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Overhead view of Rhubarb Cake with a slice cut out of it.

Rhubarb Custard Cake

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This Rhubarb Custard Cake is sweet, tangy and incredibly moist. It gets its name from its almost custard-like, gooey interior.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, plus 1 tsp for topping
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 912oz rhubarb stalks, trimmed, halved lengthwise if thick, cut to fit top of cake*


  1. Prep. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Grease parchment. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Slowly stream in butter while whisking until emulsified. Whisk in sour cream, lemon juice, zest and vanilla.
  4. Mix and chill batter. Whisk flour mixture into egg mixture in 2-3 additions until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Chill in fridge for 10 minutes to allow batter to firm slightly.
  5. Top cake. Tap pan against counter to pop any air bubbles. Remember to halve any wide rhubarb stalks lengthwise so they’re less likely to sink. Gently place rhubarb pieces over top of cake as  desired. Do not press in. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  6. Bake. Bake on center rack of preheated oven until well-browned on the edges and golden in the center. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out moist but not totally liquid, with a few moist crumbs attached. Start checking for doneness after 45 minutes. This may take up to 60 minutes or so. For a firmer texture, cook until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out completely clean.
  7.  Cool and serve. Remove from oven and place over a wire rack to cool. After 10 minutes use a small offset spatula or knife to loosen cake from sides of pan. Remove sides and bottom of pan and transfer directly onto the wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve alone or with lightly sweetened crème fraiche, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy.


Rhubarb stalks greatly vary in size. If you’re using very thin stalks, simply trim the length as desired to fit on top of the cake. Wider stalks can be sliced in half lengthwise. If you have very large stalks like I did, I suggest slicing in half lengthwise a second time in the opposite direction (basically slicing in half widthwise) to make thinner pieces. Then place the pieces on top of the cake, cut side down.

Depending on how thick your rhubarb is and how you cut it, you’ll need about 9 to 12oz.

To make chevron pattern as seen above, I suggest cutting the rhubarb first. See tip above of how to cut thinner versus wider stalks. Cut rhubarb into approximately 2 inch lengths on a bias. Cut half the pieces angled in one direction and half in the opposite direction. Place into bottom of springform pan to plan out the exact placement of the pieces. Use my photo as a guide to place the sliced rhubarb. Transfer pieces to a plate in the exact arrangement. Then you’ll have your rhubarb ready to go when it’s time to top the cake.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge up to 5 days. Wrap in plastic wrap and/or place in freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.

The egg yolks I used for this cake were quite orange, which is contributing to the color of the cake. Yours will likely look more yellow.

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American, New American


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of cake
  • Calories: 300
  • Sugar: 38g
  • Sodium: 125mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 53g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 90mg

Keywords: rhubarb cake, rhubarb custard cake, custard cake