Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

For us, spring means rain, tulips, cherry blossoms, strawberries, and rhubarb. Rhubarb, I know, is not everyone’s favorite flavor, but we happen to love it. It’s got a great tartness that goes especially well with strawberries, but is also great on its own. Today’s Tuesday’s with Dorie recipe is a lovely sweet butter cake that is paired with rhubarb and a sprinkling of pecans.

Since I do not have eight little baby cake pans, I decided to make the cake in a 12 inch cast iron pan. I briefly considered the 10 inch pan because I really did not think that there would be enough batter to fill up a 12 inch, but a 10 inch cast iron pan is not as big as you would think after you factor in the thickness and slope of the sides.

Of course, baking the cake in the pan meant that I had fewer dishes, which always makes me happy, and I did not have to do all the prep work to get any baking pans ready. From start to finish, the cake took a little over an hour to make. Prepping rhubarb is as easy.


I did not even try to arrange the rhubarb decoratively in the pan. There were just too many little pieces for all that fussiness. So, I just sprinkled it around as evenly as I could.


The cake batter was easily mixed up and spread on top of the fruit. It did seem a little skimpy for the size of the pan, but I decided to just go with it and see what would come of it.


After 40 minutes in the oven, I pulled it out since it looked quite done.


I thought it was a little paler in the middle than I would have liked. The edges were nice and caramelized, though.


It was a super moist and deliciously buttery cake, which really complimented the slightly tangy rhubarb.


We served it with fresh, organic strawberries and it was a good combination. This cake would be wonderful with pears, plums, nectarines, or even berries. We had it for breakfast the next day and it was just as good. Rhubarb does start to taste differently after a day or so, so it is best to eat up baked rhubarb goodies right away. There are no complaints about that here.


This is as easy an upside down cake as you’ll get, and I highly recommend it. I used sour cream, which made the cake delicious. Next time, I may consider trying the smaller pan and maybe dark brown sugar. It was a thinish cake, and I wonder if I would get better caramelization on the fruit if I use a smaller pan with a longer baking time. As long as the batter doesn’t overflow, that would probably work out well.

Try this recipe! It’s a good one. You can find it here.


Posted on May 7, 2013, in Baking, Tuesdays with Dorie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Wonderful! My rhubarb is just starting to come up 🙂 …that’s if I don’t manage to kill it….

  2. sounds delicious. I used the dark brown sugar and it really gave a lot of color to the topping.

  3. It is one great recipe with many variations. Your photos are great, glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Great looking cake. I was a really good cake.

  5. Good idea to use a cast iron pan…you don’t even have to transfer the caramel mixture to baking pans. Yours looks beautiful.

  6. Love the sunlight pouring in that last photo!

  7. Yes – I loved the lack of extra dishes by baking this one in the skillet.
    I agree with YC – that last picture with the sunlight is great.

  8. Yum! This was so good and making it in one pan makes for easy cleanup – a win-win! We loved it and will try again with different fruit. I didn’t try the sour cream, but do recommend the creme fraiche!

  9. I really like your “larger version” of the rhubarb upside down cake – it does look delicious with the strawberries on the side. This was a fabulous recipe and everyone seems to really have enjoyed it. We also thought that the cakes were really nice.
    Have a great Wednesday!

  10. Your cake looks just about perfect. Unable to fine rhubarb in our area, we used pears instead. Like you, we love this cake.

  11. I´m with you, it´s a great recipe and will be wonderful with so many other fruits. I used pears and is my favorite upside down recipe so far. Serving it with strawberries sounds perfect!

  12. Beautiful cake. I used a twelve-inch cake pan and I thought it was too large. The batter barely covered the rhubarb. It was delicious though! I too will use a smaller (10-inch) pan next time.

  13. Oh yum! Serving with strawberries is brilliant!

  14. It looks so good with the fresh strawberries on the side. Baking it in a cast iron pan was a great idea.

  15. Oh, yeah, this was a winner. Your photos have made me hungry for it all over again!

  16. Yours looks sooooo pretty! I love the strawberries with the cake.

  17. Your cake looks fabulous- I do wonder if the 10″ would be perfect.

  18. Oh wow. That looks so incredibly moist, fragrant and beautiful! Definitely trying this, I love rhubarb!!

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