Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Rhubarb has the power to evoke wonderful childhood memories for me.  I have always loved it and  find all kinds of ways to use it while it is in season.  This classic cake boasts a whole pound of spring rhubarb on top of a fluffly moist honey cake. Although the original recipe on Delish.com was a vanillla cake, I changed it to be a honey cake with cardamom spice which I find such a winning pairing of flavors with rhubarb.  Enjoy rhubarb season!

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake


  • 3 tbsp. butter
    ½ c. butter
    ½ c. light brown sugar
    1 lb. rhubarb, cut in 4 inch long pieces, tough ends and leaves removed
    1½ c. all-purpose flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/2 easpoon ground cardamom
    3 large eggs, separated
    1 cup honey, divided
    1 tsp. orange blossom water or vanilla extract
    ½ c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F and set rack in center of oven.  In a 12-inch oven safe skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter on medium, swirling to coat sides of pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter and continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes until sugar begins to melt, stirring constantly. Remove skillet from heat. Place rhubarb stalks in skillet in a pattern of your choosing, on top of sugar mixture, piecing together stalks as necessary to almost completely cover bottom of skillet.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. In another bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup honey, and beat until whites stand in stiff peaks when beaters are lifted.
In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat remaining 1/2 cup butter and  3/4 cup honey until blended. Increase speed to medium, add in egg yolks, 1 at a time and orange blossom water or vanilla, until blended.
Reduce speed to low. Add  flour mixture alternately with buttermilk just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl. With rubber spatula, fold in remaining whites, half at a time, just until blended.
Transfer batter to skillet and spread evenly. Bake about 38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in skillet on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cake onto platter and remove skillet; cool slightly, about 30 minutes, to serve warm, or cool completely, about 2 hours, to serve at room temperature.

Rubarbra(Rhubard), Nikolai Astrup, Norwegian artist, 1911, Bergen Art Museum

9 thoughts on “Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

  1. I am embarrassed to tell you that I’ve never had rhubarb…the color has always intrigued me, and this cake is a beauty queen! And cardamon, what a unique and creative pairing, it’s absolutely lovely Johanne!

    • I wish I grew it too. Not always easy to find. We had heard about a great little farmer’s market in NJ and found it there. Stockton Farmers’ Market near Lambertville. Such a pretty day trip.

      Johanne Lamarche


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