Rhubarb & Custard Crumble Cake recipe from Clandestine Cake Club

Published Wednesday, Oct 28 2015, 19:40 GMT  |  By  |  Add comment
This Rhubarb and Custard Crumble cake really has got the the wow factor.

rhubarb crumble cake the clandestine cake club a year of cake

© quercusbooks.co.uk

 the clandestine cake club cookbook cover  a year of cake

© quercusbooks.co.uk

It's one of many amazing cake recipes in the new recipe book from The Clandestine Cake Club. A Year of Cake: 100 Celebratory Recipes is on sale now, priced £20.

This recipe comes from Racheal Johnson, a member of the CCC in Wakefield, which conveniently happens to be situated in one corner of Yorkshire's renowned 'Rhubarb Triangle.'

Wakefield produces 'forced' rhubarb, which is known for its striking pink stalks - and the local crop is so famous it's celebrated with an annual rhubarb festival.

Racheal's genius cake celebrates the classic pairing of rhubarb with custard and we can't wait to try this recipe out.


  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 30g custard powder (not instant)
  • icing sugar, to dust (optional)
  • 400g Yorkshire rhubarb, trimmed
  • 1 tspb caster sugar
  • 240ml whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split in half
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 20g cornflour
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 50ml double cream
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into pieces
  • 75g plain flour
  • 110g granulated sugar


1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6. Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.

2 For the rhubarb filling, wash but don't dry your rhubarb, then cut it into 2.5cm lengths. Arrange in an ovenproof dish in a single layer, then sprinkle over the sugar. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until just softened. Remove from the oven and then leave to drain in a sieve set over bowl - you can reserve the juices to make rhubarb Bellinis. Lower the oven setting to 175°C/fan 155°C/ gas 3 1/2.

3 For the creme patissiere, pour 160ml of the milk into a heavy-based saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the milk, then add the pod and heat the milk over a low heat until almost boiling.

4 In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Mix the cornflour with the remaining milk, then add to the egg and sugar mixture. Remove the vanilla pod from the warm milk then gradually pour it over the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Clean out the saucepan to remove any milk solids coating it, then pour the mixture back into the clean pan through a sieve. Bring to the boil gently over a medium heat, stirring continuously. Boil for around 1 minute to thicken, whisking as if your life depended on it if the custard starts to split.

5 Once thickened, add the butter and stir until melted. Pour the creme patissiere into a medium bowl, then cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Chill immediately until needed.

6. Make the crumble topping by rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it forms pea-sized lumps.

7. For the cake itself, cream together the butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl using an electric hand whisk, until pale and very fluffy. In a jug, beat the eggs and vanilla extract, then add to the butter and sugar in 4–5 additions, beating well after each one. When all of the egg has been incorporated, sift the flour and custard powder together over the egg and butter mixture, then fold in gently until just combined.

8. Divide the batter equally between the tins and sprinkle the crumble mixture over one tin – this will be the top layer. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. You may find the crumble layer needs a few minutes longer – possibly up to about 10 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the tins for about 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Be very careful turning out the crumble-covered cake to prevent the crumble sliding off.

9. Just before assembling you will need to loosen the crème patissière to be able to spread it. Push the mixture through a sieve, then stir to bring it together. Whip the double cream until it just starts to thicken and hold its shape, then stir it into the crème patissière. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake plate or board and spread generously with the crème patissière, leaving a 1cm border all the way around to avoid oozing. Spoon the drained rhubarb over the top. Finish with the crumble layer, then dredge with icing sugar, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serves 10-12

Love this? Click HERE for another delicious recipe from the book.

And check out more cakes for special occasions in our gallery below.