cardamom rhubarb snacking cake | movita beaucoup

If I were a plant, I’d want to be rheum rhabarbarum (rhubarb). Short, thick, tart and pretty: who wouldn’t want to get with rhubarb? It’s one of the more pulchritudinous creeping rootstalks (obviously), but did you know that rhubarb is also slang for fight? Use it as you would donnybrook, melee or brannigan. For example: there was a real rhubarb at the bar last night! It figures, as rhubarb is pretty badass. It takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. Also, it has leaves that could kill you. Not that it stops people from being super excited to see it every spring. It’s the Walter White of the garden – loveable anti-hero, poison and all.

cardamom rhubarb snacking cake | movita beaucoup

Proof positive that rhubarb is one tough mofo? It survived winter 2013. Let’s celebrate with cake.

This snacking cake is lightly flavoured and scented with cardamom, which pairs very well with rhubarb. For the topping, I brought cinnamon and cardamom together, and then added some pistachios for texture – they’re a nice change from a more traditional walnut or pecan topping. The sweet and slightly crunchy topping gives way to a tender, moist cake below. With an extended bake-time, the rhubarb melts into the batter – it’s part of the reason the cake is so exceptionally moist. There’s lots of brown sugar in there, which balances the tartness of the rhubarb. If you haven’t tried rhubarb and/or cardamom, I’d like to suggest that a cake of this sort is a great way to get acquainted, as neither overwhelms.

We’ve had three test versions of this cake this week, so we’re pretty confident we could rhubarb anyone who comes into our yard. (Cake gives you superpowers.)

cardamom rhubarb snacking cake | movita beaucoup

One more thing: if you’re faking a conversation on stage, you can keep mouthing the word rhubarb randomly. Cantaloupe works too, as does watermelon. (Trust. I’m in the performing arts.) But don’t mouth the phrase elephant shoe repeatedly, because it looks like you’re saying I love you over and over again.

cardamom rhubarb snacking cake | movita beaucoup

. . .

Cardamom Rhubarb Snacking Cake

print and bake

Yields one 9 inch springform pan.

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup brilliant light brown (brilliant yellow) sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pistachios (raw, hulled, unsalted)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown (brilliant yellow) sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb

Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe before beginning. Measure out all of your ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 inch (3 inches deep) springform pan, and line bottom with parchment paper.

Begin by making the topping: in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, pistachios, melted butter, cinnamon and cardamom until crumbly and well combined. Set aside.

Make the cake: in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), cream together the brown sugar, butter and egg on medium speed until smooth and no lumps remain. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce speed to low, and add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the Greek yogurt. (Add as follows: 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 yogurt, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 yogurt, 1/3 flour mixture.) Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with each addition, and avoid over-mixing.

Fold in the rhubarb by hand.

Spread the cake batter evenly in the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle the surface of the cake evenly with topping.

Bake 50-60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. (I check for doneness after baking for about 45 minutes, and then continue checking every few minutes from there.) The cake will be a deep, golden brown, and may begin to pull back a little from the sides of the pan. The centre should not be jiggly – it should be somewhat firm and spring back to the touch.

Allow the cake to cool for about 15-20 minutes before releasing the springform sides, and then allow to cool completely before cutting.

. . .

More rhubarb: rhubarb muffins and old fashioned rhubarb cake.


  1. AHAnto on June 11, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Hacked my rhubarb back just last week – no time over the weekend, so chopped it up and stuck it in the freezer for a bit. This might just get me baking, despite life’s carousel mechanism having speeded up by 200 percent lately! And this morning, opening your blog, the colourful header dots got me. Mind said “Party!” Nice contrast to the softly rainy day we’re starting. Have a great day! I’ll be dreaming of sweet things and elbowing stuff out of the way for some baking time!

    • movita beaucoup on June 11, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Yippie!! Party!! (I do adore my header.)

      I tested this recipe with frozen rhubarb – because that’s what I do. The bake time was slightly longer, and I did find the added moisture made it ever-so-slightly too moist, though my rhubarb wasn’t fully thawed when I threw it in. That said, we enjoyed the cake very much! Just be aware that the cake might be extra… moist. I wish there were a better word. GAH!

  2. PattyAD on June 11, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Just did the annual raid of the neighbor’s rhubarb patch (with their blessing) and I’m sure I’ve got more than I need for my strawberry-rhubarb jam. Looking forward to trying this one.

    • movita beaucoup on June 11, 2014 at 11:36 am

      This isn’t you… right?

      • PattyAD on June 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

        Ha! Wow. Thankfully, no. They grow it, but don’t do anything with it, so they’re happy to have someone use it.

  3. Lan | morestomach on June 11, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    also, don’t mouth “i want a fig newton” cus it’s dirrrrrty.

    • movita beaucoup on June 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      This is an excellent point.

  4. Matt on June 11, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    I don’t know, you might have lost me on this one. The tartness of rhubarb is always a cruel trick, and feels like someone pushing their thumb into the glands under your jaw. It it looks so tasty, so innocent too.

    But since it has brown sugar and butter in the recipe, I’d give it a whirl.

    • movita beaucoup on June 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Matt, I would never push my thumbs into anyone’s glands because… gross. Therefore, it stands to reason that I wouldn’t give you a gland pushing cake. Right? Also, I never lie about cake. It’s a baking sin.

      • Matt on June 11, 2014 at 6:35 pm

        O.K. I believe you. But don’t quickly dismiss the ninja like glandular defensive attack, it may come in handy against some phone line cutting, skin-suit making whack job.

  5. Eggton on June 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I wish I were a teeny tiny person (like, the size of a small salt shaker) so that I could put crampons on my shoes and trek across the top of that cake with a CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUUUUNCH!

    For the record: I am not high right now, if that’s what you’re thinking.

    • movita beaucoup on June 13, 2014 at 8:17 am

      Katherine, I had to look up crampons before fully grasping the awesomeness of this comment, which was clearly written whilst you were under the influence.

  6. shannon on June 12, 2014 at 8:09 am

    that cake is my dream cake: i LOVE rhubarb, and it’s not always that easy to find around here, sadly. i like the way it melts into things.
    i’m so distracted right now by mouthing “cantaloupe” and “rhubarb” to myself. you’re so right…my lips look like i’m having actual conversations! This blog is really my learning space, you know? you know.

    • mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry on June 12, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Ha! I did the same thing and now I’m obsessed with what random words look like when mouthed silently – I haven’t gotten a thing done all morning. sigh.

    • movita beaucoup on June 13, 2014 at 8:22 am

      I’m a teacher, Shannon. That’s what I do. Next, we’ll tackle pirouettes. Start warming up…

  7. mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry on June 12, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I was really ticked off earlier this spring when I couldn’t find rhubarb in a single store (fresh or frozen) anywhere here in South Carolina. I was able to (eventually and with great effort) put it behind me and move on, though it was difficult because I love rhubarb. This post has torn the scab off of my old wound and now I’m full of angst once again – I couldn’t made this cake even if I wanted to (even if it was just to prove to Mr. Hungry (aka. Matt) that this is not in fact a gland punching cake). As a side point, I’m impressed with your ability to use patterned plates with food and not have it look busy or stupid. I buy pretty plates with flowers and patterns on them and it always looks ridiculous in photographs. HOW DO YOU DO IT?

    • movita beaucoup on June 16, 2014 at 7:32 am

      My mummy bought me those plates! I believe that is the secret…

      • mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry on June 16, 2014 at 9:40 am

        Well clearly my mom is falling down on the job – I’m going to have to get her on this plate buying thing…

  8. frugalfeeding on June 13, 2014 at 5:03 am

    Long time no visit! Will you ever forgive me?! I’ve missed your cakes and bakes – and this one looks fantastic. Excellent food, excellent shots. Just… excellent!

    • movita beaucoup on June 16, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Thank you, dear sir!

  9. Anne on June 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Looks amazing!!! I wish I had some rhubarb now….

  10. jessieharrold on June 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    This is one of those recipes that I need to basically march into my kitchen RIGHT NOW and make. Ugh, if you didn’t have me at rhubarb, it was the cardamom. And the freakin’ pistachios. Gaaaaahhhh…….must…..make……immediately…….

  11. birchbarksoap on June 15, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I think it’s great that you just skipped right over addressing the fact that this is a ‘snacking cake’. I loooooooove that. Every cake should be for snacking, not just dessert! 😉

    • movita beaucoup on June 16, 2014 at 7:33 am

      Agreed! When I see people snacking on baby carrots, I think: good job, rabbit. When I see someone snacking on cake? HIGH FIVE.

  12. consuelohoneyandfigs on June 16, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I’ve never tried rhubarb as it’s not sold here, but I’m pretty sure I’d love it! Especially if a cake as good-looking as this one is involved. Oh man, it looks brilliant!

  13. Nancy @ gottagetbaked on June 16, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Rhubarb leaves kill?! They’re my plant based hero! Can I throw them at people I dislike? I need to google their killing abilities to figure out how best to use it to my advantage. I’ve only tried rhubarb once in my life (in a strawberry rhubarb pie) and I didn’t like it. Please don’t throw rhubarb leaves at me! I should make this gorgeous cake (seriously, that crispy nutty topping is calling my name) and reacquaint myself. These photos are gorgeous, Movita.

  14. wee eats on June 17, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    My mouth is watering. I like that it’s called “snacking cake” because that means I don’t need a special occasion to eat it (not that I ever do…) – and I LOVE THE USE OF PISTACHIOS IN THERE LADY!!! Usually I’m anti-nuts in my baked goods (I’m nuts enough on my own) but pistachios are one nut that I can get down with. And who knew that rhubarb was so interesting? Not I.

    Also, you totally ARE rhubarb! Seriously. Wonder what I would be if I was a plant… hmmm….

    I’ll start the countdown to when I can make this cake… 13 days…..

  15. Willow @Will Cook For Friends on June 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Rhubarb and cardamom are two of my absolute favorite flavors! Gaa, I want this cake so badly right now. Also, I have a very clear memory of going to church with a friend when I was little, and him telling me to mouth the word “watermelon” when I didn’t know the words to the songs. You’ve just added two more mouth-when-you-don’t-know-the-lyrics words to my vocabulary, so I thank you for that.

  16. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef on June 20, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    How many snacks of this cake can you have before someone says you’ve eaten the whole damn cake? I’ll be saying rhubarb and watermelon all day long. Just for testing purposes.

  17. emily on July 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I definitely just repeatedly muttered the phrase rhubarb-cantaloupe-watermelon into the reflection of my macbook for at least 25 seconds. Your hold on me, even via the internet, is tangible. And elephant shoe for it. This cake also looks bomb city.

  18. movita beaucoup on December 28, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in June 2014. Thanks for stopping by!