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Easy Rhubarb Custard Cake

A layer of creamy, tangy sweet custard forms the base of this easy to make Rhubarb Custard Cake. 

Rhubarb Custard Cake is an easy dessert that's perfect for spring!


Have you ever played the game 2 Truths and a Lie? It’s a classic icebreaker, where someone shares two true statements about themselves along with one lie, and everyone else in the group has to guess which one is the lie.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had my stock answers:

I once cleaned a gas station bathroom.

I was a starting forward on my high school basketball team.

and my grandparents grew up Amish.

Want to guess which one is a lie?

The first one is (disturbingly) true. It happened on a high school mission trip where we set out to surprise local businesses with extraordinary acts of service. Cleaning a gas station bathroom (for free!), seemed about as extraordinary as we could get. The look on the manager’s face when we asked if we could clean his bathroom almost made it worth it. Still, I wouldn’t mind NEVER doing that again.

The second one? Definitely a lie. While I spent nearly ever summer of my growing up years at basketball camp, my love for the game never translated into actual talent. I think my high school (and everyone else) is very glad I decided to stick with watching, and not playing, basketball.

Then comes the last one, which, obviously, the second truth. My grandparents on both sides were raised Amish, but left the church as young adults. They remained in the conservative Mennonite faith for the remainder of their lives, and passed on the values of that community to my parents and on to me. I credit at least some of my love for food and gathering at the table to my Mennonite heritage. If you ever find yourself at a Mennonite family reunion, you can count on at least one thing: there will be plenty of food, and it will all be delicious.

This Rhubarb Custard Cake is made with only 6 ingredients and comes together in a flash!

Though I’ve branched out to cook and enjoy recipes from many different cultures, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the comfort foods I grew up with–Amish Apple Fry Pies, Amish Chicken and Noodles, and the best Homemade Amish White Bread, just to name a few.

That’s why I was thrilled to discover the new Amish Community Cookbook, filled with recipes gathered from Amish and Mennonite cooks across the U.S. and Canada. I spent an evening flipping through the pages, dog-earring recipes I knew I had to make. The book is filled with classics like Chicken Pot Pie and Ham and Bean Soup, but also has a few surprises (Dandelion Salad, anyone)? Alongside traditional Amish desserts like Shoofly Pie was this unexpected recipe simply titled Fresh Rhubarb Dessert. I scanned through the ingredients and was shocked and intrigued to discover there were only four, with one of them being cake mix.

It might surprise you to find cake mix in an Amish recipe, but sometimes Amish families need shortcuts just as much as the rest of us (and maybe even more)! While I love to bake from scratch, there are days when a quick cake mix dessert is all I have time for. And when that day comes, I guarantee you I’m going to come back to this Easy Rhubarb Custard Cake again and again.

This Rhubarb Custard Cake has a fluffy cake layer and a creamy sweet rhubarb custard layer. It's beautiful, delicious, and SO EASY to make!

Wonderfully moist and perfectly sweet with a hint of tang from the rhubarb, this cake is made by sprinkling cake mix batter with sugared rhubarb then pouring whipping cream over top. Honestly, I felt almost certain this wasn’t going to turn out. It felt positively wrong to drench a cake in cream, but I trusted whoever contributed this recipe knew what they were doing. Sure enough, the cake was a beauty. After 45 minutes, the cream and rhubarb had sunk to the bottom, forming a wonderful custard layer topped with fluffy, golden cake. I dove into the cake warm, because I have no self control around fresh baked goods, and it was heavenly. I almost always prefer baked goods warm over cold, and this one is no different. However, if you refrigerate the cake for a few hours, the custard layer firms up and allows you to serve up neater slices, with a more pronounced and pretty layer of pink custard. The cold cake almost takes on the texture of a tres leches cake, where every morsel is soaked in rich cream. It’s really a delightful cake, and a great way to use up rhubarb. I’m so glad to add this quick and delicious recipe to my arsenal!

If you’re interested in checking out the cookbook for yourself, you can order the Amish Community Cookbook here.

Easy Rhubarb Custard Cake

Prep Time 15 minsPrep Time
Cook Time 45 minsCook Time
Total Time 1 hr Total Time
Serves 12

This creamy, fluffy rhubarb custard cake is so simple to make and is a lovely recipe for spring!


  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 yellow cake mix + Ingredients for making the cake mix
  • 2 cups whipping cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.

Place the rhubarb in a bowl and sprinkle sugar over top. Allow to sit while you prepare the other ingredients. Prepare the cake mix according to package instructions then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Toss together the rhubarb and sugar then sprinkle evenly on top. Pour the cream over the entire top.

Place the cake in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until top is set and a toothpick comes out clean (the bottom third of the cake will still be wet so don't base the toothpick test on that portion). Serve the cake warm (it will be messy!), or chill for a few hours or overnight to have neater slices.


Recipe Notes

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This Rhubarb Custard Cake with a fluffy cake layer and a creamy rhubarb custard layer is the perfect spring dessert. And did I mention how incredibly EASY it is to make?
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  • Gladys Blume May 23, 2017, 3:03 PM

    I was happy to see this favorite recipe of mine in print. It is a winner. I have been making it for twenty years or more and enjoyed it every time. Even though I am not Amish.

    • Courtney May 24, 2017, 11:42 AM

      It’s definitely going to be a favorite of ours from now on too! Do you ever try it with different fruits?

  • Lynn June 14, 2017, 10:28 AM

    Have you ever tried it with a strawberry cake mix?

  • Denice March 25, 2018, 6:16 PM

    I have made this desert many times but now I’d like to make it for Easter using frozen rhubarb. Do you think using frozen rhubarb will work? Or will it be too liquidy?

    • Courtney @ NeighborFood March 25, 2018, 9:18 PM

      Hmm that’s a good question. I think you would need to thaw them first, but then I think it would be fine! Rhubarb doesn’t have the same juice factor as berries so I think you’re good!

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