Rhubarb & elderflower cake served garnished with elderflowers on top

Rhubarb & elderflower cake

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(18 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 55 mins Plus cooling


Serves 8-10

Make the most of vibrant pink rhubarb with a cake which combines its delicious tart flavours and sweet elderflower cordial - a stunning centrepiece!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (10)

  • kcal516
  • fat33g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars39g
  • fibre1g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.4g


    For the roasted rhubarb

    • 400g trimmed rhubarb, cut into 4-5cm slices



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

    • 110g caster sugar
    • ½ lemon, zested and juiced



      Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

    • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial

    For the cake

    • 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the tins
    • 95g whole, skin-on almonds (or use blanched or ground almonds)
    • 200g golden caster sugar
    • 1 lemon, zested



      Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

    • 3 eggs, 2 whole and 1 white only



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

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp elderflower cordial, plus extra for brushing
    • 100g plain flour
    • 1 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…

    • ½ 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-…

    • 130g full-fat natural yogurt
    • elderflowers, rinsed and patted dry, to garnish (or rose, lilac, geranium or peony petals)

    For the elderflower cream

    • 300ml double cream
    • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial
    • 100g full-fat natural yogurt


    1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Butter the sides of two 20cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

    2. To roast the rhubarb, line a high-sided baking tray with baking parchment, add the rhubarb, then top with the sugar, lemon juice, zest and cordial. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 25 mins until soft. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Strain the rhubarb from the poaching liquor, reserving the syrup.

    3. Tip the almonds into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until ground (if using whole almonds), but still retaining some texture.

    4. Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use an electric whisk) and cream it on medium speed for 2 mins, then, using a rubber spatula, scrape down the butter from the sides of the bowl, then tip in the sugar and lemon zest. Turn up the mixer speed slightly and continue whisking for 5 mins until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer speed down slightly, then add the eggs, egg white, vanilla extract and cordial and mix together.

    5. Combine the flour, almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Scrape the butter mixture down from the sides of the stand mixer bowl, turn the mixer to low speed – so it’s just stirring – then spoon in the flour and almond mixture in four batches, alternating with spoonfuls of the yogurt, and finishing with a batch of the flour and almond mixture. Mix until just combined, with no streaks remaining, then add half the roasted rhubarb and 1 tbsp of its syrup to the batter and fold it in. 

    6. Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until a skewer inserted into each cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven, leave them to cool completely in the tins on a wire rack, then carefully remove from the tins.

    7. For the filling, whip the cream to soft peaks in a bowl and fold in three-quarters of the remaining roasted rhubarb, along with the elderflower cordial and yogurt.

    8. Put one of the cakes flat-side down on a cake stand or plate, prick it all over with a skewer, and use a pastry brush to brush the cake with a little elderflower cordial. Spoon on half the cream mixture, top with the other cake, and brush that cake with cordial, too. Spoon over the remaining cream mixture, top with the remaining rhubarb and spoon over some of the poaching syrup. Garnish with elderflowers or seasonal flowers.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Verity Shillabeer's picture
    Verity Shillabeer
    8th Jun, 2020
    This is a really beautiful recipe! Rhubarb is currently quite hard to track down near me, so I used strawberries. Instead of roasting them like rhubarb, I slowly cooked them on the hob and added some of this jam-like concoction to the middle of the sandwich too. I was initially worried that the cakes didn't rise very much but it was totally delicious and the final slice was the very best after a night in the fridge!
    Eleanor Astley's picture
    Eleanor Astley
    1st May, 2020
    Yum! Followed the recipe exactly and the result was a very moist and delicious cake. The elderflower wasn't that noticeable and I had considered adding more elderflower cordial on the final drizzle stage to rectify that but the cake is already very moist so I don't think it could do with much extra liquid. Definitely best stored in the fridge to stop the cream filling from going sloppy (I think it tastes best served cold anyway).
    27th Jan, 2020
    Was worried when I took them out of the oven they were over-cooked as they were quite dark, but inside the cake was beautifully moist. They were in for 25 mins as recipe. Followed recipe exactly and it was delicious! The cream makes too much so next time i will make slightly less. Although you could always serve it on the side instead and let people help themselves. I was wondering next time whether to make one big deep cake with cream on the side. Will definately make it again though.
    gracieelder's picture
    11th Sep, 2019
    Beautiful, elegant recipe! Adored by everyone, I would defiantly recommend. Very sweet also so you don’t need big pieces.
    31st Jul, 2019
    I’m no baker, but as I grow my own rhubarb and make elderflower cordial, I couldn’t resist having a go at this recipe. I’m so glad I did as it is totally delicious. I was asked to cut the rhubarb finer than the recipe asked for, and it worked fine. Can’t wait to make it again!
    13th May, 2019
    Delicious combination of flavours. A great success. I didn’t alter recipe at all.
    Jane McP
    11th May, 2019
    Such a delicious recipe! The filling is like a fool - so tasty. I would recommend making sure you can get pink rhubarb as mine was green and it didn’t look as pretty as the picture! But the recipe is flawless :)
    John Perry
    6th May, 2019
    Tastes as good as it looks! Perfect cake for spring. I used lilac flowers as the elderflower isn't yet it out here.
    Mother Pelagia's picture
    Mother Pelagia
    5th May, 2019
    This recipe came out delicious!! Many happy customers - really fantastic! Made it just as written! Thank you!
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    9th Jun, 2020
    I made this recipe with rhubarb and it was delicious. Then, I made it with fresh apricots, and it was absolutely stunning. I put slices straight into the batter. I split the rest between the cream layer of the cake and the top, which I also decorated with strawberries and fresh mint leaves. I also only used 150g sugar in this cake and that was perfect. Gorgeous, looks professionally made but it was so simple to make. It still tastes fresh two days later (kept in the refrigerator). I will be making this again at every opportunity.
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