Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake slice (A Seat at the Table)

Rhubarb is such a unique vegetable.  It grows with big leaves that are inedible, but the stalks are a bright red, and are absolutely delicious when cooked (with sugar).  Raw rhubarb is intensely sour/bitter.  It’s one of those plants that you can’t believe someone figured out how to eat, but I’m so glad the deliciousness of rhubarb was discovered.  Check out other uses for it with my rhubarb pie recipe, rhubarb snacking cake, rhubarb berry crisp, or strawberry rhubarb scones.

This cake has just a hint of sweetness and is topped with a sweet caramel that coats the tart rhubarb.  It’s a great balance making this a great cake for tea time (because obviously you all are just sitting around planning tea time, right?), meaning it’s a great bright tasting cake that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy.  So let’s bring back tea time, starting with this cake.

Rhubarb Upside Down CakeRhubarb Upside-Down Cake slice (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 8-10

Adapted from New York Times Cooking

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (more to grease the pans), divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs rhubarb, rinsed and sliced into 1/2″ cubes (about 5 cups)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 orange zested
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp orange juice

Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Line the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper, and butter the bottoms and sides of the pan.  Wrap two layers of foil under the pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up).

In a medium bowl, mix rhubarb, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

Sift together the cake flour, ginger powder, baking powder, and salt.

Beat 2 sticks of butter with an electric mixer while you mix 1 cup of sugar with orange zest and grated ginger, with your fingers until uniform in color.  Add the sugar to the butter and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed.  Add the eggs one at at time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the sour cream and orange juice, and mix well.Rhubarb Upside Down Cake (A Seat at the Table)

Mix the brown sugar and 1/2 stick butter in a pan over medium heat.  Whisk until smooth and bubbling, about 2 minutes.  Pour brown sugar mixture into the prepared pan and then spoon the rhubarb over top.  Spoon the batter on top and smooth out the top.

Bake for about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes, or until the top of the cake is firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for about 20-25 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove the ring and flip the cake onto your serving dish.  Don’t let the cake cool too much or it will stick to the pan, but don’t remove the pan too soon or the cake will start to crumble.

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