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slice of rhubarb cake on a white plate topped with whipped cream.

Rhubarb Cake

This old fashioned dessert is perfect for spring!
3.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15 servings
Calories 287 kcal


For the cake:

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk (see notes for a homemade version)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb

For the topping:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • To serve: whipped cream or Cool Whip


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Place the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter in a large bowl. Mix on high with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix to combine.
  • In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add half of the buttermilk to the butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine. Pour half of the flour mixture in, and stir with a spatula to combine. Repeat with the remaining buttermilk and flour mixture. Do not over mix the batter! Fold in the chopped rhubarb.
  • Spread the mixture into the greased 13x9 inch pan.
  • Cut the 3 tablespoons of butter into small cubes. Place it in a medium bowl along with the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the sugar until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Stir in the cinnamon, coconut, and pecans. Scatter the mixture over the cake batter.
  • Bake for 45–50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and serve with whipped cream or Cool Whip.


To make your own buttermilk, pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Fill the cup to the 1-cup line with milk. That's it—you just made buttermilk! You can use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar for the vinegar. 


Calories: 287kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 185mgPotassium: 133mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 320IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 1mg
Keyword rhubarb cake
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