We love to eat seasonally when possible. One of our favorite ways to use rhubarb is to make the Easy Rhubarb Cake Recipe. It uses the classic springtime ingredient, rhubarb. This cake recipe is delicious. It isn’t too sweet, just the right amount of tartness. It creates a pudding sauce on the bottom of the pan. This recipe is gluten-free and low FODMAP!
Each spring, the rhubarb patch explodes to life all on its own. Big giant leaves and bright red stalks emerge from the cold winter ground to provide us with the tartest flavored recipes. As if to awaken our hibernating palette too. Begging us to make all the great recipes and rhubarb desserts our grandma's made.
I adapted this recipe from a vintage cookbook I found at a flea market years ago. I love reading recipes from a time before cans of condensed soups existed, and lard was a typical ingredient in everything. This easy rhubarb cake recipe has been modified to check the boxes of gluten-free and low FODMAP, but I kept the vintage charm just like Betty Crocker!
No fancy ingredients for this cake. I picked the rhubarb from my rhubarb patch in my backyard.
- Rhubarb - Fresh or frozen rhubarb
- Sugar - White granulated sugar
- Water - Good 'ole H2O
- Butter - Butter makes everything better
- Egg - Holding everything together
- Vanilla - The extract that is voted most popular.
- Gluten-Free Flour - Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 is my favorite (the blue bag)
- Baking Powder - Its job is to make the cake rise.
- Salt - To balance the sweet
- Milk - Adding extra moisture and flavor
See the recipe card for the exact measurements and complete instructions. Selected ingredients are based on current serving sizes measured by the Monash FODMAP App at the time of publishing. As always, follow your gut and modify as needed.Jump to Recipe
Wash and dice the rhubarb.
Simmer the rhubarb in a saucepan along with the water and some of the sugar. Cook on medium to low heat for six minutes or until tender.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk with a fork.
Mix for 30 thirty seconds.
Add in the milk just until combined. Do not overmix.
Pour cake batter into a 8x8 pan. Greased with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour the cooked rhubarb mixture on top of the cake. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Gluten-Free Flour - If you are not on a gluten-free diet, then you can use all-purpose flour.
- Butter - If you need a dairy-free substitution for butter, vegetable shortening will work! It is actually listed in the original recipe.
- Milk - Again, if you are dairy free, you can replace the milk with your favorite milk.
- Fruit - Adding some fresh strawberries into the rhubarb mixture would be amazing. Strawberries and rhubarb are the perfect flavor partners.
- Using Boxed Cake Mix - If you are making this for someone gluten-free and do not want to buy gluten-free flour, you can use a gluten-free version of either a yellow cake mix or a white cake mix. You will need to double the fruit mixture - diced rhubarb, sugar, and water - to make sure there is enough sauce-to-cake ratio.
Easy Rhubarb Cake Recipe
- 8x8 Baking Pan
- 4 cups fresh rhubarb diced
- 1 ½ cup white granulated sugar divided
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup gluten free flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
- In a medium saucepan, add the rhubarb, 1 cup of the white sugar, and water. Cook over medium-low heat for six minutes or until tender.
- In a mixing bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and the remaining ½ cup of white sugar. Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the milk. Stir again for one minute or until combined.
- In a greased 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan. Pour the cake batter into the bottom of the baking dish. Next, gently pour or spoon the cooked rhubarb mixture over the cake batter.
- Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool for at least fifteen minutes if you can wait. Serve with a fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is so delicious!
As with most things gluten-free, the sooner you eat it after you make it, the better it will taste. This cake makes its own sauce on the bottom of the pan. The liquid helps keep the cake moist, but it also absorbs the liquid. It will not last for more than three days. Leftover rhubarb cake is not really a problem in my house. However, if you want to freeze a piece to enjoy later, I would store it in a freezer container and keep any of the pudding on the bottom of the container.
Rhubarb is a perennial plant that thrives in climates that have a cold winter. In early summer, the tart rhubarb comes up like clockwork. The bright red stalks look like celery but are not in any way related to celery in the plant world. It is truly a seasonal item that you can only get in the springtime. Its flavor is very tart. Fun fact, rhubarb is actually a vegetable!
Yes! According to the Monash App, rhubarb shows no detected FODMAPs! Enjoy it low FODMAPers, but also know that in its early years, the fibrous rhubarb plant was used as a laxative. Depending on what you got going on, this may be a great thing or not so much.
Drive out to the country and find an old farmhouse and there will be a huge rhubarb patch somewhere in the backyard. In all seriousness, you can find it at a farmers market and the grocery store. I have seen it in both places. The bright red stalks are hard to miss and a good reason to make ALL the rhubarb recipes!
What Else Can I Make With Rhubarb?
We love to use fresh rhubarb not only for amazing desserts like rhubarb cake but also for breakfast. During rhubarb season, we will make Baked Oatmeal with Fruit for breakfast. For the fresh fruit in that easy recipe, we use raw rhubarb and fresh strawberries. Another way to use tons of rhubarb is to make Risky Rhubarb Cocktail for happy hour! You will be all set for the rhubarb lover in your house!