Fluffy, silky sweet honey cake with a starburst of tart rhubarb!
Spring’s first garden harvest, and celebrating a decade of my first spring baby…
I almost choked on my coffee as I just typed that. A decade? How can that possibly be? Ten years ago, Chloe made me a momma, and literally nothing will change my life quite like that day did. I truly know of no other person in my life with a heart like this kid – if you’ve ever crossed her path you know that you leave a better person every time. My sweet first born just happens to adore the rhubarb in our backyard that always seems to be ready to harvest right around her birthday. Last year we made creamy rhubarb ice cream (topped with rhubarb sauce!), and the year before that rhubarb water kefir soda. This year, we decided to celebrate her 10th birthday with a special cake swirled with sweet local raw honey, and decorated with a sunburst of rhubarb at the top!
Whether you pick the rhubarb right out of the backyard, or the local farmer’s market, be sure to snag a few stalks with a super bright pinkish red hue to make the sunburst at the top of your cake really stand out. Rhubarb color can vary even from the same plant with some stalks boasting a bright green fading into pinks and reds, and others standing out with an almost shocking red color. The rhubarb’s lip puckering tartness is tamed with baking, and when married with a sweet, raw honey, the flavor is reminiscent of sweet tarts, and almost that kettle cooked caramel flavor.
Some notes about the honey
If you’ve never tasted a local honey from the area where you live, I would absolutely encourage you to visit your farmer’s market and ask for some samples. I love visiting new places and getting a taste of what the honey bees in that area are picking up. This cake will take on a hint of whatever honey you choose, so be sure to use one that you enjoy the flavor of. If too many flower notes are overwhelming to you, choose something lighter. If you love that flowery essence, by all means infuse this cake with that!
Achieving a fluffy honey cake
Because I wanted that gorgeous honey to really shine with the rhubarb, I knew there was potential to make this cake dense by the weight of the honey. My first few attempts were, although tasty, a bit on the dense side. Gluten free baking has a way of hefting the weight of baked goods too, so I had that going against me as well. I decided to try a trick that I use in my gluten free waffles – whipping the egg whites to a whipped cream consistency. It worked beautifully, and the result is a light and airy honey cake where you can actually taste hints of honey swirled throughout!
Fun garnishing ideas
We opted for the dramatic powdered sugar look for this cake, though a few of my cake attempts were drizzled with raw honey for a really pretty sheen added to the top. We chose the powdered sugar to celebrate Chloe’s birthday, and she adored dusting the top of her cake with that.
Rhubarb placing tricks
I played around with multiple arrangements of the pretty rhubarb stalks on the top of my cake attempts. My biggest recommendation would be to slice the stalks for the top of the cake thin the long way. If you have thick rhubarb stalks you make even have to do more than that. Putting thick stalks up on the top makes the top a bit soggy in my opinion and those thick stalks can get a fibrous texture. Slicing the rhubarb thin allowed for easier decorating, a really sharp looking finish, and just the right tart rhubarb flavor to the top that cuts into ever sweet honey cake bite!
Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup raw honey something that you love the taste of – a local wildflower etc. If you don’t like flowery honey don’t get that!
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup coconut milk or raw milk/cream
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1 ½ cups Namaste GF Flour Blend
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup chopped rhubarb plus stalks for the top arranged how you wish
- Optional finish of a drizzle of raw honey to the top of the cake, or organic powdered cane sugar to dust the top.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 10-inch springform pan or 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper and butter the sides.
- Put the egg yolks into a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Put the egg whites into a small mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Set the egg whites aside.
- Add the olive oil, honey, coconut sugar, coconut milk, and almond extract to the egg yolks, and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt to the wet ingredients and combine with a spatula – some lumps of flour are ok. When the batter is combined well, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until just combined.
- Smooth half of the cake batter into your springform pan, and sprinkle the cubed rhubarb over the top evenly. Smooth the other half of the cake batter over the top of the sprinkled rhubarb.
- Arrange the stalks of rhubarb on the top of your cake how you like. I recommend halving or quartering your stalks of rhubarb length-wise, depending on the thickness of the stalks. If you leave them as is they get mushy and hard to manage/arrange in the pan. Making them thinner baked up prettier and the slices cut nicely. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown, and springs back to touch.
- After the cake cools 10 minutes in the pan, you can turn it out to a cooling rack to cool completely. You can garnish the top with a drizzle of raw honey or dusting of organic powdered cane sugar when it is cooled.
Wondering if one could sub maple syrup for the honey, and cassava flour for the GF blend?
I love rhubarb anything! This looks so delicious, I hope I find some rhubarb soon so I can try it!
Beautiful recipe. I have so much rhubarb right now from the market that needs to be put to use!
I MUST have this! Rhubarb IN ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITES, AND WITH THE HOMEY, OLIVE OIL AND ALMOND EXTRACT….swoon! See, I got so excited, I put the cap lock on!!
I know it’s silly, but I’ve always been intimidated by cooking or baking with rhubarb so I haven’t really dove in. But gorgeous recipe like this make me positive I need to mend my ways. This looks like the perfect summer tea cake and I love that it uses raw honey and coconut sugar as we are refined sugar free at my house. Can’t wait to try this!
Gorgeous! We love gluten free baking so I’m definitely saving this one to bake up in the upcoming weeks. Hoping mine looks as good as yours!
The texture of this cake is phenomenal!! Made it with berries because I am STILL waiting to see rhubarb in my grocery stores! Turned out amazing, thank you for the recipe!
We have so much rhubarb right now and this cake looks like the perfect thing to make!
I need to get me some rhubarb because this is such a gorgeous cake! I still haven’t ever cooked with rhubarb before and you are inspiring me to change that soon.
I love rhubarb in desserts and it grows like crazy at my Dad’s farm. This cake is stunning and a very creative use for rhubarb.
I love rhubarb and this cake is a gorgeous way to use it. Loving all the healthful ingredients!
This is such a great way to use rhubarb! I love the sweetener combo of honey and coconut sugar.
Even though it is Autumn here in New Zealand my Mum (who lives further south than me) seems to have never ending rhubarb in her garden. Not sure what her secret is but I just visited her and she sent me back on the plane with a bag full of rhubarb! So this is perfect timing for me, it looks simply delicious! Have pinned to make over the weekend!
Already in the process of making this. Looks so yummy
The inside texture of this cake is just lovely. And the word “starburst” is going to make me happy all day. 😉 Beautiful cake and spring baking Renee!! 🙂
Wow! This is so pretty! I can taste all the yummy flavor from here.
Love this ‘decade’ story! Beautiful.
What a gorgeous cake. We love rhubarb.
The directions make this masterpiece seem do-able (I am not a baker!)
What do you recommend doing if my cake turns out burned on the outside after 40 minutes? I tried cooking it for less time but then the inside is still raw and the outside is still super dark!
Hi Alle! I have never encountered this! And we make it several times in the spring! Are there any ingredient swaps? What kind of honey are you using?