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Rhubarb, marzipan & crumble cake

Pumpkin Pie

SEASONAL CABIN COOKING...with Ben & Holly Cooke

Rhubarb, marzipan & crumble cake

As the rhubarb season comes to an end & just in time for all the Jubilee Celebrations - I crowned Holly's delicious rhubarb and marzipan cake with a crumble top, raspberries, date syrup and a dollop of créme fraiche. Holly wouldn’t have done the crumble top and it’s yummy without, so skip to the good part if you don’t have time.
A perfect way to use up any of the rhubarb you have growing bountifully. A recipe you will find yourself going back to time and time again. A wonderful spring & early summer dessert or afternoon tea treat.
Did you know? Will (our mate from Living Larder) told me once to put some grass cuttings around the rhubarb as it loves the nitrogen. Since this trick we’ve always had excellent Rhubarb. Cheers will!

The recipe below makes one tray bake (feeding 10-12) or we like to make it into two round cake tins (freezing one cake to enjoy at a later date). The crumble crunch also keeps well frozen for a quick dessert - you can refresh in the oven or eat straight from the freezer, to add a sweet crunch to dishes.

For the (optional) crumble topping:

175g plain flour
110g golden caster sugar
110g cold butter
Pinch of salt


1. Heat oven to 170C

2. In a large bowl mix the flour and sugar together

3. Cut in the butter until resembles large breadcrumbs - do not over mix

4. Line a tray with parchment and spread out the crumble

5. Bake for 15mins stir then bake again until evenly golden brown and crunchy

6. Set aside and cool

For the cake:

300g softened butter , plus a little for the tin
400g thin-stemmed rhubarb, cut into thick pieces
350g golden caster sugar
½ lemon, zested
1 clementine, zested (or lime or lemon)
3 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
50g fine polenta
50g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
100g marzipan , chopped into small chunks


1. Heat oven to 180C. Butter and line a 20 x 30cm traybake tin or two round cake tins of you want to make 2 smaller rounds as we have done, with baking parchment.

2. Toss the rhubarb in 50g sugar and set aside to macerate for 20 mins.

3. Tip the butter, remaining sugar and zests into a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the flour, polenta, almonds, baking powder and a good pinch of salt, and mix until just combined. Fold through half the rhubarb (reserving the rest for the top), plus any juices, and the marzipan.

4. Scrape the mixture into the tin(s). Smooth the surface up to the edges and top with the remaining rhubarb. Bake for 45-50 mins until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. If there is any wet mixture, return it to the oven for 5 mins, then check again.

5. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then serve warm with crème fraîche, or cool completely to serve as a cake. Will keep in an airtight container for three days.

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