Norwegian Rhubarb and Almond Cake

Norwegian Rhubarb and Almond Cake on a piece of parchment paper.

This Norwegian Rhubarb and Almond Cake is a delicate breakfast cake that features the unusual combination of tart rhubarb with almond. This is an ideal spring brunch cake.

Rhubarb Cake, sliced on parchment paper

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.

Reader Rave ~

“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

sprinkling sugar on a rhubarb and almond cake

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!

A slice of rhubarb cake on a piece of parchment paper

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.

turbinado 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.

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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.

a slice of rhubarb and almond cake with fork


we love rhubarb recipes!

Rhubarb Cake, sliced on parchment paper
4.2 from 105 votes

Norwegian Rhubarb and Almond Cake

Norwegian Rhubarb and Almond Cake ~ a delicate breakfast or snack cake that features the unusual combination of tart rhubarb with almond.  
Course Dessert
Cuisine Norwegian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Calories 293kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 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.

Cook's notes

  • Buttermilk can be used instead of milk.
  • Try raspberries or blueberries in place of the rhubarb.
  • Substitute vanilla extract for the almond extract.
*Recipe lightly adapted from North Wild Kitchen


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 436IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 22, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Hi! I’m planning on baking this at 10,000 feet. Any suggestions on modifications? Thanks so much.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2021 at 8:27 am

      I just read your question – a year late! It is quite a challenge to bake at 10,000’! Have you been successful? My suggestions would be to use 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 8 tablespoons of butter. You might have to reduce baking powder even more. Good luck!

      • Reply
        July 31, 2021 at 8:30 am

        Oops, apparently I don’t know what year it is! ????

  • Reply
    June 22, 2021 at 8:07 am

    5 stars
    Made this last night with a few changes due to supply, and it is wonderful! I did have to bake it longer, so make sure you test it. Absolutely wonderful recipe! Thank you!

  • Reply
    June 18, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    5 stars
    This is one of my all time favorite recipes! The cake turns out perfectly every year! I usually only have whole almonds on hand so I just rough chop them and place on top.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      June 18, 2021 at 6:35 pm

      Love to hear this, thanks Melissa <3

  • Reply
    June 1, 2021 at 10:02 am

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious and had a fabulous texture! I froze half of it for 2 weeks, and when thawed, it was almost as good as the day I baked it, but the pleasing crunch from the sugar was missing.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2021 at 6:14 am

    5 stars
    He’s anyone tried to freeze this cake? I have a lot of rhubarb and would like to make a couple of these delicious cakes to keep in the freezer.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Looks yummy….. can I substitute with 2% milk and I also don’t have any raw sugar would brown sugar work?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 26, 2021 at 6:27 am

      You can use 2% milk, but as for the sugar topping, I wouldn’t use brown sugar. You can sprinkle regular granulated sugar on top if you like.

      • Reply
        June 22, 2021 at 8:08 am

        5 stars
        I used brown sugar and it tastes great, but is a bit damp. Maybe make a streusel with butter, brown sugar and flour.

  • Reply
    May 15, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    5 stars
    Lovely! I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour and a quarter cup more milk, only because gluten free flour seems to soak up liquids and become dry. I loved the flavor of almond from the extract and adore rhubarb. I was delighted that gf flour worked! Thank you, Sue, and thanks to the reader who said that gf flour worked for her.

    • Reply
      August 13, 2021 at 1:40 am

      5 stars
      I made this today with bob’s Red mill gluten free flour and I used half and half and I didn’t have to add extra half and half. The cake turned out lovely and moist! Thanks for the great recipe Sue and Alene thanks for your info in case next time I make it I don’t have half and half in the fridge!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Would frozen rhubarb work? Should it be thawed first?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 12, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      You can use frozen in most recipes and my only hesitation here is that the rhubarb is on the top of the cake. You might want to blend the rhubarb into the batter if you use frozen. And there is no need to thaw.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Have you tried all strawberries ? Just wondering since it is all I have on hand.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    4 stars
    You might mention that ALL parts of the rhubarb plant EXCEPT the stalks contain toxins and are NOT edible!!!!

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