Rabarbrakake – Norwegian Rhubarb Cake with Meringue


Perhaps the one dish I would most look forward to my Norwegian grandmother making every summer we visited her in Telemark was her rabarbrakake, or rhubarb cake. Well, she called it a cake, but I guess it might better be described as a rhubarb meringue pie.

I’m a huge fan of rhubarb and meringue, but actually what made this rabarbrakake so good was the crust. It’s a bit thicker and fluffier than a traditional pie crust but more dense than a cake, and oh my is it delicious.

Norwegian rhubarb meringue pie

I asked my mother if she had the rhubarb cake recipe, and she sent over a photo of it.

mamma's best rabarbrakake

And that’s when I realized something strange.

I have so many memories of making Norwegian waffles, krumkaker, sandnøtter, and all sorts of other Norwegian baked goods with my grandmother, but I don’t remember ever helping her with her rhubarb cake. And that was bad news for me when I saw the recipe, because if you read Norwegian you’ll see that it’s not much of a recipe. The measurements are vague (eg. “3 egg whites, preferably more”), there are no baking instructions, and there’s not even a mention of rhubarb – apparently this was originally an apple cake.

I considered asking my mother if she remembered more details, but then I thought back to the one time she attempted to make this rhubarb meringue pie herself, and it… wasn’t great. And I guess that wasn’t all too surprising, considering how my grandmother always made her rabarbrakake when we happened to be out for the day.

So I’m beginning to think that this was intentional on her part, because this wasn’t just her best rhubarb cake recipe, it was her secret rhubarb cake recipe.

But don’t worry, after a bit of trial and error (okay, a lot of errors), I think I’ve figured it out! And now I’m going to share it with the Internet, because I’m terrible at keeping secrets.

chopping rhubarb

I don’t peel the rhubarb, but I do remove any particularly stringy bits. The rhubarb will cook down for quite a while, so you don’t have to be too exact here. I also just guessed with the amount of rhubarb. If you cook up extra, stewed rhubarb tastes delicious on its own, or served over ice cream!

stewed rhubarb

Add the sugar slowly at the end so you can decide if you want it more or less sweet. I prefer the rhubarb on the less sweet side, since the meringue topping is sweet as well.

Try to use the best quality butter you can find for the crust. The flavor of the butter really shines through in this cake, so the better the butter the better the cake.

rhubarb pie crust

My pie form has a 27 cm (10.5 in) diameter, so if yours is smaller you might not need to use all the rhubarb pie dough.

rhubarb pie crust

I bake the crust until it just starts to turn golden on top. Then I let it cool a bit before adding the rhubarb and meringue on top.

whipping meringue

Make sure you whisk the egg whites and sugar long enough to get truly stiff peaks (they shouldn’t melt back down), as you’ll want the meringue to hold its shape on top of the pie.

rhubarb pie

When adding the rhubarb on top of the pie I leave the edge free so the meringue can seal the rhubarb in the pie.

meringue pie

Then when adding the meringue topping I use the back of a spoon to make lots of peaks across the top – because I think it looks pretty that way.

rhubarb meringue pie

Keep an eye on the pie in the oven to make sure the meringue doesn’t burn, but the tops and edges should get a bit brown.

I think this rabarbrakake tastes best once fully cooled, and it also tastes best eaten the same day.

rhubarb meringue pie

You can switch the recipe from US measurements to metric by clicking from “US Customary” to “Metric” under Ingredients.

Norwegian rhubarb meringue pie

Rabarbrakake – Norwegian Rhubarb Cake with Meringue

This Norwegian rabarbrakake is a rhubarb meringue pie (or cake) made with a thick buttery crust, cooked rhubarb, and a super fluffy meringue topping.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Norwegian
Keyword: cake, meringue, pie, rhubarb
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Silvia


  • 1 27 cm (10.5) inch tart or pie form
  • electric hand (or stand) mixer


Rhubarb filling

  • 1 lb rhubarb (about 8 stalks)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  • 11 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour


  • 5 egg whites from large eggs
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar


Rhubarb filling

  • Wash the rhubarb, cut off the ends, and cut the stalks into small pieces.
  • Add the rhubarb to a large pot with a couple tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on medium heat until the rhubarb breaks down into a soft stew – about 20 minutes. You can make the crust while the rhubarb cooks down.
  • Dissolve the corn starch in a couple tablespoons of water and add to the rhubarb stew. Add the sugar and cook for another 5 minutes without the lid. Remove from heat and set aside for later.


  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • Stir together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add the egg yolks, stirring well.
  • Stir in the flour until smooth.
  • Spread the dough evenly across the pie form. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the top just starts to turn golden.


  • Whisk the egg whites in a glass bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue whisking until you get stiff peaks that hold their shape.


  • Preheat oven (or reduce heat after baking the crust) to 150°C (300°F).
  • Spread the rhubarb filling over the crust, leaving the edge free.
  • Spread the meringue over the entire pie, using the back of a spoon to make peaks.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.


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