Rhubarb Tea Cake

This is the perfect cake to serve with tea or as a luscious dessert. The syrup, if you do not reduce it, is ideal for cocktails or rhubarb sodas. Reduced, it can be tossed with strawberries or other fruits or served as a sauce over ice cream. The amount of time it takes to reduce depends on the wideness of the pot and the amount of heat you use. You’ll need about 1 lb (500 g) rhubarb for this recipe.

Serves 6



  • 1½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ½ cup (125 mL) softened butter, cubed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) whipping cream
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped rhubarb


  • 1 cup (250 mL) sugar
  • ½ cup (125 mL) water
  • 4 cups (1 L) chopped rhubarb


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Place parchment paper in base of a loaf pan. Butter the sides of the pan and sprinkle sugar to coat sides.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir in butter, sugar, eggs and cream. Beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and some air has been incorporated. Stir in rhubarb. Scrape into loaf pan.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Place cake on rack; remove paper and return still warm cake to pan.

Combine sugar, water and rhubarb in a pot while cake is baking. Bring to a boil then simmer 15 minutes or until rhubarb is very soft. Strain mixture into a clean pot pressing down on the solids. Discard any solid rhubarb or use for a very thick rhubarb jam.

Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to syrup. You will have about ⅓ cup (80 mL). While cake is warm, make holes on top with a wooden skewer. Brush or pour over about 2 tbsp (30 mL) syrup. Reserve remainder. Cool.

Cut cake into thick slices to serve. Slice in half. Place 2 halves on a plate, drizzle syrup around and top with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.