Rhubarb streusel cake

Incredibly light and buttery sponge cake topped with a fruity streusel – the bright tartness of the rhubarb is perfectly balanced by the rich brown sugar.

rhubarb streusel cake final

This recipe originated in the kitchen of a friend of mine – I saw her photo on facebook and she was kind enough not just to share the recipe, but to instruct me in the mysterious ways of rhubarb, given that I was a rhubarb novice. My experience previously consisted of my grandmother’s stewed rhubarb as a child, and Icelandic rhubarb jam to which I am now thoroughly addicted. It was definitely time to tackle it myself! Thanks, Cherie!

And after having typed the word so often today, I am reminded of the old Eric Sykes sketch, Rhubarb Rhubarb, where the word was the only dialogue…



150g (1 1/3 sticks or 3/5 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
170g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
2 large eggs
200g (1 1/2 cups, spooned and scraped) all-purpose (plain) flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine salt
~180ml (3/4 cup) milk


100g (3/4 cup, spooned and scraped) all-purpose (plain) flour
100g (1/2 cup, packed) soft brown sugar
100g (4/5 stick or scant 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cool, diced
2 stalks rhubarb, washed, trimmed and finely sliced

powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 180°C / 355°F / Gas Mark 4 1/2, and butter and flour a 22cm / 9″ round springform cake pan.


Beat together the butter, vanilla extract and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, sprinkle evenly over butter mixture and fold in just until no traces of flour remain.

Fold in just enough milk to make a smooth batter.

Scrape into cake pan and spread evenly.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and brown sugar, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until it’s lumpy. Toss through the rhubarb and scatter evenly over the cake batter.

Bake in centre of oven for about 45 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove from oven, allow the cake to rest in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

Dust generously with powdered sugar before serving.

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