Monday, June 9, 2014

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Saturday was our first farmers' market up on the square and I was there before it was officially open.  I needed to make sure we got asparagus and rhubarb.  This is the first spring here that we have not already consumed as much asparagus as possible.  We were ready!  I should have taken my camera!  The sun was shining and, to get to my favorite farmer, I had to pass through herbs and blooming plants that lined the way.  I knew Linda had saved two of her magnificent ferns for our porch and I quickly spied another basket of blooms to accompany them.  Two Thai basil plants and another sage were added to my basket.  The asparagus was unloaded from her truck, along with the rhubarb.  Both were worth the wait.  All of the produce is grown at Le Gardens and driven less than fifteen miles to us.  Fresh!!

With both stalks safely in my basket, I relaxed and chatted with neighbors--some hadn't been sighted during the winter of the Polar Vortex.  We were all still a little pale!!  Andrew and Oliver joined us after their walk, Oliver hoping for the stall that had homemade doggie treats.  No luck!

Fast forward to Sunday dinner.  Andrew had this recipe from the Chicago Tribune waiting for fresh rhubarb.  We've had quite a few delicious cakes and cobblers featuring rhubarb.  I believe this is one of the best.  The lemon zest was quite evident and refreshing.  I've made a note that I think it would be good with orange zest as well.  I hope you'll give it a try while the rhubarb season is upon us.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

4  cups rhubarb rather finely chopped
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup regular sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, softened plus an additional Tbsp for the pan
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk

350 degree oven

1.  Toss together the rhubarb, brown sugar, 1/3 cup reg. sugar (save rest for batter) and 1 tsp lemon zest (save rest for batter).
2.  Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.
3.  In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and remaining 1/3 cup of sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, remaining lemon zest and the vanilla.  Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture just until combined, add half the milk, until combined and continue with the rest of the milk and flour ending with the flour.  Do not over mix.
4.  Generously butter a 9-inch cake pan.  Spoon in the rhubarb mixture with any collected juices and spread.  Add the batter and carefully smooth out.
5.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean--about 35 minutes.  Cool for ten minutes.  Run a spatula around the edge of the pan and place the cake on a platter rhubarb side up.



  1. Don't you just love market season?
    You upside down cake looks season produce is always so flavorful.

  2. our farmers market just closed for the year. it is open all winter and closes for June through Sept..

  3. YUM... I LOVE LOVE LOVE Rhubarb --but have never had that cake or any cake with Rhubarb in it... My Mom used to make Rhubarb (like you make Fried Apples)... I loved it... AND--I've had it in jam/preserves and as a pie. But--never cake. I KNOW I'd love that one. Thanks!!!


  4. My husband LOVES rhubarb, I am definitely going to give this one a go. My local farmers market opened up yesterday too - sadly I forgot until I was driving by it as they were closing up shop!

  5. It looks like a rhubarb pizza! I would enjoy being able to walk to a local farmer's market. (or it sounds like you did).

  6. Farmer's markets are such fun this time of year. Your rhubarb cake is so pretty. Fresh produce and lemon peel make such a difference don't they.

  7. That sounds like such fun! I would love to go with you and walk around for hours. The cake looks much too pretty to eat. When I first saw it, I had to blink my eyes. It looks like jewels, rubies and such, all different shimmering kinds. No, I would not eat it, I would photograph it till I passed out.

  8. we love rhubarb and it's so underused!! wonderful cake

  9. Bonnie, I have not cooked a lot with rhubarb. I love to find different versions of upside down cakes. I have been with my daughter for a few weeks and have missed being able to run to my local farmer's market. I am afraid by the time I return I will have missed so many of my favorite fruits and veggies.

    Thank you so much for the good wishes. I am having a grand time getting to know this little guy. Have a wonderful week!

  10. Look at that beautiful, red, rhubarb! My stalks are just faintly red with lots of green. Maybe it's lack of full sun or just the variety - don't know. Another great-looking recipe to add to the list! I have to get to our farmers' market soon.

  11. This looks so good. I can't believe I have never cooked with rhubarb. Your post has inspired me to try it.

  12. Bookmarked! This sounds great and I love a good rhubarb cake, thanks for sharing:@)

  13. I have eaten rhubarb and love it, but I've never prepared it myself. This is tempting me to find some and make this lovely cake! :)

  14. Your cake looks delicious, Bonnie! My husband does not like rhubarb for some reason, so I don't cook with it often. I do love it and mix it in with strawberries in a tart, when we have company over, from time to time.

  15. Bonnie this cake loom delicious!

  16. i saw this on facebook yesterday and I almost fell out of my chair! It looks so darn good and screams summer time to me!

  17. Our farmers market is in full swing too, and it is so wonderful to have beautiful produce again. This recipe looks delicious. Rhubarb is one of my favorite spring treats.

  18. You never disappointment my my friend. Your site is just amazing and especially this yummy looking desert. I know you guys enjoyed this as much as your visit to the market.
    Living where there are farmers markets like yours would be heaven. I have never understood my part of Texas not having a good one. It's so small and not a lot to pick from and of course no Rhubarb.
    Thanks for sharing this now if I can find the Rhubarb somewhere I am going to have to make this.
    Sorry your baby didn't get his dog treats.
    I laughed at your comment about rather have an elephant in the house than a mouse. Sadly I have to agree with that myself.
    Love ya

  19. That looks amazing, Bonnie! I do love anything rhubarb and it's such fun to see all the rhubarb recipes this time of year.

  20. I bet this was yummy. It is almost too
    pretty to cut!

    M : )

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