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Upside-Down Rhubarb Cake – Recipe

Cooking with rhubarb brings back sweet memories of my childhood.

My mom always grew rhubarb in her veggie garden, and used it in cooking and baking.

She would use it as a filling for varenyky (perogy), steamed dumplings, added it alongside other fruits to her  uzvar (kompot), a little bit went a long way in her Strawberry Soup , as well as a filling for cakes.

Today’s recipe is for an Upside-Down Rhubarb Cake, which is absolutely delicious, and I am sure you will agree, once you enjoy a piece.

Excellent to make ahead, and freeze.  (see TIP – below)

#### Please scroll down to the bottom of this post for a printable recipe ####



Rhubarb stalks, trimmed, peeled and cut to 1 inch pieces, crosswise.

Crumb topping made out of butter, sugar and flour, mixed with a fork.

Butter chunks spread all over the parchment lined pan bottom.

Rhubarb/sugar mixture over the butter chunks, and pressed down firmly, to form the bottom for the cake.


The batter is spooned onto the rhubarb, and pressed down gently all over the filling.

The crumb topping is sprinkled all over the top of the batter.

The baked cake, still on the springform bottom, is placed onto a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes.

Upside-Down Rhubarb Cake – Recipe

Upside-Down Rhubarb Cake – Recipe


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter (keep refrigerated to use for pan bottom)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbs. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Crumb Topping Ingredients:
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • Rhubarb Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lb. rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


    Rhubarb Filling Directions:
  1. Trim both ends of the rhubarb stalks.
  2. Peel the stalks, and cut up into 1 inch pieces, crosswise.
  3. Add brown sugar, toss gently.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Mix the rhubarb with sugar once again, before using it in the cake (the juice from the rhubarb will slightly melt the sugar by now).
  6. Crumb Topping Directions:
  7. In a medium bowl, add the softened butter, sugar, salt and flour.
  8. Using a fork, mix it all together, to create crumb mixture.
  9. Set aside.
  10. Cake Directions:
  11. In a medium mixer bowl, add 1/2 cup of butter (room temperature), and 1 cup of sugar.
  12. Mix well, until a light and fluffy (about 15 minutes ), scraping sides frequently, for even mixing.
  13. Add lemon zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
  14. Mix to incorporate.
  15. Add one egg at a time, and mix well, after each addition.
  16. Mix in 1/2 of the sour cream.
  17. Mix the flour with salt and baking powder.
  18. Mix in 1/2 of the flour, into the butter mixture.
  19. Add the rest of the sour cream, mix gently, then add the rest of the flour.
  20. Mix just to incorporate.
  21. Use parchment paper, trace the bottom of a springform baking pan onto it, and cut out the circle.
  22. Grease the sides of the pan, and dab few spots of the bottom.
  23. Place the parchment circle on the bottom of the pan.
  24. Grease lightly.
  25. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  26. Use the 4Tbs. of refrigerated butter, set aside previously, cut it up into small chunks.
  27. Drop butter chunks all over the parchment lined pan bottom.
  28. Spoon the rhubarb/sugar mixture over the butter chunks, and press down firmly with a back of a spoon, to form the bottom for the cake.
  29. Sprinkle the Crumb Topping all over the top of the batter.
  30. Place the springform pan on a large piece of aluminum foil, roll up all the edges to form a rectangular pan (this will prevent messing up your oven, by the rhubarb juices dripping out of the pan during baking).
  31. Place the cake pan with the foil lining, on the middle oven rack.
  32. Bake for 65-70 minutes.
  33. The topping will be lightly browned.
  34. Remove the cake from the oven, and cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  35. Use a knife to separate the cake from the sides of the springform.
  36. Remove the sides of the springform.
  37. Set the cake, still on the springform bottom, onto a wire rack, to cool for at least 20 minutes.  Invert it onto a cake stand (with the crumbs at the bottom).
  38. Gently peel off the parchment paper from the top of the cake (this used to be the bottom of the cake), and let it cool completely.
  39. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, or serve it with a dollop of whipped cream.


I wrapped a piece of this cake in aluminum foil, and froze it for 30 days.  After thawing it at room temperature for about 1 hour, the cake was AWESOME!!  It tasted as if I just baked it.


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