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Old Fashioned Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Rhubarb is a vegetable that is most often used in baked sweet desserts. To me, it brings to mind a plant that I would find in grandma's garden - somewhat old fashioned, but still delicious. I have a few rhubarb plants in my garden, because my family enjoys eating the baked sweets that I make with their stalks. One of the desserts I make is the rhubarb upside-down cake.

This cake is sweet and goes great with the tartness of the rhubarb. This recipe is from my mother-in-law, and it is a family favorite that I wish to share with you. If you have never had rhubarb, this is a great recipe to introduce rhubarb to your palate. Also, whipped cream compliments this cake perfectly, so give it a try!

Bon Appetit!


Rhubarb is often found in the produce section of the local grocery stores during spring and early summer. The ones that I see here are red in color. The rhubarb that I grow is green (with a little red). It all tastes the same, so buy whatever is available.

Always use glass when baking this cake. Rhubarb is very acidic and will damage your metal pans.

Preparation time is 20 minutes. Bake time is 45 minutes. Total time is 1 hour and 5 minutes.


  • 1/3 cup butter

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb

  • 1 1/3 cups flour

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened (or shortening)

  • 2/3 cup milk (whole)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a 9 inch square glass baking dish - either in the oven or the microwave. Add the packed brown sugar to the baking dish, and mix well. Stir in the chopped rhubarb, and evenly spread the mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add in the softened butter, milk, and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Add the egg, and beat an additional 2 minutes. Pour the cake batter on top of the rhubarb mixture, and bake for approximately 45 to 50 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Immediately, turn over onto the cake platter. Serve with whipping cream. You may also pour unsweetened whipping cream directly onto the sliced rhubarb cake. It serves 8.

(edited by Anna Weicht)

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