RHUBARB UP-SIDE DOWN BROWN SUGAR CAKE . . . an easy to make spring dessert


This unprepossessing plant.    This new darling of avant-garde young chefs.  This wonderful rhubarb is the spectacular  upside-down topping on the most delicious of brown sugar cakes.

It is perfection on its own as a snacking cake or one could lavish it with whipped cream or crème fraíche.   Add a few very ripe strawberries and it would be a spectacular finish to a meal.

This is an easy recipe to put together.  You don’t use a stand mixer – just your favourite balloon whisk.    The cake stays moist and delectable for up to three days.  Simply keep it covered at room temperature.

This recipe calls for fresh rhubarb but you can also use frozen rhubarb.  Just be sure to allow time for your frozen rhubarb to defrost and drain (gently pressing on the stalks to help remove the moisture.


April can be the cruellest of months but it gives us this tart-sweet vegetable that morphs into the most addictive of desserts.    It has been a wet spring this year and the rhubarb in my garden has responded with juicy red stalks and enormous umbrella sized leaves.    RHUBARB UPSIDE-DOWN BROWN SUGAR CAKE – bake it today.   The recipe awaits you in MRS.BUTTERFINGERS kitchen.    Bon Appetit dear friends.

(This recipe is from  Dorie Greenspan’s inspiring cookbook Baking Chez Moi.)


9 thoughts on “RHUBARB UP-SIDE DOWN BROWN SUGAR CAKE . . . an easy to make spring dessert

  1. Ah, the rhubarb……….a plant so alien to me. It does not grow in the Emerald City and therefore it was not until the Tin Man was 22 years of age that he first encountered this strange and wondrous plant. As you say, in the back lanes of our Capital Hill neighborhood in Denver……in the service alley…..there it flourished. To this day, it has not become part of my diet as in my rusty old age, I have yet to taste it!

    • T he kitchen blackboard is covered with menu ideas for our time together Monsieur Tin Man. I shall add this splendid dessert to the lengthy list of all the food I want to cook for my dear Tinny and his Augustine. XX V

  2. The closest I have come to rhubarb is listening to Garrison Keillor talk about rhubarb pie on “Prairie Home Companion.” Your cake looks elegant but I should know by now you can make anything look special. And your plate looks pearlized.

    • Dear Jo Nell. Rhubarb was one of the few “fruit” plants guaranteed to winter the bitter forty below zero weather of the prairies and the far north. It’s arrival meant spring and something fresh. My Mother had a lengthy repertoire of rhubarb desserts and my very favorite was rhubarb crisp with custard. I have great affection for rhubarb and fill my freezer with it. XX V.

    • Now those are strong words from a prairie girl! I do recommend you try this easy recipe. The tartness of the rhubarb compliments the brown sugar flavour of the cake. Even if you don’t get the caramel topping perfect the cake still works. I made three times in one week – but I am also mad for rhubarb. XX Virginia

    • Walking out to the garden is a wonderful way to start your day. I hadn’t done that for a couple of days and was taken back by how rapidly the rhubarb had grown. I pulled the big thick stalks for freezing and the slender beauties for the cake. Cheers Virginia

  3. Definitely going to be trying this. I recently made an old favorite — pear ginger upside down cake made with a cornmeal batter full of more ginger and pears. But rhubarb is a favorite!

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