Rhubarb Custard Cake

Rhubarb Custard Cake with Ice Cream
Rhubarb Custard Cake is the perfect spring/summer dessert for a large gathering or potluck.  The cake mix, rhubarb and cream separate into two delicious layers of cake on top and a rhubarb custard bottom. 

It's rhubarb time again and my little patch has been as faithful as ever producing the long, sour stalks that make such delicious pies, muffins, breads and cakes.  It's only flaw is how very sour it is and how much sugar it requires to make it edible.  But aside from that I love this time of year when the kitchen smells of this lovely fruity vegetable. I have several rhubarb recipes on my blog which you may also want to explore.

This Rhubarb Custard Cake makes a large dish of dessert and is perfect for family gatherings or potlucks.  It's really easy to put it together as it uses a yellow or golden cake mix.  And it is very versatile because it can be served hot or cold or room temperature. Also, a scoop of ice cream goes very well with this cake, if you wish to "gild the lily". 

This particular recipe is one that "someone" gave me many years ago with a glowing account of how good it was.  I can't remember who that "someone" was but the glowing account was quite accurate. It's absolutely delicious!  The original recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar but I found that extremely sweet.  Cake mixes are quite sweet and help to sweeten the rhubarb as well so I found half cup of sugar to be sufficient for my tastes.  It also depends on how sweet the rhubarb is. I've also tried to make this from scratch using a homemade cake and it just doesn't work the same.  The rhubarb stayed on top and the cream soaked into the batter. I actually tried several different cakes and the results were the same.  So unless I run across the perfect formula for the cake I'm sticking with the cake mix, ha, ha.  

Printable recipe at end of post.
Rhubarb Custard Cake
  • 1 two-layer yellow or golden cake mix + ingredients to make cake (eggs, oil, etc.)
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb, fresh or frozen*
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I used ½ cup)
  • 500 ml whipping cream (2 cups)
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Make cake mix according to package directions; turn into the greased baking dish. (Do not use a smaller dish as it will bubble over and burn on the oven floor.) Spread the chopped rhubarb on top of the cake batter. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the rhubarb. Pour the whipping cream (unwhipped) over the sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched. The cream, sugar, and rhubarb sink to the bottom, forming a custard layer. Can be served warm or cold.  (I like it best warm.)

Makes 15 servings.  

*If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

Mix cake mix according to package directions.

Beat all the ingredients together just as you would if making a layer cake.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared 9x13-inch baking dish.

Use fresh or frozen rhubarb.  If using frozen rhubarb, let it thaw and drain before using.

Evenly distribute the rhubarb over the cake batter.  Sprinkle sugar on top of the rhubarb.

Pour the whipping cream over the cake and fruit.

Place the cake in a 350 degree oven and bake 45-50 minutes.

As the cake bakes the rhubarb and cream sink and create a delicious custard on the bottom.

You can cut the dessert in squares but I like to scoop up portions using a large spoon.  

A scoop of ice cream "gilds the lily" quite nicely.

Rhubarb Custard Cake with Ice Cream
Rhubarb Custard Cake served warm or cold makes a delicious dessert any time of the year!

To print click on arrow upper right side.⇩          


  1. Oh.my.word. This recipe is revelatory. I cooked the rhubarb down with 1/4 cup water and 2/3 cup sugar. Cooled it, and spread it as directed over the cake batter and topped with the cream. I used 3 6-inch cake pans. So incredibly easy and yummy. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    1. So happy you had great success with this recipe!


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