May 17, 2012

Spiced rhubarb cake

I don't know how I came to be on a baking streak this spring when I usually don't even bake that often, especially when it's not the holidays. This cake was made because I had a large bag of fresh rhubarb and because I wanted to make a dessert to bring to Mother's Day dinner at my mother-in-law's house. I saw the recipe on Not without Salt and was excited to make it. This cake seemed very simple and old-fashioned, yet so charming and yummy all at the same time. Rhubarb is something we ate when I was a kid, but I think the only way I ever ate it was in pie. I love the tang and sourness of rhubarb and these qualities are probably what make it quite perfect for baked goods.

I encourage you to try this cake. I took the original post's recommendation and creamed the butter and sugar by hand with a wooden spoon, just like we can imagine our grandmothers doing. There's something satisfying about making the cake with only the muscles in your arm. This cake was enjoyed - even by my three year old nephew who was mumbling "Aunt Amy, what's in this??" as he gobbled it up. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get a photo of the inside of the cake, but I was able to get the one above. Below is my slightly modified version of the recipe.

Spiced rhubarb cake
2 cups of chopped (about 1/2" pieces) rhubarb
1/2 cup (not packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup (not packed) brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda

Butter and flour an 8" or 9" inch (by 2") cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the rhubarb with the 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Let sit for about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1 cup of brown sugar with a wooden spoon until light. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Then stir in the yogurt and the rhubarb mixture. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (salt through baking soda). Add them to the large bowl and stir until combined.

Pour into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until lightly golden and an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.

Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

What was I cooking one year ago?: carrot-mango-ginger smoothies
Two years ago?: steak tacos with pico de gallo


  1. I came so close to making this last week and now I wish I had! Looks great!

  2. What a beautiful cake! I have never worked with rhubarb before, will now.

  3. i can smell the goodness from here :) it must be chewy with the rhubarb in it

    Latest: Best Food of Herbs&Spices

  4. Rhubarb is everywhere and I've still never cooked with it. What is WRONG with me? hah...

  5. I never would have thought to make a rhubarb spice cake, but what a brilliant idea! I've loved rhubarb since I was a kid, so I definitely have to try this! :)

  6. Your cake looks so moist and delicious! Love the spices in it and the whole wheat flour. I've only eaten rhubarb once before - I hope I get a chance to do some baking with it.

  7. Perfect! My mother in law just gave me a big bunch of rhubarb and I didn't know what I was going to do with it. Looks like I know now!

  8. Amazing idea! Looks so moist & amazing spice in this cake make me wanna try this cake ASAP! I don't bake much with rhubarb actually! And I've just planted rhubarb last week in our veg patch. Hopefully it'll grow well so that I can try this recipe of yours! Bookmarking this for sure! Have a lovely weekend, dear Amy! :)

  9. I loved bake goods with rhubarb. This rhubarb cake looks wonderful.

  10. I think I like rhubarb more every spring. I just brought home more yesterday. This cake looks delightful!

  11. I've never had a rhubarb cake before- I'd love to try this!

  12. i don't eat a lot of rhubarb, but this seems like a magnificent way to prepare it!

  13. this looks super delicious.. love the addition of ginger and cinnamon in a cake.. adds so much warmth. :)

  14. this sounds awesome, i love rhubarb!!!


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