Prep time:

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time:

Serves: 12

150g softened butter (or 50/50 oil and softened butter)

150g caster sugar

2 large eggs

1tsp vanilla essence

150g fine self raising flour 

2.5 stalks rhubarb chopped (save a few pieces for decorating)

75g roughly chopped ginger (stem or crystallised, also save a few for topping)

For the frosting / topping (optional – for a plainer cake leave out the topping)

100g cream cheese

50g butter

100g icing sugar

1tsp vanilla essence

Rhubarb and ginger to decorate (see above)

Rhubarb and ginger are both quite zingy flavours, but they go together very well in cakes, balancing out the sweet umami taste of sugar and vanilla. This can be made as a large cake too - if you want to make a sandwich cake just double up the rhubarb and frosting to make a filling.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (gas 4). Stew rhubarb – either over the hob with some sugar (approx. 1 tbsp, or to taste), or braise in a covered dish in the oven for 20 mins in a little water. Beat the eggs and sugar together, until light and fluffy (5 minutes or so with a food mixer/electric beaters).
  2. Carefully fold in the other ingredients/mix in on a low setting (to prevent air loss from the batter). Spoon mixture into cake cases (in a 12 hole muffin tin) and place in the centre of the oven for approx. 15 mins (until well risen). Leave to cool for 20-30 minutes while you make the frosting.
  3. Beat together softened butter, cream cheese and slowly add in icing sugar and beat again. Top cakes with frosting. Decorate with a piece of braised rhubarb and a scattering of chopped ginger.

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