This rhubarb sponge pudding has a tangy rhubarb filling, topped with a delicious vanilla cake layer, and is great served warm with custard or ice cream.
This dessert is like a rhubarb crumble filling but with a sponge cake on top in the place of the crumble topping.
There is no need to pre-cook the rhubarb or ‘stew’ it first before making the sponge pudding, it will cook just fine under the sponge topping.
So this makes this dish simple and easy to prepare.
This is lovely as a hot pudding when the weather is chilly or a good way to use rhubarb during the rhubarb season, perfect if you have a glut from your garden or allotment.
Rhubarb is in season in the UK from April to late summer but you might also find forced rhubarb from late December to March.
This was inspired by my berry sponge pudding recipe on this site, as this type of delicious and easy dessert is right up my street!
Baked sponge puddings like this are a popular British dessert in which a layer of fruit (or other filling) is topped with a simple cake topping.
Here are the ingredients I use. Check the recipe card at the end of the post for the quantities!
- rhubarb – I prefer fresh for this recipe, but tinned would work as well.
- caster sugar (superfine sugar) – If you only have granulated sugar, this can be used instead. Part of the sugar is used to sweeten the tart rhubarb, the rest in the sponge mix.
- butter – I prefer to use unsalted in sweet dishes like this. Can be replaced with margarine if needed.
- eggs – medium free-range are my choice.
- self-raising flour – to ensure the sponge layer rises well. If you have none, you can use plain flour with the addition of 1 additional teaspoon of baking powder.
- baking powder – baking powder is used in this recipe this even when using self-raising flour, to ensure a good rise.
- vanilla extract – gives the sponge layer a delicious sweet vanilla flavour that contrasts with the tartness of the rhubarb. Extract or vanilla bean paste should be used (rather than synthetic essence) for the best results and flavour.
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can make this rhubarb sponge recipe perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F (fan).
Wash, trim and chop the rhubarb into approx 2 cm pieces and place in an oven dish. Sprinkle over the sugar.
Cream the butter and sugar for the sponge topping together in a bowl.
Add the eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract and beat well.
Your mixture should be spoonable and not too runny.
Spoon the sponge mix over the prepared rhubarb. Don’t worry too much about covering all the fruit, the sponge will spread as it bakes.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and risen.
Dust with icing sugar if desired. Serve warm with custard, cream or ice cream.
The cooked sponge pudding keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days.
You can also use a mixture of fruit with rhubarb such as:
- rhubarb and apple
- rhubarb and strawberry
- rhubarb and ginger
The baking dish I use for this recipe measures 28 cm x 18 cm and 6.5 cm deep (approx 11 inches x 7 inches and 2.5 inches deep).
If you use a smaller dish ensure it is deeper so it will fit the quantities. If you use a larger dish then the pudding could be quite thin/shallow.
Freezing and reheating tips for this dish.
Yes, prepare the dish as per the recipe including baking, allow to cool fully then wrap the entire dish in foil and/or clingfilm. Freeze for up to a month. Thaw the dish fully in the fridge and then heat through in a low oven and serve.
Yes, serve individual portions into bowls and then reheat them in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Add custard or ice cream and serve.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Rhubarb Sponge Pudding
- 600 g rhubarb 7-8 sticks, sliced
- 100 g caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F (fan).
- Wash, trim and chop the rhubarb into approx 2 cm pieces and place in an oven dish. Sprinkle over the sugar.600 g rhubarb, 100 g caster sugar
- Cream the butter and sugar for the sponge topping together in a bowl.110 g caster sugar, 110 g butter
- Add the eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract and beat well.Your mixture should be spoonable and not too runny.2 medium eggs, 110 g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Spoon the sponge mix over the prepared rhubarb. Don’t worry too much about covering all the fruit, the sponge will spread as it bakes.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and risen.
- Dust with icing sugar if desired. Serve warm with custard, cream or ice cream.