Fruity Almond Cake with Rhubarb, Strawberries & Mint

May 27, 2024
2 Ratings
Photo by Elvin Abril
  • Prep time 35 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

This cake recipe comes from Ava Chambers, a food stylist, who’s the only person I know who can make cakes without a recipe. But I got her to write this one down! If you wanted, you could make just the cake and you'd have a lovely breakfast or afternoon snacking cake. I think the payoff for roasting the rhubarb and strawberries and spreading them on top of the cake, though, is much greater than the effort. So go on now, do it! Also, toss in all the optionals and get that mint in there, too. They all add more flavor and joy to this delicious cake.

Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • 100 grams rhubarb, cut into batons
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 oranges, 2 zested and 1 juiced
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter softened, plus more for greasing the cake pan
  • 3 tablespoons raw/Demerara sugar (optional)
  • 3/4 cup (100 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (225 grams) sour cream
  • 1 cup (100 grams) rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup strawberries tops removed, then halved
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water, orange juice, or Grand Marnier
  • 2 tablespoons leftover juices from rhubarb maceration if you have it
  • Zest of an orange (optional)
  • Splash of orange blossom water (optional)
  • Vanilla bean (optional), halved and seeds scraped (use both the bean and the seeds in the mixture)
  • Handful mint leaves (large pieces torn)
  1. Macerate the rhubarb. Cut the rhubarb into thin batons to fit across the top of the cake (you may want some shorter pieces to fit the sides). In a tray, sprinkle the rhubarb batons with ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon orange zest and the juice of one orange. Let sit and macerate while you prepare the cake.
  2. Prepare the cake. Heat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9-inch cake pan. Line the base with parchment paper then butter the paper. Optional: sprinkle the Demerara sugar around the sides and bottom of the cake pan, for a sugar crust.
  3. Mix the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the sour cream, and remaining orange zest.
  4. Scrape the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Top with the rhubarb batons (add the juices for the roasted rhubarb recipe below). Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool, then transfer to a cake plate.
  5. Prepare the fruit topping. Increase the oven heat to 400°F. Toss the fruit with the sugar, 2 tablespoons water (or other options), 2 tablespoons leftover rhubarb juices, and any of your optional ingredients (hold off on the mint). Pour into a baking dish (large enough so that there isn’t too much crowding, some overlap is okay).
  6. Roast the fruit until it’s soft but still has some body; it should be neither raw nor mushy—about 10 to 15 minutes (the time will depend on the ripeness and density of the fruit). There should be a nice syrup filling the baking dish from the fruit juices and sugar, that is loose but with syrupy viscosity (this will thicken as it cools).
  7. Once cooled, toss the fruit with some fresh mint leaves, then spread on top of the cooled cake.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jade DaRu
    Jade DaRu
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
  • Jock
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

6 Reviews

Jock May 31, 2024
I haven’t made this cake yet but I love almond cake and rhubarb is my favorite spring fruit (veg??) so it’s likely I will. But before I do, a quick question – a cup of sugar is usually measured at 200g but the recipe says 1 cup is 150g. That’s quite a difference. Which is correct - 1 cup or 150g?

Thank you
Amanda H. June 1, 2024
Thanks for catching this error -- it should be 3/4 cup (150g) sugar in the cake, and 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar in the roasted rhubarb! The recipe should be fixed now!
Jock June 1, 2024
Thank you.
Jade D. May 29, 2024
If I don't have Almond Flour on hand, would it be ok to use all All-Purpose? Also, can I use frozen rhubarb and/or strawberry for this recipe. I usually have both in the freezer at the ready for a fab recipe any time of the year. Thanks!
Amanda H. June 1, 2024
Hi Jade, I asked Ava, and here's what she said: "You can definitely swap the almond flour for all-purpose flour and it shouldn’t change the cake much, just a slight more cakey texture as supposed to moist and torte like.

With frozen fruit a bit more liquid will come out when it’s heated, so I would recommend defrosting the fruit that bakes on top of the sponge to avoid too much sog. But the roasted fruit will be just fine roasting straight from frozen, just might take a few minutes longer to get the juices nice and syrupy."

Also there was a mistake with the measurements for the sugar -- now fixed. Hope you enjoy the cake!
Jade D. June 1, 2024
Thank you for finding out for me. I really appreciate it! I think I will love this cake!!!