I was looking for something different to do with rhubarb when I came across a fruited pudding cake recipe in the Favorite Recipes of America – Desserts cookbook from 1968.
The original recipe calls for “any fruit, fresh or canned”, so I figured “Why not rhubarb?” Thus, this old fashioned rhubarb pudding cake was born.
The recipe is quite sweet, even with the tartness of rhubarb. You can cut back on the sugar if you like.
This rhubarb pudding cake recipe has a delicate sugar crust, and rich pudding bottom. It's super easy to make using fresh or frozen rhubarb, and can be made gluten free and dairy free.
The boys are not huge rhubarb fans, but they love this recipe. This is the sort of thing my grandmother would have made. I hope you and your family enjoy it, too.
Rhubarb Pudding Cake Recipe – Step by Step
You can use a little extra rhubarb for this, or mix in other fruits like strawberries or chopped apples.
Cover the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with fruit. (I prefer an 8 inch or 9 inch square glass baking dish. You can also use a deep dish glass pie plate.)
Mix 3/4 cup sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, extracts, milk and flour together. Add a little more milk if it is too thick to pour; pour over fruit.
Mix remaining sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl; sprinkle over mixture in pan. Pour boiling water over the top. ( I know this sounds strange, but trust me, it works to create a pudding around the rhubarb in the bottom of the pan.)
Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Yield: 9 servings.
The sugar topping creates a glaze on the top of the cake, something like a creme brûlée. It also creates the pudding at the bottom.
Serve warm with ice cream, if desired. Or let your rhubarb pudding cake cool a bit, and then slice and invert on a plate. This shows off the pudding.
You may also substitute a gluten free flour blend, such as Namaste Gluten Free Flour. With the Namaste flour, I bake an extra ten minutes. Friends made the recipe dairy free by substituting coconut milk with good results.
Shares and Pins always much appreciated if you enjoy the recipe!
Use the recipe card below to print out the recipe, or double it for a 9×13 pan. For a double batch, add around 10 minutes of extra bake time. Use the “Cook Mode” setting to keep the screen from going dark while you're reading recipe during baking.Print
Old Fashioned Rhubarb Pudding Cake
This rhubarb pudding cake recipe is easy to make using fresh or frozen rhubarb. A simple hot water trick allows the cake to make its own sauce while baking.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 9 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 2 cups rhubarb, chopped
- 1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup sifted flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- Cover the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch square pan with fruit. (I prefer an 8 inch or 9 inch square glass baking dish. You could also use a deep dish glass pie plate.)
- Mix 3/4 cup sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, extracts, milk and flour together. Add a little more milk if it is too thick to pour; pour over fruit.
- Mix remaining sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl; sprinkle over mixture in pan. Pour boiling water gently over the top of the cake.
- Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, a little longer for gluten free flours.
You may also substitute a gluten free flour blend such as Namaste Foods Gluten Free Flour Blend. If using gluten free flour, add 10-15 minutes to bake time.
One of our readers used a metal grey colored Wilton 9×9 pan, and her cake scorched. If you have this pan, drop the temp to 350°F, and watch for excess browning.
This is a sweet recipe!
If you would like a less sweet dessert, reduce the sugar in the batter to 1/2 cup, and the sugar in the topping to 1/2 cup. You can experiment with reducing the amounts even more, but it does need some sugar to form the pudding layer.
Keywords: cake, rhubarb, pudding cake, spring
More Rhubarb Recipes to Enjoy
Blessed with a bounty of rhubarb? You may also enjoy these easy rhubarb recipes for drinks, preserves and desserts:
These recipes work with fresh or frozen rhubarb, so you can enjoy them anytime you have a supply on hand. Let me know if you'd like some savory recipes, too.
For easy to make bread recipes, check out my book “Never Buy Bread Again – The Bread Book for Beginning Bakers“.
You can also get more seasonal recipes, plus other common sense tips, when you subscribe to the Common Sense Home newsletter.
Originally published in 2012, last updated 2023.