Rhubarb makes only a brief appearance each spring, but because of its tart, bitter flavor, it makes a big impression. Rarely eaten on its own, it’s generally paired with a sweet fruit, especially berries, to balance the flavor. Rhubarb wasn’t a popular ingredient until the eighteenth century, when sugar became a more common ingredient in baking, and now you find it in baked goods like pies, crumbles and tray bakes. You’ll find other yummy recipes in my cookbook Teatime in Ireland. To order signed copies, visit irishcook.com


SERVES  10 TO 12

This very moist, rich cake with a crispy crumble topping is delicious for breakfast, teatime, or dessert. Serve it plain or with whipped cream or crème fraîche.

For the topping

1 ounce unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 large eggs, beaten

For the cake

8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs, beaten

3/4 cup self-rising flour

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup milk

1 cup ground almonds

1 cup chopped rhubarb

1 cup blackberries

Whipped cream or crème fraiche, for serving

  1. Make topping. Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.
  2. In a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon; whisk in eggs.
  3. Make cake. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time; beat in flour, salt and milk. With a wooden spoon, stir until soft dough forms.
  4. Transfer to prepared pan. Sprinkle almonds on top; sprinkle rhubarb and blackberries over nuts. Pour topping over fruit.
  5. Bake 70 to 75 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven; let cool on wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes before releasing sides of pan. Slice and serve with whipped cream or crème fraîche, if desired.

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