Oxburgh’s rhubarb cake

We grow lots of rhubarb at Oxburgh Hall, it inspired us to create this recipe for rhubarb cake. Did you know that in 1657 rhubarb was nearly three times the price of opium? It goes to show how much it was valued! The Victorians went crazy about it. It was in jam and chutney, pies and sauces, jellies and fools, custards and wine.

Cakes and bakes
Rhubarb cake with stalks of rhubarb
  • Preparation time 30 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 1 hour 25 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 6


  • 230g / 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 140g / 5 oz caster sugar
  • 140g / 5 oz margarine
  • 260g / 9 oz rhubarb (finely diced)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 85g / 3 oz sultanas
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (topping)


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4, then grease and line a 7 inch cake tin.
  2. Sift the flour and add your pinch of salt.
  3. Rub in the margarine.
  4. Stir in the caster sugar.
  5. Mix in the eggs, rhubarb and sultanas.
  6. Turn into your prepared tin and spread to the sides.
  7. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top and bake in the oven for 1 hour 25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool on a wire rack and enjoy.