Rhubarb Cake

Choice 1
Rhubarb stalks

Since I was a little boy, I have loved rhubarb in the simplest of its cooking forms: compote. There was nothing fancy about it, stewed with a bit of sugar and served for breakfast, in a big old clay bowl that would make the food safety authority scream a loud and demented “J’accuse”. Sometimes, “His Highness” like my father called me, as I was a fussy little fecker, got served some rhubarb jam instead, in a jar, from the shop! Maybe she didn’t read the label? Maybe the beautiful rhizomes weren’t in season? With a disappointed pout and an exaggerated lift of the left eyebrow, I would push the jam jar away from me, in protest, with the tips of my fingers, before being clipped behind the ears by my father’s.

Rhubarb 4
Compote of/ or stewed rhubarb

I woke up at 4:40 am yesterday morning, a Blackbird and a Robin were performing a John Coltrane V Herbie Hancock duet outside. There are worse ways to rise, that is for sure! I also remembered that I got a bunch of local rhubarb on the Saturday market – even though it almost got stolen from me, not once, not twice, but three times –  by the same old lady. I finally looked at her, still begging for the last bunch, raised my right arm in the air, flicked my thumb toward the sky before turning my wrist 180 °, making it point towards the ground in a final and majestic manner, putting an end to her misery. Now I think about it, Dad also used to nickname me “Nero”… Bah! I can’t blame you sister!

Choice 12
Robin at Dawn


I didn’t have enough to make a big batch of compote, but for a simple cake, it would do just fine; I used my Mother’s simple recipe she used for her apple cake. It works with a lot of things, and delivered again with this simple, yet very rewarding home recipe:

You’ll Need:

For the cake mix:

  • 200g of organic white flour
  • 200g of butter really soft
  • 200g of organic golden sugar
  • 3 whole free range eggs
  • 1 tsp of baking soda

For the rhubarb:

  • 1 small bunch of rhubarb
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 5-10cl of water ( just a bit to start)
Choice 2
Blanche the rhubarb


How To:

First, rinse the stalks and cut them into small pieces; put in a pan, with the tbsp of honey, the water and lime juice. You just want to get them a bit softer, this won’t take long. Drain and keep the juice in a glass for a delicious cordial for after!

Choice 3
Add honey and lime juice
Choice 5
Keep the juice for a tasty cordial

Soften the butter and mix the sugar together until nice and fluffy. Add the eggs and keep whisking. Add the flour and baking soda and with a spatula, stir until smooth. Fold in the rhubarb ( wait until it has cooled a bit) and scoop in a buttered and floured rectangular baking tin…

Choice 4
Mix the butter and sugar until white and fluffy…
Choice 7
Gently fold the blanched rhubarb in the mix…


Bake at 200 °c for about 40 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool, turn over on a board and it should allow it to get there quicker. Serve with Ice Cream, cream or just like that with a cup of tea or coffee… Sit outside and enjoy the Spring!

Choice 9
Turn the cake over for cooling…
Choice 10
Rhubarb cake slices
Choice 11
Choice 12
…And closer…

postscriptum: my blue eyed girl argued with me about the fact that my cake looks brown; she suspected me to be using buckwheat flour… This Breton only uses pure butter and not Margarine in his baking. I used to work with a Dublin chef in Galway who made up a song on the famous Beatles’ tune: ” We all live on brown bread and margarine, Brown Bread and Margarine, Brown Bread and Margarine…”

This Breton is not for turning …  ( or churning… Ok, that’s enough now!).

Keep Well and Eat Happy

Slán Tamall




12 thoughts on “Rhubarb Cake

  1. Ha! Very funny childhood memory… clearly you were meant to be in the food world, already recognizing the difference between homemade and store bought. I can only imagine how much your mom loved that! The Rhubarb Cake looks delicious! Hopefully rhubarb will start making its appearance here soon… 😋

  2. Looks lovely, Franck! I will admit, though, that I’m a little jealous that you’re already in rhubarb season…we’re expecting 6cm of snow on Wednesday! Enjoy the sweet beginning of spring : )

  3. Allegedly the ol’ thumbs down meant the opposite of what we think today. Or so I’ve been told. But then, ‘anal retentive’ has also been bandied about too! 😉
    Sounds like a crackin’ recipe for rhubarb which seems to be about the only thing that’s thriving up at the allotment.

  4. Rhubarb one of my favorites followed by Gooseberries and I used to love the rhubarb juice…..I can get rhubarb very occassionally here but it is not the same very spindly…Gooseberries never seen them here. Cake looks very nice 🙂

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