Rhubarb & custard cake

Rhubarb & custard cake

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(140 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr Plus rhubarb cooking and cooling


Serves 16
This recipe tastes even better with homegrown rhubarb

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal278
  • fat15g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs34g
  • sugars21g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 1 quantity Barney's roasted rhubarb (see recipe, below method)



    Botanically, rhubarb is a vegetable (it's related to sorrel and dock) but its thick, fleshy…

  • 250g pack butter, softened, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 150g pot ready-made custard (not the chilled kind; I used Ambrosia)
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 4 large egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Make the roasted rhubarb first, carefully draining off the juices before you let it cool. Butter and line a 23cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tin. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

  2. Reserve 3 tbsp of the custard in a bowl. Beat the rest of the custard together with the butter, flour, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and sugar until creamy and smooth. Spoon one-third of the mix into the tin, add some of the rhubarb, then dot with one-third more cake mix and spread it out as well as you can. Top with some more rhubarb, then spoon over the remaining cake mix, leaving it in rough mounds and dips rather than being too neat about it. Scatter the rest of the rhubarb over the batter, then dot the remaining custard over. Bake for 40 mins until risen and golden, then cover with foil and bake for 15-20 mins more. It’s ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin, then dredge with icing sugar when cool.

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Comments (192)

littlemisspoog's picture

I made this cake last night (my very first cake!) and it was delicious!! Very simple to make and seriously tasty. Next time I think I will add a little extra rhubarb, but the consistency was perfect and overall a real treat!!

mollyedenjames's picture

REALLY YUMMY!! baked it for my birthday for my colleagues, and they're really enjoying it...

Though I cooked it for 2 hours and it doesn't look as dry as in the picture... I did put 550g of rhubarb in though, and I creamed the sugar & marg, and my rhubarb still sank...

soooooo good though - I could eat more than one slice!

smeggy's picture

Like everyone else it seems, I found that this needed more cooking.My cake took 2 hours with the heat turned up to 170C until it passed the skewer test. Well worth the wait though.I had just picked my fruit so I am guessing it had a high moisture content, even after baking. I will be cooking it again.

beatrix's picture

It's good. I added quite a lot of extra custard, and it's nice if it IS a bit solid because it's good as clumps in the cake.
People who say they're put off by the quantity of butter, only need to look to see that it's actually standard cake proportions: equal quantities of butter, flour and sugar. I reduced the cake size to 200g of each of these, and only 3 eggs. And the margarine I used worked fine in place of butter.
As others mentioned, I did need to cook the cake for longer than the recipe stated, but that was fine, and it came out as a nice "pudding" cake. Not elegant, but very tasty.
For people with a sweet tooth though, the rhubarb was still quite sharp, so more sugar, or very young sweet rhubarb is needed (I, however, lliked the contrast of sharp and swete in the cake).

dianecrtr4's picture

Easy to make and have tried it in a traditional round cake tin and also a oblong tin with 3inch sides and worked brilliantly. Have made this with rhubarb but also with apples and again easy tasty and gone in a second. When made in a the traditional round cake did have to leave for slightly longer in the oven approx 20mins..

libby17's picture

Made this cake this morning. Difficult to get all the lumps of butter out - having put all the ingredients intogether - next time I will beat butter and sugar together first then add rest of ingredients. Found it needed more cooking time - at least 40 minutes extra. Looking forward to eating it!

lucy81's picture

I made this yesterday. I used 500g rhubarb, and a bit of extra custard in the cake mix. I cooked for a total of about 30 mins longgr than recipe and it was simply stunning! This is a moist cake, almost like the consistency of a steamed treacle sponge.

andyroo069's picture

i just made this, and it is delicious. after reading other comments i altered the recipe slightly. i used 500g of rhubarb, and 220g of butter. i also cooked it for an extra 5 mins without the foil, and an extra 20 mins with the foil and it turned out lovely. a great way to use up rhubarb, i will definitely make it again.

dianecrtr4's picture

Easy recipe and a lovely cake.

stellababe's picture

Really nice, but as others have said does need a good 25-30 minutes more in the oven. I also added more custard. Yummy warmed through in the microwave.

blue_sphere's picture

I have baked this cake 3 times now and each time it has turned out well. Everyone enjoys eating a slice of this cake.

In a gas oven at gas mark 4 it takes approximately 1 hr and 15 minutes. The last time I made the cake I forgot about covering it with foil and it didn't burn and still was very moist. I remember that when I baked this cake before and did remember to cover it with foil that the top of the cake stuck to the foil.

lourolls01's picture

This was wonderful and have now made it twice. As others commented it takes longer to cook than it states. I cooked it exactly as it describes and then continued to cook it with the foil ontop. Took about another 20 mins.

Going to try it another time with poached pears and toasted almonds and or bananna and custard.....yummy

alexevans1's picture

Delicious. Large cake so gave plenty out to family - just as well it was large, they loved it!

gerardinem's picture

I haven't tried this yet but my daughter says it's yummy. Wil be making it this weekend. Does it freeze?

mother_ship's picture

So many comments!!! Having read through them all and taken them on board I made this cake as a tray bake, using more rhubarb and more custard than in the recipe. I also could not bring myself to use 250g of butter so used 100g of 'lighter' butter and 100g sunflower marg. Have to say that it then cooked in just 5 mins over the stated time, was light and delicious. My only problem was that most of my custard blobs vanished into the mix with only a few vaguely discernible. I'm going to try it with lightly poached apples, or apricots or maybe plums next time!

mazymaz's picture

I am a coeliac (intolerant to gluten) and I have made this cake several times with special gluten-free flour, and each time it has turned out great. The rhubarb tends to sink a bit, and it does need cooking for slightly longer. I have passed this recipe on to several friends and they love it too. Will try with different fruits when the rhubarb season finishes.

suupertellp's picture

I made this cake last weekend and loved it....Whilst i have the rhubarb from the allotment i am going to make it again. I used tinned custard and it was fab!!!

nursie6's picture

Having been served this delicious cake by my sister in law i rushed home to try it. First attempt ended up more like a rhubarb eve's pudding and was sooo heavy despite following the recipe to the letter including fan assist temp (as per my oven). Second attempt i went with the traditional gradual mixing of butter with sugar, then adding the eggs, then the custard, baking powder & vanilla then flour last. I also went with the higher temp (180), keeping an eye on it for the last 5 mins or so. However, it still took a little longer (10 mins each stage) than the recipe states. However, this time it was just perfect !!! hip hip hurray !

nicolamitchell's picture

i made this and everyone thought it tasted great! however the middle looked like it was never going to set! i ended up baking the cake for just about 2 hours and the rhubarb mostly sank to the bottom. Will make again though and i am tempted to use apple instead.

notmum's picture

Well my cake took more like two hours to cook and it is still a little under cooked! I couldn't really taste the custard it just sort of vanished. There are far nicer cake recipes on this site than this one, I won't be making it again.


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