Rhubarb and Ginger Cake

Here’s a lovely light cake with a great combination of flavours. Yes, I know I’ve said that before about other cakes, but it’s just as true now as it was then. The juicy, tangy rhubarb (the first stalks from our garden this year) go so well with the sharpness of ginger. And all in a light, moist sponge. The rich creamy filling and topping add even more flavour. All in all, it’s a beautiful cake.

Serves: 10 – 12

Time: 40 minutes prep. 40 minutes baking + cooling time. About 30 minutes to bring it all together and decorate. 

Level: Easy

Need: A 20cm/8” round cake tin, preferably loose bottomed. I always use “Bake even” bands and would recommend them. An electric mixer would be useful – stand or hand.

Cake Ingredients

  • 150g/5½oz – 200g/7oz pureed rhubarb (or use tinned rhubarb)
  • 150g/5½oz self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 125g/4½oz caster sugar
  • 75g/2½oz – 100g/3½oz stem ginger from a jar with syrup – chopped into quite small pieces
  • 50ml/1¾fl oz syrup (from stem ginger jar and/or from pureeing the rhubarb)
  • 125g/4½oz butter, softened
  • 2 medium eggs

Filling and Topping Ingredients

  • 200g/7oz – 250g/9oz full fat cream cheese or mascarpone
  • 250ml/9fl oz double cream
  • 200g/7oz icing sugar
  • 75g/2½oz – 100g/3½oz pureed rhubarb
  • About 50ml/1¾fl oz syrup from the stem ginger jar (optional)
  • 1 or 2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 4 – 5 “balls” of stem ginger, sliced


1. To prepare the rhubarb, wash 9 – 10 large stalks and cut into small chunks*. Put approx. 150ml/5½fl oz water in a saucepan with 75g/2½oz of sugar. Heat the water and stir in the sugar to dissolve then add the rhubarb. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the saucepan. It will only take a few minutes to soften the rhubarb sufficiently.

*I chose to strip off the outer red skin, but later regretted that. You might want to consider leaving it on in the hope of having a more vibrant red colour. I’ll certainly try that next time.

2. Strain off the syrup and set aside for possible use later. Set the rhubarb aside also, to cool. You will need around 250g/9oz – 300g/10oz in total.

3. Preheat oven to 190°C / fan 170°C / 375°F / Gas 5. Grease & base line the tin.

4. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a large mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar. Stir and mix the dry ingredients well.

5. Toss the chopped stem ginger in flour and add into the dry mixture.

6. Whisk the syrup and softened butter. Add the eggs one by one with a teaspoon of flour each time. The mixture may still split, but don’t worry it’ll be OK in a minute. Stir in about half of the pureed rhubarb. Reserve the rest for the filling/topping.

7. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, until everything is incorporated into a smooth batter.

8. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. It should turn a nice golden brown and be pulling away from the inside of the tin. Cool in tin 5 – 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.

9. When the cake is fully cool, cut it horizontally into two halves and place one half on a turntable or a cake stand.

10. To make the filling and topping, put the cream cheese and double cream in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for a few minutes. Sift in the icing sugar and stir to incorporate before beating again. Add in the ginger syrup and ground ginger (if using). You could swirl in the reserved rhubarb at this stage, but it’s likely to be subsumed into the overall mixture and be lost visually.

11. Use half the mixture plus half the reserved rhubarb to combine the two cake halves then cover the top with the remaining mixture and swirl in the rest of the reserved rhubarb. Decorate with thin slices of stem ginger.

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

I hope you enjoy this lovely cake. If you want more cake recipes click this link, or have a look at my site for lots of other great recipes, both sweet and savoury.

Two especially popular cakes that you might also want to try are my Golden Chocolate Cake and my Fruity Oatcake.

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Happy Baking