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rhubarb custard cake cooled and ready to eat.

Rhubarb Custard Cake


Source: Bon Appetit


  • It is not recommended to mix the batter for this cake in a mixer, and there is no need — with about a minute of vigorous beating with a whisk, the eggs and sugar become lemony in color and thick and ribbony in texture.
  • If you are avoiding alcohol, substitute a tablespoon of vanilla for the rum.
  • Your rhubarb slices, no matter how lightly you place them atop the batter, will mostly sink. A few things I have found that help keep them afloat: 1. Chill the batter for longer than the recommended 10 minutes. 2. Let the butter cool to room temperature. 3. Use all 13 oz. of rhubarb, laying the pieces of rhubarb that do not fit in a single layer on top of the first layer.
  • Original recipe calls for buttering and flouring the pan, but I like to use sugar — it creates an irresistible crust.


  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled, plus more room-temperature for pan
  • 1 cup (128 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1½ cups (328 g) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or Brandy, see notes
  • zest from one lemon
  • 13 oz. rhubarb stalks, cut in half or thirds lengthwise if thick, then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and sugar (see notes above) a 9-inch springform pan — (to sugar: sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar into the buttered pan, shake it all around to distribute the sugar evenly, tap out excess.)
  2. Whisk the baking powder, salt, and 1 cup all-purpose flour in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, and 1½ cups sugar in a large bowl until very pale and thick, about 1 minute. Whisk melted butter, sour cream, rum, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Whisk butter mixture into egg mixture just to combine. Add dry ingredients and fold in until batter is smooth; scrape into prepared pan. Chill 10 minutes (or longer) to let batter set.
  3. Arrange rhubarb over batter however you like, trimming as needed. Don’t press fruit into batter—just place over top and let it rest on the surface. Don’t fuss too much about how you arrange the rhubarb on top because most of it will sink into the batter. Sprinkle with more sugar — I use a tablespoon — and bake until cake is golden on top and browned around the sides, about 45 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, it should register at least 210ºF. This make take more or less time depending on your oven temperature and material of your pan.
  4. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 10 minutes. Slide a knife around sides of cake to loosen and unmold. Slide directly onto rack and let cool completely.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: rhubarb, cake, custard, sour cream, lemon