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Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

This post was first published on May 10, 2010 on Cooking for Seven. It is still one of my favorite things that I’ve photographed. And I adore this cake. Once I can get my hands on some rhubarb, I’m definitely making a pan of this…

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake | Buttered Side Up

As I looked at our nearly bare garden and spotted our healthy rhubarb plants, a sudden fancy hit me. Rhubarb upside down cake. We had made this recipe once before with success. So my sister & I quickly harvested the tenderest shoots.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake | Buttered Side Up

Then, as we were prepping our ingredients, panic stuck.

There wasn’t a stick of butter in the house. Amanda & I looked at each other and shrieked.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake | Buttered Side Up

Thankfully, Grandma lent us a couple sticks of butter and our cake was saved! And it was definitely worth the trip to Grandma’s.


  • We of course substituted whole wheat flour & a natural sweetener in this recipe. Even with all whole wheat, the cake was very tender.
  • We like to serve this with a warm vanilla custard. You can use the recipe for vanilla sauce found here & increase the milk to 3 cups.


Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

A tender, slightly tangy cake. Perfect with whipped cream or a vanilla sauce.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cake, Rhubarb
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8
Author Erica Kastner


  • 2/3 cup maple sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted,
  • 2-1/4 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons maple sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 6 tablespoons butter softened,
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar
  • 2 large eggs separated,
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 1/2 ouncewhole wheat pastry flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Whipped cream or vanilla custard optional,


  1. 1) Preheat oven to 325° Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. In a small bowl, combine the sugar & melted butter. Spread in the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with the rhubarb & sprinkle with 4 1/2 teaspoons of maple sugar. Set aside.
  2. 2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & 3/4 cups of maple sugar until light & fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks & vanilla extract and mix.
  3. 3) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer running on low, slowly add half of the flour, the milk, and the other half of the flour, beating well after each addition & scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. 4) In a clean, medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into the batter. Gently spoon over the rhubarb in the pan.
  5. 5) Bake in preheated oven until the cake springs back when lightly touched, about 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla custard.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home


Recipe Rating

cherry fe vallejo

Wednesday 22nd of April 2015

hmmmmmmm.... very tempting dish i always love homemade dishes yummy :) personal chef in austin tx

Erica Lea

Tuesday 21st of April 2015

Mmhmm - I think whole wheat also adds an extra depth of flavor.

Rachel Cooks

Tuesday 21st of April 2015

Love rhubarb -- can't wait to try this cake! I bet it is great with whole wheat - I love the texture whole wheat flour adds.