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Rhubarb Jelly-Roll Cake

This jelly-roll recipe came from my mom's cookbook, circa 1940. It's continued to by a family classic and is popular at church potlucks. Soon, I'll be introducing this rhubarb cake to kids in my 4-H cooking class.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    10-12 servings


  • 6 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 2-3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners' sugar


  • In a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb, 2 cups sugar, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, over medium heat until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool completely.
  • Line a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan with waxed paper. Grease the paper; set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs for 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining sugar; beat for 2 minutes or until mixture becomes thick and lemon-colored. Stir in extract. Combine dry ingredients; fold into egg mixture. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
  • Bake at 375° for 15-17 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Unroll cake; spread filling evenly over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again. Place seam side down on a serving platter. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
Editor's Note
If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 251 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 156mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (48g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein.

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  • maritimeukrainian
    Jun 30, 2015

    If I may, to those ladies who said it was too didn't boil it long enough. I put a candy thermometer in mine and let all the water cook off until it hit jam stage and then pulled it off the heat. No issues. Better luck next time!

  • kitchenartist
    Jul 14, 2013

    Followed recipe as written, no modifications-I agree with other writer-a horrible mess. Flavor okay but end result was a blob of rhubarb and it ran all over-ugh!

  • nilouve
    Jun 1, 2011

    This recipe looked so good but turned into a mess for me. I'm not sure what I did wrong but even after adding cornstarch in an attempt to thicken the filling, I ended up with a runny mess that didn't stay in the roll but oozed out the sides. Ended up in the garbage. What a shame.

  • Jewel61
    Dec 15, 2010

    Okay I have made this three times and it is wonderful

  • Jewel61
    Dec 15, 2010

    Okay I have made this three times and it is wonderful