Rhubarb upside-down cake

A not-too-sweet treat bursting with colour and flavour!

My mom has always had a rhubarb patch and even at age 90 she continues to tend it with great success. I didn’t much care for rhubarb’s tart flavour as a very young child, but I grew to love it and still adore it now. This cake is easy to make yet looks impressive and its taste is absolutely fantastic. It’s wonderful as a dessert but would be right at home at a fancy tea party, brunch or even a bridal or baby shower. Select the reddest rhubarb stalks you can find, for maximum visual appeal. If you are a fan of rhubarb, as I am, use the search facility on this site to check out my other rhubarb recipes for lots more inspiration.



  • 1/2 pound (225 g) fresh rhubarb, ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (165 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.2 5 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) powdered ginger
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • To prepare rhubarb topping, use a sharp knife to slice the outside edges lengthwise off the rhubarb stalks (you want slices no more than 1/4 inch / 1.25 cm thick). Do not discard remaining rhubarb.
  • Selecting the section of each thin slice that has the most colour, trim to fit the bottom of the prepared baking pan and place side by side in a single layer.
  • Once you have enough slices to fill the bottom of the pan, sprinkle the rhubarb slices with the 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of sugar and toss with your fingers. Rearrange slices in side-by-side fashion.
  • Finely chop remaining rhubarb and set aside. You should have 2/3 to 3/4 of a cup (165 – 185 mL).
  • Prepare the cake batter by combining dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add eggs, melted butter, sour cream and vanilla all at once and stir quickly to blend thoroughly. Fold in rhubarb then transfer batter by spoonfuls to cover the rhubarb in the baking pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven until the top of the cake is light golden and a tester inserted in middle comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes then lift out carefully by the edges of the parchment paper.
  • Place a serving platter upside down over the cake then flip the cake to invert onto platter so rhubarb layer is on top. Gently remove parchment paper.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

Serves 9 – 12.


Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

3 thoughts

    1. Thank you! A few friends made it this week after I posted the recipe and they all said they thought it was delicious. Can’t wait to hear if you enjoy it too – let me know!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.