Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

I'm thrilled to announce hothouse rhubarb appeared in Fresh Market last week! You know me and rhubarb.  So I came home with a couple pounds and proceeded to make the first entry in my annual spring rhubarb love-in. More recipes on the way, of course.

As a start, I found a fantastic upside down cake recipe using rhubarb. The cake nearly floats away it's so light and it has a slight lemon flavor. Ever so
 slight. It takes a few steps, but it's simple enough to make and it's a cake to make you proud to serve to friends and family for dessert. It's elegant, bright, makes a beautiful presentation and the flavor is ambrosial. What more could you ask? Love, love love.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
Andrew Scrivani for the  The New York Times

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, more to grease pans 
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, rinsed and sliced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups) 
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup light brown sugar 
2 cups cake flour 
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 
Zest of 1 lemon, grated 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
4 large eggs 
1/3 cup sour cream 
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325.
Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and sides of the pan. Wrap two layers of foil under the pan, and place it on a buttered baking sheet. 

In a bowl, mix the rhubarb, cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the sugar.

In a small skillet, mix the brown sugar and 1/2 a stick of butter. Place over medium heat and stir until smooth and bubbling.

In another bowl, sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the 2 sticks of butter until light. Add the 1 cup of sugar and the lemon zest. Cream until light and fluffly, scraping down the sides often.

Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Then beat in the sour cream and lemon juice. It will look curdled at this point.
On low, add the flour mixture 1/3 cup at a time until mixed in, scraping the sides of the bowl often.

Pour the brown sugar mixture into your prepared springform pan, the  add the rhubarb. Pour the batter over everything, smoothing it over.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool (with the foil turned down a bit) on a wire rack for only 15 minutes. Run a knife around the cake, place a plate on top and turn it upside down. This is when I removed the foil and released the springform sides carefully.


  1. Oh, heavenly! I can't to buy the first rhubarb of the season.



  2. Can't wait for the rhubarb season arrive!
    The cake looks terrific!

  3. This cake looks utterly brilliant :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. I immediately thought of you the other day when I saw rhubarb at Fresh Market. Your upside down cake looks so elegant and colorful.

  5. I'm about to call my Fresh Market to see if they have rhubarb in stock yet :)

  6. I haven't had rhubarb in ages. This cake is so beautiful!

  7. Rhubarb says Spring to me..Thank you for this new recipe..

  8. Oh that looks heavenly! When I find some rhubarb, I believe I'll have to try it.

  9. i do recall how you feel about the stuff, rhubarbara. :) this looks marvelous!

  10. I love rhubarb and get so excited whenever it comes into season. I am always thrilled to find a new recipe for it! This looks gorgeous.

  11. yikes that looks good! we are still a month or so out of rhubarb, but this is going on the to make list!

  12. I love rhubarb too, Barbara! This looks like a wonderful recipe that I'm saving to try when I can find some rhubarb. I'm so excited because I should be able to harvest my very first stalks from the rhubarb I planted a couple of years ago.

  13. oh how i love those beautiful red gems on that cake, so pretty!

  14. I think you cake is gorgeous with its beautiful red rhubarb topping.

  15. I love the combination of yellow and red in this cake Barbara! Looks very fluffy!

  16. OMG, looks sooooooooooooooo GOOOOOOOOOOOD :D


  17. A great rhubarb recipe! I love it too!

    I just bought fresh new forced pink rhubarb for the very 1st time in Spring! I will make a crumble with it!
    I must make your tasty recipe! :)

  18. What a beautiful cake, Barbara!What a delicious recipe to use rhubarb!

  19. What a beautiful cake, Barbara!What a delicious recipe to use rhubarb!

  20. Me encanta tu pastel adoro el ruibarbo precioso su color…Delicioso y bien hecho…abrazos y abrazos.

  21. Rhubarb...I yet have to but some at the grocery this year...I remember my first encounter with it and I love it...I must try this upside down cake...looks awesome Barbara.
    Hope you are enjoying your week :)

  22. What a gorgeous cake! Such a pretty colour, and perfect for early spring.

  23. I really like rhubarb and have always enjoyed it, when someone else makes it. As always, this looks delightful. The hint of lemon is really nice too.

    Happy Spring to you!


    P.S. I will be following along with your spring rhubarb posts.

  24. Barbara this look absolutely beautiful!

  25. I saw this recipe in the Times,
    I'm so glad that you tried it.
    Looks wonderful.
    With its stunning color and puckery good taste, rhubarb rules!



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