Friday, April 13, 2018

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Rhubarb is a favorite of mine and I especially look forward to making some sort of crisp with it each spring. This year, I wanted to try something different. This cake - based upon a Martha Stewart recipe - was that something different. And, I'm so glad that I branched out into a new recipe. The cake is both delicious and a real stunner visually.

I chose to slice the rhubarb into long spears, but you could pretty much cut it in any way that you'd like. And, I shingled the spears into the bottom of the pan, but the pieces could just be tossed in willy-nilly, if desired, so long as they are kept in a pretty even layer. I tried to do something cool for the sake of presentation.

SIDE NOTE:  My preteen daughter thought it looked like raw bacon on the cake. Thanks. {Ummm ... actually maybe she's right. Thoughts?}

Take heed, friends, that the batter of this cake is slightly different than a traditional vanilla-esque cake batter. First, I love the addition of sour cream ... the tang really helps makes this cake. The zest and juice from an orange are a total flavor bomb in this recipe, too. Know, however, that this cake is a little more dense than you're probably used to. And, actually once chilled, I found the center of the cake to almost {just a tiny bit} resemble the consistency of a baked cheesecake.

The cake can be served warm, room temp or completely chilled. Honestly, I loved it all three ways. So, it's really probably a preference thing.

NOTE REGARDING COLORING OF RHUBARB:  After testing this recipe twice, I did come across some reader comments on Martha's post for this cake regarding the coloring of the rhubarb after baking. Know that unless your rhubarb is incredibly deep, vixen red when you buy it, you will, obviously, never get a dark red hue after baking without some help. Rumor has it that a sprinkling of red gelatin or some drops of red food coloring into the sliced rhubarb - as it sits sprinkled with sugar - helps with the coloring. {Honestly, I am okay with the "naturalness" of the subtle pink hue achieved with no coloring added.}

Serves 6 - 8



1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a sharp diagonal into long "spears" {keep ends for filling in gaps}
1/2 cup sugar


1 1/2 sticks room temperature butter, divided {plus more for buttering pan}
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sour cream
1 heaping teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, toss rhubarb with 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside while cake batter is prepared.

Grease a 9-inch round cake pan {2 inches deep} with butter. Cut 4 tablespoons butter into small cubes. Place in bottom of greased pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat remaining 1 stick butter with 1 cup sugar until fluffy and smooth. Beat in eggs - one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Add in vanilla, salt and baking powder. Beat to combine.

Beat in flour in three additions, alternating with sour cream, until smooth.

Add in zest and juice.

Stir and scrape down sides of bowl to be sure everything is well-combined.

Set batter aside.

Stir rhubarb. Shingle or lay out rhubarb in a single layer in bottom of pan.

{Use the pats of butter to hold the rhubarb in place as you go. You may not have enough rhubarb to cover entire bottom of pan. Keep reworking and rearranging the rhubarb until you are happy with the pattern and spacing.}

You can pour the sugary juices from bowl over rhubarb {up to approximately two tablespoons worth}.

Pour batter over rhubarb. Spread out evenly.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven.

Allow cake to cool for exactly 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake.

Invert onto a cake stand or large plate. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

1 comment :

  1. I grew up on rhubarb and love it. Love the way you sliced the rhubarb...what a pretty dessert. I'm sure it's amazing with sour cream in the batter!