Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Time to harvest the rhubarb and make cake!

Time to harvest the rhubarb this weekend.  I usually get about 70-80 stalks from the two plants growing in the yard behind the inn.  It seems every other neighbor grows rhubarb up here in New Hampshire, since it's a cool season, perennial plant.

I clean it and slice it up in the food processor and freeze it in separate plastic bags to use in my Honey Rhubarb Walnut Bread.  But I wanted to try a dessert recipe for Memorial Day as we had friends over for a barbecue.  Here's a wonderful recipe for Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake that is packed with flavor due to the tart, yet sweet, flavor of the rhubarb accented with orange zest on top of a dense, buttery cake.

RHUBARB UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE              Yield:  1 10-inch Round Cake, Serves 10

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 10-inch round cake pan and dot with 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut up into small pieces.

Crumb Topping

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt

Mix together until moist and crumbly, and put aside.


1 pound rhubarb sliced sharply on the diagonal ½-inch thick
¾ cup sugar

Toss rhubarb with sugar and let stand a few minutes, then toss again.


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon of orange juice
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Beat remaining stick butter and cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in zest and juice. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, until smooth. Spread rhubarb evenly in the baking pan over the dotted butter. Then spread cake batter over the rhubarb and crumble topping evenly over batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


  1. Oh I love that recipe. I have copied it and will make it as soon as I get out there to cut some rhubarb in the garden.
    I am going to use a large duck egg instead of 2 chicken eggs. What do you think, have you ever used duck eggs in your baking? OHMYGAWD they are fantastic!

  2. It's a buttery, rich cake that is tender, yet firm up against the soft rhubarb. No, I have not had duck eggs, but would like to try them.