Rhubarb Upside Down Cake – hello love! This is the essence of summer all wrapped up into one beautiful package. We’ve got everything – a luscious layer of juicy rhubarb on top, a thick layer of cake in the middle, and a surprise crumb layer on bottom. Simply divine! Better make two, because this cake will be eaten FAST.
This recipe was originally published June 12, 2018 – but I just gave it an update with simpler directions and fresh new photos!
Friends, I think we have a new-favorite-dessert situation on our hands. Ok, ok I know my new favorite dessert is always changing but for real – this is out-of-this-world good! You have to try it. Like, immediately! Before rhubarb season is over! I recommend getting rhubarb from a farmers market rather than a grocery store. The rhubarb in grocery stores by us was pretty pitiful looking! But, we saw lots of good rhubarb at the Madison Farmer’s Market last weekend, and thankfully I have my own private supplier – my parents’ back yard.
What foresight – they bought a house that came with a large backyard plot of rhubarb, clearly they knew that I would find myself in a state of rhubarb-dessert-addiction 16 years later.
This cake is really nothing all that fancy – it just has your basic rich, saucy layer of rhubarb, a surprise crumb topping on the bottom, and a dense yet light cake base. Plus, there’s the fact that it is MEGA DELISH. This rhubarb upside down cake also happens to be perfect for snacking on, so I almost think I should re-name it to “Rhubarb Snack Cake”.
How to Make Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
Let’s run through how to make this beauty! It’s really simple, and I know an upside down cake sounds fancy and intimidating – but I PROMISE it’s not at all!
First, we’re tossing some washed and chopped rhubarb with sugar, and letting it sit to get all juicy.
While that’s hanging out, we’ll mix up the one-bowl batter! It’s got greek yogurt for an extra moist, delish cake and a little orange zest + juice to balance the flavor of the rhubarb.
Next, we’re going to hardcore butter a cake pan – be liberal here so your cake doesn’t stick. I’ve never had that problem, though, so I wouldn’t stress over it! Butter cures all, am I right??
You do NOT need to arrange your rhubarb pieces into any sort of fancy pattern – just tuck them in so they’re nice and snug. Pour the batter over the top and smooth it out.
Then, sprinkle on the super simple crumb mixture and bake!
See? EASY! I promise you can handle making this cake. And the color of the rhubarb is SO stunning that it will look gorgeous no matter what. I had a few pieces of rhubarb fall off when I removed the cake from the pan, but I just popped them back onto the cake and it was no big deal.
Now, just sit back and enjoy snacking on this Rhubarb Upside Down Cake all season long! Promise me you’ll make this – promise? Ok, good. Oh- I almost forgot! Here are my trusty tips for extending Rhubarb season!
How to Freeze Rhubarb
Rhubarb season is, tragically, short. BUT you can stock up on rhubarb now and freeze it for later use!
Wash and chop your rhubarb into 1 inch pieces, discarding the leaves (they’re poisonous). Place the sliced rhubarb in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then, store it in a freezer safe container or ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to use! When you’re ready to bake with the frozen rhubarb, you can use the rhubarb directly from frozen and proceed with the recipe as written. If you thaw it first it’s going to be super liquidy and probably mushy and it’s not a great situation. This holds true for pretty much any rhubarb recipe (pie, scones, crumble, this cake).
Oh – one more tip. I recommend labeling your container/bag with the amount of rhubarb (ex: 2 cups Rhubarb) and the date (ex: 5/22/19) so you know exactly what you’ve got in there!
Happy Baking, and I hope you have fun plans (or maybe you’re just going to relax!) for Memorial Day weekend!
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
- 3 cups rhubarb, rinsed and chopped into 1-inch pieces about 13 ounces
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp salted butter + additional for greasing pan
- 1 stick salted butter, softened
- 1 cup + 2 TBSP granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 4 tsp orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour can sub AP
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup full fat greek yogurt can sub full fat sour cream
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 4 TBSP melted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated or cane sugar
- 2 tsp raw turbinado sugar optional, but gives a nice little crunch!
- pinch of salt
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch cake pan WELL. Cut the 4 tbsp butter into small chunks and scatter them in the bottom of the pan. Set aside. Stir together the chopped rhubarb and the sugar and let rest while you mix up the batter.
- Make the cake batter: Cream the softened stick of butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Then ad the sugar and mix until creamed together. Mix in one egg at a time. Add the orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla and mix until just combined. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined, then add the greek yogurt and mix again. Make sure everything is combined well. Spread the rhubarb in an even layer in the buttered cake pan, nestling the pieces close together. Pour batter over the rhubarb layer in the cake pan.
- Make the crumb topping: In a small bowl, stir together the flours, sugars and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until different size crumbs form. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cake batter.
- Bake: Bake for 45-55 minutes. When done, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen and then invert the cake onto a cooling rack that has a cookie sheet underneath (some rhubarb juice will spill out). Don't let it sit longer than this because the rhubarb can begin to stick in the bottom of the pan. If the cake seems to be sticking, gently but firmly tap on the bottom of the cake pan with the butt of a butter knife while the cake pan is flipped upside down on the cooling rack. Let cake cool before cutting and serving. You can speed this up by moving it, uncovered, to the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Store: Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, tightly covered with foil, plastic wrap, or in a large tupperware container. Store in the fridge, well covered, for up to 6 days.
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