Rhubarb & custard cake

Rhubarb & custard cake

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(183 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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Lyndsey Pain's picture
Lyndsey Pain
22nd Feb, 2020
Light and Moist cake. I made a couple of changes I reduced the sugar by 50g, only used 3 large eggs and used tinned rhubarb as I couldn’t get fresh. Added a tbsp of custard powder was delicious!
Alannah Keena's picture
Alannah Keena
20th Sep, 2019
Made this a few times - and it's beautiful! I have started splitting the cake mix into two tins to make a sandwich cake, and make a custard buttercream for the center: Buttercream – 150g Unsalted Butter, room temperature – 300g Icing Sugar – 1/2tsp Vanilla Bean Extract – 25g Custard Powder Beat the butter till smooth and gradually add the Icing Sugar, custard powder and vanilla until all is in the mix. Beat again for 3-4 minutes until light & fluffy and smooth! If its too thick, add 1/2tbsp of Boiling Water at a time till smooth.
16th Jun, 2019
Oh my word - WOW!! Made this for Fathers Day - followed the recipe exactly - cooked as stated for 40 mins then another 20 with foil - absolute perfection. Beautiful sponge, vibrant rhubarb flavour, loved it - only thing I will do differently next time is after cooking use the rhubarb cooking syrup as a drizzle like on a lemon drizzle for even more rhubarb flavour - deffo making again
Aries Yeo's picture
Aries Yeo
21st May, 2019
I followed the recipe, only that I cream the butter first before the sugar and the rest. It turn out perfect and I have forgotten to cover the tray when I was roasting the rhubarb. Thank you for the beautiful recipe
21st May, 2019
A plate of delicious scrumptiousness. However saying that, I would not use the oven method as described to cook the rhubarb, mine over cooked and went mushy. I would do a as the recipe for rhubarb custard and crumble tart on this site. I think that you can safely use more rhubarb as it is quite sparse when dished up. Still very tasty. I served it warmed with extra custard and for my husband custard,cream and ice cream!!
28th Apr, 2019
Well after 1hr 40mins it’s finally ready. It looks & smells delicious. Just hope it tastes as well as everyone’s posted.
28th Apr, 2019
Well I followed the recipe to the letter & mine’s been in the oven for the correct amount of time but it’s still not done, very wobbly & not cooked at all. So giving it another half hour, hope it cooks as the amount of ingredients you have to use make this quite an expensive cake!
26th Apr, 2019
Great recipe made several times. I’m not to accurate about how much rhubarb I use, it depends how much I have, but this is a lovely recipe, for either as a slice with a cup of tea, or with custard or ice cream as a pudding.
22nd Apr, 2019
The whole family enjoyed this cake, served as dessert with custard or ice cream, on Easter Day, with rhubarb from the garden. I made the sponge in stages rather than the all-in-one method in the recipe as I think this allows you to cream the butter and sugar properly without upsetting the gluten in the flour, so you get a really light sponge. I beat the butter, sugar and custard together, then beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla extract, then folded in the flour and baking powder. I made sure to drain the rhubarb of as much fluid as possible and had no problems with it sinking or being to wet. My oven is quite hot, so I took 10 degrees off the indicated temperature, covered the cake at 30 mins, but still needed an extra 20 mins cooking time to get the sponge to cook all the way through (I measured my tin and it's definitely 23cm as specified). I think the cake could handle a little more rhubarb, maybe 500-600g. If you make a lot more rhubarb than indicated, it would be really good served alongside the cake, with some custard, as a dessert.
19th Apr, 2019
Love this cake although most of the rhubarb sunk to the bottom. I tweaked the recipe a bit by using honey instead of sugar and i didn't put any sugar on the rhubarb. tasted really nice X


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
22nd Apr, 2019
My tablespoon measuring spoon indicates 15ml per level spoon, so if you want to measure by volume, it's 45ml to set aside, or about a third of a 150ml pot.
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?


Elisabeth K
11th Aug, 2019
I also kept the juice of the roasted rhubarb aside, and drizzled on the cake while still hot. My son described it as a best ever cake. Thanks for the recipe.
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