Aisling Larkin Rhubarb & Orange Ancient Grain Cake

This rhubarb and orange cake is healthier than traditional cake recipes as it uses wholemeal spelt flour, almond flour, and coconut sugar. Enjoy a slice with a cup of tea for a delicious and guilt-free treat! 

If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can use another natural sweetener such as maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar. Keep in mind that the amount of sweetener you use may need to be adjusted slightly depending on the sweetness of the fruit and your personal taste preferences.

For this recipe, you can substitute 100g of coconut sugar with:

  • 80ml maple syrup
  • 80ml honey
  • 80ml agave nectar

When substituting liquid sweeteners for coconut sugar, you may need to adjust the amount of flour or liquid in the recipe to achieve the right consistency. Start by reducing the amount of liquid slightly and adding more flour if the batter is too thin. Alternatively, if the batter is too thick, add a little more liquid until you get the right consistency.

Coconut Sugar: Is it worth the bother? 

Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener that is derived from the sap of coconut palm trees. It has become popular as a healthier alternative to regular sugar due to some potential health benefits.

Here are a few potential benefits of using coconut sugar over regular sugar:

  1. Lower glycemic index: Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index (GI) than regular sugar, which means it doesn’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This can be beneficial for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.
  2. Higher nutrient content: Coconut sugar contains small amounts of nutrients like iron, zinc, and potassium, which are not present in regular sugar. However, the amounts of these nutrients in coconut sugar are still quite low and not significant enough to rely on as a source of nutrition.
  3. Unrefined and natural: Coconut sugar is less processed than regular sugar, and therefore, it is considered a more natural sweetener. It is usually free from additives and preservatives.

It’s important to note that while coconut sugar may have some potential health benefits, it is still a source of sugar and should be consumed in moderation. It’s also important to choose high-quality, organic coconut sugar that is sustainably sourced and produced.

Nutritional Benefits for Wellness 

Compared to traditional cake recipes, this rhubarb and orange cake made with healthier ingredients have several nutritional advantages:

  1. Wholemeal spelt flour: Spelt flour is an ancient grain that is higher in protein and nutrients than regular wheat flour. Wholemeal spelt flour is made by grinding the whole grain, including the bran and germ, which adds fibre and nutrients to the cake.
  2. Almond flour: Almond flour is a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fibre, and adds a nutty flavour to the cake. It’s also lower in carbohydrates than regular flour, making it a great option for those looking to reduce their carb intake.
  3. Less sugar: This cake recipe uses coconut sugar, a natural sweetener with a lower glycemic index than regular sugar. This means it won’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels. Additionally, the amount of sugar used in this recipe is reduced compared to traditional cake recipes, which helps to lower the overall calorie and sugar content of the cake.
  4. Rhubarb and oranges: Both rhubarb and oranges are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can provide various health benefits. Rhubarb is a good source of fibre, vitamin K, and calcium, while oranges are high in vitamin C, folate, and potassium.


Overall, this cake is a healthier option than traditional cake recipes and can provide some nutritional benefits when enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. However, it’s still important to consume cake in moderation as it is a source of calories and sugar.

Aisling Larkin Rhubarb & Orange Ancient Grain Cake

Rhubarb & Orange Ancient Grain Cake

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  • 200 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 50 g almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100 g coconut sugar
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oranges zest and juice
  • 300 g rhubarb chopped
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/Gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, olive oil, eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest and juice.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Fold in the chopped rhubarb and pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  • Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, mix together the honey and 1 tbsp of orange juice to make a glaze.
  • Once the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cake is cooled, drizzle the honey and orange glaze over the top and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.