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Rhubarb and orange cake

Rhubarb and orange cake

By this point in the season, there’s a yearning for freshness, for the zip and zing of spring. So, here’s a vibrant recipe to cheer up late winter days, made with startlingly pink rhubarb and zesty oranges – both of which are in season right now. Makes enough for six–eight.

What you’ll need

350g rhubarb
2 ruby oranges
100g soft, light brown sugar
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
150g spelt flour
A pinch of salt
100ml olive oil
2 eggs
A handful of flaked almonds
2 tbsp honey (optional)

(Or, for a plant-based alternative in place of the eggs)

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Reduce the amount of baking powder to ½ tsp

What to do

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C and grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin. Chop the rhubarb stalks into one-inch pieces, then place them in a bowl with the zest and juice of one of the oranges and a tablespoon of the sugar.
  2. In another bowl, weigh out your ground almonds, baking powder (remember you’ll need less if you’re making the plant-based version of this cake) and flour with a pinch of salt.
  3. In a third bowl, beat together the rest of your sugar with the olive oil, the zest and juice of half the other orange, and your eggs with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. (For the plant-based cake, combine the bicarbonate of soda and the apple cider vinegar separately in a small bowl or mug – they’ll fizz up. Stir together then add to the wet ingredients at this stage instead of the eggs.)
  4. Thinly slice the remaining half an orange into half moons – keeping the rind on. You’ll use these to decorate the top of your cake.
  5. Fold your dry ingredients into the wet by hand using a spatula or wooden spoon, taking care not to overbeat the mixture.
  6. Leaving a few pieces for decoration, add the chopped rhubarb to your cake batter, together with all its juices. Stir everything together and pour into your cake tin. Top the cake with the remaining rhubarb pieces, the half-moons of orange and the flaked almonds.
  7. Bake in the oven for an hour until golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. To finish, you can warm the honey in a small saucepan until thinned and brush it over the top of the cooked cake, but that’s optional.

This recipe was created by the chefs at our Bath café, The Provenist. Follow them on Instagram for more recipes.