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5.13.14 Rhubarb Upside Down Spice Cake

5.13.14 Rhubarb Upside Down Spice Cake

There are a lot of things I love about spring. Gardening, farmer’s markets galore, singing birds, and actually being able to spend some quality time outdoors? Pretty awesome in my book. Also, rhubarb. Yes, I LOVE rhubarb. But I’m aware that not everyone shares this view. Rhubarb is one of those polarizing fruits (er… vegetables); people seem to either love it or hate it. If you’re one of those who aren’t such enthusiastic rhubarb lovers, well we just might win you over yet. You see, as soon as the first of the rhubarb hits the farmer’s markets, I’m scooping it up and figuring out delicious things to cook with it. Yes, we eat a lot of rhubarb at our house. Mainly in dessert form, and really, what could be wrong with that?

I mean, say we were to take said rhubarb, cook it down a bit in some butter and brown sugar, top it with the batter for a fabulously moist sour cream spice cake, bake it to heavenly golden perfection, and flip it out into a lovely upside down cake with a perfectly sweet and tart rhubarb topping. Even the staunchest of rhubarb haters may be inclined to put aside their differences and give it a try. At least I hope so. To miss out on so wonderful a cake would be a travesty. And if you’re an avid rhubarb fan like I am, well, you won’t be able to resist. It is spring after all, and shouldn’t we all be sitting outside on our patios, enjoying warm rhubarb cake? I think yes.

Rhubarb Upside Down Spice Cake


  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 Tbsp butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ⅔ cup milk


  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped into about ¼” pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

3. In a larger bowl, beat the eggs together with the sugars, then add in the melted butter and sour cream.

4. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the milk in 2 additions, beating just to blend after each addition.

5. To make the topping, heat a 9-inch cast iron pan over medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the brown sugar, stirring to mix well. Once mixed, add the rhubarb and stir to coat with brown sugar mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove pan from heat.

6. Make sure rhubarb topping is evenly covering the bottom of the cast iron pan, then pour the cake batter over and spread evenly over rhubarb.

7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes - cake should be golden and a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.

8. Immediately after removing from the oven, place a plate over the pan, and carefully invert cake out of the pan and onto the plate (make sure to wear oven mitts - the pan will be very hot!)

9. Allow cake to cool slightly before digging in. Best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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