Rhubarb Upside Down Cake


A sure sign of spring are the leaves of the rhubarb plant popping out of the ground.

Get into the swing of spring by making this delicious rhubarb upside down cake inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe.  The sour cream in the batter gives the cake a great consistency.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
coarse sea salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (divided) plus a little more to butter the cake pan
1 pound of fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch thick pieces
1 3/4 cup sugar (divided)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Make the topping by combining 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of sea salt.   Combine until crumbly.

Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.   Dot the bottom of the pan with 4 tablespoons  (1/2 stick) butter.    Toss the rhubarb with 3/4 cup sugar and let stand for 2 minutes.   Spread into the prepared pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.   In a mixer, beat the remaining stick of butter with the remaining 1 cup of sugar.   The mixture should become pale and fluffy.   Add the zest, vanilla and orange juice.   Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Scrape down the sides of the pan.

Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, until smooth.   Spread evenly over the rhubarb.   Crumble the topping evenly over the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1hour.   Let cool for 10  minutes.   Run a knife around the edge of the pan.   Invert onto a wire rack and cool for one hour.

TIP – it is important to flip the cake out of the pan within 10 minutes.   The rhubarb tends to stick to the pan if the cake sits too long in the pan.


For an interesting look, cut the rhubarb into longer pieces.   Toss in the sugar as directed, but put the
rhubarb in a “weave” pattern in a square pan.  You will need 27 pieces of rhubarb just under 3 inches in length.



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