Rhubarb & Ginger Tray Bake Recipe by Val Stones from Great British Bake Off

Rhubarb & Ginger Tray Bake

I’m from Yorkshire and almost every Yorkshire garden has a rhubarb crown or two. Although I live in Somerset I have a crown of rhubarb that I inherited from my mum and dad’s garden. As children we were given a small stick of rhubarb and a little triangular bag made from newspaper and filled with sugar. We dipped the rhubarb stick in the sugar and sucked and chewed on the sweet yet at the same time tart sticks, we thought we were in heaven.

I love baking with rhubarb, it’s sharp and can be sweetened with a little sugar, juice of an orange or date syrup.It is yet another fruit that marks the seasons of the year, mid summer. I have processed the rhubarb into puree so that it folds into the cake mixture as rhubarb is such a moist fruit it would sink to the bottom of the cake.

Rhubarb is excellent to freeze, prepare it as for this recipe and it will keep until the next rhubarb crop arrives,12 months. Time preparation, 20 minutes to cook the rhubarb, 10 minutes to make the cake, 35-40 minutes baking time , 15-20 minutes to assemble and decorate.


What You'll Need

I have made this cake as a traybake so it can be cut into squares or rectangles, so you will need a tin.

You might wish to make this cake in two 23cm round tins, or 2 Square 25cm and sandwich with frosting as well as decorating the top.

A shallow baking tray to roast the rhubarb.
Stand mixer or hand held electric mixer.A food processor or a hand held blender.

To decorate the round cake you might like to use a cake turntable
Wilton 2D nozzle for piping flowers or a star nozzle
Off set palette knife
A cake scraper to decorate the sides of the cake if making a round or square semi naked cake


For the rhubarb and ginger puree:

250g prepared rhubarb
juice and zest of an unwaxed orange
2 tablespoons caster sugar
80g stem ginger cut into very small pieces, reserve 20g for decorating the cake. 3 tablespoons rhubarb and ginger liquer

To prepare the rhubarb:

Chop the rhubarb into 2cm/1 inch lengths and place in a shallow roasting tin, pour over the orange juice, zest and scatter over the sugar.
Bake in the oven on 160C for 15 minutes, it should be soft and beginning to break, allow to cool and then place in a food processor, add the rhubarb and ginger liquer and blitz until the mixture becomes a puree, set aside until needed.

Ingredients for the cake:

360g eggs
360g caster sugar
140g softened unsalted butter
220g soft margarine
360g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger( 2g, either more or less depending on your love of ginger)
6g baking powder
3 tablespoons rhubarb and ginger puree

Cream cheese frosting:

300g double cream
300g full fat cream cheese
2 heaped tablespoons icing sugar
3 tablespoons rhubarb and ginger puree 3 tablespoons rhubarb and ginger liquer



Set the oven for 160C fan assisted 175C, 350F, gas mark 3-4

  1. Place the eggs, caster sugar, butter, margarine in a bowl. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, and baking powder and add the flour mixture to the bowl, beat on low speed for one minute and leave for one minute to allow the sugar to dissolve a little, gradually turn the speed up to full and beat for 2 minutes.

  2. Fold in the rhubarb puree.

  3. Pour the mixture into the traybake tin and level with a palette knife or equally between the tins of your choice and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. The cake is baked when it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Whist the cake is cooling prepare the frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

300g full fat cream cheese
300g double cream
2 heaped tablespoons icing sugar
3 tablespoons rhubarb and ginger puree 3 tablespoons rhubarb and ginger liquer

  1. Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl beat on medium until smooth add the double cream and icing sugar begin to beat slowly and then beat on almost full speed until the frosting begins to thicken then turn down to medium
  2. Occasionally stop and push the thinner cream on the sides of the bowl into the middle.The frosting is ready when it holds its shape. 
  3. Fold in the rhubarb and ginger puree and liqueur.

To assemble the cake

  1. Place a desert spoon of frosting on the display plate this helps anchor the cake to the plate.

  2. Spread 4 tablespoons of frosting evenly on top of the traybake cake, place the remaining frosting in a piping bag with a 2D or star nozzle.

  3. Place the nozzle a cm above the cake and pipe stars in rows across the cake. 4. Place a small piece of stem ginger in the centre of each star.

If you make a round or square layered cake you can create a semi naked cake where frosting is spread on the sides and then part scraped off. Place cream around the side of the cake ( spread the cream thickly) and then using a palate knife or a cake shaper to remove the excess cream.

Spread a final layer of cream evenly on the top of the cake and decorate as for the traybake.

Either serve straight away or place in the fridge to firm up for 2 hours before serving. This cake can be kept in a fridge for up to 3 days but I would rather serve it on the day it is made. If you are making the square cake the assembly instructions remain the same as for the round cake.

Enjoy with an Aber Falls Rhubarb & Ginger Gin and tonic. Perfect!