Blackberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake Recipe

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It was a chilly weekend. We wanted to work in the yard, but it was too wet and cold. I was forced to stay inside and bake.  On Saturday morning, I made a blackberry rhubarb buttermilk cake. I am trying to make a dent in our rhubarb-we have four plants and they are ripe and ready to be used.

Strawberries and rhubarb are commonly used together, but I wanted to try blackberries since they are my favorite berry. I adapted one of my favorite Gourmet cake recipes as the base. The tender buttermilk cake is simple to make. It is moist, buttery, but not overly sweet. The plump, juicy blackberries add bursts of sweetness and the rhubarb chunks bring a slight tartness to the cake. I think the blackberries were the perfect  pair for the rhubarb.

The cake is charmingly rustic, no frosting is needed. The berries sunk to the bottom of the cake, so I just served it upside down to show off the beautiful berries. If you want to showcase the sugary crust, serve it right side up. Either way, this cake is a winner.

Blackberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake

5 from 1 vote


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup rhubarb chopped
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. 2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. 3. Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and lemon zest. Mix until well combined.
  4. 4. At low speed, mix in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk. Start with the flour and end with the flour. Mix until just combined. Don't over mix.
  5. 5. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Scatter blackberries and rhubarb evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar.
  6. 6. Bake until cake is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let the cake cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely. Serve the cake upside down to show off the pretty berries and rhubarb. Cut into slices.

If you like this cake, you might also like:

Plum Nectarine Buttermilk Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod
Peach Almond Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Dishing Up Delights
Blueberry and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Pinch My Salt

Maria Lichty

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. Sorry the weather was yucky! But looks like you had quite the success in the kitchen! Josh and I are HUGE blackberry fans. I wish I could steal some of your rhubarb 😉 Have a good week Maria

  2. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! My favorite cakes are more on the rustic side, so this is calling my name! I love the thought of pairing the blackberries, something Ive not done with rhubarb! Love it!

  3. Oh my, it looks delicious! I love your presentation…those are lilacs in the background! Beautiful. Have a lovely day – I hope the weather takes a turn for the better!

  4. Looks like a really nice summer cake. I wish we had a cooler weekend, here in MN its been close to 90 & so humid we don’t want to work outside either.

  5. This is fantastic! The blackberries look like little jewels hidden in the cake. I am going to get my hands on some rhubarb very soon.

  6. You’re fast, Maria, it seemed like it was just yesterday you were tweeting about what to do with rhubarb! You did a fantastic job and it makes me wish I had all these produce here! 🙂

  7. What a delicious cake! I am in love with rhubarb now, too, although I have to beg it from my neighbors and am jealous of your four plants. Wow!

  8. Mmm, I made a rhubarb cake recently similar to this. Good stuff! Yours looks great with the added blackberries.
    It’s 90 degrees here in Kansas! WAYYYY to hot and humid. Not sure if I’d take this or the snow (3+ inches) in Eagle Mountain at our new house we’ve heard about today! Crazy!

  9. I am in love with buttermilk! Have been since birth. I don’t know if you read Pioneer Woman, but she’s always saying that sweetened condensed milk is the nectar of the South. Well, yes. But without buttermilk there would be no South. So there! 🙂 I can’t wait to try this! Thanks!

  10. I absolutely adore Gourmet’s buttermilk cake! I couldn’t get over how good it was when I made it last year – totally gobbled up far more than I should have! Will have to try it with blackberries and rhubarb some time!

  11. This looks absolutely amazing! Your pictures are too die for! I would be delighted if you liked this to Tuesday Tastes tomorrow! YUMMMMY!

    Happy Day,
    Jasey @ Crazy Daisy

  12. This cake looks beautiful! I just happened to combine blackberries and rhubarb on Friday. I made a crisp and I agree that it is a very tasty combo.

  13. I keep seeing all these amazing looking recipes featuring rhubarb and I still haven’t tried any of them yet. This is definitely tempting me to go to the store (like right now!) so that I can finally get my groove on with rhubarb. This looks like the perfect springtime tea snack to have. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous!

  14. This is a great recipe! I absolutely adore blackberries and am starting to see them on the market. But better than that is this simple delicious cake, just what we love to have on the table for breakfast and snack (nibbling at all day)!

  15. The man I work with saw me biking around in a fruitless quest for rhubarb in Boston a couple of weeks ago and he found me a BIG bunch. I made a wonderfully simple rhubarb only pie with crumb topping from martha stewart and a rhubarb streusel bread. . . and still there was more rhubarb.

    So, I made this for a community brunch using orange zest instead of lemon and it was fantastic. The church ladies went for seconds. What a winner of a recipe. I am going to use this buttermilk cake recipe with other fruits as well!

    Thanks. . .

    1. I bet orange zest was fantastic in the cake. Glad you enjoyed it. I will have to try that next time.

  16. Hi,I am planning on making this cake for my husband’s birthday but I find it very difficult to find rhubarb in the Salt Lake area…plus I am a newie to the whole rhubarb thing. Where do you get it? When is it in season?


    1. We grow our own rhubarb, but I know Dan’s and Harmon’s usually have it. I hope you can find some! It is in season right now.

  17. I baked this recipe twice — so far. On the first time I made two 9-inch cakes so we could share with neighbors and co-workers. Everyone raved about it! My husband and I enjoyed it very well, too. We had a good harvest of backyard blackberries recently and also found rhubarb in a local up-scale grocery.

    It’s too hot to grow rhubarb here in Louisiana; we got to like it while living in Connecticut. A web search found many possibilities, but I settled on your recipe and was very pleased with the results!

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