Rhubarb buckle

This vanilla and rhubarb buckle, a brighter cousin to the traditional American-style teatime cake, is perfect for the cold months when forced rhubarb shines

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 10 mins
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 472
  • fat 20g
  • saturates 12g
  • carbs 65g
  • sugars 39g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 6g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 50g unsalted butter, chilled
  • 25g rolled oat
  • 225g thin, forced rhubarb, trimmed, rinsed and cut into 2½ cm/1in-long pieces
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • zest 1 orange
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • zest 1 orange
  • 2 large egg
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 125ml soured cream


What is a buckle?

Buckle cakes, which are popular in America, have a dense layer of batter at the bottom, a layer of fruit (traditionally blueberries), and are finished with a crumble topping. As it bakes, the batter rises up the edges of the cake tin to form a crust, but ‘buckles’ under the weight of the fruit in the centre, giving the cake its name.


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a deep 20cm round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

  2. To make the crumble topping, put the flour, sugar and ginger in a bowl and mix together. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and, using your hands, bring the mixture together into a dough, wrap in cling film and chill until needed.

  3. Put the rhubarb pieces in a bowl with the sugar and orange zest, and mix together. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

  4. Put the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat together until light and fluffy, about 5 mins. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating together until combined before adding the next.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, vanilla paste and a pinch of salt together and, in two additions, fold into the butter mixture, alternating with the soured cream. Tip into your cake tin and level out with a spatula. Top with the rhubarb mixture and finish by breaking the chilled crumble into irregular-sized pieces and scattering over the rhubarb. Bake in the oven for about 1 hr 10 mins or until the crumble is golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after 1 hr – if it is colouring too quickly, cover lightly with foil for the final 10 mins.

  6. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins before carefully transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, but the crumble will lose some of its texture after the first day.

Suggested recipes from this collection...