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Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake - glistening rhubarb atop a tender cake

Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake

A twist on the upside down cake utilizing fresh spring rhubarb.


Rhubarb Topping:





Cut the stalks into 1 inch lengths and toss them with ½ cup sugar and set aside for 30 minutes.

Drain the rhubarb and reserve the syrup to make the glaze.

Butter a 9 inch round cake pan with sides at least 1½ high. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat then stir in the sugar. When the sugar has melted and is JUST changing color add the rhubarb. Stir sparingly for about 3 minutes or until the sugar is slightly caramelized. Scrape the rhubarb and syrup into the cake pan and leave to cool.

To make the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees .

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs and brown sugar together until thick and smooth. Whisk in the zest and vanilla.Pour in the butter in 3 additions. Whisk well.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions whisking gently.

Scrape the batter into the pan over the rhubarb and put the pan onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake the cake for about 25 minutes, rotating it after 12 minutes. My small version took more than 25 minutes.


Bake until it is golden brown, springy to the touch and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer to serving plate.

To make the glaze, bring the reserved rhubarb syrup to a boil then reduce to a simmer until it reduces and becomes syrupy. Add a few spoonfuls of strawberry jam and stir well. Gently spoon the glaze over the top of the cake.

To serve the cake, add strawberries to the cake plate, dollop with Crème Fraiche and serve.


I made a half batch in 5-inch springform pans. They took longer than 25 minutes to fully cook.