Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Kate Jennings

The Farmstead and La Laiterie at Farmstead, Providence, RI

This twist on a kitchy classic uses puckery rhubarb instead of the typical pineapple. The recipe yields six individual portions as opposed to a single large cake.


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 medium stalks rhubarb, washed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 plus 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly among 6 buttered 8-ounce ramekins.

Toss the rhubarb with the white sugar. Spoon a layer of rhubarb into each ramekin.

To make the cake batter, cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and ginger powder. Mix the dry ingredients and sour cream into the butter mixture in alternating additions just until fully incorporated.

Pour the cake batter on top of the rhubarb in the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cakes are golden and a wooden skewer inserted in a cake’s center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.

Carefully run a paring knife around the edges of each cake, then unmold onto serving plates.


6 servings