This delicious and easy vegan rhubarb cake is perfect for making the most of rhubarb season! It's a delicate soft sponge, made without eggs or dairy. Scented with vanilla and topped with tangy rhubarb, it's a pretty and easy cake to serve with coffee or for a simple Spring Dessert.
This rhubarb cake would be the perfect thing to bring out for afternoon tea in the garden, or to share with friends when visiting them! Or to serve up as a Mother's Day treat, or even take on a spring picnic. Why not pack some simple vegan sandwiches like these Vegan Tofu 'Egg' Salad Sandwiches, or some little Vegan Egg Bites (Mini Frittatas), some fruit and maybe a dip or two and celebrate Spring!
I think the other thing I love so much about this cake, is it isn't huge. So it's perfect for sharing between just a few people. It's also equally delicious warm or cold, so you could make it and serve warm for dessert with custard would be yummy!). It keeps well for a few days, staying nice & moist if you keep it in a container.
- Rhubarb Every gardener or allotment holder in the UK has a huge patch of rhubarb, and we're no different, ours is HUGE! This yummy and easy Vegan Rhubarb Cake uses our own homegrown rhubarb. Rhubarb is tart and often pink or pale green, depending on the variety. Buy it in markets, from the green grocer or grow your own. It's especailly in season from about March until late June/early July. NB: Don't eat the leaves!
- Aquafaba: I used aquafaba to make this recipe eggless. I like to use aquafaba when making light sponge-style cakes as it keeps them feather-light and with a tender crumb. Aquafaba is simply the liquid from a tin of chickpeas. 1 Tablespoon of it is equal to 1 egg. It whips up just like eggwhite & has a similar binding property. I freeze it in ice-cube trays- 1 ice cube of aquafaba is roughly equal to 1 tablespoon (aka 1 egg! handy!)
- Plain/AP flour: Simple plain flour is perfect in this recipe. You can use spelt flour, or gluten free if you wish.
- Vanilla Essence or paste: Good quality real vanilla essence or paste is essential! It pairs beautifully with the tart and tangy rhubarb topping. I like to use Nielson Massey Vanilla Bean Paste.
- Baking Powder: This provides lift and lightness. Don't use baking soda (it's not the same thing!
- Sugar: Simple castor/white sugar is fine. If you are in the USA be sure to check that it does not contain bone char. Most other places don't allow this. I also use a little light brown sugar to coat the rhubarb before placing it on top of the cake.
- Neutral Oil: Sunflower, ground nut or light canola oil all work well in this recipe. Be sure it doesn't have a flavour as the cake will taste of the oil, not the lovely soft vanilla.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved.
2. Add the flour & baking powder and mix until a smooth batter.
3. Spread the batter out evenly in a lined baking tin.
4. If the rhubarb has stringy bits, peel them off. Otherwise just chop the rhubarb into 1cm slices.
5. Toss the rhubarb in a little brown sugar.
6. Arrange the rhubarb on the cake batter and bake at 180C/350F for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake is coloured slightly on top.
🍓Substitutions & Variations
I initially wanted to make this cake with strawberries too, however, our resident squirrel had other ideas about sharing (it's a very fat squirrel!!) So I only ended up using rhubarb for this version.
The lovely thing about this yummy vegan cake recipe is that you could also use it with other fruits too. Apples, pears, apricots, and the aforementioned strawberries all would be a treat.
No, rhubarb cooks quickly, so does not require cooking before baking. If you are making a pie, you might want to pre-prepare the filling, but when included in cakes and muffins or similar, it usually can just be incorporated into the batter.
Rhubarb is sour and very tangy when raw. It needs heat and a little sugar to become the delicious slightly sour but fragrant flavour that pairs beautifully with sweet treats.
Yes! Some rhubarb varieties are more green than others. Forced rhubarb (rhubarb that has been grown in the dark) is pinker and softer. Contrary to belief, green rhubarb is not unripe rhubarb, just from a greener variety. Just be sure not to eat the leaves, they are not safe!
Other Vegan Cakes to try:
If you love cakes, you should try these other delicious cake and cake-making recipes:
Easy Vegan Rhubarb Cake
- 1 20cm cake tin 8" tin
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 85 g (⅔ cups) granulated sugar
- 55 ml (¼ cups) sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
- 55 ml (¼ cups) aquafaba
- 35 ml (2 tablespoon) oat mylk (or other non dairy milk)
- 10 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 150 g (1 ¼ cups) plain flour
- 4 g Baking Powder
- 100 g (1 cups) Rhubarb (chopped into pieces. About 1 cup. You might not use all of it. )
- 20 g (2 tablespoon) sugar (extra to toss the rhubarb in)
- Preheat your oven to 180℃/356℉
- Grease & line a 20cm/8" cake tin
- In a bowl, whisk together the aquafaba, sugar, oil, oat mylk and vanilla until frothy and the sugar is dissolved85 g granulated sugar, 55 ml aquafaba, 35 ml oat mylk (or other non dairy milk), 10 ml vanilla extract, 55 ml sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
- Sift in the flour & baking powder and gently fold until fully combined150 g plain flour
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin4 g Baking Powder
- Chop the rhubarb into 2-3cm (1 inch) pieces in the extra sugar, then arrange the rhubarb on top of the cake batter.100 g Rhubarb, 20 g sugar
- Put in the oven & bake for around 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it.
- Serve warm or cold.