With a tang from both fresh rhubarb and sour cream and a crunchy almond streusel on top, this sour cream rhubarb coffee cake has become an absolute favourite here.      

Want more simple cakes? Try this Blueberry Cake or this ever-popular Flourless Lemon Cake.

A rhubarb cake with a few slices cut out, sitting on a marble cake platter.

I only recently discovered rhubarb. I mean, I knew it existed as my mum loves it but I always kind of turned my nose up at it. I think I just thought “vegetable” and not “tangy, slightly sweet, juicy and perfect in a cake”. I’ve now seen the light.

Why you’ll love this easy rhubarb recipe

This Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake recipe is adapted from my Blueberry Cake which was originally adapted from by Cherry Cake with Crumble Topping. It’s sweet but having no frosting makes it just perfect to have with a cuppa.

You don’t need to be a cake decorator to make this beautiful tea time cake either. The batter is a breeze to make and the topping is a simple streusel made of nothing but almonds, sugar and cinnamon.

A light dusting of icing sugar is all she needs.

A slice of rhubarb cake sitting on a white plate with a fork next to it, a cup of coffee in the back.

What does rhubarb taste like?

I would describe it as being similar to a sour apple. It’s tangy and just slightly sweet but once cooked, it gets sweeter making it perfect for desserts.

As for the texture it’s a little like a softer version of celery but luckily it tastes nothing like it.  Celery cake, anyone? Eewww!

How to make this easy rhubarb cake

This Rhubarb Coffee Cake is so incredibly simple.

Mixing together butter, sugar and eggs in a white bowl, then adding flour.
Adding sour cream and rhubarb pieces to cake batter in a glass bowl.
  1. Start by beating together brown sugar and butter, followed by eggs, lemon zest and vanilla, beating well after each.

The brown sugar adds moisture and extra flavour to this cake.

  1. Next add half the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  2. Followed by half the sour cream, repeat the gently mix then repeat the dry ingredients and sour cream steps again.

This way of added these ingredients bit by bit helps in not overmixing once dry ingredients are adding which can cause your cake to turn out dense.

  1. Now just carefully fold through those lovely red chunks of rhubarb.
Spreading rhubarb cake batter into a cake tin, then topping with almond streusel.
  1. Spread the batter into a prepared cake tin.
  2. Finally sprinkle over a mixture of almonds, demerara (turbinado) sugar and cinnamon.

That little cinnamon kick goes so well with the rhubarb and gives this cake a cosy, comforting vibe.

Can you freeze rhubarb cake?

This rhubarb coffee cake freezes well for up to 3  months, wrapped in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap. Or just wrap it once and freeze it in a suitable airtight container.

Does rhubarb coffee cake need to be refrigerated?

Yes. It’s best to keep rhubarb cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator so the rhubarb doesn’t spoil or make the cake soggy (as it softens once baked).

It will keep well for 3-4 days in the fridge. Just make sure to let the cake come to room temperature before eating, unless of course you like a cake that’s cold and firm.

Using sour cream in baking

I love using sour cream in baking. Sour cream in cakes results in a really tender crumb and a moist cake.

Sour cream also gives cakes a lovely flavour. It’s a thicker ingredient than using milk, for instance, so it will make a thicker batter so no need to worry about leakage from your spring form cake tin.

I use light sour cream in this recipe since it’s what we use at home, but feel free to use full fat. It will turn out just the same yet possibly even more flavourful.

A fork digging into a piece of rhubarb cake on a white plate with gold rim.

Easy to make, Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake for the afternoon tea win! Or for breakfast because why not? There’s vegetables in this, making it practically health food, right?

More recipes you’ll love

A slice of rhubarb cake sitting on a white plate with a fork next to it, a cup of coffee in the back
5 from 6 ratings
Tangy, sweet and perfect with a cup of coffee, this Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake will become your go to afternoon tea cake. Filled with tart chunks of fresh rhubarb and topped with an almond streusel.


  • 300 g fresh rhubarb, cut in 2cm pieces (approx 2 cups)
  • 195 g plain (all-purp) flour (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
  • 150 g light brown sugar (¾ cup / 5.3oz)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • cup light sour cream, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons demerara (turbinado) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided



  • Preheat the oven to 350Grease and line an 8 inch spring form cake tin.
  • Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix through. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each.
  • Add half the flour mix and fold through. Fold through the sour cream and then finally the remaining flour mixture until just combined. Make sure not to overmix.
  • Fold through the rhubarb.
  • Tip the batter into your prepared baking tin then spread to the edges and level out the top a little.
  • Combine the demerara sugar, almonds and cinnamon and scatter over the top.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Lovely with a dollop of cream or ice cream or, my favourite, served warm with some custard. Yum!


  • I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
  • For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.