Let's start by saying if you plan on making this cake the day before and photographing it on the following day don't. The juicy rhubarb topping combined with the humidity here in Brisbane lead to an unattractive sag in the middle. While this cake may not win any beauty awards, don't let appearances deceive you because this is Rhubarb and Orange Blossom Cake is a beautiful, simple and delicious cake.
Much like this pear, chocolate and cardamom cake (which, if you're a pear lover, you must try), this Rhubarb and Orange Blossom cake looks fairly plain and simple on the surface. But there's a surprise hidden inside, and that is the addition of beautifully fragrant orange blossom water, sometimes called orange flower water.
Open a bottle of orange blossom water and it's difficult not to be transported on the delightfully fragrant cloud of perfume that wafts through the air the minute it's opened. The scent invokes memories of beautiful sun filled spring days, picnicking as a little girl on my Grandparents front lawn under their cherry blossom tree.
Orange blossom water is a perfumed distillation of blossoms from orange trees, and was reportedly a favourite of Cleopatra and Marie Antoinette, who used it as a perfume and also to scent linens. If you haven't tried it before it's worth tracking down, and is available in most gourmet food and health food stores. But if you can't get your hands on any try adding the zest of an orange, or some ground cardamom to the cake batter in it's place. The effect won't quite be the same, but delicious nonetheless.
Rhubarb and Orange Blossom Cake
- 170 g unsalted butter at room temperature, 1 ½ sticks
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp orange blossom water
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda baking soda
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 3 stalks of rhubarb
- 2 tsp sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 160 celsius (325 Fahrenheit) and grease a 22cm (9 inches) x 12cm (5 inches) [amazon_link id="B00008W70I" target="_blank" ]loaf pan[/amazon_link].
- In a [amazon_link id="B00005UP2P" target="_blank" ]stand mixer[/amazon_link] fitted with a [amazon_link id="B0015TMHFG" target="_blank" ]paddle attachment[/amazon_link] cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, and add the eggs, one at a time, along with the orange blossom water, and mix until combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt along with the yoghurt and mix until just combined.
- Pour into the loaf pan and spread out evenly. Trim the rhubarb stalks to fit the pan and place along the top of the cake and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the cake is browned and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and remove from the pan and place on [amazon_link id="B00091PNTI" target="_blank" ]cooling rack[/amazon_link] to cool completely.
Thanh @ eat, little bird says
Oh wow! That's the most beautiful loaf cake I have ever seen! Did you use forced rhubarb in this recipe? I'm assuming you did because the colour is just so gorgeous and vibrant. I can't wait until rhubarb is in season again in Europe ... I go mad for it whenever it is available and then miss it terribly once it disappears from the markets and the supermarket shelves. I'll bookmark this recipe to make early next year 🙂
I made this cake and took it into work yesterday and it was a huge hit. Not a crumb was left. It looked so pretty too! Thank you
I'm so glad you and your work mates enjoyed it Kate! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
There is a small orange grove near our house and walking my dog by it when the trees are in full bloom is something akin to the first day of summer combined with christmas morning. Seems you've managed to capture that in cake form. I tip my hat.
Thanks Sarah 😀 Orange blossoms are just beautiful aren't they.
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
I really like rhubarb and this cake sounds so good! I love the way it looks.
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says
I love the smell of orange blossom water, and it's delicate floral taste. And I think the cake looks wonderful with the bright pink rhubarb on top.
Jennifer this cake is stunning! I can hardly see a dip in the middle and anyway, I'm totally distracted by the incredible purple striped beauty that it the topping. Just gorgeous.
Thanks Kate 😀 You're too kind!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Beautiful cake, the flavors and texture look wonderful!