Rhubarb Pudding Cake with Custard Recipe


Cakes River Cottage HandbookForced in warm, dark growing sheds (or under rhubarb bells), the tender blush-pink stalks of early rhubarb are our first homegrown crop of the year. This attractive pudding cake is a wonderful way to savour their fresh and exhilarating newness. Of course, later in the season, outdoor-grown, or ‘field’ rhubarb, can be used instead, but it is often a little more tart, and doesn’t have the exquisite colour and tenderness of the early shoots. You can easily adapt this recipe using other homely comfort-pud combinations, any of which can be enjoyed as a pudding or as a teatime treat.

  • Yield: 10 Servings


  • 250 g rhubarb (trimmed weight), sliced into 5 mm pieces
  • 200 g self-raising flour, plus 1 tbsp for dusting
  • 50 g custard powder or cornflour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 125 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 175 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 ml plain yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp rose water (optional)
  • Custard or clotted cream, to serve
  • 23 cm ring tin, well greased, or a 20 cm loose-bottomed round tin, lightly greased and base-lined with greaseproof paper
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Put the rhubarb into a bowl, sprinkle with 1 scant tbsp self-raising flour and toss until the pieces are all covered. This floury coating will help to prevent the rhubarb sinking in the cake.
  2. Sift the flour, custard powder or cornflour and bicarbonate of soda together into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, using either a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric whisk, beat the butter to a cream. Add the sugar and beat together until very light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the flour mix with each, and beating thoroughly before adding the next. Stir in the yoghurt, vanilla extract and rose water, if using. Fold in the remaining flour followed by the sliced rhubarb.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, levelling the surface with the back of the spoon or giving the tin a good sharp tap on the work surface to level the mix.
  5. Bake in the oven for 40–45 minutes until the cake is well risen and springs back into shape when lightly pressed. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
  6. Serve the pudding cake either warm with custard, or cold just as it is or with a dollop of clotted cream. It keeps for a couple of days in an airtight tin. If you want to keep it for any longer, put it in the fridge.

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