Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

As I sit in the springtime garden writing this, happy birds are playing in the bird bath, flowers are bursting into bloom, and the air smells sweet and fresh. Truly a wonderful spring afternoon. In celebration of the season, our rhubarb theme continues, this time with a new twist on the popular apple tart tatin. Caramelized rhubarb is topped with batter and baked in the oven, for a straightforward and delicious springtime dessert, in this recipe from Saveur.

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

This simple recipe is a great weeknight dessert, perfect after a day spent in the garden or at work.

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a 9″ cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stir together 3/4 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2″ pieces; 1 cup sugar, 4 tbsp. butter, 1 T lemon juice, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and ¼ tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted and rhubarb is tender and slightly caramelized, 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together remaining sugar and salt, plus 2 1/2 cups flour and 2 tsp baking powder in a bowl. Add remaining butter and 1/2 cup butter or vegetable shortening, and, using your fingers, rub into flour mixture to form coarse pea-size pieces. Add 1/3 cup milk and 2 eggs and stir until a soft, sticky dough forms. Place spoonfuls of dough over rhubarb mixture and smooth with a nonstick spatula. Bake until the crust is golden and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven; place a large flat serving platter on top of the skillet and invert quickly and carefully. (Exciting!) Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if you like.

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake


  • ¾ lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 ½” pieces on an angle
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus 6 tbsp. cut into ½” cubes and chilled
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening (or, we used butter)
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 2 eggs

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Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

5 thoughts on “Rhubarb Upside Down Cake”

      1. I will be seeing him soon, so I should definitely do something like this! I would need to take all refined sugar out of it and use either almond flour or coconut flour or a combination….I may have to do some experimenting! 🙂

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