Rhubarb & custard cake

Rhubarb & custard cake

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(163 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 eggs



    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, questions and tips

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Snafflepuss's picture
5th Jun, 2018
Lovely cake, easy to make. However, I would advise cooking for an extra 40 - 60 mins as the custard element makes it very moist and dense. I would also consider reducing the amount of sugar used by 50 - 75g next time as it was rather too sweet.
3rd Jun, 2018
This was nice, but if I made again I would be tempted to add more rhubarb. I had no trouble with length of cooking and agree with some other reviews that it’s more of a pudding.
Snafflepuss's picture
5th Jun, 2018
Ah but if you cook it for longer then it will become more cakey!
Deborah Banks's picture
Deborah Banks
16th May, 2018
I’m not a baker but I have rhubarb growing in my garden so I tried this. I agree it took longer to bake than the recipe stated, but it is worth the wait; moist and very tasty. It’s been a big hit with friends and family who now think I can actually bake cakes! I will definitely make this again.
10th May, 2018
Delicious! Took 40 mins EXTRA to cook! But worth the wait. I topped mine with crumble mix before popping in the oven and it was fantastic....rhubarb custard crumble cake! Yes!
22nd Apr, 2018
A favorite of mine.
22nd Apr, 2018
Amazing cake. Really easy to make and, I'm told, the best cake ever!
13th Aug, 2017
Very easy and really delicious! Everyone loved it, I will be making 2 next time. As per previous comments it needed about an extra 15 minutes in the oven.
22nd Jul, 2017
Annoyingly, I forgot to add the (dairy free) custard to the batter, just use the 3 x tbs on top but it didn't seem to matter. The result was still delicious and loved by all.
6th Jul, 2017
Oh, this is just lovely! Definitely worth making - I've just eaten a slice just warm as I couldn't wait for it to finish cooling totally, and now I can't wait for my husband and daughter to try it later! I had been given some lovely thin stalks of rhubarb from a friend but when I weighed it it only came to 300g, so I was careful when trimming it. Despite being less than recommended in the recipe, it was a total success (I used the same amount of sugar as quoted in the recipe). Lovely delicate rhubarb flavour and I can definitely taste the custard in the moist but very light sponge. I can imagine it would be gorgeous as a dessert with the rhubarb syrup drizzled over it. I can't wait to bake it again!


13th Aug, 2018
150g pot of custard is about 3 tablespoons so doesn’t leave any custard for the mix ... have i understood this wrong
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Aug, 2018
Thanks for your question. You need to use a tbsp measure (rather than cutlery) for this and level it off to give you the correct quantity. This will ensure there us enough leftover for the mix.
Heatherladyh's picture
30th May, 2018
I followed all the instructions and recipe and used my new wizz bang Kitchen Aid but although the top half cooked, the bottom was sad (dry but kind of heavy, not aerated). Could I have over mixed it? Or maybe just taken too long getting it into the oven? (I'm disabled so 10 minutes). It's a super yummy cake + we will eat as a pudding with custard or iced cream. Would like to try again but wonder what I did wrong. Thank you I put pieces of dried ginger on the top
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Jun, 2018
We're glad to hear you enjoyed the cake overall. As for the bottom being heavy, we'd recommend the following: not overworking the mixture - as over-beating flour can make a cake dense. Also, ensure the rhubarb is properly drained so that the juice doesn't change the consistency of the bottom part. Ideally it is a good idea to get a cake in the oven as soon as it's made due to the raising agent starting to work once it comes into contact with the liquid ingredients - however the first to measures should solve the problem. Good luck! The ginger addition sounds delicious - great tip!
Becky Smale
13th Sep, 2017
Would this recipe work for cupcakes or muffins?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Sep, 2017
Thanks for your question. The layering might prove tricky if you reduce the size to cupcakes but you could give it a go. You'll need to reduce the cooking time accordingly and as we haven't tested it ourselves we can't be specific. If you do decide to try it then let us know how you got on!
rkruyer's picture
6th May, 2017
Any ideas on what I could do with the leftover rhubarb syrup seems a waste to chuck it?
goodfoodteam's picture
9th May, 2017
How about drizzling it over vanilla ice cream?
3rd Apr, 2017
Is this cake suitable for freezing?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Apr, 2017
Thanks for your question. We think this cake is better if not frozen. Our freezable recipes have a blue star symbol above the nutritional information.


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