Tender Rhubarb Snack Cake

Sniff sniff, HONK sniff!  I think I’ve officially entered the stage of life where someone in my house is always sick.  Sniffles and coughs and viruses, oh my!  (And Calder’s not even in daycare yet!  Oh dear.)  It’s all terribly glamorous and attractive, yes it is.

But what if rhubarb cake is a cure-all?  Do tender crumb and sweet-tart fruit have healing powers?  What if the soft cake is flecked with dark buckwheat flour, some Greek yogurt, and hints of citrus, too?

I’m going with yes.  (And even if not, a friend I shared this cake with said it “tastes of unicorns,” so at the very least, we’ve got that going for us.)  Join me!

Tender Rhubarb Snack Cake

Grab some rhubarb while it’s still in season!  This is the softest, loveliest snack cake I’ve ever made, and the flavor?!  Unrivaled.  Sweet and tart, creamy and light.  If you can’t get your hands on any rhubarb, I think this would work well with sliced blackberries or fresh cherries, or maybe even apricots and pears.  The buckwheat flour brings a delicious nutty flavor to the cake, but if you don’t have any, don’t worry — all cake flour works, too.

Adapted from Melissa Clark and the NYTimes


  • 3 medium stalks rhubarb, sliced into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour (can substitute cake flour, if you don’t have buckwheat)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • zest of 1 small orange
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease a 9×9-inch square baking dish (you could also use a round pan) with butter or baking spray, line it with parchment paper, and grease the parchment, too.

In a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb with the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the white sugar.  Set aside.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the remaining white sugar and orange zest, until the sugar is yellow-y/orange in color.  Add the butter and brown sugar and cream well until smooth and fluffy.

Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl from time to time.  Stir in the yogurt, then the lemon juice (it’s ok if the batter looks curdled).  Dump the flour mixture in all at once, and stir gently until the batter is smooth.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and arrange the sugared rhubarb in a single layer on top (in a fun pattern or all willy-nilly, either works just fine).

Bake the cake until golden, the sides pulling away from the edges of the pan (and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean), about 40 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan before slicing into squares and serving.

Makes one 9-inch cake (serves about 9).

This entry was posted in Breads & Cakes, Breakfast, Recipes, Snacks. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tender Rhubarb Snack Cake

  1. Mish says:

    I’ve been waiting for this recipe since seeing that lovely looking cake on your instagram! Finally! Thanks so much Molly!

  2. Heather L. says:

    Never had rhubarb before, will have to try this.

    Thanks for posting this recipe.

  3. Heide M. says:

    Looks yummy.

    Will have to try it.

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