Old-fashioned Danish Rhubarb Cake

At the beginning of summer, there is nothing better than making an Old-fashioned Danish rhubarb cake with the first fresh rhubarbs from the garden or local market. It consists of a rhubarb pudding, danish macaroons, crumble, and whipped cream on top. It is a traditional Danish dessert, and very quick to make. Read along here and get the delicious recipe.

Old-fashioned Danish Rhubarb cake served in glasses with whipped cream on top

The taste of danish summer

There is just something about such a glass of old-fashioned Danish rhubarb cake with Danish macaroons and whipped cream, and everything. The taste of the sour rhubarb pudding, the sweet crunch of macaroons and crumble, and then the creamy and delicious whipped cream and almonds on top. Yum, Yum, Yum…!

It is a dessert we make again and again during the summer, and for that matter also in the autumn because we often have rhubarb in the freezer after the season ends. It is an easy dessert, it tastes terrific, and then you can make it well in advance.

We love to serve old-fashioned danish rhubarb cake, or “gammeldags rabarberkage” as we call it, in a glass, but if you would rather serve completely traditional in a large bowl, then, of course, you just do it instead. The recipe is exactly the same. We just think the glasses are easier, and then it also looks super nice.

layered old-fashioned danish rhubarb cake with almonds on top

Ingredient notes

Rhubarb – You can use all kinds of rhubarb, but depending on the sweetness of the ones you use, you may need a little more sugar in the pudding. Here it is a mixture of the sweet red strawberry rhubarb and some old-fashioned rhubarb varieties that are greener in the stems.

Danish Macaroons – Here you can use pre-purchased danish macaroons or make your own. It is entirely up to you. Danish macaroons can not be bought outside Denmark to my knowledge, you can though buy them online here.

Crumble – Yes, in most places it is probably called apple cake crumble, but now it is not old-fashioned apple cake but old-fashioned rhubarb cake. But apple cake crumble can also be made yourself or bought ready-made. Here in the recipe, I make it myself, it is so easy, but you can, of course, buy it ready-made in the supermarket if you live in Denmark.

Whipped cream – Whipped cream is needed on Danish rhubarb cake. That’s just how it is.

Almonds – Almonds and rhubarb go well together. That is why we always serve almond flakes on rhubarb pudding and old-fashioned Danish rhubarb cake.

How to make Old-fashioned Danish Rhubarb cake?

Old-fashioned Danish rhubarb cake is both an easy and really delicious classic Danish dessert. The first thing to do is to prepare the various elements.

The rhubarb pudding must be made from rhubarb, vanilla, sugar, and water, and then a crumble must be made. It is made by roasting bread crumbs and sugar in melted butter on a frying pan. Last but not least, whip the cream.

When all the elements are ready and cooled down, the dessert can be assembled. First a layer of rhubarb pudding, then a layer of crumble and danish macaroons, and then rhubarb pudding again before adding whipped cream and almonds on top.

Find the full recipe further down this page.

Danish old-fashioned rhubarb cake with rhubarb pudding, crumble and whipped cream

Frequently asked questions

Can I make the rhubarb pudding ahead?

Yes, you can. It is a good idea at least to make it a few hours before, as it should cool down completely. You can also easily make it the day before.

Can the rhubarb pudding be frozen?

Yes, it can. Then you can always make quick and easy dessert later in the year.

Can I make the crumble ahead?

Yes, the crumble can be stored in an airtight container or a jar, so it can easily be made the day before or even a few days before.

Other danish desserts you might like

two glasses of old-fashioned danish rhubarb cake with whipped cream and almonds

Recipe for a traditional danish rhubarb trifle

Here you get the recipe for the best rhubarb dessert, an old-fashioned danish rhubarb cake. It is easy to make and then it tastes great.

It is a wonderful summer dessert, that both children and adults love at our house. If you have frozen rhubarbs in the freezer, then they are also ideal for old-fashioned rhubarb cake.

Old-fashioned Danish Rhubarb cake served in glasses with whipped cream on top

Old-fashioned Danish Rhubarb Cake

Recipe for Old-fashioned Danish Rhubarb Cake
A traditional Danish dessert recipe. The dessert consists of a rhubarb pudding, a sweet and crunchy crumble, Danish macaroons, whipped cream, and almond flakes on top. A classic Danish summer dessert, that the whole family loves.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cooling and serving: 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Danish
Servings 4 people
Calories 604 kcal


Rhubarb pudding:

  • 500 g rhubarb
  • 180 g sugar possibly more depending on the sweetness of the rhubarb
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 dl water
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • ½ dl water


  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g sugar
  • 50 g bread crumbs or oatmeal


  • 6 danish macaroons
  • 2.5 dl whipping cream
  • 20 g almond flakes


Rhubarb pudding:

  • Wash the rhubarb and cut it into 1-2 cm slices.
  • Put rhubarb, sugar, vanilla paste, and 1 dl water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Let the compote cook under a lid for approx. 20 minutes. Add more sugar if necessary, you have to taste it. When the rhubarb is well cooked out, the pudding should be thickened a little.
  • Stir potato starch into ½dl of water and pour it into the pudding while stirring. Add the thickener until you are satisfied with the consistency of the pudding. Remember it gets a little thicker when it cools down.
  • Take the pudding off the heat and let it cool in a bowl before putting it in the fridge. Sprinkle a little sugar on top so that it does not form a skin.


  • Melt the butter in a frying pan.
  • Put bread crumbs and sugar on the pan and fry it over medium heat until the crumble is golden, it takes about 5-10 minutes. Place the crumble to cool on a piece of baking paper.


  • Whip the cream to a light and fluffy whipped cream.
  • Serve the dessert in a serving glass or in a large bowl, the procedure is the same.
  • First, put a layer of rhubarb pudding in the bottom, and then put a layer of crumble on top. Crush the danish macaroons and spread them on top of the crumble. Now put another layer of rhubarb pudding on top, and finally whipped cream. Sprinkle with almond flakes on top and now the dessert is ready to serve.


Calories: 604kcal
Keyword Danish dessert, Dessert, Dessert in a glass, dessert with rhubarb, rhubarb compote cake, Summer dessert
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Note: This recipe is a translation of our danish recipe “Gammeldags rabarberkage” which can be found on our danish food blog.

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