Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (2024)

Published · Updated by Ginnie · 17 Comments

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You're going to love this Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake recipe ! The recipe comes straight from my grandmother's cookbook, and it's so delicious and easy to make!

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (1)

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My sister and I live in different states. We both love to cook, so when we get together there's almost nothing I enjoy more than spending a little time in the kitchen.

On one visit a couple years ago, she pulled out my grandma's cookbook. I love flipping through the pages of this cookbook. Some of the recipes are family favorites and others I've never tried. Almost none of the recipes have instructions, which can make preparing them a challenge!

Like many Wisconsinites do, my sister has a large rhubarb plant in her yard. So on this visit, we decided to make the Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake. It was delicious and has been a family favorite recipe ever since!

You are going to LOVE this recipe! This simple Rhubarb Cake has a really tender, moist crumb. And between the crunchy topping and bites of tangy rhubarb, it's hard to stop at one piece. Top it with a little whipped cream, and it's truly heavenly!

Ready to try this recipe for yourself? You'll find all the delicious details below!

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (2)

About Rhubarb

If you've never had rhubarb before, this Rhubarb Cake is the perfect place to start! It really is simple to make, and the fresh fruit flavor really shines through.

Rhubarb plants grow low to the ground and have red stalks and large leaves. Only the stalks are edible, and they need to be cooked to bring out their delicious flavor. Because it's tart, rhubarb is often combined with strawberries and other sweet fruits.

If you're lucky enough to live in a rural area, you may have a rhubarb plant in your backyard. It seems like every home had one where I grew up in Wisconsin. But if you live in the city like me, check the local farmers market or a grocery store with a big produce section. It's only available in spring and early summer.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (3)

How to Make Rhubarb Cake

This Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake is so easy to make. You'll find a detailed recipe below, but here's an overview of the steps:

  1. Make the topping. Start by together the sugar, cinnamon, and nuts (I like to use pecans or walnuts) for the topping, then set it aside.
  2. Prepare the batter. Next, you'll prepare the cake itself ... I prefer to use my stand mixer for this, but it can be done by hand, too. Cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in the egg. Combine the baking soda and buttermilk, then mix it in, along with the salt. Add the flour next. Don't worry if the batter looks a little weird ... it won't be perfectly smooth. Finally, stir in the chopped rhubarb.
  3. Bake. Spread the batter in a 9 x 13-inch pan, then sprinkle with the topping. Then bake the cake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

And that's all there is to it ... your scrumptious Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake is ready to eat!

This cake is delicious on its own, but I think it's even better with a little whipped cream or ice cream. However, you serve it, this is a yummy rhubarb dessert that your family will look forward to enjoying every spring!

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (4)

Related Recipes

If you're craving for more rhubarb recipes, make sure to try my Rhubarb Syrup recipe next! It's perfect for making drinks, like this Rhubarb Lemonade and this Rhubarb Soda, and it's wonderful served over ice cream, pancakes, and more.

Looking for more easy desserts? Then you'll love these sweet treats, too!

  • Strawberry Banana Bread
  • Coffee Cake Muffins
  • White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Cake
  • Mini Ombre Cakes
  • Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

Looking for more classic recipes? You can find all of my family's favorite recipes here! You'll find everything from my mom's Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes and Cherry Tarts to my dad's Classic Bread Stuffing, plus other faves like Poppy Seed Kiss Cookies and Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes ... and so much more!

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (5)

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5 from 9 votes

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake

This homemade Rhubarb Cake is a delicious treat, and the recipe comes straight from my grandmother's cookbook!

Prep Time15 minutes mins

Cook Time35 minutes mins

Total Time50 minutes mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 289kcal

Author: Ginnie


  • nonstick cooking spray

For Topping:

  • cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • cup chopped nuts (such as pecans or walnuts.)

For Cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb

For Serving:

  • whipped cream, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Prepare topping:

  • Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nuts in a small bowl. Set aside.

Prepare cake:

  • Cream butter and sugar together using a mixer.

  • Add the egg and blend well.

  • Combine baking soda and buttermilk in a small bowl. Then add milk mixture to butter mixture, along with salt. Mix well.

  • Add flour to milk/butter mixture in two batches, mixing until well blended. (It won't be perfectly smooth.)

  • Fold rhubarb into batter with a spatula.

  • Spread batter in prepared pan, then sprinkle topping evenly over cake.

  • Bake cake 35 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  • Let cake cool, then serve topped with whipped cream (if desired). Enjoy!


If you are like me, you probably don't use a lot of buttermilk. Here's an easy substitute: combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar with enough milk to make 1 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes before using in recipe.


Calories: 289kcal

Did you make this recipe?I love seeing what you're cooking! Leave a comment below, or tag @HelloLittleHome or #hellolittlehome on Instagram!

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (6)

Do you have any recipes that have been handed down through your family?

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (7)Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (8)

About Ginnie

Ginnie is the writer, photographer, and chief content creator behind Hello Little Home. She loves trying new things (whether that’s creating delicious vegetarian recipes, exploring a new city, trying a fun DIY project, or sharing a pretty makeup look), and she hopes to inspire you to do the same! Read more about Ginnie here.


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1 year ago

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (9)
I just finished making this recipe. I had to sample it before anyone else. This is an amazing cake! I had rhubarb in the freezer and buttermilk in the fridge. I'm so glad I came across your recipe. A definite keeper!




1 year ago

Reply to Rose

I'm so glad you enjoyed the cake, Rose! And nothing wrong with getting that first bite 😉



1 year ago

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (10)
I have to agree with Susan, a cloud stuffed with rhubarb. Too cute!
We loved this! Oh always make rhubarb crisp but it can cook the rhubarb down to nothing and the topping isn’t always crispy when done. This is the best alternative to enjoying the great rhubarb tangyness. Definitely saving this!




1 year ago

Reply to Diana

So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Diana! 🙂


3 years ago

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (11)
Bless you for sharing your recipe. My husband loves
rhubarb. I like it when it’s in something. I love, love
this cake. It is the best cake I have ever tasted, it’s
like eating a cloud stuffed with rhubarb❣️❣️
It’s hard for me to do stuff because of wrist surgery
but I wanted this so bad I’ve managed to make it
twice in 2 1/2 weeks🙂
Thank you again for sharing❤️




3 years ago

Reply to Susan

Hi, Susan! This is the sweetest comment ever ... thank you so much! I'm so glad you and your husband are enjoying the cake. I hope your wrist feels better soon. 🙂


Jen @ YummyHealthyEasy

9 years ago

I have yet to cooke with rhubarb but I definitely need to! This cake looks wonderful! Thanks for linking up at SNF, pinned to our group board!!



9 years ago

How delicious! I love absolutely anything with rhubarb in it! YUM!



9 years ago

I am a rhubarb fanatic! Definitely going to try this cake. Pinned!


Laura@Baking In Pyjamas

9 years ago

Visiting from Best of the Weekend Link Party. I love rhubarb and this looks so good, I could eat a slice right now. I co-host Sweet and Savoury Sunday and would love for you to stop by and share this and other recipes with us. Have a great day!


Joanne T Ferguson

9 years ago

G'day! Looks delicious! I want to try some of this now!
Viewed as part of Pinworthy Projects Party
Cheers! Joanne


anne @ wit wisdom and food

9 years ago

I love rhubarb! I want to make a compote this weekend. Now maybe cake instead!


Samantha T

9 years ago

Looks delicious!



9 years ago

Funny I've never tried this before. I'm pinning the recipe to try over the summer.


Heather Smith {Woods of Bell Trees}

9 years ago

I have no idea what rhubarb tastes like as I have never had it, but I can imagine it and I am liking the combo! 😀 I reallllllly want a slice of it...or two??? Hehe And it just looks pretty!


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life

9 years ago

Oh this looks delicious. Thanks tons for the recipe and thanks for linking to Inspire Me.



9 years ago

This is perfect, Ginnie. I have a rhubarb plant in the backyard that's ready for some recipes. I like to make a rhubarb sauce that I freeze for the summer until the peaches are in season. Then I make Baltimore peach cake and glaze it with the sauce. Yum! Thanks for a new recipe to try!


Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe | Hello Little Home (2024)


How long to bake a 13x9 cake? ›

For a 9×13 inch sheet cake, bake for 36-40 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. With either size, make sure you rotate the cake pan once or twice during bake time. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan placed on a wire rack.

What is the nutritional value of rhubarb cake? ›

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 286 calories, 9g fat (6g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 323mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (29g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

How long do you bake a cake? ›

Baking Times for Different Sized Cake Pans
Cake Pan SizeApproximate Baking Times
Two 8 x 8 x 2 or 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pans25 to 35 minutes
12 cup Bundt Cake or Angel Food cake pan35 to one hour
10-inch cheesecake made in spring form pan35 to one hour
13- x 9- x 2-inch - 1/4 sheet cake30 to 35 minutes
5 more rows
Feb 13, 2024

How long to bake a 10 inch cake? ›

I bake 10″ round 2″ deep sponge cakes for 40 minutes or until done at 140c fan oven. Square tins hold more mixture so I would probably bake for 55 mins or until done on the same temperature.

How many boxes of cake mix for a 9x13 pan? ›

One box of cake mix typically yields enough batter for 2 layers in a standard 8-inch round cake pan or 1 layer in a 9x13 inch sheet cake pan.

How many cups of batter do I need for a 9x13 cake? ›

9×13 inch pan holds 14-16 cups of batter, essentially the same as 2 9×2-inch round pans.

What does rhubarb do to your body? ›

Health benefits of rhubarb may include:

Helping to keep bones healthy and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Assisting wound healing. Protecting against heart disease. Aiding digestion.

What is the healthiest cake in the world? ›

What Type of Cake is Healthy?
  1. Angel Food Cake. Angel food cake is healthy because It does not contain egg yolk and butter. ...
  2. 2 . Flourless Chocolate Cake. ...
  3. 3 . Protein Mug Cake. ...
  4. 4 . Homemade Strawberry Shortcake. ...
  5. 5 . Sugar-Free Carrot and Date Cake. ...
  6. 6 . Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. ...
  7. 7 . Cheesecake. ...
  8. 8 . Red Velvet Cake.

Is rhubarb full of sugar? ›

The perennial plant is a member of the Polygonaceae family and is widely grown outside and in hot greenhouses (hothouses). Rhubarb can be a healthy addition to your diet because it is naturally low in sugar and high in fiber. Many recipes that include rhubarb are desserts and can sometimes be high in sugar.

Is it better to bake a cake at 325 or 350? ›

Baking at a lower temperature yields a lighter crust. And not only is the crust lighter, it's more tender, as well. Notice the thicker, darker crust from the cake baked at 350°F (above left), compared to the crust from the cake baked at 325°F.

Do you bake a cake at 350 or 375? ›

What is the best temperature for baking a cake to come out moist? - Quora. The key to a moist is more about the ingredients and baking time than the temperature of the oven, though it is important. I've found that 325*-350* is best for cakes. The internal temp of the cake should be 210* when completely done.

What is the best temperature to bake cake? ›

Make sure you follow the recipe's instructions carefully. Cakes typically bake between 325 to 450 degrees F (see chart with Tip #9). Most convection ovens require lowering the temperature by 25 to 50 degrees F, as well as turning off the fan.

How many cups of cake mix for a 10 inch pan? ›

A 9 x 2 round pan holds 8 cups of batter. A 10 x 2 round pan needs 11 cups.

How much cake mix do I need for a 10 inch round pan? ›

Round and Square Pans
  1. 6-inch round: about 12 ounces batter.
  2. 8-inch round: about 24 ounces batter.
  3. 8-inch square: about 28 ounces batter.
  4. 9-inch round: about 28 ounces batter.
  5. 10-inch round: about 35 ounces batter.
  6. 2-inch cupcake: about 1 3/4 ounces batter.

How many cups of batter do I need for a 10 inch cake pan? ›

11 cups

How long does it take to bake a cake at 350? ›

Generally speaking, a sheet cake baked in a standard 9x13 inch pan will take between 25 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

How long to bake cake in different size pans? ›

Cakes in larger pans will generally bake faster (about . 9 minutes per ounce of batter in a 10-inch pan), while cakes in smaller pans will often take longer (up to two minutes per ounce for a 6-inch pan). Meanwhile, cakes baked in a tube or Bundt pan may only need a minute per ounce of batter.

How do I change my baking time from 8x8 to 9x13? ›

Just increase the oven temp by 25 degrees F and decrease the bake time by a quarter. In this particular example, since your pan is 1 inch larger, more surface area will be exposed. The liquid in the cake batter will evaporate quicker, which means it will bake faster.

Can you use a 9x13 pan instead of two 9-inch pans? ›

A recipe written for a 9” x 13” pan can also be made in two 9” round pans; one 9” round and one 8” round, or two 8” round pans. Baking times may vary due to slightly different depths of batter in the various pan combinations.

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