Rhubarb spice cake

Rhubarb spice cake

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(39 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr


Cuts into 12 slices

Wonderfully moist and reminiscent of an old-fashioned gingerbread. Heat up a thick slice in the microwave and have it for pud with a dollop of custard

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal290
  • fat11g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs46g
  • sugars27g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.89g
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  • 140g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing



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

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 250g golden syrup
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 2 egg, beaten



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

  • 300g rhubarb, cut into short lengths



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

  • icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and put the kettle on. Butter and line a deep 20cm square cake tin. Sift the flour and spices into a bowl. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in the food processor, then beat in the golden syrup. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in 200ml boiling water, then gradually pour through the spout of the processor. Pulse in the flour, then add the eggs, mixing briefly. Remove the bowl from the processor, then gently stir in the rhubarb.

  2. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50-60 mins, until the cake feels firm to the touch and springs back when pressed. Cool in the tin for 5 mins, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.

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Comments (54)

choccie_123's picture

Five stars .

choccie_123's picture

Beautiful cake. As I made this I was very apprehensive, and I kept re checking the quantities as the syrup seemed a hugh amount and the batter was soooo runny. It turned out great though. The rhubarb did sink to the bottom, but I just left the cake upside down. Yes, I will made again, maybe trying other people's comments on less sugar / water

McLeithead's picture

This is so easy to make and so light, moist and delicious!

paulineparker's picture

Really liked this cake - perfect with a cup of coffee. I had just picked a bunch of rhubarb from the garden and wanted to do something with it… I used the amount of water in the recipe. I did use more mixed spice (double), and stem ginger and ginger syrup as I had these in the cupboard. Would definitely do this again.

suem56's picture

After reading comments I also reduced water to 150ml - and spread the rhubarb on top instead of mixing in (and it stayed there). - The cake itself was light and moist and very pleasant, but the rhubarb was too sour so my son won't eat it, which means there's now way too much to eat within the recommended 3 days. Don't think I'd make it again.

fattyarbuckle's picture

I have made his cake 3 times now and each one a success however none of them have even resembled the crumbly looking top like the photo which is a shame. That said its delicious and sells well in our coffee shop and returning customers. We serve it heated with our homemade vanilla icecream. I think the syrup is needed but maybe just a bit less water - might modify next time?

laxtitute's picture

Didn't enjoy this cake. It is definitely a pudding rather than a teatime cake as other people have said, and with custard or ice cream it's nice enough. I halved the water as everyone suggested which seemed to work, however I just didn't think the flavour was brilliant. The cake bit was fine, though nothing special, but the rhubarb tasted too sour and didn't really seem to work with the cake. Maybe it should be baked with sugar first like in other recipes. The rhubarb and almond crumble tart is an infinitely tastier and better looking rhubarb dessert. I would recommend people make that instead.

helen707's picture

Well made this tonight for the first time, and despite forgetting to put any eggs in at all!! and yes it is a bit runny, but it did rise, and cooked well, it is absolutely delicious, so will definately make again, with eggs!! I used 200g syrup, really tasty.

kiwicatgirl's picture

I made this for the first time yesterday, it is delicious! I read the comments first before starting, and made the following changes:
150ml of boiling water instead of 200.
I used all the golden syrup and only half the amount of sugar (just because I didn't have enough sugar in the pantry).
I didn't use a food processor, just creamed butter and sugar and added ingredients in the order given.
I spread the rhubarb over the top of the batter once I had poured this into the tin, instead of mixing the fruit through.
The cake rose beautifully with the rhubarb still at the top, and is sweet enough for my taste. Will definitely be doing this again :)

maria35kelly's picture

I made this cake tonight. Didn't read the comments till I'd put the golden syrup in. I was concerned 'cos it seemed a lot and the mixture was very sloppy. So after reading the comments and it being too late to reduce the amount of syrup I put in an extra 100g of flour plus a tsp of baking powder, just because I always add baking powder to cakes and buns.
Set the oven at 180 and put the timer on for 1 hour. Started to get a burning smell after 40 mins, checked the cake and it had risen beautifully bit was slightly burned on one corner, but my oven does have a hot patch. Still, it was considerably less time than indicated on the recipe.
Just a tip, I coated the rhubarb in flour and sprinkled it on top of the cake instead of mixing it in and plenty of it has stayed at the top. It looks a bit white but if I sprinkle icing sugar over it it'll look fine. Haven't tasted it yet so will have to let you know what we think after we've had some.

vrog's picture

Gorgeous with raspberries instead of rhubarb. Used 200g golden syrup as others had commented on it being too sweet and it was just right. Probably more like 16 slices - we have eaten 8 so far and still have half left. I suppose that depends on your definition of a slice!

drfabio's picture

(And yes, it looked nothing like the picture, and it was a runny batter, so don't be tempted to panic like I did)

drfabio's picture

Delicious! Made it with the 5oz of butter, 250g of syrup and all, and it was fab! Didn't have a square tin so used a 9" deep springform round one and it worked perfectly, cooking in about 50 mins. It was great as a cake this evening; I didn't think it was too heavy at all (and even managed a second slice - such a trial!). Looking forward to eating it with custard too when it's a few days old.

zannazannza's picture

Made it with the first pick of rhubarb - tastes fine, but I used a bit of black molasses and less syrup. But would also suggest much less fluid, as it was too loose and sank on completion.

sjeffery25's picture

REally good and moist, but didn't look ANYTHING like the picture...

imicola's picture

Not convinced by this recipe - I used the 250g syrup as instructed, but I found the cake was not sweet enough. Perhaps it was my rhubarb, but it was lovely pink forced rhubarb, so I don't think so. The only difference was that I used light muscovado rather than dark...overall, not terrible, but just not quite sweet enough.

rowleymm's picture

Just made this. Seems ok but I may not have put enough syrup in? I am trying to decide! Looked nothing like the picture but a great way of getting rid of rhubarb. Next is the rhubarb chutney!

shazclapton's picture

Made this several times and love it - never looks anything like the picture! looks like a dark sticky gingerbread and I cut it into squares because the cake comes up a lot higher than the picture - oh and yes the fruit is on the bottom not the top - don't know how you would get it to rest on the top!

Annie M's picture

Really enjoyed this recipe but served it as a dessert - warm with vanilla icecream. Kept well and portions reheated nicely in the microwave. Will try baking it with pears or plums instead of rhubarb just for a change.

victoriajwilliams's picture

This cake was great. The whole family loved it. I will make it again.


Questions (2)

badger13's picture

Ounces or grams for the butter?!!

goodfoodteam's picture

Thanks for pointing this out - we've changed it to 140 grams!

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