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Rhubarb Buckle. Dedicated to Laughton Village in Sussex.

By Lyn Funnell

Rhubarb Buckle

Fruit Buckles are popular cakes in America.

As Laughton Village is known as The Village of the Buckle, I dedicate this recipe to them.

Laughton, Sussex; The Village of the Buckle.

Apparently they’re called a Buckle because the cake mix rises, then buckles under the weight of the fruit.

You can use any fruit in a Buckle. The Americans prefer a Blueberry Buckle, but any fruit will do.

I discovered this Rhubarb Buckle and I’ll try strawberries in the Summer.

It’s simple to make, but fiddly as there are three stages; the crumble topping, the fruit and the cake mix. My advice is to assemble all the ingredients before you start.

Cake mix, rhubarb & crumble topping


For the crumble topping

50g/2ozs plain flour

50g/20zs sugar

½ tsp ground ginger

50g/2ozs butter or marge

25g/1oz oats

Cling film

For the rhubarb

225g/8ozs rhubarb, cut into short lengths

50g/2ozs sugar

Zest 1 orange (optional)

For the cake

100g/4ozs butter or marge

200g/7ozs sugar

Zest 1 orange

2 large eggs

200g/7ozs plain flour

2tsps baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

125ml/1/4 pint soured cream.

I didn’t have any so I used ½ cream & ½ yoghurt.


Heat the oven to 180c/gas 4.

Grease a 20cm baking tin.

Measure out the topping ingredients in a bowl.

Mix it with your fingertips, then pat it into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm, squeezing it into a ball. Place in the fridge until needed.

In the same bowl, place all the fruit ingredients & stir until all the sugar sticks to the rhubarb.

Put all the cake ingredients except the eggs in a mixer or food processor. Mix for several minutes until smooth then add the eggs one at a time. Mix again.

Cake mix with rhubarb

Pour the cake mix into the tin.

Tip the rhubarb mix on top and spread the rhubarb pieces out evenly.

When you’re ready to bake the cake, take the topping out of the fridge and pinch small pieces, dropping them evenly on top of the cake mix.

You’re not covering the mixture with the topping as you do with a crumble. It will melt and spread during baking, giving a smooth, crisp topping.

Bake for approx. 1 ½ hours, checking towards the end to make sure the top doesn’t burn.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for a ½ hour.

Place a plate over the baking tin after loosening the cake around the sides, then tip it upside-down onto the plate.

Cake with buckled top

Now take another plate and tip it the right way up again.

Be careful as it is a crumbly cake and it might split.

Serve warm slices with custard or cream, or leave it to cool completely and serve slices.

It was even tastier the next day!