There must be a rhubarb karma in the world. In Ottawa last month, I hooked Lianne up with some of the rhubarb from my dad’s garden, and what happens? The next day I get her rhubarb crisp for breakfast. Then, in Elmvale last weekend, I ended up with my own bag full of rhubarb from Melissa’s sister Dara. Cue: cake.
Reasons to make this cake:
- The smell of it in the oven.
- The smell of it on your counter.
- No icing!! But 3 layers nonetheless.
- It’s a crisp-cake compromise.
- Like the pear ginger cake & the chocolate buttermilk cake, it’s breakfast-appropriate.
Usually I make crisps or pies with rhubarb, but I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and was curious. Because I was thinking cake, I baked it in my cake pan instead of the 9×12 baking pan that her recipe recommends (whoops), but no harm done – it just took an extra 10 minutes or so in the oven. The larger pan would make for a thinner, more snack-like cake, in case that’s more your style. In case you plan on bringing this cake to a party, note – like the pear ginger cake, it keeps well on the counter, but wrap it up and its aesthetic elegance will be gone forever. That topping holds a grudge.
slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup yogurt
1 1/4 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1. Butter a spring-form cake pan (or, alternatively, a 9×12 baking pan) and line it with a square of parchment paper. Set it aside.
2. First layer: In a medium bowl, whisk flour with baking powder, salt, & ground ginger. Set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together butter, remaining sugar, & lemon zest until the batter is light & fluffy. Mixing after each addition until just combined, add: egg #1; egg #2; 1/3 flour mixture; 1/2 yogurt; 1/3 flour mixture; 1/2 yogurt; 1/3 flour mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
3. Second layer: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, lemon juice & 2/3 cup sugar. Scoop it over the cake batter, spreading evenly.
4. Third layer: In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, salt & cinnamon. Use a spoon or fork to incorporate the melted butter. Sprinkle over the cake.
5. Bake at 350 degrees until golden and a knife comes out batter-free (50-60 minutes if you opted for a 9×12 pan; 60-70 minutes if you went cake pan). Cool on rack before lifting the cake out by the parchment paper and serving.