Just right for spring, vanilla rhubarb bread is made with cream and butter for a rich loaf cake. Serve with afternoon coffee for a not-too-sweet treat. This is in the style of a pound cake so it's more on the dense side of things due to the high cream content. With pops of tart pink rhubarb, it's a gem of a cake, and a great way to use seasonal rhubarb.

For some more early spring rhubarb recipes, try an easy rhubarb clafoutis, make a batch of rhubarb scones with fresh ginger, or whip up some creamy rhubarb custard bars.

Rhubarb loaf cake with two slices cut on a serving tray.
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Ingredients

Rhubarb bread ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Rhubarb: fresh, not frozen. Frozen rhubarb made for soggy patches in the bread. There's no need to peel rhubarb before use.
  • Cream: the vinegar is added to the cream to sour it before baking. We tested with buttermilk and it works equally well but doesn't add the desired richness to the bread. If you prefer something a little lighter, sub buttermilk for the cream and apple cider vinegar. Anything around 35% cream will work so don't worry if yours is a little lower or higher in fat (but keep it within about 5% either way).
  • Flour: choose all-purpose plain white flour. Cake flour made for a slightly too delicate crumb.
  • Add-ins: the zest of a lemon or orange are nice additions, mixed into the wet ingredients.
  • Make it dairy-free: use a creamy vegan milk like cashew or soya mixed with a little vinegar, and melted vegan butter.

Method

Cake steps 1 to 4, mixed dry ingredients, mixed wet, dry added to wet.

Step 1: whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Step 2: add the wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

Step 3: whisk well to combine.

Step 4: add the flour mixture to the egg mixture.

Loaf cake steps 5 to 8, finished batter and before and after baking.

Step 5: fold the flour mixture in halfway, then add the rhubarb.

Step 6: gently mix until no streaks of flour remain and the rhubarb is incorporated.

Step 7: transfer to a greased loaf pan and top with coarse sugar.

Step 8: bake for about an hour and cool fully on a rack before serving.

Top Tips

  • The batter will be stiff: since it's made with cream, the batter will be stiffer than another quick-bread (like banana bread). This is normal.
  • The longer baking time is normal: even though it's a fairly small loaf, it will need a full hour in the oven. You can check it at about 55 minutes - it might be ready if your oven runs hot - but do a toothpick test to be sure. There may be some small crumbs on the toothpick when the cake is baked.
  • Don't skip the vanilla: it adds a nice sweet note that contrasts with the rhubarb, and is a major flavour point. You could top with vanilla sugar instead of coarse sugar for an extra boost.
A slice of rhubarb bread on a plate, top down view.

Recipe Notes

While this cake certainly doesn't have to be served with anything, it's nice with a spoonful of thick yogurt or chantilly cream on the side. You could top with a simple glaze instead of the coarse sugar.

Rhubarb bread doesn't rise really significantly in the oven, so don't worry if yours isn't puffing up too much. You don't want the rhubarb to fall to the bottom of the cake during baking so the batter needs to be thicker (and the cream makes for an excellent crumb).

How to Store

Storage: keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage it can be kept in the fridge, but it tends to dry out a bit.

Freezing: cool fully before transferring to an airtight container or wrapping in aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

If you make this Rhubarb Bread recipe or any other cake recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

Rhubarb loaf cake with two slices cut on a serving tray.
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Rhubarb Bread

Just right for spring, vanilla rhubarb bread is made with cream and butter for a rich loaf cake. Serve with afternoon coffee for a not-too-sweet treat.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 10

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
  • 2 Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf tin
  • Wire rack

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup 35% heavy cream also called whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter melted, cooled slightly, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the tin
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rhubarb washed, trimmed, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Generously grease a standard loaf tin with 1 tablespoon of butter. Set aside.
  • Stir the vinegar into the cream. Set aside.
    ¾ cup 35% heavy cream, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
    2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pour the cream mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth and creamy.
    1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup butter, 1 large egg, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Add the flour mixture. Fold the flour halfway into the wet ingredients, then add the rhubarb. Fold the batter until the flour has just disappeared and the rhubarb is well distributed.
    2 cups rhubarb
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and gently smooth the top. Optional step: Sprinkle coarse sugar evenly over the batter.
  • Place the tin in the oven and bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer the tin to a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning the bread out directly onto the rack to cool completely.
  • Store the cooled bread in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 606IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.

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