Rhubarb and rose tea cakes

The problem with these tea cakes is that it’s really easy to keep eating them. There’s no muffin case getting in your way and all these pretty little tea cakes are just lying around whispering ‘ooh [insert name here] why don’t you put the kettle on and eat us all?!’.

What? You mean your cakes don’t talk to you?

I jest of course but cake definitely finds a way to call to me in some way. I know how to be stronger and resist. If I make sure I get more sleep and eat well in the day then I can turn cake down but if I’m tired and hormonal then it’s every cake for himself.

These are the perfect no frills tea cakes. Whipping up the egg whites separately means the batter is much lighter. Rose and rhubarb is a wonderful flavour combination and one of my favourites.


  • If you don’t fancy almonds on top try pistachios.
  • If you want them to be more of a dessert, serve slightly warm with a little lightly whipped cream and some extra flaked almonds or stewed rhubarb.
  • You could also replace half the flour with ground almonds or use spelt instead.

Makes 12


250g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
4 eggs, separated + 1 extra egg white
200g plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons rose water
2 stalks rhubarb
Flaked almonds
Demerera sugar


  1. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/gas mark 4.
  2. Chop one of the rhubarb stalks into small chunks and divide the other into 6 longer pieces then halve each one lengthways. Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the 4 egg yolks and mix until just combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the 5 egg whites until they reach stiff peaks.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the butter mixture.
  6. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in until the flour disappears.
  7. Finally fold in the smaller rhubarb chunks and rose water.
  8. Divide between the 12 holes, filling about 3/4 full, and top with one of the larger pieces of rhubarb. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  9. Leave to cool before removing from the tin.