Rhubarb Crumble Cake

There is something rather nostalgic about this rhubarb crumble cake. It makes me think about sitting on a covered porch with a cup of tea, a big slice of this cake topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Or maybe it is because this rhubarb plant was brought all the way up from PEI and planted in my mothers garden. She has been gone for 5 year now, but thankfully my brother tends to it now and we can all still reap the benefits of her forethought to bring it home!

Rhubarb cake dusted with powdered sugar sitting on a white cake plate.

Why you will love this rhubarb crumb cake

  • It’s super easy – perfect for beginner bakers
  • Makes a big 9 by 13 pan
  • simple ingredients

Just a few ingredients

  • Brown Sugar
  • egg
  • butter
  • buttermilk or soured milk
  • rhubarb
  • flour

Rhubarb pairs so well with so many flavours. In this yummy cake it pairs with cinnamon and almond. One might consider it a coffee cake, but it is so much more than that.

Rhubarb never ceases to amaze me, how this tough, stringy vegetable softens to perfection when baked. It is no different in this recipe, creating a melt-in-your-mouth bite of that sweet and tangy deliciousness.

This cake has rhubarb baked into the batter, plus sprinkled generously on top of the crumble topping.

Can you use green rhubarb?

Of course you can! Just be sure to trim the top and bottom of each rhubarb stock and discard. Wash each trimmed stock well and dry with a clean paper towel. Never eat the leaves of the rhubarb plant. I have recently learned that most of the early-harvest varieties of rhubarb are more green than red, yet they taste just the same as there red counterparts.

Almond Crumble Topping

Can we talk about the crumble topping for a moment! A good crumble topping is slightly sweet, covers the cake generously, has a soft crunch, and can be customized by adding nuts or spices if you like.

A close up of a slice of rhubarb cake with a crumble topping on top of a white plate, with a red and white napkin underneath.

The crumble on this rhubarb crumble cake is all of that! By adding almond flour and slivered almonds it gives it a mildly nutty flavour with the extra crunch of the almonds that toast up nicely when baked. Pressed lightly into the batter, it becomes part of the cake itself yet still maintains the crumbly texture.

Step by Step Instructions

Full instructions are in the recipe card below, but sometimes having a picture to refer to when making a new recipe is beneficial!

  1. Gather ingredients before you begin
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt
  3. Add brown sugar and butter to the bowl of an electric mixer
  4. Cream brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes)
  5. Add egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated
  6. Alternately add 1/2 the flour mixture and mix just until combined, then add half the buttermilk and mix until combined. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk mixing just until combined. Batter will have lightened in colour and increased in volume.
  7. Add rhubarb
  8. Fold in the rhubarb with a spatula
  9. Spread batter into a parchment lined baking sheet

How to make crumble topping

  1. Gather ingredients for the crumble topping (full list in recipe below)
  2. Add to a large mixing bow
  3. Rub ingredients together gently with clean hands until it resembles a course crumbly mixture
  4. Sprinkle mixture over cake batter and press in very gently
  5. Add chopped rhubarb over top of the crumble

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tester (or toothpick!) comes out with just a few crumbs and the edges of the cake are nicely browned.

Freshly baked rhubarb cake with an almond crumb topping in a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.

Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Using the parchment baker, lift the cake from the pan and place on a cutting board before cutting into generous squares.

Rhubarb crumble cake with a slice cut out of the corner.
  • Line your pan with parchment paper, leaving some sticking up around the edges for easy removal.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.
  • Dust with confectioners sugar for an extra bit of sweetness
  • If you prefer a nut free version, omit the almond flour and sliced almonds and increase all purpose flour to 1-1/2 cups.

Now it’s your turn! Get into the kitchen and make yourself a rhubarb crumble cake! And, please tag me on social media if you do! You can follow me on Instagram @redcottagechronicles

A Pinterest graphic with a picture of 3 pieces of rhubarb crumble cake stacked on each other.
Rhubarb cake dusted with powdered sugar sitting on a white cake plate.

Rhubarb Crumble Cake

Yield: 12-16 pieces
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Indulge your sweet tooth with the perfect blend of tart rhubarb and buttery almond crumble in this irresistible Rhubarb Crumble Cake


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon bake soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or soured milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (divided)
  • Crumble Topping
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of electric mixer cream together brown sugar and butter until fluffy. (About 2 to 3 minutes).
  4. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined.
  5. Add 1/2 the flour and beat on low just until incorporated. Add half the buttermilk and beat on low just until incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in 1 cup of the chopped rhubarb. Spread into prepared pan.
  7. Combine all of the crumble ingredients in a large bowl, using clean hands to rub together to create a crumbly mixture. Spread evenly over cake batter, pressing in gently. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup rhubarb over the crumble.
  8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. The edges of the cake will be nicely browned.
  9. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove from pan and cut into generous squares.

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One Comment

  1. They look delicious a nice change from rhubarb crisp hubs is hounding me to make. Thank you. Pinned