My love for rhubarb continues with this Rhubarb Custard Cake. I found this glorious recipe in a friend’s cookbook called, Make Ahead Kitchen. While I was stocking my freezer making Fast to the Table Freezer Cookbook, my friend Annalise Thomas from the blog Sweet Anna’s, was busy prepping food in advance for her handy cookbook. The funny part, we both had no idea the other was writing a similar style of cookbook!
Once Annalise’s cookbook was available to preview I perused every page! So many recipes to make… Pineapple Coconut Chicken, Tuna Melts, Blackberry Cardamom Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Brown Sugar Ice Cream, Peach Breakfast Bars… all of which can be made in advance. Brilliant! I love this stuff!
My first pick was Rhubarb Custard Cake, simply because it’s rhubarb season and I’m obsessed, also anything with custard in the name, I know I’ll love. I’ve made similar cakes before like this Lemon Pudding Cake, and many versions of Tres Leches Cake, but never with rhubarb. So many times rhubarb is overpowered in recipes by its often sugary counterparts but in this recipe its the cream, not the sugar, that perfectly balances the tart rhubarb and I loved that change!
The recipe does have quite a few steps but they are clearly written out. Make sure to clean out your mixer well (use lemon juice or cider vinegar) before whipping the egg whites. I’ve made that mistake too many times.
As the cake rises in the oven, the creamy custard sets at the bottom and the result is like having your cake with ice cream all in one pan… my ideal dessert really. Of course, you can always add more ice cream to the top too 🙂
For more great make-ahead recipe ideas, pick up a copy of Annalise’s book, Make Ahead Kitchen.
Rhubarb Custard Cake
- 1 cup flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 eggs, separated
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 cups chopped rhubarb
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13" baking dish. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites into two separate bowls. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar until very pale yellow in color. Stir in the milk and vanilla until combined. Gently whisk the flour mixture into the beaten egg yolks mixture until combined.
- In a separate large, very clean mixing bowl (egg whites won’t whip well if there is any grease at all in the bowl or on the beaters!), with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy and soft.
- Slowly pour in ¼ cup sugar while the mixer is beating and continue to beat until stiff, glossy peaks form (pull the whisk out and a stiff little peak should be left, not a soft, slumpy mountain). Don’t let the whites beat to a dry texture again, or you will need to use new whites!
- Gently fold the beaten eggs whites into the batter, a few scoops at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy and all the whites are incorporated. Spread this batter evenly into the greased baking dish.
- Gently scatter the chopped rhubarb all over the top of the batter, and then sprinkle evenly with ¾ cup sugar and drizzle all over with the heavy cream.
- Bake for 40–45 minutes, until the top is golden and the cake is set (springs back when pressed gently on the top). Let cool completely in the pan and serve at room temperature, or even cold...with whipped cream or ice cream if you want to make it fancy