I’ve always been a huge fan of rhubarb. Growing up we enjoyed it one of two ways, fresh from the garden – dipped into a bowl of sugar after each mouth puckering bite, or in my mom’s delectable rhubarb crumble. We would hover in the kitchen, stealing stalks of rhubarb while she chopped them up and tossed them in sugar before sandwiching them between spiced crumbles of dough and tucking it all away in the oven. Once the rhubarb filling would start bubbling through the top, making our mouths water with each sticky rhubarb pop we knew we’d be savouring that familiar sweet-tart flavour very soon.
I have so many good memories surrounding those stalks of rhubarb that they can’t really help but hold a special place in my heart. Every year the moment they come into season I can’t help but nab them all up and get into the kitchen immediately. This year, for the first time ever, I have my own rhubarb plant growing in my back yard, hidden amongst the bushes. My kids sneak slices while I prepare a rhubarb treat, all my childhood memories come flooding back, and I know my kids are making memories of their own.
This is my happy place.
I love how the tartness of rhubarb pairs with desserts to offset their sweetness. My go-to has always been this rhubarb crisp, but I felt it was time to switch things up a bit. This cake is now tied for first in my rhubarb studded heart. The cake itself is tender and soft with the taste of vanilla and a light hint of cinnamon. Underneath is a layer of sweetly tart and sticky rhubarb that soaks up into the bottom of the cake, creating a gooey pudding texture without being soggy.
I’m usually pretty good at portioning off my desserts but I will admit to having a second piece of this, and that I had to cover it and put it far away to avoid a third. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream, would just send it over the top. If you’ve never tried rhubarb before I encourage you to seek it out and give this recipe a try. It’s an easy, lazy, summertime cake that does not disappoint. And, who knows the memories you’ll make along the way.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⅓ cups sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup milk
- 4 cups sliced rhubarb (1 inch slices)
- In a medium sized bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Beat together together butter and ⅔ cup sugar until creamy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Beat in flour mixture alternatively with milk in three additions, starting and ending with flour. Beat just until smooth.
- In a separate bowl mix together rhubarb and remaining ⅔ cup sugar. Pour into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish. Pour batter over top; smooth top (it’s ok if it doesn’t perfectly cover).
- Bake at 350ºF for 45-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from My Recipes.