gluten-free rhubarb, lemon and almond cake

June 15, 2011
5 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

This buttery Almond cake is the perfect base for tart Rhubarb, but can also be topped with which ever fruit is in season. Pear halves, plums, apricots or even berries would all be great substitutes. It can be made dairy-free if dairy-free margarine is used too. - Emma Galloway —Emma Galloway | My Darling Lemon Thyme

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a lovely, buttery, not-too-sweet cake. This was my first time making a totally gluten-free cake, and I was a little skeptical of the directions to mix the eggs and sugar first before adding the butter. But I followed Emma Galloway’s very precise directions, and I shouldn’t have worried. The cake emerged from the oven with a light, moist texture. The ground almonds provided a marvellous nutty texture and flavor, the lemon zest added a bright note, and I loved the tart bites of rhubarb. After my husband finished off his piece, he said he did not miss the flour at all. This is not just a delicious gluten-free cake, it is an all-around delicious cake. - cookinginvictoria —cookinginvictoria

What You'll Need
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 125g extra soft butter, or dairy-free margarine
  • 2 3/4 cups (300g) ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup (50g) brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 stalks of rhubarb (approx 150g)
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar, extra
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/356 F. Grease a 25 cm/9 inch cake tin and line the bottom with a round of baking paper. Wash the rhubarb stalks, cut into 1 inch lengths and while still slightly damp from washing combine in a small bowl with the 2tsp of extra caster sugar to coat and set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar using either a hand-held electric beater or a stand-up mixer for 5 minutes until very thick and pale in colour. Slowly beat in the soft butter, then beat for a further few minutes. A few small lumps of butter will remain, this is okay. Gently fold in the almond meal, rice flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin. Dot the rhubarb pieces on top, gently pushing them down into the batter a little. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the rhubarb is tender.
  3. Cool in the tin before serving dusted with icing sugar and softly whipped cream on the side.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • allstar379
  • Nargess
  • susan g
    susan g
  • vvvanessa
  • essbee
Former chef | Author of My Darling Lemon Thyme-Recipes from my real food kitchen | Photographer

18 Reviews

allstar379 April 29, 2014
if you are not worried about being gluten-free and do not have access to rice flour, what else could you sub in? all purpose flour?
Emma G. May 1, 2014
Yes, just sub in all purpose flour for the brown rice :-)
Nargess July 22, 2013
I made this cake in its 9" round indicated but used pear slices and dotted the top with blackberries. OMG! It looks beautiful and tastes Awwmmaazzing! I can not believe its gluten free. I have pic's but not sure if we can post here. Anyways, I really want to put it into a Large 2lb loaf... if anyone knows if I need to reduce the ingredients please share your advice.
Nargess July 22, 2013
Forgot to say. THANK YOU for sharing your recipe. :)xx
Emma G. August 29, 2013
You're welcome!
Nargess July 21, 2013
Can I put this into a 9x5 loaf pan? or would i need to decrease the ingredients? thank you
susan G. June 14, 2013
I made this for a group of 12. Two or 3 were gluten free, everyone really enjoyed it. It cooked for 50 minutes in a 9" springform pan, rose well and was still moist. Two stalks of rhubarb weighed about 225 g, and filled the top with the batter peeking through -- very pretty. I'm delighted to have a new GF dessert favorite!
vvvanessa May 30, 2013
I really enjoyed this recipe-- thanks so much for posting it. I ended up adding vanilla and salt, purely out of habit. I overcooked it by a few minutes, and it ended up a little drier than I would have ideally liked; next time I'll be sure to pull it a little sooner. But a little whipped cream made it all better!
Anna H. January 6, 2013
I made this today, substituting apples that I'd browned in butter so they wouldn't dry out - it's a lovely recipe! Thank you for sharing with all of us :)

I was wondering, if I wanted to add fruit to the body of the cake, not just the top, what adjustments would I need to make to the recipe? Thanks for helping this baking novice!
vvvanessa May 30, 2013
I would to two things: First, I would slice the rhubarb on the thinner side, like not more than 1/2-inch wide. Second, I would toss the rhubarb in a couple of teaspoons of rice flour to coat it lightly before folding it into the batter. It will help keep the rhubarb supended in the batter so it doesn't sink to the bottom.
essbee May 21, 2012
This turned out beautifully as 24 mini-cakes. (My pan is 15 3/4" x 11" x 1" high.) They were done in 35 minutes.

- Note to Bakers Who Overestimate the Ingredients They Have in the Pantry -

It turned out I was 50g short on almonds, so I reduced the brown rice flour and baking powder by the equivalent amount (17%), to no ill effect.

Eggs, butter, sugar, lemon amounts as written.
IsabellaG May 10, 2012
I made these this morning as cupcakes with some slight changes, browned butter and rhubarb compote instead of the regular butter and whole rhubarb stalks. Oh how delicious they turned out!
shemanufactures December 2, 2011
This was delicious! I subbed in cranberry chutney and baked it in cupcake tins for a little over 20 minutes. I'll be coming back to this recipe when rhubarb is in season.
jessicad July 12, 2011
Mine turned out great! Thanks for a wonderful recipe, I have never used brown rice flour before. I used 4 stalks of rhubarb but it was about 300g worth, so it took a little longer to cook but had a great crust as a result.
drbabs June 16, 2011
Mmmm...I love this.
Sagegreen June 15, 2011
Love your use of ground almonds with rice flour. This looks wonderful!
susan G. June 15, 2011
Your recipes look excellent. We've got a lot of work ahead of us to try all these wonderful new offerings!
Emma G. June 16, 2011
yeah, me too! So many great gf recipes :-)