Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake

When I visited my sister last week, we did a little cooking together. One of the things we made was a delicious rhubarb cake from my grandmother’s cookbook.

I don’t remember my grandmother ever making this cake, but I wish I did. It has a really tender crumb, and between the crunchy topping and tangy rhubarb, it’s hard to stop at one piece. I loved this Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake so much, that I made it again for my husband when I returned home!

Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake | Hello Little Home #recipe #dessertIf you’ve never had rhubarb before, this cake is a good place to start. Rhubarb grows low to the ground and has red stalks and large leaves. Only the stalks are edible, and they need to be cooked to bring out their rich, tart flavor. It’s often combined with strawberries and other sweet fruits.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a rural area, you might have access to a rhubarb plant. It seems like every home had one where I grew up in Wisconsin.

If you live in the city like me, then it may be harder to track down. Farmer’s markets, or stores with a big produce sections are your best bet. I went to 5 stores before I found it, but my patience was rewarded when I cut into the cake!

This rhubarb cake tastes great on its own. However, it’s even better with a little whipped cream or ice cream. Splurge a little!

Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake

Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake


  • 1/2 cup shortening or butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups + 1 tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • For Topping:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together with a mixer.
  3. Add the egg and blend well.
  4. Combine baking soda and buttermilk.
  5. Add milk to butter mixture, along with salt. Mix well.
  6. Add flour to milk/butter mixture in two batches. Mix until well blended.
  7. Fold rhubarb into batter with a spatula.
  8. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  9. For Topping:
  10. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nuts in a small bowl.
  11. Sprinkle mixture over cake.
  12. Bake cake 35 - 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  13. Let cake cool completely before cutting.


Don't worry if the milk and butter mixture looks a little strange. Everything will come together when you add the flour.
Either walnuts or pecans would work well for the chopped nuts. Choose your favorite.


Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake | Hello Little Home #recipe #dessertThis cake didn’t last long in my home, and I think it will go just as quickly in yours. Enjoy!

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

I’m linking up with these link parties, as well as Much Ado About Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Inspire Me Tuesday, Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday, The ScoopTweak It Tuesday, The Yuck Stops Here, Create & Share, Lovely Ladies Linky, Make Bake Create, Your Whims Wednesday, Work It Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Pin It Thursday, Creative Inspirations, Link’n Blogs, Eat. Create. Party!, Craft Frenzy Friday, Inspire Me Please, Fridays Unfolded, Family Fun Friday, Link Party Palooza, Best of the Weekend, Say G’Day Saturday, Showlicious, Saturday Night Fever, Link It or Lump It, Think Pink Sunday, and Lou Lou Girls.

11 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake

  1. Jenevieve

    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!

  2. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life

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

  3. Laura@Baking In Pyjamas

    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!

  4. Jen @ YummyHealthyEasy

    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!!


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