Danielle Alvarez's Rhubarb, Cardamom and Almond Cake

This simple butter and almond cake is enhanced with the gentle spice of cardamom, lemon zest and sour rhubarb. Feel free to swap the rhubarb for other seasonal fruit like apricots, plums or cherries.

Makes 12-14 slices


180g plain flour

50g almond meal

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. fine sea salt

115g room temperature butter + more for buttering the dish

150g sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

5 cardamom pods, pods crushed and seeds removed

2 eggs, room temperature, cracked into a small bowl

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 bunches rhubarb

2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar


Preheat your oven to 180C. Grease your Mud platter liberally with soft butter and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix and set aside.

Place the 115g soft butter, 150g sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on high for several minutes until the mix looks lightened in color and is airy and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the bowl as needed so this happens evenly.

Crush the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle until they are a fine powder and add in to the butter mixture. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time. Add the next one when the first one has been incorporated. Next, add in the vanilla and the almond extracts and mix to combine.

Combine the lemon juice with the milk and set aside.

With the machine on low speed, add half the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Next, pour in the milk and lemon juice and mix to combine and finally add in the remaining dry ingredients until no dry bits are visible. Stop the machine and pour the batter into the cake platter.

Trim the rhubarb and split the stalks in half or quarters so they are quite thin. Assemble them on top of the cake batter so that you completely cover the batter and stack them on top of each other to create two layers of rhubarb.

Trim the length as needed (save the trim to make a compote, if you like). Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top and bake for 45-55 minutes until a cake tester tested in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool before slicing and serving.

About Danielle Alvarez

Danielle Alvarez is a professional chef living and working in Sydney, Australia. Danielle is originally from Miami, FL in the USA and previously lived and worked in Northern California. Cooking with both heart and mind, Danielle's food is created to nourish, with an eye to respecting and valuing our producers.

Danielle is pictured here with Shelley Simpson, Mud Australia Founder and Creative Director.

Follow Danielle: @daniellemariealvarez