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2Total Time
130Prep Time
30Bake Time
A little effort

Rhubarb & Custard Cake

Celebrity recipe

1 Reviews

  • Vegetarian

About the Rhubarb and Custard Cake recipe

Calling all rhubarb and custard fans, this is the recipe for you. Extracted from Cheeky Treats by Liam Charles, this rhubarb and custard cake is absolutely delicious.

If you're new to baking cakes, this recipe will take a little effort but will be well worth it when you taste a slice.

Why did Liam pick this flavour combination? He said: "I had an obsession with those cool, old-school sweet shops. One sweet that always stuck out for me was the half ’n’ half rhubarb and custard."

2Total Time
130Prep Time
30Bake Time
A little effort


  1. Step 1:

    Sponge Time

    Preheat oven to 160.C/Fan 140.C/Gas 3 and grease and line the cake tins.

  2. Step 2:

    Cream your butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a free-standing or hand-held mixer until light and fluffy.

  3. Step 3:

    Crack the eggs in one at a time, mixing after each addition.If the mixture begins to curdle, just pop in a couple of tablespoons of the flour to bring it back together.

  4. Step 4:

    Turn the speed down low and add both your extracts, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, orange zest and milk.


  5. Step 5:

    Divide your mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10–15 minutes in the tins before turning out on to a wire rack.


  6. Step 6:

    Crème Pat

    Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add the milk, vanilla and ginger. Bring to the boil then take off the heat.

  7. Step 7:

    Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a large bowl. Sift your flour into the bowl and mix together.

  8. Step 8:

    Pour a little of the milk into the sugar mixture, constantly whisking, then whisk in the remaining hot milk, pouring it in a steady stream until it is well combined.

  9. Step 9:

    Pour the custard back into the saucepan and place over a gentle heat. Keep stirring until thick.

    Remove from the heat and pass the custard through a sieve. Place a sheet of clingfilm over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool then pop in the fridge.

  10. Step 10:

    Meanwhile, whip the cream in a large bowl until thick. Fold the cream into your chilled custard then add your stem ginger. Pop back in the fridge until you’re ready to use.

  11. Step 11:

    Rhubarb Filling

    Mix the cornflour and water together in a small bowl with a fork.


  12. Step 12:

    Chop the rhubarb into medium-sized pieces and place in a large saucepan with the orange zest and juice, sugar, cornflour mixture and another tablespoon of water. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil. 


  13. Step 13:

    Turn down the heat and simmer for 5–7 minutes, or until the rhubarb is cooked but not soggy – it needs to hold its shape. Remove from the heat and tip into a bowl to cool.

  14. Step 14:

    Buttercream Time

    Measure your butter into a large bowl and beat with your free-standing or hand-held mixer until light and pale. 

  15. Step 15:

    Sift your icing sugar into a separate bowl, then add it to the butter in 3 stages, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time.

  16. Step 16:

    Add your milk and vanilla to loosen the buttercream and then beat it again until it holds its shape.

  17. Step 17:


    Use a cake leveller or sharp knife to trim the top off all the cakes so they are level. Spread a small amount of buttercream on a board that is slightly bigger than your sponges and place your first layer of sponge on top.

  18. Step 18:

    Place that board on a turntable, if you have one. Place half the buttercream in a piping bag with a roundtipped nozzle and pipe a circle around the edge of the first layer of sponge, leaving an 8cm circle in the middle. Fill that circle with half the stewed rhubarb.


  19. Step 19:

    Repeat this process with another layer of sponge, but fill the circle with the custard filling. Top with another sponge, pipe a buttercream circle and fill it with the rhubarb filling. Finally, top with the last sponge, making sure it is placed upside down on top.


  20. Step 20:

    Crumb and Top Coat

    Using a palette knife, cake scraper and a turntable, coat the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream.  Place in the fridge for at least an hour to set.

  21. Step 21:

    Separate the remaining buttercream into two bowls. Colour one bowl with pink food colouring and the other with yellow food colouring. Place both buttercreams into individual piping bags with round-tipped nozzles. Alternating the pink and yellow buttercream, pipe another layer around the sides and top of the cake.


  22. Step 22:

    Smooth the surface with a palette knife – you should have a cool, flurry, sweet shop effect.Pipe alternate buttercream kisses around the top edge of your cake, and scatter over the crushed sweets, if you like.



  • For the Sponge

    • 500g Unsalted butter (softened)
    • 500g Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    • 8 Free range large eggs
    • 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
    • 1 tsp Nielsen-massey almond extract
    • 350g Allinson's Self Raising Flour
    • 170g Ground Almonds
    • 1 tsp Baking powder
    • 1 Orange (zest of)
    • 200ml Whole milk
  • For the Ginger Crème Pat

    • 500ml Whole milk
    • 1 tbsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
    • 1 tsp Ground ginger
    • 125g Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    • 6 Free range large eggs
    • 80g Plain flour
    • 200ml Double cream
    • 75g Stem ginger (diced)
  • For the Rhubarb Filling

    • 1 tbsp Cornflour
    • 2 tbsp Water
    • 500g Rhubarb
    • 1 Zest & juice of large orange
    • 75g Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
  • For the Vanilla Buttercream

    • 600g Unsalted butter (softened)
    • 1.5kg Silver Spoon Icing Sugar
    • 150ml Whole milk
    • 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
  • To Finish

    • 1 tube Pink food colouring gel
    • 1 tube Yellow food colouring
    • 1 bag Rhubarb and custard sweets (crushed)


  • Mixing bowls
  • 4 20cm round cake tins
  • Hand held mixer
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Jug
  • Sieve
  • Clingfilm
  • Cake leveller
  • Turntable
  • Piping bag
  • Palette knife
  • Cake scraper

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