Easy vegan rhubarb cake. Rhubarb always reminds me of my grandad. He would tell me, as he tucked into a bowl of stewed rhubarb and custard, that his favourite way to eat fresh rhubarb was raw. During rhubarb season, freshly picked and dipped into a bowl of sugar. He would sit on this front door step as a boy, the warm summer sun on his face, rhubarb snapped from it's mass of bushy leaves. His sisters fussing around him, as he was the baby of the family. He passed away four years ago, and I hope that he felt that warmth on his face, and feeling of love as he slipped away. I miss him everyday. He was such a positive, grounding influence on our family, gentle and kind, always supportive and always proud.
I still have to try raw rhubarb that way, but I know he also would have loved this vegan Rhubarb Cake. There is a deeply evocative, old-fashioned mood to fruits like rhubarb and gooseberries. It's a little bit Enid Blyton, washing down cucumber sandwiches with lashes of ginger ale.
Fact: Did you know that rhubarb can be grown above ground or in dark tunnels (forced rhubarb)? The forced gives you the beautiful jewel coloured pink rhubarb.
Last week I bought some rhubarb from my local farm shop, and was idly scrolling through google, looking for rhubarb recipes, when this beautiful, chevron-designed rhubarb cake from KateBird Bakes leapt off the screen at me.
Her rhubarb cake is not vegan, so I made my own adjustments to make it so, but what her cake is, is a labour of love. She details how she worked and reworked her recipe, to produce the most perfect, delicately scented almond rhubarb cake. I have been able to streamline some of the steps in the original recipe (and I apologise to Kate if this to the detriment of her recipe), which makes this quite a quick cake to put together.
What Can I use Instead of Rhubarb?
If you don't like rhubarb, you can use the following fruits, all of which will be just as delicious:
Make sure to peel, core or stone any of the fruits as necessary. You could even use tinned fruit, thoroughly drained, in a pinch.
What Makes This Cake Vegan?
- Replacing the eggs with egg replacer. My favourite brand is Orgran.
- Vegan Yogurt, instead of buttermilk. It adds a comparable tenderness to the crumb. I love use a vanilla flavoured vegan yogurt in sweet baking.
- I used extra baking powder for a little extra lift in baking
I also used soft brown sugar in the recipe instead of white sugar. I know that, healthwise, there is not a huge amount of difference, but I prefer the flavour and colour that brown sugar gives to cakes. An almost imperceptible caramel hint. The choice here, is of course yours. Don't let lack of brown sugar stop you making it. Just go ahead and use white!
How Do I Make A Vegan Rhubarb Cake?
It's pretty simple. Cream your butter and sugar together until it's pale and fluffy. Beat in your prepared egg replacer, and then the remaining wet ingredients. Fold in the flour, ground almonds and baking powder and that's your basic cake mix done. So you can see at this point that you have a traditional creamed cake batter that can now be used with a lot of different ingredients.
I tried to copy KateBird's beautiful chevron design, with mixed results, but overall I think it came out looking quite dramatic. I cut my rhubarb into 1-2" chunks and then did a sort of chevron design. Really, I think that tart rhubarb is so beautiful, with such a stunning colour, that any pattern will look simply perfect. I love to serve it for afternoon tea with some cucumber sandwiches (or at least, in my head, I like to think that I'm that classy!) and it makes a perfect coffee cake.
I hope that you enjoy making my easy vegan rhubarb cake recipe as much as I did!
- All purpose flour (plain flour). You can also use self raising flour or whole wheat flour.
- Ground almonds (almond flour). Adding that moist texture and adding longevity to the cake.
- Vegan butter. Use your favourite brand, but ensure it is at room temperature.
- Brown sugar. This adds an indefinable caramel hint to the cake. You can use white sugar, but it won't give you that soft, golden brown sponge and caramel flavour.
- Rhubarb stalks, cut into 1" rhubarb pieces. Tangy rhubarb has such a unique flavour: some people enjoy it unsweetened but I think that sugar and vanilla brings out the lovely tart fruity flavor.
- Egg replacer. I use Orgran, but you could also use a flax egg instead.
- Vanilla extract and almond extract. Both complement the rhubarb perfectly.
- Vegan yogurt. I use Alpro soy, but you could use your favourite plant based yogurt.
- Line a 9" springform pan with greaseproof paper.
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
- In another bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, then beat in the prepared egg replacer.
- Add the yogurt and extracts, then gently fold in the dry ingredients, until you have a smooth batter (you can also use a stand mixer).
- Pour into your prepared cake pan.
- Now arrange your chopped rhubarb on top of the batter in an even layer, before sprinkling with a little bit of sugar.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, checking if it's cooked using the toothpick test.
- Leave to cool completely in the tin, placed on a wire rack before gently turning out onto a cake plate.
- Serve, cut into wedges with vegan vanilla ice cream or pouring cream.
For more delicious vegan sweet treats
- No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie
- Berry Bundt Cakes
- Vegan Pear and Walnut Brownies
- No Bake Key Lime Pies!
- Mango Coconut Sticky Rice
- Best Vegan Banana Bread recipe
Vegan Rhubarb Cake
- 9" Lined Cake Tin (springform or loose bottomed)
- 1½ cups Plain Flour or use Gluten Free
- ½ cup Ground Almonds
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
- ½ cup Vegan Butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Egg Replacer, whisked up with 4 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
- ½ cup Vegan Yogurt I like to use a vanilla flavour
- 8 Stalks Rhubarb trimmed and cut into 1" lengths
- Preheat oven to 180c
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, ground almonds, salt, baking powder and soda
- Using hand mixer (or by hand), beat the butter and sugar until creamy
- Beat in the vegan egg replacer and mix for another couple of minutes
- Add the yogurt, vanilla and almond extracts and beat in
- Finally, fold in the dry ingredients gradually until thoroughly combined
- Pour mixture into prepared cake tin
- Place your chopped rhubarb in one layer on top of the batter. The pattern is up to you!
- Sprinkle a little more brown sugar over the top of the rhubarb
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before removing from cake tin.