Mom’s Rhubarb Cake

When I was going through some pictures on my computer the other day, I came across a few pictures from my trip to Oregon last year. One of the pictures I found was of a piece of my mom’s rhubarb cake.

My husband loves rhubarb and if it is anywhere near rhubarb season when we visit my family, my mom always tries to make rhubarb cake for my husband. I took a picture planning to share the recipe last year, but I never got around to it. Today I am fixing that and sharing the recipe.

Rhubarb was always one of the first signs of spring when I was a growing up. When the rhubarb started growing we knew spring, gardening season, and better weather was on the way.

My parents have always had a huge rhubarb patch and there was always plenty to share with anyone that loved rhubarb.

These pictures are of my parent’s rhubarb patch this year. I called my dad yesterday and asked if he could take a few pictures of the rhubarb growing since I did not get any pictures of it last year. He went outside, took a few pictures, and sent them to me.

Yes, this is their rhubarb already this year. That is what a 30+ year old rhubarb patch growing in Oregon looks like. Pretty Amazing and beautiful isn’t it?!

Over the years mom has made more rhubarb desserts than I can count, but the cake I am sharing today has always been my favorite. In fact, it is the only way I will eat rhubarb. I am not a fan of rhubarb, but give me a piece of this cake and I was happy.

I am guessing rhubarb cake is probably not on the top of your list of recipes to try right now. In fact, I would guess many of you have never even had rhubarb, but this cake really is worth trying. If you have a rhubarb patch in your garden or come across some at your local store, please give this a try.

This recipe was passed to my mom from a family friend and it needs to be passed on to others. This is one of those old fashioned simple desserts that should not be lost. You know this is an old recipe when it calls for sour milk and stirring by hand. (I give other options below in case none of you have sour milk sitting around.)

And this must be made by hand. It really does turn out better mixed by hand with a wooden spoon instead of a mixer. The old fashioned way just like our grandmas and great grandmas used to do.

Now, this cake recipe is not gluten free and I did not have a piece last year when my mom made it, but my sister does have a gluten free version that she has shared on her site. So, if you are gluten free and love rhubarb be sure to give it a try.

Now I am curious how many of you have tried rhubarb before? If you have eaten it, do you have a favorite rhubarb dessert? 


Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Hi Lynn,
    I have followed your blog for about 2 years now and make quite a few of your wonderful recipes. I love your blog but have never taken the time to email you and tell you that. Well today I saw your recipe for Rhubarb Cake and I knew I had to stop and take the time to tell you I LOVE rhubarb. My dad always had it in our garden when I was a kid and my mom would make rhubarb pie, rhubarb crisp, and rhubarb sauce. To this day I still enjoy rhubarb so much and my family does too, so I am going to make your Rhubarb Cake recipe as soon as I can find rhubarb at a local produce stand. I live in the country so that will not be difficult to do! Thank you for sharing all the fabulous recipes and keep it coming! I receive many many posts in my inbox daily and I can’t read them all, but I almost always make time to read yours—I enjoy your creativity and the way you take ordinary ingredients and come up with something so yummy and unique.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment. I am so glad you enjoy my site and recipes. Thank you for reading! I am so glad I shared this recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. We love rhubarb! My grandparents had a patch in their yard that we enjoyed every spring.

  3. Oh that cake sounds delicious!! This is the time of year I love using rhubarb in recipes, but my rhubarb is still buried under snow! :-( I think I still have some of the freezer though, might have to give this recipe a try! My favorite thing to make with rhubarb is cinnamon-streusel topped rhubarb muffins.

  4. We had rhubarb in our yard when I was growing up in Portland, OR. My mom used to make Rhubarb-Strawberry pie. She used it for other things too, but I’ve now forgotten. I can’t rememember actually liking any of it, including the pie. But I don’t like cooked fruit so I susupect that was more the reason than the rhubarb. Your cake does sound yummy – I may have to see if the TX grocery stores have any rhubarb!

  5. I LOVE rhubarb & in fact just picked some today! I’m trying to decide what to do with it for the first recipe of the season. Rhubarb freezes really well. So I clean it, chop it up, and then freeze in the portion size that I need for my favorite rhubarb recipes! Nothing so lovely as having rhubarb cake in the middle of the winter! LOVE!

  6. Colleen D. says:

    I have eaten and LOVED rhubarb since I was too young to remember! This cake sounds deliciously close to the recipe my mom uses for her version! I just moved to a new home in Oregon that doesn’t have a garden and the first thing I’m going to get is some of my mom’s rhubarb plants! Then I’m going to try to locate some wild plum bushes and get a few of those going as well! Living in Oregon, you MUST have tried wild plum jam…?

  7. I was so excited to see that you posted a rhubarb recipe, thank you! We really enjoy rhubarb, pie and crisp is what we usually make with it but I’m always on the look out for new ways to use it.

  8. i love rhubarb cake!! i haven’t had any this year, but hope to soon.

  9. We love rhubarb too — and your mom’s recipe is very similar to my mom and grandma’s recipe. Love it! Our rhubarb is just starting to poke out of the ground… can’t wait for it to grow. If you haven’t tried blueberry & rhubarb together, you should do so, you’ll enjoy it.

    • I agree, rhubarb and blueberry is an excellent combination. My family really enjoys rhubarb blueberry crisp. I don’t know why rhubarb is always paired with strawberries, I like it with blueberries better.

  10. Karin Goodman says:

    My families favorite is strawberry rhubarb jam. We love rhubarb, but do not have any plants. We usually get it from a neighbor, but I’m sure your mom will share with us if I ask. Thanks for the great recipes.

  11. Michelle Kyrou says:

    Thank you for posting the beautiful pictures of rhubarb growing in the early spring. I remember as a kid, my favourite way to eat it was directly pulled from the garden, slightly peeled and salted. Thank you again for posting.
    From Mississauga Ontario

  12. I had to come back and tell you that we loved this cake! I made this dessert for my parents and after the first bite my mom asked for the recipe :) Thank you!

  13. Wow! A trip down memory lane. I grew up with rhubarb always in the garden and never really cared for it – not a fan of rhubarb pie at all. But I forgot all about this recipe. I remember too that it was the only rendition of rhubarb dessert I did enjoy. Now I’ll check this summer if there is any rhubarb still growing behind our house! Thanks for the reminder …….

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