Rhubarb, marzipan & citrus cake

Rhubarb, marzipan & citrus cake

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(15 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 50 mins plus macerating


Serves 12 - 15

This rhubarb sponge with orange and lemon zest can be served warm with a dollop of crème fraîche or cool as a cake - a spring dessert or afternoon tea treat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (15)

  • kcal371
  • fat21g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs41g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.6g


  • 300g softened butter, plus a little for the tin



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

  • 400g thin-stemmed rhubarb, cut into thick pieces



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

  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • ½ orange, zested



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

  • ½ lemon, zested



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

  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g fine polenta



    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • 50g ground almonds
  • 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…

  • 100g marzipan, chopped into small chunks
    Marzipan cake



    One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter and line a 20 x 30cm traybake tin with baking parchment. Toss the rhubarb in 50g sugar and set aside to macerate for 20 mins.

  2. Tip the butter, remaining sugar and zests into a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the flour, polenta, almonds, baking powder and a good pinch of salt, and mix until just combined. Fold through half the rhubarb (reserving the rest for the top), plus any juices, and the marzipan.

  3. Scrape the mixture into the tin. Smooth the surface up to the edges and top with the remaining rhubarb. Bake for 45-50 mins until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. If there is any wet mixture, return it to the oven for 5 mins, then check again. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then serve warm with crème fraîche, or cool completely to serve as a cake. Will keep in an airtight container for three days.

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Comments, questions and tips

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2nd Aug, 2020
This is my new favourite cake recipe...awesome with the little chunks of marzipan...
5th Jun, 2020
if you only make one cake this month MAKE THIS!!! it's one of the best cakes i've made!! & i've made it 3 times in 4 weeks, it's deliciously moist with a crunchy chewy top, and if your lucky to have any left a few days later, it will be a bit soggy but just put it on a piece of foil in a warm oven and it will go crunchy on top again, had it with custard, cream and creme fraiche, all work well. i didn't have any polenta so just doubled the quantity of almonds and it was perfect! has anyone used a different fruit as when rhubarb is finished i'm thinking strawberries, raspberries or soft nectarines? a yummy yummy cake!!!
23rd Apr, 2019
This cake was delicious. It was moist and seemed to melt in your mouth as well as having a crunchy, chewy top. The whole family loved it - we had it for pudding warm and completed with a scoop of ice-cream. If you don't have polenta a good alternative is also semalina.
2nd Apr, 2019
Make this cake! It is obscenely moist and has the best crust of any cake I have ever tasted. Even those who may not think they like rhubarb or marzipan should enjoy this cake as both of them melt almost entirely into its substance.
5th Nov, 2017
The rhubarb melts wonderfully and the cake has a nice crust on all the edges, i tried using stevia instead of the sugar in the cake and think that might've made it a tad less awesome, i think it would work amazingly with raspberries instead of rhubarb!
26th Mar, 2017
This is a fabulous recipe. I've made it twice already, both times using the zest of a whole orange instead of a lemon but otherwise keeping everything the same. It had just the right sweetness when served with creme fraiche. It also gets a lovely chewy crust to it from the marzipan. I can see it becoming a real go-to recipe.
13th Mar, 2017
Made this cake on Sat and followed recipe exactly. Delicious while warm out the oven, with some vanilla ice cream. Had a lovely crust round the edges and on top, with the soft rhubarb. Had it cold on Sunday with Greek yog. The little pieces of marzipan had sunk to the bottom and formed a delicious base. It is quite a moist cake. I will make again. I might try to grate a larger quantity of marzipan, so that it forms a base all over. I'd also use grated rind from a whole orange and whole lemon.
13th May, 2019
I made this recently and it was delicious. My friend asked me for the recipe which is always a good sign. I wondered whether this cake would freeze?
goodfoodteam's picture
13th May, 2019
We're glad you enjoyed this recipe. To maintain the best texture and avoid sogginess, we think it's best not to freeze this cake but it will keep in an airtight container for three days. However, if you have leftovers that aren't going to get eaten, by all means, freeze away!
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