Rhubarb Spiced Coffee Cake


Winters are great as it brings along the wonderful spice aromas into my baking. Cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and allspice are common spices often used in Christmas cookies and cakes throughout the cooler months. However Spring and Summer are the best, because with these seasons comes the burst of sweet, juicy, tangy, succulent and colorful plethora of fruit and berries.

It seems our weather just cannot decide. Should winter be banished once for all to allow the warm rays of Spring sun to engulf us or if it still requires the dull, wet and brrrr-cold days to keep us at home wrapped up in cozy blankets, sipping on warming teas or cocoa.

And because the weather cannot decide - I was unable to decide in which direction I wanted to take my cake for the latest edition of the Monthly Mingle Spring Cakes. I knew I wanted to showcase rhubarb in my cake creation because early Spring is always about rhubarb to me. As April begins to roll around I can hardly wait to get my hands on the first of the rhubarb. To me seeing rhubarb at the markets is the first sign that Spring has arrived.

Typically rhubarb is paired with strawberries but there are so many great and innovating ways to use this vegetable.

As I really need to use up my massive collection of spices, collected from all over the world with love and care, before we move I considered the various spices I could pair rhubarb with. I did not have to look far - my persimmon spice cake offered me the perfect basis for my experiment.


An aromatic blend of ground coriander, cloves, cinnamon, allspice and ginger gives this cake an incredible delicious flavor very reminiscent of Lebkuchen, maple syrup adds the perfect moistness and earthy sweetness and the rhubarb complements the cake with its puckery sourness.Recipe Card-RhubarbCake

Rhubarb Spiced Coffee Cake

Printable version of recipe here.


300g all-purpose flour
200 - 350g rhubarb, cut into approx. 1.5 com thick pieces (use amount according taste)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
140g + extra butter, softened
100g Muscovado sugar
250g maple syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160-180 degrees C. Butter a 20 cm square springform pan and line with baking paper.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl. In the food processor, beat together the 140g butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Pour in the maple syrup and beat for a further minute or two.
  3. Bring water to a boil in a kettle. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in 200 ml of boiling water, then gradually pour into the spout of the food processor.
  4. Add the flour-spice mixture into the food processor and pulse a few times until just incorporated. Pour in the eggs and mix briefly.
  5. Pour the cake batter into a bowl, then fold in the rhubarb using a spatula.  
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared springform and bake for 50-60 minutes or when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake should feel firm and when press it should spring back.
  7. Cool cake in the form for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool Sticky Note Kitchen Notescompletely.
  • Unlike other spice cakes, this one should be eaten within 3-4. Due to the rhubarb it won’t keep fresh much longer.

Food Guide  – Ingredient DiscoveryThe Food Guide_1





SpicedRhubarbCoffeeCake03 framed

The cake was an incredible mix of rich aromas and delicious flavors. I would use more rhubarb however, the next time I make this as although the flavor of rhubarb was very much present, it could have done with a bit more of zesty tartness. I think increasing the rhubarb amount to 300 - 350 g would do it. Due to the maple syrup the cake is not overly sweet but rather adds a deep earthy character, keeping it moist at the same time. Soeren has been taking a lot of the cake to school the past couple of days and really enjoys the flavor combinations. MM-Spring CakesTom and my colleagues too found the idea of the mixed spices and rhubarb a great combination and have been indulging in the cake.

A lot of colorful and great Spring cakes are being submitted and it seems the mingle is going to be a grand celebration of strawberries, pineapples, lemons, raspberries and other tasty flavors. Maybe you will find time to join us with one of your Spring cake creations. See you there!apr09

In other exciting news: My picture “Berryliciously Spring” won this month’s Click Spring theme in the category Concept – The Most Original. I am pretty excited and proud to be able to wear this badge on my blog.
The electronic manufactures Braun have been busy revamping their website and the German section is featuring a few of my pictures and recipes in their new recipe section. The Global section will follow shortly! Thanks Iris – it was a huge pleasure and a lot of fun working with you!

You might like these fruity treats from WFLH:

ApricotOliveOilCakes 03 framed Berry Grütze Lemon Buttermilk Mousse 012 framed RaspberryHaselnutCake 03 framed

Delicious Apricot Olive Oil Tea Cakes

Berries on Lemon Buttermilk Mousse Raspberry Hazelnut Tea Cake

From around the blogs:


Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:

- Sourdough Starters written by Donna 



All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2009 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

Continue »


  1. ooohh... this spiced cake looks yummy... love this recipe!

  2. Congrats for winning at Jugalbandi and the cake sounds delicious.

  3. I had plans to make Rhubarb cake for MM, couldn't find Rhubarb! I settled for Strawberries!:D

    Coffee cake looks fab, love it. See you again June.

    Happy Mother's day.

  4. Congrats Meeta for being a WINNER! Rhubarb spiced coffee cake looks great. Nice recipe.
    I'm on my way planning to bake a cake with strawberries.. Will let u know.

  5. Oooooo!! Love it how you paired coffee & Rhubarb! I like my rhubarb with spices.. This one has it all!

    Congrats Meeta! & Happy Happy Mothers Day to you!

  6. Oh, those are my favorite spices! I love rhubarb and, when it's in season, I make sure to eat as much of it as possible...

    Your cake looks delightful!



  7. Looks wonderful, but I don't see a quantity for the boiling water. Am I missing something?

  8. What a delicious combination rhubarb, spices and coffee in a cake, it has full of personality!

    Big Congrats Meeta!! and Happy Mother's day to you!! :)


  9. i am scratching my head trying to come up with a spring cake for you!

  10. Nothing says spring quite like Rhubarb, I would love to have a slice for breakfast :)

  11. I ve enver had rhubarb . but surely a cake with all those spices must be delicious, Looks great too,

  12. I have something coming up for you. Just took it out of the oven :)

    And I've tried your rhubarb compote and loved it. I'm bookmarking this too!

  13. I know exactly what you mean about the weather! Over here it is supposed to be summer, and for a while the heat was blazing, and then yesterday there was a typhoon! Today it's sunny again! So I never know if I want a warm bowl of soup or some frozen yogurt! Hehe :) I'd have this delicious looking cake anytime though!

  14. Congrats meeta, beautiful cake and love the drizzle. I have been looking for a rubarb cake recpe.

  15. The cake looks lovely, congratulations on winning and wishing you a very happy mother's day..

  16. thanks everyone for your feedback. i am sure most of you were not quite expecting a cake like this but i am glad you were pleasantly surprised ;-)

    ANON - the amount in the method says 200 ml water! you probably over-read that part!

    thanks for the mother's day wishes too!

  17. Beautiful cake Meeta, love the coffee flavour in anything..COngrats for winning Click COntest, Keep on clicking and rock!

  18. Love the cake Meeta,the berry season is over here and am still searching for apt fruits to make the cake for the mingle.Never ever tried rhubarb.the cake looks too delish.Congrats on your win

  19. SO much better than my lame suggestion. Wish I could have a slice of this for breakfast. If I can get past the current exhaustion, I'd love to make a cake for the mingle. Only time and the little one can tell. Oh and Congrats on winning the Click Contest! Yeay You!

  20. Not surprised to see that your photo was a winner in Click. I think your pictures just get better and better!

  21. I keep coming back here to see this so unusual coffee cake..never heard of a better one. I am having my morning coffee & really wish i could have a slice or 2 :-D

    Meeta, what is the deal with dissolving the soda bi carb with boiling water... does it activate it more, or is it just for dissolving or any other reason.. forgine my ignorance:-(

  22. The cake looks like it has a heavy texture. More like bread. This must be down to the addition of hot water to the mix; essentially cooking the raw mixture before putting in the oven.

  23. Rhubarb is one ingredient that I need to use more often. What a delicious cake, especially with those yummy winter spices!

  24. Hey, sorry havnet been following up ... are you in Doha already ? How's it going ? The cake looks lovely as always :)

  25. Wow, this rhubarb cake sounds incredible!

  26. Congratulations Meeta!!
    As usual ur post is delightful and a feast for the eyes.. I would so love to have a slice of the cake!!!
    Happy Mother's Day!!

  27. Such wonderful flavours! Great use of rhubarb.

  28. Rhubarb is the harbinger of spring...and has been really expensive until this week. Sound like a great cake!

  29. Wow this looks delicious! Love all the spices you added

  30. I really wish I could grab a slice. I'm so curious about how rhubarb would taste. I've heard people describing it, but I just want to know for myself!

  31. I think I'd have to have some of the compote with the cake ;o). Love the spices here!

  32. What a great way to use rhubarb. My mom loves the stuff so I will send her the recipe.

  33. Rhubarb is one of the first of the things that make it to the farmers' markets here in RI. Nice to have an idea for something to do with it other than make jam.

  34. Looks wondeful! Ive never used rhubarb, but this make me want to try it!

  35. This looks like a cake my Mom would love. She's always trying to get me to make things with rhubarb!

  36. I'm trying to think of spice pairings with rhubarb and I'm drawing a blank. Love the flavoring ideas in your post!

  37. These spices sound great in a rhubarb cake. Looks super. congrats on being a winner!!!

  38. I've made this today with sooo many changes that it's barely recognisable! I'm wheat intolerant, so have used a half sorghum flour, half millet flour blend with xanthan gum, used honey instead of maple syrup, low fat margarine instead of butter, sweetener instead of sugar (I had no sugar!) and arrowroot instead of eggs (no eggs either!). Despite this, it's come out as a subtly spiced cake, like a gingerbread cake and it is yummy!! Some of my pieces of rhubarb were a bit bitter, not sure how to remedy that. And my cake was obviously much more crumbly than yours looks, but successful!!!

  39. I hope things settle down for you Meeta. Have been visiting your blogs for last 12-18 months and I love reading them. I am an Indian working in London for last 4 years with my husband and a 10 year old son. Completely relate to what you are saying and hence decided to drop a line. Do what your heart says. Its such a big dilemma in life.For us the question is whether we continue in UK or we go back to Mumbai. Not sure when will we be able to answer that

  40. My father is a huge fan of rhubarb spiced coffee cake and I always try to bake one for him whenever we see my parents. He has yet to be fully blown away by any of the recipes i've tried. Simplicity is key, and yours looks perfect! Can't wait to try it. thank you for shearing your post.


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.