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Rhubarb cake

Serves 8rhubarb cake and knife

This is a good blueprint to use for other fruit-topped cakes. Instead of rhubarb you could try sliced peaches, nectarines, plums, pears or apricots.
You just need to make sure your fruit is tender and ripe – any hard, unripe fruit won’t soften in the half hour it takes the cake batter to cook.


  • 125g (4 ½oz) butter, softened and diced,
  • Plus extra for buttering
  • 125g (4 ½oz) caster sugar, plus 5 tbsp for the rhubarb
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g (4 ½oz) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2–3 tbsp milk
  • 700g (1lb 9oz) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm (1in) lengths
  • Icing sugar, to dust


  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture starts to curdle, add a tbsp. of the flour. Add the vanilla, then fold in the flour with a large metal spoon, adding enough of the milk to give the batter a reluctant dropping consistency. Scrape into a buttered 20cm (8in) springform cake tin.
  2. Toss the rhubarb with the 5 tbsp sugar and spread it over the top of the cake mixture. Bake for 40 minutes in an oven preheated to 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5. The rhubarb will be slightly singed in parts. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  3. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then carefully remove the ring and base. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

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