Rhubarb & Custard Topsy Turvy Teacake

Rhubarb & Custard is the Morecome and Wise of the culinary world. Fact.

Surely the smooth and old school custard is akin to straight man Ernie – and the tangy Rhubarb is the in your face slapstick genius of Eric. As a comedic duo they are just as quirkily British as these baking buddies and both as homey and comforting as the Archers theme tune.

So as I prance around my kitchen reenacting Eric & Ernie’s “The Stripper” breakfast routine ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFgdhZGLJrY&feature=related ) I am also conjuring up a cake that will embrace this retro cosy feeling.

I have been inspired by an Australian Womens Weekly recipe for a Rhubarb & Custard Teacake – what intrigued me was the layer of custard inside the cake. I flippin’ love custard. I love the skin that forms on top of custard – there was always a wrestle for this silky treat in my house growing up. This lust has now matured into a love of the French pastry, Flan Nature.

The custard in this cake is not so mature or chic, as it is made with custard powder. Its bright yellow hue will no doubt rocket you back in time to memories of school dinners and boiled sweets.

I also wanted to preserve the rhubarb stalk’s natural beauty by placing them at the bottom of the cake tin to then create a sort of upside down cake. As you can see from the picture, this has really worked and I unleashed whoops of joy when I turned the cake out.

This upside down nature has inspired the name of the cake and I have just had a full on daydream about being a character called “Topsy Turvy” a sleuthing Lady gadding about 1920’s London. I’d have pin curls and drive an open top sports car wearing a headscarf and enormous shades. Hmmmmnn….. I’m sure ITV would love it!

Right! snap back to the cake in hand Miss Love!


3 tablespoons custard powder
75g caster sugar
375ml full fat milk
30g butter
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

450g rhubarb trimmed to fit tin
45g demerara sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

250g butter at room temperature
200g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
250g self raising flour
50ml full fat milk

Grease and line 22cm square tin.

Combine custard powder and sugar in a saucepan. Stir in milk. Cook, stirring all the time until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Place a disc of grease proof paper over the custard to prevent a skin forming. Let the custard cool completely, then whisk until smooth.

Mix the trimmed rhubarb with the demerara sugar and vanilla extract and set aside.

Preheat oven to 160 C.

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until mixture is light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating really well after each addition.
Sift in the flour and fold into batter.

Lay the rhubarb into the bottom of your prepared tin and pour over the left behind sugary juices.
Dollop half of the cake batter over the fruit.The mixture will be thicker than a normal sponge so you will be scooping it rather than pouring it into the tin.
Spoon custard into the tin in lumps then spread evenly over batter.
Stir milk into the remaining cake mix then dollop this onto the custard later and smooth over being careful not to mix up the custard so it stays in a nice clean layer.

Place in the centre of your preheated oven for 50-60 mins until cake is golden brown on top and firm to the touch.

Leave to cool then turn out onto serving plate or into tin. Ready yourself for the smug feeling of bakery pleasure as you slice into this fabulous, sherbet pink streaked homespun cake.

You can also serve this warm as a homey pudding or cold with a cuppa. Tea Ern?

Love Lemony x


  1. OMG! This totally trumps my rhubarb and custard cake. It’s beautiful and a fab idea. Glad you found us. I love your blog too *followed* are you on Twitter?

    • Hello! SO glad you like the blog, I’ve not been at it too long so its all a massive learning curve! Nope, not on twitter yet, it baffles me slightly to be honest. Will have a go this weekend!

  2. Wow, that’s a stunning looking cake, almost looks like modern art!

  3. Just stunning. Puts my efforts with rhubarb in the shade. Lovely photos & recipe.

  4. sounds more than delish!!! yum yum – a must try!!

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