Rhubarb gingerbread cake recipe

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Rhubarb gingerbread, a classic gingerbread cake layered with sweet roasted rhubarb

In our climate rhubarb the first local food available, a reassuring sign that we have made it through another winter.

I grew up loving rhubarb and always wanted a farmyard patch of my own, one of those huge plants the size of a shed that you see in the backyards of old homes. I want a plant that can supply us with enough for a year’s worth of pies, compote and rhubarb juice.


Rhubarb gingerbread, a classic gingerbread cake layered with sweet roasted rhubarb

My rhubarb is the runt of my gardens and I have never been able to pull so much as one measly stock. Then in February a huge spruce tree came crashing down in our back yard and the big bushy bows stretched themselves across the rhubarb patch (such as it is).

Through the spring I have busied myself getting the other gardens in shape so it wasn’t until last week that I pulled the bows aside to open up the rhubarb.

A happy discovery – my rhubarb is flourishing.

First time ever.

There was just enough for this rustic rhubarb gingerbread.


Rhubarb gingerbread, a classic gingerbread cake layered with sweet roasted rhubarb

The rhubarb is roasted with sugar before being added to the cake batter which ensures that it’s soft and sweet when the cake comes out of the oven (an idea I got from a Donna Hay cookbook).

Interesting tidbit: apparently rhubarb is a vegetable.

Rhubarb gingerbread cake recipe

  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. ginger (ground) or 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 5-6 stalks of rhubarb
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Place rhubarb on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Roast for 15-20 minutes (until softening).
  3. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 F
  4. Grease and flour a 9” square or round cake pan, or line it with parchment paper.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  6. In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, milk, molasses, eggs and vanilla.
  7. Add the wet to the dry and combine gently but thoroughly.
  8. Pour into prepared pan.
  9. Gently arrange roasted rhubarb on top of the cake in parallel lines, cutting to fit.
  10. Place them close but not touching.
  11. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
  12. Serve on its own or with a little sweetened whipped cream on the side.

Fruit and gingerbread are perfect companions. Try our peach gingerbread or blackberry gingerbread.

Roasting your rhubarb:

Sprinkle the stalks with sugar then roast at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, until softening.

Roasted gingerbreadRoasted gingerbread









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26 thoughts on “Rhubarb gingerbread cake recipe

  1. antje maceachern says:

    The cake sounds yummy and I do have some rhubarb growing and it is time to harvest it..thank you looking forward to more interesting recipes…..

  2. Elaine says:

    HI – Rhubarb has always been a big part of spring over my 70 years of life. The roots of a healthy plant can be divided many times over the years and it just seems to live on forever. The key to healthy sweet rhubarb is to fertilize it in the fall with good compost or cow manure… and perhaps, from your experience with the tree falling on yours, you should also cover it with a good thickness of leaves in the fall if your winters are really cold and dry… rhubarb needs lots of water so if you live where winters and springs are dry the cover of leaves will help with that also.
    I will try this gingerbread…

    1. Hi Elaine – Thank you so much for the rhubarb tips. I will be sure to fertilize my plants in the fall and I think I’ll cover it for the winter too. I hope that you enjoy the gingerbread.

  3. Gerry says:

    I made this yesterday and it is a keeper! You can reduce the sugar and fat and it is still fantastic. Had it today with stewed rhubarb and cream and loved it as well.

    1. Hi Gerry, Thanks for the feedback — it’s great that you can make it lighter and it still tastes delicious. Love the idea of eating it with stewed rhubarb!

  4. Deborah Ross says:

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. I love the look of the long strips of rhubarb on the top of the cake. I finally have my own flourishing plant this year and I am definitely making this along with a rhubarb coffee cake recipe I love.

    Over the years traveling in Holland I had mouthwatering pork dishes served with a rhubarb compote with the merest hint of nutmeg; the two paired amazingly.
    My grandmother used to stew rhubarb but the consistency was different from the compote and she made a ginger bread style loaf with the stewed rhubarb dropped by small teaspoonfuls into the batter. I always thought of them as little pockets of pucker power, lol 🙂 She also made the best soft molasses cookies, sometimes she would add caraway to them and othertimes folded them over and stuffed them with stewed dates or the stewed rhubarb…both were delicious. Cheers!

    1. Hi Deborah, Your rhubarb recipes sound incredible! My mom used to stew rhubarb too and we’d eat it over ice cream but I love the idea of dropping it into a batter or folding it into cookies. The tang of rhubarb is so refreshing in this world of overly sweet baked goods. I’d love to get your recipe for rhubarb coffee cake…

  5. Paul J. DuPlessis says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe I plan to make it tomorrow. I grew up in NB now living in Alberta and I am loyal to Crosbys molasses, it’s the only brand I buy. As for the rhubarb it was a regular in our home too, growing up we had 2 patches at the farm, one is the old fashion variety the other a newer variety, strawberry rhubarb. My Irish Grandmother always said there is a tonic in the rhubarb (and fiddle heads) as the first vegetables of spring it was essential to serve them. Thanks again all recipes welcome.

    1. Hi Paul, Thanks so much for your message. I love seeing big patches of rhubarb in farm yards. I still struggle with my patch but my neighbour has an enormous patch so I’m never short when I want to bake with it. Thanks for the Irish wisdom. I think that spring vegetables are good for the soul as well as the body…a reassurance that winter has passed. Which reminds me, I have a bag of fresh picked fiddleheads in the fridge to eat up! Glad you’re enjoying the recipes.

  6. Dawn says:

    I made this today and brought it into work, It was gone in record time, and we are still talking about how good it was!!!! Love this site

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Dawn, Thanks for the feedback. I love it when people tell me about the recipes they have tried.

  7. Colleen says:

    This looks wonderful. All of my rhubarb is frozen can I still roast it after it has thawed??

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Colleen, I’m not sure how it would work with frozen rhubarb since the rhubarb will be quite mushy after it has thawed. It’s worth a try though.

  8. Whoa I love rhubarb.
    This looks so good.

  9. Jane Larmand says:

    Am anxious to try this recipe…..will do tomorrow. Thanks for posting.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Jane, I hope that you enjoyed it!

  10. Mary Burnett says:

    This recipe was a Big hit at our house this weekend. Delicious and very easy. I used spelt flour instead of all purpose.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Mary,
      I love the idea of using spelt flour. Thanks!

  11. Janice says:

    This recipe couldn’t have come at a better time. I have so much rhubarb this year, I’m always looking for new recipes. Thank you

  12. heather says:


  13. brenda says:

    sounds delish….love rhubarb recipes…thanks

  14. Carol Baker says:

    Thank You!

  15. Carol Baker says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Have rhubarb, but not any recipes. Thank you for posting.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Carol, I hope you enjoy the cake. Also, I’m testing some rhubarb BBQ sauce this week and will share the recipe if it’s tasty.

  16. Shirley Boggs says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you very much.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      I’m so pleased to see that there are so many rhubarb lovers out there!

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