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Rhubarb and Ginger Loaf Cake

When I saw some brightly colored stalks of rhubarb at the market, I simply couldn’t resist buying a few. This was an odd impluse, because I have never, ever cooked or even eaten rhubarb in anything other than a jam. Incidentally, I am currently in possession of an amazing Raspberry-Rhubarb preserves from Mt Valley Orchard. Not only is this variety amazing, but they make 80 or so other varieties of preserves (some with no sugar added) which they sell at SF Bay Area farmer’s markets. They don’t have a website, but you can e-mail them for a list of all their products, which they will ship. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had preserves or jams that are as good.

But I digress.

I chopped up some rhubarb and tasted a piece. It tasted like a tart, slightly lemony apple. But what to do with it? I recalled that chika made a recipe for rhubarb ginger bread, but was unimpressed with the results. Maki also recently made up some muffins. I decided that I wanted a sweet loaf that would be more of a cake than a light bread. I also wanted the cake to be as light as possible to play up the beautiful color of the rhubarb, so I used only egg whites. I added some lemon zest to boost the flavor a bit, too.

The final result is a sweet, white, moist loaf cake that has lots of candied ginger and rhubarb sprinkled throughout. It’s nice toasted for breakfast and plain with tea in the afternoon or after dinner. The lemon flavor stands out slightly more on the second day, but it is very subtle overall. Well wrapped, the loaf will keep for several days. Since there is little fat in the recipe, it makes a good, everyday sort of cake. A very good everyday sort of cake, actually.

Rhubarb and Ginger Loaf Cake

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup white sugar

2 tbsp melted butter (or oil)

2 egg whites

3/4 cup milk (I used skim)

3 tbsp candied ginger, chopped

1 – 1 1/4 cup rhubarb, chopped (1-2 stalks)

1 tbsp cane sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan.

Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl.

Lightly whisk butter, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl.

Pour into flour mixture and stir until mostly combined. Stir in ginger and rhubarb until entire batter is just combined.

Pour into prepared loaf pan (sprinkle with optional sugar, if desired) and bake for 45-50 minutes, until tester comes out clean.

Turn out to cool on rack after cooling for 10 minutes in the pan.

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  • Stephanie
    June 6, 2005

    That is one attractive loaf!

    I love the way you format your recipes on this site…so easy to read.

    Matt loves ginger; I just don’t know if I could get him to eat the rhubarb. The man doesn’t eat much in the way of fruits or veggies!

  • Nic
    June 6, 2005

    Thank you, Stephanie. I know a lot of people with an aversion to rhubarb. You could try doing a combo of rhubarb and apples. Since most people like apples, I don’t think it would be too hard to get them to try the rhubarb and convert to the dark side… er, the pink side.

  • Ana
    June 6, 2005

    Nice cake Nic. Unfortunately I have to reduce the amount of sweets I make; consequential weight is creeping up on me.

  • Clare Eats
    June 6, 2005

    Ooh looks really good
    so pretty with the rhubarb like stained glass 🙂

  • Nic
    June 7, 2005

    Ana – At least this cake is quite low in fat, so you won’t have to feel too guilty if you give in to temptation.

    Clare – I was hoping to get a really pretty result with this combination.

  • Niki
    June 7, 2005

    What an interesting combo, and how imaginative of you to think up your own recipe. Would that be a skill learn from your baking classes, or is it innate??
    I like rhubarb as well, and am hoping to do a rhubarb tart for the next SHF. But I’m not sure if it’s rhubarb season down here yet.

  • Nic
    June 8, 2005

    Niki – A Rhubarb tart would be great, and I bet you could find some preserves to use if it’s not rhubarb season in AUS yet. I think that making up recipes, like this one, is something I have learned to do by reading so many recipes and baking how-to’s, in addition to going to class. Once I got a feel for what various ingredients (like leaveners) are supposed to be doing, it was much easier to tailor recipes to my specifications.

  • Bruce
    June 12, 2005

    This sounds good. A few weeks ago, I tried adding the minced candied ginger to a banana bread recipe. Oh my, that was good.

  • Melissa
    July 18, 2008

    I know this post is ancient, but I just wanted to let you know that I made this today, and it’s delicious!

    Being the ginger junkie that I am, I added a tsp of ground ginger as well as the candied, and I also added a pinch of cardamom. Tart and spicy!

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ll make it again.

  • Ella
    May 13, 2009

    How much lemon zest did you use? It’s not listed in the ingredients list or the recipe instructions. I’d love to try this – it’s rhubarb season and I’m looking for more ways to use it. Thanks!

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