Rhubarb buckle

Rhubarb buckle

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins


Serves 8

This vanilla and rhubarb buckle, a brighter cousin to the traditional American-style teatime cake, is perfect for the cold months when forced rhubarb shines

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal472
  • fat20g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars39g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.4g


    For the crumble topping

    • 50g plain flour
    • 50g golden caster sugar
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • 50g unsalted butter, chilled



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 25g rolled oat

    For the rhubarb filling

    • 225g thin, forced rhubarb, trimmed, rinsed and cut into 2½ cm/1in-long pieces



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

    • 50g golden caster sugar
    • zest 1 orange



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    For the vanilla cake

    • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 200g golden caster sugar
    • zest 1 orange



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    • 2 large eggs
    • 200g plain flour
    • 2 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…

    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • 125ml soured cream


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a deep 20cm round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

    2. To make the crumble topping, put the flour, sugar and ginger in a bowl and mix together. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and, using your hands, bring the mixture together into a dough, wrap in cling film and chill until needed.

    3. Put the rhubarb pieces in a bowl with the sugar and orange zest, and mix together. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

    4. Put the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat together until light and fluffy, about 5 mins. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating together until combined before adding the next.

    5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, vanilla paste and a pinch of salt together and, in two additions, fold into the butter mixture, alternating with the soured cream. Tip into your cake tin and level out with a spatula. Top with the rhubarb mixture and finish by breaking the chilled crumble into irregular-sized pieces and scattering over the rhubarb. Bake in the oven for about 1 hr 10 mins or until the crumble is golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after 1 hr – if it is colouring too quickly, cover lightly with foil for the final 10 mins.

    6. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins before carefully transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, but the crumble will lose some of its texture after the first day.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    26th Apr, 2020
    Great cake with lots of flavour. I didn't use an Orange as the one I had turned out to be mouldy! Used a lemon instead, 1/2 for cake and 1/2 zest for rhubarb. Also reduced sugar in rhubarb mix and cake. Tasted delicious and cooked in an hour and ten at 170C fan oven. Definitely make again.
    Cathy Baxter's picture
    Cathy Baxter
    3rd Sep, 2018
    A little time consuming but well worth it, I didn't have an Orange so used Lemons. I thought the cake was delicious and will definitely be making it again.
    28th Feb, 2018
    Far too sweet & tasted of orange, rhubarb flavour completely lost. Cake had lovely texture & id make it again but less sugar in crumble & rhubarb & half the orange jest
    juliaprior's picture
    29th May, 2017
    I was really pleased with how this cake came out. The comments are varied but I followed the recipe almost exactly, only difference was I had vanilla extract instead of paste which I whizzed in after the eggs before folding in the dry ingredients. Also, the oranges I had were quite small but still enough orange flavour from the zest. Took a bit longer to cook than the recipe suggested, just went with the skewer test. The crumble stayed on top and the rhubarb was distributed mainly towards the top of the cake with some bits sinking down like the picture. Will make again. :-)
    courgette_Lover_69's picture
    27th Jan, 2017
    Replace rhubarb with courgettes
    28th Aug, 2016
    I generally liked this recipe, but for me the orange flavour was too overwhelming and didn't allow for the rhubarb flavour to shine. Also generally thought there was too much sugar involved especially for the rhubarb. Will definitely try it again, but with less sugar and without the orange zest.
    17th May, 2016
    I just baked this cake, but the crumble completely disappeared under the rising batter. I also added some dark chocolate, so I might have ruined it with that. It tastes good, though, it is just not particularly beautiful :) Here is a link to what mine ended up looking like: http://eyeandtheworld.blogspot.de/2016/05/firestone.html
    11th Apr, 2016
    Really enjoyed this. I'd be inclined to add more rhubarb than specified. Took a little longer to cook than specified but the skewer test is the best way to judge.
    msbake's picture
    29th Mar, 2016
    I've made this twice and it went down a treat both times but I prefer it with more rhubarb (about 300g) and baked at 180 degrees in my fan oven. Great with homemade custard!
    26th Mar, 2016
    Really lovely cake, came out perfectly, nice balance of sweetness and tartness from the rhubarb


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