kurt vonnegut and an almond rhubarb cake

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” From ―Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country.

I love this quotation but I’m going to add something. Bake something incredible. Make a cake. Create a truly beautiful cake. Or cook a spectacular meal. Really good cooking is both an art-form and an act of love.

This cake IS a truly beautiful cake. It’s simple, sophisticated, full of flavour, and healthy.

This recipe comes from a friend. I’ve adapted it ever so slightly to adjust it to the amount of ground almonds I had on hand. The recipe is incredibly similar to a cake I posted a couple of years ago – the flourless, butterless, orange torte. Both are fantastic choices if you need a really good gluten-free cake recipe. But even if you don’t need a gluten-free cake recipe – do everyone a favour and make this cake.

Almond Rhubarb Cake - gluten-and dairy-free

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 1/2 cups ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (white or brown)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped (if using frozen defrost and drain first)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar for rhubarb
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar for dusting

You will need – a 9 inch round cake tin or springform pan and an electric beater or stand mixer.

Grease a 9 inch round cake tin. Combine the rhubarb and 2 tsp sugar. Set aside.

Beat the eggs and sugar for a full five minutes until the mixture is pale and frothy and doubled in volume. Then add the butter and beat another minute or two. This will reduce the volume of the egg mixture but don’t worry.

Fold in the almond meal, rice flour, baking power, and lemon zest. Stir gently.

Fold in the rhubarb. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin. Bake at 325 deg F for 35 minutes.


Let the cake cool and dust with icing sugar.



15 thoughts on “kurt vonnegut and an almond rhubarb cake

  1. I totally agree, baking something or cooking something is an art form a form of expression, it comes from the soul. I love that quotation from Vonnegut. I also adore your cake, it looks so light and delicious and I am such a big fan of anything with rhubarb in it. I think this cake is an extension of you, I would use some of those adjectives to describe you.

    1. Thank you Suzanne – what a beautiful compliment. I feel exactly the same about you. One of these days I’m going to meet you in Brooklyn. (Note to self – add A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to reading list.) xo

  2. I love cakes made with ground almonds. Such wonderful texture. This really is a beautiful cake! And it is my kind of cake with only 1/2 cup of sugar in the mix. 🙂

    1. Seana – think you must be crazy busy at your end because when I blog more often than you – that very likely means you’re swamped. When you get un-swamped – I do believe you’d love this cake! 😉 Still thinking about that last description of yours of being able to grill at Christmas time and eat soup in summer. This time last year I was headed for the beautiful Pacific Northwest and had a taste of what your life might be like. xo

      1. Aww, yes! You passed right by in the Puget Sound. I have been crazy busy, and it looks like I have a little breathing space and I will make your cake because I love everything you bake!

  3. What a great quote and what a delicious cake. It reminds me very much of a torta de santiago. And boy is that flavorful. I totally know what you mean about baking a cake. It’s almost crazy that you’d say that because I baked a work of art this weekend and i couldn’t be more proud of it. I’m a little obsessed with it. There is something of your soul that goes into it and it’s just wonderful.

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