnamon on top add just a bit of crunch. I added 1 tsp of baking piwder on top of the soda. Just gives it a bit of extra lift.
    Family say this is a keeper!5 stars

  9. Great Recipe.
    By accident I had all the items needed and made it yesterday.
    Will do t again with my next crop of rhubarb.
    Thank you for sharing5 stars

  10. Execlent Rhubarb Cake! I just needed extra topping top cover cake. The best Rhubarb cake recipe i have tried! It’s a keeper!5 stars