Roasted Rhubarb Cornbread Cake for Breakfast or Dessert

Servings: 9 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

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Roasted rhubarb cornbread is wholesome and delicious. Can be made with apples too. Low sugar.

Roasted rhubarb cornbread cake, a lower-sugar, lower-fat cousin of the muffin.

When I was little, cornbread was one of my favourites. Mom called it Johnny Cake and would sometimes bake a pan to serve with supper. Because it’s a little sweeter than many dinner breads I always felt like I was eating a bit of dessert along with my soup or stew or whatever was served for our main meal.

That’s the beauty of cornbread. It can travel from breakfast to supper to dessert. Not too sweet, lower in fat than many quick breads, it feels like a treat even though it’s much healthier than most muffin recipes.

  • Roasted rhubarb cornbread is wholesome and delicious. Can be made with apples too. Low sugar.
    Roasted rhubarb cornbread cake, a lower-sugar, lower-fat cousin of the muffin.

One recipe, many variations.

This particular recipe was adapted from the 1932 edition of The Guide To Good Cooking, published by Five Roses Flour and edited by Jean Brodie, a popular food writer in Toronto. I have my grandmother’s copy of the cookbook. In the book, the basic recipe is for cornmeal muffins offers a slight adaptation for fruit-topped Johnny Cake.

I make my rhubarb cornbread with fine cornmeal, which is really more of a corn flour. From time to time I’ll use a medium grind, or I’ll do half-and-half.

Try rhubarb cornbread with your favourite summer fruit.

As we roll through summer I plan on making this cornbread recipe with strawberries, raspberries, peaches and apples.

Let me know if you try any variations.

Roasted Rhubarb Cornbread Recipe

Serves 9

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal (fine or medium)
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • ¾ cup cold milk
  • 1 egg white
  • 4-6 stalks of rhubarb

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line an 8″x 8″ pan with parchment paper or grease it well.*
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the washed rhubarb on top. Sprinkle over 2 Tbsp. of sugar and bake for 5-10 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender.
  3. Remove and let cool.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.
  5. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. In a large bowl beat the butter and gradually add the sugar. Beat in the egg yolk then the molasses and honey or maple syrup.
  7. Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk (beginning and ending with the flour mixture.)
  8. Beat the egg white to stiff peaks and fold into the batter.
  9. Scrape into prepared pan and lay the soft rhubarb on top of the batter. Sprinkle over remaining Tbsp. of sugar.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and the top springs back when lightly touched. Serve warm or room temperature.

*This recipe can be baked as muffins (makes 12)

Nutritional info: Per generous piece.

  • Calories: 194.5,
  • Fat: 11.6 g,
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g,
  • Cholesterol: 50.7 mg,
  • Sodium: 214.9 mg,
  • Carbs: 21.9.
  • Sugar: 17.4 g,
  • Protein: 2 g,
  • Fibre .5 g,
  • Potassium: 176.4 mg,
  • Vitamin A: 115 mg

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Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Servings: 4-6 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 65 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

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In this rhubarb upside down cake the rhubarb cooks almost into a compote and gets all the sweet that it needs from the 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.

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.

  • Gâteau renversé à la rhubarbe
    Rhubarb Upside Down Cake can be served warm or cold but I like it best served warm, with vanilla ice cream or lemon sorbet.

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 Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and butter an 8” square cake pan.
  2. Whisk together molasses and maple syrup and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Spread rhubarb evenly over syrup to cover bottom of pan.
  4. In medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. In separate bowl, whisk flour and baking powder.
  7. Add half the flour to the creamed mixture; stir to combine.
  8. Mix in milk, then remaining flour. Stir to combine.
  9. Spoon cake batter over rhubarb and spread evenly.
  10. Bake at 350 F 40-45 minutes or until cake is golden brown on top and centre springs back when touched.
  11. Loosen the edges of cake from the sides of pan; invert onto wire rack and carefully remove pan.

Serve warm or cold.

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Streusel Topped Rhubarb Muffins

Servings: 12 serving(s)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total time: 48 minutes

Cooking time: 18 minutes

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streusel toped rhubarb muffinsIt’s still too early for rhubarb in Southern New Brunswick but it won’t be long. The snow is barely gone but the gardens have responded to the late spring warmth with gusto and are racing to catch up.streusel toped rhubarb muffins

While I watch my garden (and rhubarb) grow I’m enjoying the last of my stash of frozen rhubarb. I have been making rhubarb compote to stir into yogurt, rhubarb juice to drink with sparkling water and am now onto this rhubarb muffin recipe.

The more rhubarb I eat the more it feels like spring.

streusel toped rhubarb muffins

These are a light textured muffin and not too sweet. I dice the rhubarb quite small to avoid getting a soggy mouthful but suit yourself.

Feel free to use oil instead of melted butter (although you will sacrifice a little flavour). Ginger is a lovely replacement for cinnamon and lemon zest could stand in for the orange zest.

Streusel Topped Rhubarb Muffin Recipe

Makes 12-13 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. orange flower water (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups diced rhubarb

Streusel topping:

  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. soft butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and whisk to blend.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, melted butter, molasses, eggs, vanilla and orange flower water until smooth. Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the dry ingredients until the batter just comes together; do not overmix. Gently stir in the diced rhubarb. The batter will be thick.
  4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. The batter should mound a bit higher than the tops of the cups.
  5. Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and butter and rub together with your fingers. Sprinkle over each muffin.
  6. Bake the muffins until they’re golden brown and spring back when gently pressed about 18minutes. Transfer to a rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift the muffins out of the pan and let them cool. Serve warm.

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streusel top rhubarb muffins

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pudding Cake

Servings: 4-6 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

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strawberry rhubarb pudding cake
“Pudding Cake.” Don’t you just love the sound of it?

Where I grew up we’d call this a cobbler but the sound of the words “Pudding Cake” can just about make my mouth water. Warm desserts are irresistible especially now that it’s spring and fresh local fruit is beginning to appear.

strawberry rhubarb pudding cake

The “pudding” is a deliciously tart fruit compote of strawberries and rhubarb topped with a ginger scented sponge cake. Where the “pudding” meets the cake is a delightfully moist mixture of cake and compote, but the cake on top keeps its crumb structure so each mouthful offers a great variety of textures.

strawberry rhubarb pudding cake

You could use this recipe through until Thanksgiving, just substituting in-season fruit as you go.

As with my Ginger Cardamom Rhubarb Crisp recipe, I prefer to serve this dessert with a drizzle of fresh cream, but whipped cream or ice cream would be good too.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pudding Cake Recipe

Adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb*
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

* Can substitute other fruit (raspberries, cherries, peaches, blueberries…)

Instructions:

Butter an 8”x8” glass or ceramic dish and preheat oven to 400 F

For the fruit:

  1. In a small saucepan whisk the cornstarch into the water then stir in the molasses, sugar and add the rhubarb. Bring to a gentle simmer, add the strawberries and cook 3-5 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
  2. Remove from heat, taste to see if it’s sweetened to your liking, scoop out ½ cup of mixture and set aside.
  3. Pour remaining fruit into the prepared baking dish.

For the cake part:

  1. In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, ginger and salt.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together egg, milk, butter and vanilla.
  3. Add wet to dry and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Pour batter over fruit in baking dish then pour extra ½ cup of fruit mixture over the batter. 
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes

Eat hot or warm drizzled with cream.

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strawberry rhubarb pudding cake

Julie’s rhubarb barbecue sauce

Servings: 8-10 serving(s)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

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rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

I still have a bit of rhubarb in the fridge and plan to raid a friend’s patch on the weekend so I’ll have some in the freezer. When it’s snowing in February I like to make summer pies and pretend…

In the meantime I’m enjoying using up lots of fresh rhubarb and settling into the summer-ish weather that has finally come our way. My kids have been swimming in the river and the brook, they’re wearing shorts to school and I have stocked up on sunscreen.

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

But we haven’t pulled the barbecue out yet.

I love the idea of barbecuing but I lack talent and know-how. There is also the fear factor.

May be it was one too many half-cooked, half burned chicken legs at community barbecues while I was growing up. Although more than likely my aversion is related to the jury-rigged gas barbecues I grew up with.

Why is it the handy starter button always conked out?

We’d end up poking a lit match through the little hole in the side of the BBQ, and hope for the best.

There are videos on YouTube of people who do things like that.

As a result, I do a lot of “oven” barbecuing. Works for me.

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

Now let me tell you how great rhubarb is in a BBQ sauce. The sour, puckering flavour of rhubarb is a perfect foil for the tangy sweet of molasses and the cooked rhubarb gives the sauce lovely texture. This recipe would work with frozen rhubarb too.

 

Julie’s Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce recipe

Slightly adapted from Dinner with Julie blog

  • 2-3 large stalks of rhubarb, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. grainy mustard (or Dijon mustard)
  1. In a small saucepan simmer the rhubarb with the water until the rhubarb is very soft.
  2. In a medium pot sauté the onions in the oil until soft but not brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Add the rhubarb mixture along with the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer; cook for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  4. Puree

Makes about 2 cups. From Dinner with Julie

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

Try my Uncle George’s Beer Barbecue Sauce recipe

Beer barbecue sauce recipe

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Rhubarb gingerbread cake recipe

Servings: 8-10 serving(s)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

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Rhubarb gingerbread, a classic gingerbread cake layered with sweet roasted rhubarb

In our climate rhubarb the first local food available, a reassuring sign that we have made it through another winter.

I grew up loving rhubarb and always wanted a farmyard patch of my own, one of those huge plants the size of a shed that you see in the backyards of old homes. I want a plant that can supply us with enough for a year’s worth of pies, compote and rhubarb juice.

 

Rhubarb gingerbread, a classic gingerbread cake layered with sweet roasted rhubarb

My rhubarb is the runt of my gardens and I have never been able to pull so much as one measly stock. Then in February a huge spruce tree came crashing down in our back yard and the big bushy bows stretched themselves across the rhubarb patch (such as it is).

Through the spring I have busied myself getting the other gardens in shape so it wasn’t until last week that I pulled the bows aside to open up the rhubarb.

A happy discovery – my rhubarb is flourishing.

First time ever.

There was just enough for this rustic rhubarb gingerbread.

 

Rhubarb gingerbread, a classic gingerbread cake layered with sweet roasted rhubarb

The rhubarb is roasted with sugar before being added to the cake batter which ensures that it’s soft and sweet when the cake comes out of the oven (an idea I got from a Donna Hay cookbook).

Interesting tidbit: rhubarb is a vegetable.

Rhubarb gingerbread cake recipe

  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. ginger (ground) or 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 5-6 stalks of rhubarb
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Place rhubarb on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Roast for 15-20 minutes (until softening).
  3. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 F
  4. Grease and flour a 9” square or round cake pan, or line it with parchment paper.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  6. In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, milk, molasses, eggs and vanilla.
  7. Add the wet to the dry and combine gently but thoroughly.
  8. Pour into prepared pan.
  9. Gently arrange roasted rhubarb on top of the cake in parallel lines, cutting to fit.
  10. Place them close but not touching.
  11. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
  12. Serve on its own or with a little sweetened whipped cream on the side.

Fruit and gingerbread are perfect companions. Try our Peach Gingerbread or Blackberry Gingerbread.

Roasting your rhubarb:

Sprinkle the stalks with sugar then roast at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, until softening.

Roasted gingerbreadRoasted gingerbread

 

 

 

 

 

 

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