Rhubarb Ginger Layer Cake Recipe

Layers of slightly spiced ginger cake smothered with a rhubarb buttercream frosting. Inside, silky cream cheese filling is rippled with poached rhubarb. The perfect cake to make when those coveted red stalks of rhubarb begin to arrive at the market!


Rhubarb Ginger Layer Cake

Ginger Butter Cake

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 ¼ cup whole milk
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix on medium for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and egg whites – incorporating one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  4. With the mixer on low and in alternating batches, add in the dry ingredients and milk. Mix on medium for no more than 30 seconds after all of the ingredients are added in.
  5. Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 23-26 minutes or until done and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

Poached Rhubarb

  • 3 – 3 ½ cups chopped rhubarb (about 350 grams)
  • ½ cup blood orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  1. Chop rhubarb into 1-inch long pieces. Place rhubarb and all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once the juices begin to boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes until rhubarb breaks down and begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
  2. Strain the rhubarb pulp with a mesh sieve – reserving the liquids separately. Set both aside.

Rhubarb Cream Cheese Swirl Filling

  • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup strained rhubarb
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the sugar and vanilla. Mix on low until all of the ingredients begin to come together. Turn mixer up to medium and mix until smooth. Stop the mixer and gently fold in the rhubarb.

Rhubarb Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup rhubarb puree
  • rhubarb syrup – to taste
  1. Puree the remaining strained rhubarb until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Place a few inches of water in a medium saucepan and heat over medium. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler. Heat egg white mixture until it reaches 155 F degrees on a candy thermometer – or until hot to the touch. Once hot, remove the bowl and carefully return it to the electric mixer. Fitted with the whisk attachment, mix on high until the outside of the bowl returns to room temperature – about 8 minutes. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.
  3. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and butter – a couple tablespoons at a time. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until smooth. Turn mixer down to medium-low and mix in the rhubarb puree until combined. Add 1-3 teaspoons of the rhubarb syrup, if desired.


  1. Place one of the cake layers on a cake board or serving dish. Spread on half of the rhubarb cream cheese with an offset spatula. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat. Frost cake with rhubarb buttercream and decorate with sugar peals, if desired.

Rhubarb Ginger Layer Cake

Source: Style Sweet

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