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Rhubarb Snack Cake

5 from 1 vote
Time: 1 hour
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This simple Rhubarb Snack Cake is moist, sweet yet tart, and one of the best ways to use up fresh rhubarb. Serve it with morning coffee, at a dinner party, or have it as a treat any time of day.

Like snack cakes? Try my Carrot Snack Cake or browse more cake recipes!

Close up of a slice of tender rhubarb snack cake with chunks of fresh, red rhubarb.

If you are new here, I have got to tell you… We LOVE easy, single layer cakes. But this one is by far the best cake I have ever made. It is super simple and I make it at least 10 times during rhubarb season because everyone asks for it.

Why You’ll LOVE This Rhubarb Cake

  • STRAIGHT OUTTA GRANDMA’S RECIPE BOX (with a few upgrades)! This rhubarb cake is adapted from my grandmother’s recipe (and she probably got it from her mother, so who knows how old it is). The original recipe was good, but definitely needed to be adjusted for the changes in ingredients over the last 50 years.
  • IT’S A SIMPLE BUT DELICIOUS RECIPE. The cake is not too sweet, tastes of vanilla, and has a sugar crust on top. Throw in bright pops of tart rhubarb and you have a perfectly balanced cake.

What Is Rhubarb?

Rhubarb is a plant with reddish celery like stalks and topped with a large green leaf. Rhubarb is harvested by cutting off the deep red stalks at the base and then removing the leaf. Raw rhubarb is very sour but once it is cooked with sweet or savory ingredients it takes on a mellow flavor profile. You can read more on it here.

So, if you are like us and have TONS of rhubarb, this is a great way to use up at least 3 stalks. And it is a unique way to use it. Step aside rhubarb crisp, pie, and sauces. Let’s make it!

Hand holding stalks of fresh red and green rhubarb. Big rhubarb plants in the background.

Rhubarb Snack Cake Ingredients

  • Rhubarb (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter (very soft and at room temperature)
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Egg (at room temperature)
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Buttermilk (at room temperature)

Equipment Needed

  • Hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle type attachment.
  • 8×8 square baking pan lined with parchment paper and nonstick cooking spray. I love this one from USA Pan.

How to Make Rhubarb Snack Cake

This is a quick summary of the steps, the recipe card below will have more details.

PREHEAT OVEN AND PREP PAN with parchment paper and non-stick cooking spray.

CREAM TOGETHER the butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and combine well.

ALTERNATE adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk. Fold in some flour dust rhubarb until your batter is just combined.

SPREAD BATTER in your prepped pan and top with an additional tablespoon of granulated sugar.

BAKE until the top is golden brown and a tooth pick test comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes before removing it from the pan and cooling completely.

CUT INTO 12 PIECES and serve!

Rhubarb snack cake fresh out of the oven, cooling.

3 BIG Tips For The BEST Rhubarb Cake

While this is a super easy cake to make, I do have a few tips to success for you.

1. USE SUPER SOFT, HIGH QUALITY BUTTER. This is the secret to a perfect texture in cakes because the sugar will begin to absorb into the butter as it creams. As for butter, I like to use Challenge and Kerry Gold typically. BUT lately I have been loving the quality of Plant Butter by Country Crock which is made with olive oil instead of dairy.

2. PROPERLY MEASURE YOUR FLOUR. Scooping it straight out of the bag is so terrible for cake (it will make them dense). The correct way is to fluff up the flour with a whisk, spoon it into a measuring cup, and level it off with a knife. That’s it!

3. DO NOT OVERMIX THE BATTER. Once you begin to add the dry ingredients it is very important to not overmix. The flour should be just absorbed. Mixing the batter too much builds up gluten and you will have a dense cake.

Hand holding a slice of rhubarb cake with other slices in the background.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Can this Rhubarb Snack Cake be made gluten free?

Yes! I love using Gluten Free 1:1 flour from either Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour. Use the same amount of gluten free flour as you would all-purpose flour. If you have time allow the batter (without rhubarb) to rest for 20 minutes prior to adding the flour dusted rhubarb. This will give the cake structure and a tender crumb.

What is a snack cake?

Here in my family we think of snack cakes as small cakes packed with flavor. They rarely have frosting and are the perfect level of sweet. We love to have ours with morning coffee (or tea), but really they are the perfect any time snack.

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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Close up of tender rhubarb snack cake with chunks of rhubarb.

Rhubarb Snack Cake

Elizabeth Swoish
This simple Rhubarb Snack Cake is moist, sweet yet tart, and one of the best ways to use up fresh rhubarb.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Servings 12 slices
Calories 220 kcal



  • 2 cups rhubarb - chopped into ½ inch slices
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour - 1 tablespoon removed for tossing with rhubarb
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter - room temperature (very soft)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg - room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk - room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar - for dusting on cake before baking


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F and prepare an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and a light coating of non stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour (set aside 1 tablespoon to toss with the rhubarb), baking powder, salt, and set aside.
  • Chop the fresh rhubarb in ½ inch slices. Toss the rhubarb in a bowl with the 1 tablespoon of flour and set side.
  • In another bowl cream together the very soft unsalted butter and granulated sugar until well incorporated and pale in color (2 to 3 minutes).
    NOTE: Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment ensures the sugar and butters are well combined. If it is well creamed, the cake's texture will be super light and moist throughout.
  • Add the vanilla extract and egg. Combine until well incorporated.
  • Add half of the flour mixture and combine until it is absorbed into the batter.
  • Add the entire amount of buttermilk. Combine until well incorporated.
  • Add the remaining flour mixture and combine until almost all the flour is absorbed. Fold in the flour coated rhubarb just until the flour is absorbed and the rhubarb is scattered in the batter.
  • Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of additional granulated sugar on top of the cake.
  • Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Once done, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for a 20 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cut the Rhubarb Snack Cake into 12 equal pieces and serve. Enjoy Entirely!


Storing Information:

  • At room temperature, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
  • In the refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to 7 days. 
  • In the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Tried this recipe?Feel free to share a rating and comment below. Don’t forget to tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth – I would love to see what you’ve made!
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By Elizabeth Swoish on June 8th, 2023
Elizabeth Swoish holding a camera up to her eye taking a photo.

About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Read Elizabeth's food journey or connect on your favorite social media channels.

2 thoughts on “Rhubarb Snack Cake”

  1. I’ve made different rhubarb recipes for MANY years. Lived in Jersey many year n was easy to obtain rhubarb! Being in Alabama I order it special! This recipe is a lot like some of mine! Love our rhubarb!

  2. 5 stars
    Looks fantastic and look forward to preparing it. I love family hand-me-down recipes, they are the best.


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