“I made the cake this afternoon and it is delicious! Very light texture – the rhubarb and almond with the sugar on top is a winner. I did not have any whole milk or half & half so I used buttermilk. I will make this again!” ~Laurie
Norwegian rhubarb and almond cake
This lovely breakfast cake hails from Norway where rhubarb thrives in the chilly climate. Rhubarb is perennial, prolific, and one of the first crops of spring, making it a beloved ingredient anywhere it grows. (It grows all across the northern half of the US, but the rest of you can find it in your produce aisle.) Rhubarb’s tart berry-like flavor marries beautifully with almond and makes an especially delicious coffee cake for this time of year.
the cake is fluffy, moist, and not too sweet
I spotted this recipe on the lovely blog, North Wild Kitchen. In true Nordic style, this cake is simple, and classic, which really allows the rhubarb to shine. The combination of rhubarb and almond is what intrigued me…it’s heavenly. The only change I made to the recipe was to add almond extract to the cake to emphasize the almond flavor a bit more. This is the cake you’ll make to take to work, the book club, the neighbor’s…any time you want to impress without too much effort. And I guarantee they’ve never had it before!
top your rhubarb cake with raw sugar for a wonderful crunch
I especially love the nice subtle crunch from the combination of sliced almonds and raw sugar, which I sprinkled on before baking. I used turbinado sugar, which is a kind of less-refined sugar with larger crystals and a golden color. It gives the cake a bit of sparkle and a nice texture. You might also use sparkling sugar.
the best pan for this rhubarb almond cake
I recommend a spring-form pan for this recipe, it makes the cake easy to remove so you can show it off. Especially if you’re serving the cake to guests, it’s nice not to have the metal bottom of the cake pan showing through.
But you could also use a regular 9 inch round cake pan, or even a square baking pan. In any case I like to line my baking pans with parchment paper whenever possible for easier removal.
is rhubarb a vegetable or a fruit?
It’s a vegetable, but we treat it as a fruit for culinary purposes. Its stalks look a little like celery.
when is rhubarb season?
Rhubarb’s short but sweet season runs from April through June, but larger supermarkets carry it a month or two longer than that. You can also buy it frozen.
is rhubarb native to North America?
No, it originally comes from Central Asia, but has become a beloved ingredient in traditional American cooking.
which is better, red or green rhubarb?
Both are great, and both will have the same flavor. The red will cook up with a beautiful color, so many bakers prefer it.
can you eat rhubarb raw?
Yes, you can, but it’s extremely tart. Some readers have shared fond memories of growing up eating raw rhubarb stalks dipped in sugar. Be aware, the leaves of the rhubarb plant are toxic, so avoid them!
can you grow rhubarb?
Rhubarb is an easy to grow perennial in zones 3-8, and can be grown as a winter annual in warmer climates. Reader Karen from northern Indiana says that the best way to harvest rhubarb in your garden is to gently pull the stalks from the base of the plant, rather than cutting them. She says when you do it this way a new stalk will grow in that spot, and she is able to harvest her rhubarb crop right through late October into early November.
we love rhubarb recipes!
Norwegian Rhubarb and Almond Cake
- 10 Tbsp (150grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (200 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1dl )whole milk or half and half
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) chopped rhubarb or about 3-5 stalks, depending on size.
- 3 Tbsp raw sugar
- 3 Tbsp sliced almonds
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- Lightly grease an 9 inch springform pan and place a round of parchment paper at the bottom.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with electric mixers until light and fluffy. This will take a couple of minutes. Don’t skip this step, the creaming incorporates air into the batter that helps the cake bake up light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture between each addition until they are fully incorporated.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and then the milk or half and half, along with the almond extract. Mix until combined.
- Spread the batter into your prepared pan, making sure it is relatively even.
- Scatter the chopped rhubarb over the top of the cake, pressing it in just a little bit.
- Scatter the raw sugar and sliced almonds over the cake
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until set in the middle, and golden brown on top. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before carefully unlatching the pan.
- Buttermilk can be used instead of milk.
- Try raspberries or blueberries in place of the rhubarb.
- Substitute vanilla extract for the almond extract.