Rhubarb Spelt Cake

Croft Garden Cottage rhubarb spelt cakeThis is a light, moist cake which is not too sweet. The spelt produces  a sightly nutty flavour which adds character and goes well with the complex flavours of the brown sugars and cinnamon, and the tartness of the rhubarb. A definite favourite when I can wrestle a few sticks of rhubarb from the crumble maker and some spelt from the croft bread maker.

  • 225g spelt flour
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 225g light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 orange, finely grated zest and juice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 300g rhubarb, chopped
  • 3 tbsp demerara sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5 and line the base a 23cm spring-form tin lined with baking paper.
  2. Mix the spelt flour, ground almonds, light brown sugar, salt, baking powder, orange zest and 1 tsp ground cinnamon together in a large bowl. Combine the melted butter and eggs in a small bowl and whisk in the milk and orange juice.
  3. Fold the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring briefly until combined. Do not over mix or the cake will be heavy.
  4. Pour a third of the batter into the tin. Scatter over half the rhubarb. Add another third of batter, then cover with the rest of the rhubarb. Top with the remaining batter.
  5. Mix the demerara sugar and the rest of the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
  6. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the tin’s edges. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack.


  1. Bringing all the ingredients to room temperature will help to prevent the melted butter solidifying when you mix the cake. If this does happen, it isn’t a disaster by any means but the cake may be slightly heavier as a result.
  2. You could use wholemeal flour instead of spelt
  3. Spelt is one of the oldest of cultivated grains and has been cultivated for 5,000 years. Originally grown in Transcaucasia (now Iran), spelt flour was an important staple in parts of Europe in the Bronze Age and is now enjoying something of a revival. It makes delicious bread and biscuits.
  4. Feel free to innovate – I had 3 egg yolks in the fridge which I used instead of 2 eggs and had to use a mix of light brown, dark brown and unrefined granulated sugars because I couldn’t find the spare packet of light brown sugar (wearing wrong specs again!). If you don’t like cinnamon try ginger.

8 thoughts on “Rhubarb Spelt Cake”

  1. Whahay! Thanks for this, Chris. I am interested to know that you are using spelt as I am just on the point of beginning to experiment with grains, following the lead of an enthusiastic friend who also advocates soaking grains before use. I am starting with the easy thing of soaking my muesli the night before, but intend, if I remember, to soak the oats for our Sunday porridge and also things like bulghur wheat and rice. I now need to buy some alternative flours. Now, do I wait till I get the spelt before I try your recipe, or shall I try it with wholemeal? It will have to wait till I get some more almonds anyway as I have just used a lot in a linzertorte at the w/e. You do like your cinnamon, don’t you?!

  2. I’ve been experimenting with different grains for a while now, a result of a growing interest in the food of the Middle East, Eastern Med and North Africa. Obviously the next step was to try different flours and spelt is one of my favourites and greatly preferred to standard wholemeal. My baking activities tend to be limited to cakes and biscuits although I’m edging into flatbreads – I don’t want to usurp the bread maker. Most things are available mail-order but the cost of carriage can be horrendous (I will not have a rant about the problems and costs of mail-order to the more remote parts of the UK).
    I am very partial to cinnamon and ginger -well I use a whole range of spices and have just discovered sumac!
    Time to go I have to bake this afternoon – just a batch of scones as the cake mice have stolen the rest of the rhubarb cake!!

  3. Did you see the Great British Bake Off episode when they made flatbreads? They looked extremely inviting, and having recently made naan for the first time it’s something I would like to do more of. Some of the recipes have been on the GBBO website at the BBC, but I don’t know if these are. I know, of course, about the difficulties of mail order to more remote parts of the UK as I hear it from my Mum, who is barely offshore at all.

  4. Like all home bakers ( and aspiring bakers at any level) are avid watchers of this particular programme and I’ve wondered about how to source the recipes. Thank you for the tip.

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