Rhubarb Cake with Butter Sauce


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A soft, old-fashioned rhubarb cake with butter sauce. This rhubarb cake is made in a 9 x 13 pan and is perfect for a potluck or picnic. 

rhubarb cake with butter sauce

This third post for rhubarb week is a fun one. It’s a twist on a classic Christmas dessert, cranberry cake with butter sauce. I updated it for spring and substituted rhubarb for the cranberries. It works so well, as both cranberries and rhubarb are tart and pair well with the butter sauce. 

How to make an old fashioned rhubarb cake

This is an egg-less cake which makes it super easy to make in one bowl. First, you’ll sift all the dry ingredients together. They are just the basics

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder 
  • Salt

rhubarb cake

To that mixture you’ll gently stir in the milk, melted butter and diced rhubarb. Pour into a pan and bake. This is seriously the easiest dessert. It’s just as fast as using a cake mix and doesn’t require and special ingredients (other than rhubarb, of course.) Perfect for last minute company or you want to bring a dessert somewhere. 

The lack of eggs in this cake make it especially tender and I love that. Be careful not to over bake it as it will be dry. Don’t worry though, a healthy dose of butter sauce will fix it. 

rhubarb cake in a 9 x 13 inch pan

How to make butter sauce for cake

Butter sauce is just butter, heavy cream and granulated sugar, (real fattening, I know) but so delicious warm on cake. Just think of it as a frosting alternative since frosting is just sugar and butter too. 

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the heavy cream and sugar, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Ta da, magic butter sauce that is perfect over cake. In addition to seeing this butter sauce over cranberry cake, I’ve also seen it served over a Pecan Praline Cake, a Warm Gingerbread Cake and Bread Pudding

rhubarb cake with butter sauce

Other Old Fashioned Rhubarb Recipes

Both my family and my reader’s love rhubarb recipes. If you’re looking for ways to use up extra rhubarb, check out one of my other rhubarb recipes. 

rhubarb cake with butter sauce

Rhubarb Cake with Butter Sauce

Old fashioned rhubarb cake with butter sauce. This rhubarb cake is made in a 9 x 13 pan and is a perfect easy dessert for a potluck or picnic.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Additional Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 2 hrs
Course: Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 -18 servings


For the cake

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups rhubarb diced (see note below about using frozen rhubarb)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted

For the butter sauce

  • 1/2 cup 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the diced rhubarb, milk and melted butter. Stir just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and cool
  • To make the butter sauce, combine the butter sugar and cream in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 1 minute stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • To serve, cut pieces of cake and serve with a generous amount of warm butter sauce. The sauce can be gently reheated on the stove or in the microwave if necessary.


To use frozen rhubarb: thaw the rhubarb first and let any excess liquid drain off. Don’t squeeze any liquid out, just drain what naturally thaws out of the rhubarb. 
Recipe adapted from A Farm Girl Dabbles.


Serving: 1piece · Calories: 363kcal · Carbohydrates: 58g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 13g · Saturated Fat: 8g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g · Cholesterol: 37mg · Sodium: 257mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 34g
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rhubarb cake with butter sauce


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  1. Jen says

    Rhubarb is such a favorite of mine and totally takes me back to my childhood. This cake sounds amazing and I can’t wait to take my first bite!