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Rhubarb crumble loaf cake

Juliet Sear

A simple loaf cake elevated by a sweet, crunchy topping and roast rhubarb accompaniment

Recipe Meta


30 mins


45 mins






For the loaf cake

  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 80g polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 120g rhubarb (chopped into 2cm lengths)

For the crumble topping

  • 40g plain flour
  • 20g slightly salted butter (cold and cut into cubes)
  • 30g golden caster sugar

For the roast rhubarb (optional)

  • 200g rhubarb cut into 8cm lengths
  • 20g caster sugar
  • Mascarpone


  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment or bowl and wooden spoon
  • Small 1lb loaf tin, greased and lined with baking parchment, sitting on a small baking tray to catch any crumbs
  • Small roasting dish


Heat the oven to 180C. Beat the sugar and butter together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the polenta, baking powder and ground almonds.

Spoon half the mixture over the base of the cake tin and spread it out evenly with a pallete knife or the back of a spoon. Arrange the chopped rhubarb over this layer of cake mixture, then drop the rest of the mixture over the top. Smooth with a spoon or palette knife. Bake for 20-25 mins.

While the sponge is baking, prepare the topping by rubbing the flour and butter between your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then mix in the sugar.

When the cake has been baking for 20-25 mins and is set enough to hold the crumble and not sink, remove it from the oven. Turn up the heat to 200C. Crumble the topping onto the part-baked cake, creating a single layer of lumps and crumbs. Bake for a further 20 mins until the cake is cooked through and the crumble is lightly golden.

While the crumble-topped cake is back in the oven, place the rhubarb in a small roasting dish, sprinkle with the caster sugar and toss through with your hands. Cover with tin foil and bake for 15 mins, then remove the foil and roast for a further 5 mins. Leave the rhubarb to cool in its syrupy juices.

When the loaf is cooked, leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then cool fully on a wire rack. Serve in slices dressed with a couple of pieces of glorious roasted rhubarb and a generous sprinkling of crumble, finished with mascarpone.

Image: Kim Lightbody

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