Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake – A Sour Cream Rhubarb Cake

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With a cinnamon sugar topping to perfectly complement the tartness of the rhubarb, this old fashioned rhubarb cake makes a sweet treat for dessert or breakfast.

Wondering how to use up frozen rhubarb? We have you covered as this sour cream rhubarb cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.

Using Frozen Rhubarb in Baking

You’ve packed the freezer with frozen rhubarb, and now what?  It’s time to find recipes that use frozen rhubarb. This task is tricky since frozen rhubarb can lose some of it’s structure during freezing, and it releases its juices during the thawing process.

To learn more about how to properly freeze rhubarb, check out our post with Grandma’s best rhubarb recipes that explains it all! As a bonus, we’ve collected our favorite rhubarb recipes as well as some of our friends’ favorites all in the one post.

There are many rhubarb recipes that can use frozen rhubarb such as Rhubarb Bread, Rhubarb Muffins and Rhubarb Coffee Cake, but I was glad to find this sour cream rhubarb coffee cake to add to my collection in a vintage church cookbook from Quailtown.

The trick to using frozen rhubarb in recipes is to thaw completely, and then drain the excess fluids. This prevents the batter from becoming too thin which can totally change the end result.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Recipe

What makes this old fashioned rhubarb cake so moist? The secret is that it’s a rhubarb recipe with sour cream.  Adding sour cream to cake batter changes the texture to make it extra moist and tender.

When you touch a sour cream cake, it almost springs back.  The reasoning is that sour cream is acidic.  When it’s added to cake batter, the acid tenderizes the gluten in the flour, lending to the more delicate texture after baking.

Check out our Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe, a specialty cake recipe from our Grandma.

What can I substitute for sour cream in rhubarb cake?

If you’re in a bind and don’t have any sour cream to use in the cake batter, try using yogurt, mayonnaise, or buttermilk.

Is green rhubarb safe to eat?

Yes, you can use green rhubarb in your baking!

The color of rhubarb stalks vary by variety and can be anywhere from bright red to a light green (our grandma’s patch is usually light green to light pink). The color does not usually affect the taste of the rhubarb as much as the cultivar (variety).

When choosing fresh rhubarb, you want to look for firm, unblemished stalks. Remember NEVER eat the leaves on the rhubarb as they are poisonous.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.  This rhubarb recipe with sour cream has a cinnamon sugar topping.

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Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake Ingredients:

This recipe is a simple from scratch cake using pantry ingredients you should already have on hand.

Diced Rhubarb, fresh or frozen

Sugar

Sour Cream

Egg

Flour

Baking Soda

Salt

Brown Sugar

Chopped Nuts

How to Make Sour Cream Rhubarb Cake Using Frozen Rhubarb (or fresh):

  1. Cream sugar, sour cream and egg; add sifted flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
  2. Stir in rhubarb.
  3. Spread into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  4. Combine brown sugar and chopped pecans (or your favorite nut); sprinkle over top the cake.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the ingredient amounts and full instructions for rhubarb sour cream cake, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

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Notes About Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake with Sour Cream:

  • Use fresh or frozen rhubarb.
  • If using frozen rhubarb, thaw completely and drain before adding to the rhubarb sour cream cake batter.
  • To lighten up this rhubarb coffee cake, use low fat or non fat sour cream.
  • Use your favorite chopped nuts; we typically use pecans or walnuts.
  • Eat for breakfast with coffee or as a dessert.
  • Check out our Amazon Store for our favorite pantry essentials and kitchen items.

Rhubarb Dessert Ideas:

Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Dessert

A serving of Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert will make the rhubarb-lovers in your life happy and asking for seconds.

Rhubarb Cobbler

Eaten plain or with ice cream, you can't beat Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cobbler.  With few steps and simple ingredients, this recipe is a keeper.

Rhubarb Dream Dessert

What's better than a dream? Layers of buttery shortbread, rich rhubarb custard and cool whipped topping make this Rhubarb Dream Cake a favorite of among all rhubarb recipes.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

This three ingredient Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Jello is the perfect way to make a yummy refrigerator jam in less than 15 minutes. This flavorful jam is pectin-free and goes perfectly on toast or ice cream.

Rhubarb Crumble

Trying to decide how to use up that spring rhubarb? Look no farther than Rhubarb Crumble with Oats.  This old fashioned recipe is just like Grandma used to serve. 

Grandma’s Rhubarb Pie

Grandma's Rhubarb Pie is rustic but so delicious.

Fruit Dessert Recipes

While we love chocolate desserts, we understand the appeal of a good, homemade fruit dessert. Here are some of our favorites:

Grandma’s Easy Apple Crisp

Peach Batter Cake

Easy Cherry Crisp

Blackberry Batter Cake

Bakery-Style Blueberry Muffins

Glazed Strawberry Bread

Linking it up to Weekend Potluck.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.  This rhubarb recipe with sour cream has a cinnamon sugar topping.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: rhubarb cake, rhubarb coffee cake, sour cream rhubarb cake
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 173kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rhubarb, frozen or fresh (drain well, if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped or your favorite nut

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream together sugar, sour cream and egg until smooth.
    Old Fashioned Rhubarb cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.  This rhubarb recipe with sour cream has a cinnamon sugar topping.
  • Sift flour, baking soda and salt; add to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
    Old Fashioned Rhubarb cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.  This rhubarb recipe with sour cream has a cinnamon sugar topping.
  • Stir in rhubarb. (If using frozen rhubarb, be sure to thaw and drain well first.)
    Old Fashioned Rhubarb cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.  This rhubarb recipe with sour cream has a cinnamon sugar topping.
  • Pour into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
    Old Fashioned Rhubarb cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.  This rhubarb recipe with sour cream has a cinnamon sugar topping.
  • Combine brown sugar and chopped nuts; sprinkle evenly over cake.
    Old Fashioned Rhubarb cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.  This rhubarb recipe with sour cream has a cinnamon sugar topping.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
    Old Fashioned Rhubarb cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.  This rhubarb recipe with sour cream has a cinnamon sugar topping.

Notes

  • Use fresh or frozen rhubarb.
  • If using frozen rhubarb, thaw completely and drain before adding to the rhubarb sour cream cake batter.
  • To lighten up this rhubarb coffee cake, use low fat or non fat sour cream. 
  • Use your favorite chopped nuts; we typically use pecans or walnuts. 
  • Eat for breakfast with coffee or as a dessert.
  • Love rhubarb? Check out all Grandma's favorites!
 

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 122IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg

Old Fashioned Rhubarb cake can be made with fresh or frozen rhubarb.  This rhubarb recipe with sour cream has a cinnamon sugar topping.

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2 Comments

  1. I am surprised to see a cake recipe without butter. Does the sour cream, by making the cake soft, springy and tender, take over the role of butter here? I am planning to use 3/4 cup sour almond milk since I have a dairy allergy. Do I need to add some vegan butter to help it stay tender? Thanks

    1. We haven’t made it with non-dairy products so we can’t say for sure if you need to add. The sour cream does create a soft springy cake. Good luck!

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