Yumi Stynes’ microwaved rhubarb and custard pudding recipe

Posted in Recipes.

Broadcaster and mum, Yumi Stynes is not only a clever cookie on the radio (and in her ABC podcast, Ladies We Need To Talk), she’s also a genius in the kitchen! Her brand new book, The Zero F*cks Cookbook, is the proof in the pudding, jam-packed with the sort of delicious recipes you’ll want to cook for your friends and family every single night …

Yumi Stynes Rhubarb and Custard Pudding

A couple of things. Firstly, like many people, I’m not crazy about microwaves – any cooking I do in mine is usually the classic reheat or something shameful. This sits in the second category. Also, I came late to rhubarb. I never understood why people would eat something that tasted like a sour weed. Now I realise how wonderful it is to surround the tartness and bite of rhubarb with the cuddle of custard and cake.

Note: It’s very important that you don’t forget when you’re preparing your ingredients here that packet cakes also use eggs, milk and butter.

Microwaved rhubarb and custard pudding

Serves 8
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes


½ × 340–380g packet of plain or vanilla cake mix – made up according to packet instructions
1 egg
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
300ml cream
100ml milk
150g rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut into 1cm pieces
Vanilla ice cream, to serve (optional)


  • Prepare the half-portion of cake mix and scrape it into a large microwave-safe bowl. (I use a 2 litre  Pyrex glass jug.)
  • In the same mixing bowl that you prepared your cake mix in (there’s no need to wash it), beat the egg, sugar and vanilla together until well combined, then pour in the cream and milk and whisk together for 2 minutes more.
  • Arrange the rhubarb pieces on top of the cake mix, then pour over the cream mixture. Microwave on high for 10–12 minutes – the cream will sink down to make a delicious custard layer!
  • Leave to cool slightly for a minute or two, then serve as is or with vanilla ice cream.

Bonus tips

  • Experiment with other fruit – raspberries, blueberries, pitted cherries, apricots or anything from a tin will work well here too.
  • Be sure to check the ingredients listed in your packet cake before using – the additive ‘annatto’ (160b) can be found in some, which I avoid because it gives me a raging headache.
  • You can bake this in the oven but it comes out like a totally different dessert (for some reason microwaving it makes it super fluffy and light). If you want to try the oven, bake it in a greased tray immersed in a water bath at 175°C (345°F) for 45 minutes or until the top looks golden.

Zero Fcks Cookbook

This is an edited extract from The Zero F*cks Cookbook by Yumi Stynes published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $39.99 and is available in stores nationally.

Photographer: ©Chris Chen

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