Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

I guess I’m on a roll with upside down cakes.  Two in a weekend?  Not shabby.

Now’s the perfect time for a rhubarb cake – it was all over the place at the farmers’ market today.  I had a recipe I’d been meaning to try from my husband’s cousin – it was in the book of family recipes I received from my mother in law for our wedding.  I’m not sure where the recipe is from originally, but there are other similar recipes all over the internet, like here and here.  Compared with other recipes, this one is heavy with the sugar in the topping, but I think having a small piece with a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be just perfect.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake


  • 1 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 cups rhubarb, cut
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cold milk


  1. Combine 1 cup of sugar and rhubarb in sauce pan.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved and fruit begins to soften (approximately 5-8 minutes).  Spread into greased 9×9″ pan.
  2. Beat shortening with remaining 1/2 cup sugar in bowl until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Beat in flour and baking powder alternately with milk (start and end with dry ingredients).  Spoon over rhubarb and spread batter as evenly as possible in pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Cool on rack for 5 minutes.  Invert onto a serving dish and lift off pan.  Can be served with ice cream or whipped cream.

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