Rhubarb pudding cake

These rhubarb pudding cakes are a creative way to bake with rhubarb with a simple homemade rhubarb compote made with tangy pink rhubarb on the bottom and topped with a buckwheat butter cake for the perfect “lazy” spring/summer dessert that everybody will enjoy.
Buckwheat pudding cake with rhubarb baked in a small white ramekin and displayed burlap

The British refer to desserts as “pudding” which can be a little confusing to those of us in North America. But this recipe is for a pudding cake that the Brits would probably also refer to as a pudding, perhaps the rhubarb version of a sticky toffee pudding?

American pudding is more of an egg-thickened or starch-thickened custard, like butterscotch pudding thickened with egg yolks and cornstarch which gels the milk in the recipe, or vanilla bean tapioca pudding thickened with egg yolks and tapioca, which helps absorb some of that liquid.

Let’s not forget the French “pots de crème” which would be directly translated to “pots of cream,” which are egg-based desserts served in jars, either cooked on the stove like American pudding or baked in a water bath. Most pots de crème involve chocolate, which lends an unctuosity to pots de crème that makes them the ultimate pudding, if you ask me. These white chocolate pots de crème were baked in the oven, as were these chocolate sesame pots de crème, while these milk chocolate pots de crème were cooked on the stove.

Making rhubarb pudding cakes in ramekins with rhubarb compote on the bottom and cake batter spooned on top

Pudding cakes are quite different than American pudding: a pudding cake has some sort of sauce on the bottom and cake on top. My mom used to make what she called “self-saucing puddings” that formed their own sweet sauce on the bottom magically as they baked in the oven. Served warm, pudding cakes are so comforting.  

Rhubarb pudding cakes freshly baked in individual white ramekins, pink rhubarb compote bubbled over the rims

There’s also the retro marmalade puddings that are actually steamed cakes baked with marmalade. And let’s not forget the traditional Quebec dessert pouding chômeur (which translates as “poor man’s pudding”), which has a saucy layer of cream and maple syrup (or brown sugar) baked with a thick layer of cake on top.

The rhubarb pudding cake recipe here is a variation on that theme. In this case, you make a batch of pink rhubarb compote which gets divided between a set of ramekins, and then a cake batter is placed on top before baking. You end up with a saucy tangy rhubarb compote layer tucked beneath a sweet cake layer. So good!

A bite of rhubarb pudding cake

I’d say this variation of the old-fashioned pudding cake will go down as one of the best rhubarb recipes on the blog. It’s so comforting and a true ode to spring/summer pink rhubarb. I am super excited to share this rhubarb pudding cake with you (loosely adapted from Ricardo magazine, volume 11, number 5). I think this is such an easy and delicious way to showcase rhubarb: a simple homemade rhubarb compote topped with a buckwheat butter cake. I guess it’s a lot like a sticky rhubarb pudding, you could say!
Buckwheat pudding cake with rhubarb compote on the bottom, eat with a spoon to grab the sauce and cake in every bite

Honestly, this turned out to be one of my all-time favourite desserts that I’ve shared with you until now. It might become my go-to rhubarb dessert to mark the season every year, along with strawberry rhubarb muffins, rhubarb bostockstrawberry rhubarb crumbles and rhubarb jam. The compote is sweet, but still tart and loaded with rhubarb flavour. The buckwheat cake is delightfully nutty. I’d really like to eat this every day, maybe even twice a day (once for breakfast, and once for dessert after dinner). Don’t just read this: make it! And if you would prefer a cake with the rhubarb baked on top, try this moist rhubarb cake or these mini orange cornmeal cakes recipe.

Rhubarb pudding cake baked in miniature ceramic dutch ovens, pink rhubarb juices bubbled over on the sheet pan underneath

Rhubarb pudding cakes freshly baked
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5 from 1 vote

Rhubarb pudding cake

A recipe for a rhubarb pudding cake: a rhubarb compote on the bottom with a vanilla cake baked on the top. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword rhubarb pudding cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 317kcal
Author Janice


GIR spatula
Artisan mixer


Rhubarb compote ingredients

  • 150 grams (¾ cup) granulated sugar
  • 7.5 mL (1.5 tsp) cornstarch
  • 400 grams (4 cups) fresh rhubarb cut into 1/4″ pieces

Buckwheat cake ingredients

  • 40 grams (¼ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 40 grams (¼ cup) buckwheat flour
  • 2.5 mL (½ tsp) baking powder
  • 0.625 mL ( tsp) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
  • 75 grams ( cup) Stirling Creamery unsalted butter room temperature
  • 75 grams ( cup) granulated sugar
  • 2.5 mL (½ tsp) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (1 ) large egg
  • 45 mL (3 tbsp) milk (2 % fat)


To make the rhubarb compote

  • In a medium pot, stir together the sugar and cornstarch with a wooden spoon. Add the chopped rhubarb and toss to coat then heat on medium to release the juices from the fruit, and to thicken the compote, stirring constantly.
  • When the compote has simmered for at least 5 minutes and the mixture is thickened significantly, take the pot off the heat.
  • Divide the mixture among 6 ramekins and set them aside while you make the cake batter.

To make the buckwheat cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl, and set this aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar for 3 minutes.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat well until the batter is smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beating the batter just until smooth and all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Top the ramekins of compote with the cake batter and bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake layer comes out clean.
  • Serve these cakes warm or cold.
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenhealssoul or tag #kitchenhealssoul!


Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 432IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg

Chopping and slicing fresh rhubarb with a small pairing knife on a white cutting board

15 Responses to Rhubarb pudding cake

  1. Torviewtoronto June 4, 2013 at 3:16 AM #

    this looks wonderful deliciously done

  2. Liz June 5, 2013 at 2:18 AM #

    I love anything with rhubarb and I’ve posted a few recipes with it on my blog recently. Your little bowls look like the perfect size treat! 🙂

  3. El June 6, 2013 at 2:52 PM #

    This is great. I never know what to do with rhubarb so I truly appreciate this recipe. Thanks!

  4. Joan June 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM #

    I soooo wish we could grow rhubarb out here. Tried it. It was not a go.
    That is one of the things I miss about living in Minnesota.

    • Janice Lawandi June 10, 2013 at 1:08 AM #

      I can’t imagine being without rhubarb! I wonder if you could find some frozen?

  5. Karen Kerr June 12, 2013 at 5:23 AM #

    I just love these photos! They are truly beautiful. I wish rhubarb were more plentiful here. It used to be, but I suspect that it is relegated as pedestrian here. Again, gorgeous.

  6. Julia May 15, 2014 at 4:30 PM #

    This looks sooo good! We’re still waiting for this year’s rhubarb to appear (in my generous neighbor’s yard)!

  7. Lexy June 7, 2014 at 11:39 PM #

    Delicious! Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to have a plain rhubarb recipe without strawberries or raspberries. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  8. C.Lem ( April 7, 2016 at 2:18 PM #

    I have all the ingredients to make this and have been desperate for a yummy way to use up what’s left of my frozen rhubarb and a fairly full jar of unused buckwheat. Perhaps I’ll even snapchat making it… ?


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