Easy Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge Recipe

Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge
Yields: 8 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 40 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr

Mary Berry’s Rhubarb Sponge is a delightful dessert that combines the tartness of rhubarb with a light, fluffy sponge. It’s perfect for a cozy family dinner, a springtime celebration, or any occasion that calls for a sweet treat. This recipe serves 6-8 people and takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to prepare.

In this article, I will guide you through making Mary Berry’s Rhubarb Sponge step by step, sharing tips and tricks along the way.

What is Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge?

Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge is a quintessentially British dessert that combines a light, fluffy sponge cake with a layer of tangy rhubarb. This delightful treat offers a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors, providing a refreshing and sophisticated twist on traditional sponge cakes. It’s an elegant yet comforting dessert that’s perfect for any occasion

Easy Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge Recipe

  • Balanced Flavors: The sweetness of the sponge complements the tartness of the rhubarb perfectly.
  • Simple Ingredients: You likely have most of the ingredients in your pantry already.
  • Versatile Dessert: It can be served warm with custard or cold with a dollop of cream.
  • Family-Friendly: Both kids and adults will enjoy this delightful treat.
  • Impressive Presentation: Despite being easy to make, it looks elegant and sophisticated.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge

  • Rhubarb: 500g (1.1 lbs) fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Caster Sugar: 200g (7 oz) for sweetness.
  • Butter: 175g (6 oz) unsalted, softened.
  • Self-Raising Flour: 175g (6 oz) for the sponge base.
  • Eggs: 3 large, free-range.
  • Baking Powder: 1 tsp to help the sponge rise.
  • Milk: 2 tbsp for added moisture.
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp for flavor.


  • Mixing Bowls: For combining ingredients.
  • Electric Mixer: To cream butter and sugar.
  • Baking Tin: A 9-inch round tin, greased and lined.
  • Spatula: For mixing and spreading the batter.
  • Knife: For cutting rhubarb.

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge

1. Preheat Your Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4).

2. Prepare the Rhubarb

  • Cut the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces.
  • Place in a saucepan with 50g (1.8 oz) of caster sugar and 2 tbsp of water.
  • Simmer gently until the rhubarb is tender but not mushy. Set aside to cool.

3. Make the Sponge Batter

  • Cream the butter and remaining caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle.
  • Fold in the flour and baking powder, followed by the milk and vanilla extract.

4. Assemble the Cake

  • Pour half the sponge batter into the prepared tin.
  • Spoon the rhubarb evenly over the batter.
  • Top with the remaining sponge batter, spreading it out gently.

5. Bake the Cake

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

6. Cool and Serve

  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Easy Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge Recipe


What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge?

  • Warm Custard: Adds a creamy richness that pairs perfectly with the tangy rhubarb.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: Offers a cool and refreshing contrast to the warm, fluffy sponge.
  • Fresh Cream: Light and airy, it complements the texture of the sponge without overpowering the flavors.
  • Yogurt: Adds a tangy twist and balances the sweetness of the dessert.
  • Fruit Compote: Enhances the fruity flavor and provides an extra burst of sweetness.

Easy Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge Recipe

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge

  • Use Fresh Rhubarb: Fresh rhubarb gives the best flavor and texture.
  • Don’t Overmix the Batter: Overmixing can make the sponge dense, so mix just until combined.
  • Check Oven Temperature: Make sure your oven is preheated to the correct temperature to ensure even baking.
  • Line Your Tin: Lining your tin with parchment paper prevents sticking and makes it easier to remove the cake.
  • Cool Before Serving: Let the cake cool completely to allow the flavors to meld and the texture to set perfectly.

Variations of Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge

  • Add Ginger: A pinch of ground ginger in the batter.
  • Top with Almonds: Sprinkle flaked almonds on top before baking.
  • Mix Berries: Combine rhubarb with strawberries or raspberries.
  • Cinnamon Twist: Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the batter.
  • Citrus Zest: Grate some orange or lemon zest into the sponge mixture.

How Do I Store Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge Leftovers?

  • Airtight Container: Keeps it fresh for up to 3 days.
  • Refrigerate: Extend freshness by storing in the fridge.
  • Freeze: Wrap in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Slice Before Storing: This makes it easier to grab a piece when desired.

How Do I Reheat Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge Leftovers?

  • Microwave: Quick and easy, just 20-30 seconds per slice.
  • Oven: Reheat at 150°C (300°F) for 10 minutes.
  • Steamer: Keeps it moist and warm.
  • Toaster Oven: Convenient for small portions.

Nutrition Value (per serving):

  • Calories: 320
  • Protein: 4g
  • Fat: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 44g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 28g
  • Sodium: 150mg


How do I make Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge gluten-free?

To make Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge gluten-free, substitute the self-raising flour with a gluten-free self-raising flour blend. Ensure that the baking powder you use is also gluten-free. Follow the rest of the recipe as usual for a delicious gluten-free version of this classic dessert.

Can I use frozen rhubarb for Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge?

Yes, you can use frozen rhubarb. Thaw the rhubarb completely and drain any excess liquid before using it in the recipe. This will help maintain the correct consistency of the sponge and prevent it from becoming too soggy.

How long does Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge last?

Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge can last up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. If refrigerated, it can last up to 5 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the sponge for up to 3 months. Wrap it well in plastic wrap and foil before freezing.

Can I make Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Mary Berry Rhubarb Sponge ahead of time. Bake the sponge and let it cool completely. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving for the best taste and texture.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s Rhubarb Sponge is a delightful dessert that’s sure to impress your family and friends. It’s simple to make yet offers a sophisticated flavor combination that will have everyone asking for seconds. Whether served warm or cold, this sponge cake is a versatile treat that fits any occasion. Enjoy baking and savoring every bite!

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