In Season: Easy Rhubarb Traybake

I made this rhubarb traybake in super-quick time and snapped a very quick photo on my iPhone – not thinking a great deal of it since I make it so often. The cake batter is made to a recipe given to me by my mother (on most occasions, over the phone) but this time I’ve made the effort to write it down and share it. It’s the kind of traybake that is so simple to make and can be adapted to use any fruit in season. I often add stewed apples with cinnamon, or ripe pears and you can even use berries or at a push, tinned fruit. Using vegetable oil or very light and mild olive oil and yogurt keeps this cake lovely and moist – it is perfect with a cup of tea!

We are getting to the end of forced rhubarb season now, generally available from January to April. It is grown indoors, in almost total darkness and is harvested by hand in candlelight. The rhubarb is covered and pink shoots begin to appear as the rhubarb tries to grow and find light. It sounds very strange, but the method was developed so that dessert fruit would be available when other seasonal fruits were not available. British rhubarb tends to be grown in West Yorkshire and forced rhubarb tends to be sweet and delicate. From around April onwards, you will more likely be able to find outdoor rhubarb, which is slightly tougher and may need more sweetening. Interestingly, although rhubarb is botanically a vegetable, it is considered to be a fruit because it is most often used in desserts. Rhubarb leaves are toxic, so if your rhubarb is from the garden, wash your rhubarb well and throw away any leaves rather than composting them.

My mum uses a highball tumbler glass to measure when baking rather than scales, which in fact, holds the same weight/volume as American cups. I have converted the recipe into grams, below.

[gmc_recipe 3969]

I’m sending this recipe across to Nazima of Working London Mummy who is hosting this month’s One Ingredient Cooking Challenge – Rhubarb. Laura from How to Cook Good Food will be hosting this in May. I’m also linking up to April’s Simple and in Season here on Fabulicious Food! There are still a few days to enter your easy, seasonal recipes.


Are you a fan of pretty pink rhubarb? Forced or outdoor?

Don’t forget to enter my current cookbook giveaway (worldwide) to win a copy of Eat London 2!


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  1. Jane Nadia Pyzniuk says:

    Hello Ren!
    I can’t see the recipe for this rhubarb traybake. What am I missing?
    Many thanks,

    1. April 24 – I can’t see the recipe either? A shame as the photos look wonderful! 🙁

  2. Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a
    quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your articles.

    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?

    Thanks a ton!

  3. What a great recipe – been looking for something to make with the rhubarb coming up in the veggie patch

  4. Thank you for the recipe it went down very well at a cake stall I was running for a (cold) spring fair at a local cemetery park here in London!

  5. Hi Ren,

    I have some rhubarb just waiting to be cooked and as chance would have it some cardamom sugar so it seems your recipe will be perfect-many thanks indeed!

    1. Wonderful, hope it turns out well. Mmn, cinnamon sugar would be a treat, too x

  6. I`ve tried this recipe and i`m really impressed, it has a very good taste. My both child tried it and they like it a lot. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    1. Aah wonderful – thanks for letting me know!

  7. Beautifully-simple and delicious sounding recipe. Wouldn’t change a thing about it either. Love the act that it’s your Mum’s recipe. Yum!

    1. Thanks Kellie. Fleur tweeted today to say she made it with spelt flour and it came out really well, too 🙂 Good to know!

  8. I am just about to write up my Simple and in Season post and yep, you guessed it I’ve used Rhubarb to send to One Ingredient too!!

    I do like this traybake, it reminds me of the 100mph cake in Prepped that I’ve always meant to try. I’ve never had an opinion about forced rhubarb or non forced. Most rhubarb I’ve had has been just as rhubarby as the rest of it. 🙂

    1. A popular ingredient! Yes, I did try Vanessa’s recipe when I first got Prepped – she uses cardamom sugar and walnuts, too. I’ve never really tried jazzing this one up, apart from by using different seasonal fruit. Vanessa’s recipe uses one egg – my mum adds up to five in this recipe, I go with a more conservative four! This cake was a classic growing up in my house, particularly when our Victoria Plum tree was still alive!

    1. Ooh lovely, you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cake batter, too!

  9. Thanks for sharing your mum’s recipe with us. This looks lovely and definitely in season 🙂

    1. Thanks Ros! Hope you are having a good week x

  10. We all love rhubarb and I often make a rhubarb cake but this looks lovely! I also really like the idea of it with pears. Great recipe Ren!

    1. Pear is great and forgot to mention it works very well with very ripe Victoria Plums, too. Sliced and stoned and popped in!

  11. Cor this looks good! We’re lucky enough to have our own rhubarb growing down the allotment, so I’m gleefully making something rhubarb-themed every week at the moment. I did a batch of rhubarb muffins at the weekend that were pretty good. I’ll be posting them on my blog tomorrow. Think I’m definitely going to have to try your traybake – looks unctuous.

    1. Lucky you! I founnd a crown in our garden when we moved in. Had a few sticks of rhubarb and then it seemed to disappear. Will see if it re-appears this year?! Ooh yes, custard or cream 🙂

  12. I like both forced and outdoor rhubarb taste-wise, but must say I’m a bit more drawn to the look of the pink ones(: the tray bake looks fab ren, and best of all, simple and easy enough to make!

    1. Thanks Shu Han, it will be interesting for me to taste the rhubarb from my garden soon!

  13. I love this cake as you have proved just how easy it can be to make a cake. No need even for scales, so no excuse not to get baking! Also love how adaptable it can be depending on what fruit you have to hand. Even better that it has a seasonal element to it 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks Laura, yes, pretty much throw it all together! My mum always measures using a glass – a very Polish thing!

  14. Ren this looks delicious, I can see me making it during half term for play date day! Thank you to you and your Mum for so kindly sharing. Jude x

    1. Aah thanks Jude, so simple to whip up and any fruit will do. Hope you had a lovely Easter x

    1. Thanks Nazima, yes it would be perfect for a mummy meet-up! x

  15. This is a fabulous idea! I want to make this now. Will have to go get some more rhubarb. Love simple handed down recipes like these.

    1. Thanks Claire, it is one of those recipes you can make without even blinking!

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