How can something so humble feel like a treat?
I will never tire of rhubarb. One of the few remaining seasonal foods, old fashioned rhubarb still feels like a treat. After all, it only appears in late spring and unlike most summer fruit you’d be hard pressed to find any fresh rhubarb out of season. I load my freezer with it but still there is something special about the first stalks of rhubarb in the market in spring.
Somehow there is a hint of summer tucked into this tart vegetable, a little anticipation in every rhubarb compote, pie, batch of jam and cake.
In this rhubarb upside down cake the rhubarb cooks almost into a compote and gets all the sweet that it needs as it bakes in a molasses-maple syrup mixture. The rhubarb is soft but still holds its shape so this cake is very pretty when you turn it out onto a plate. And the simple white cake that forms the base sets the rhubarb off perfectly.
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake can be served warm or cold but I like it best served warm, with vanilla ice cream or lemon sorbet.
The recipe is slightly adapted from the cookbook, New Maritimes Seasonal Cooking: Delicious Recipes for Light & Healthy Meals, Year Round.
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
- ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 4 cups sliced (2.5 cm/1 inch) fresh rhubarb
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs (large)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cups flour, spooned in
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 F and butter an 8” square cake pan.
- Whisk together molasses and maple syrup and pour into prepared pan.
- Spread rhubarb evenly over syrup to cover bottom of pan.
- In medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add vanilla.
- In separate bowl, whisk flour and baking powder.
- Add half the flour to the creamed mixture; stir to combine.
- Mix in milk, then remaining flour. Stir to combine.
- Spoon cake batter over rhubarb and spread evenly.
- Bake at 350 F 40-45 minutes or until cake is golden brown on top and centre springs back when touched.
- Loosen the edges of cake from the sides of pan; invert onto wire rack and carefully remove pan.
Serve warm or cold.
One more thing…
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