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Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Yes, you can get rhubarb in the winter. And then best thing to do with winter rhubarb might just be this Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

This rhubarb upside down cake is as pretty as it is delicious. It’s super-easy to make, and when you flip it over, it reveals a spiral rose pattern.

First – rhubarb? Yes – You can read all about rhubarb and what to do with it here. Many well-stocked grocery stores are carrying this amazing vegetable-that-we-treat-as-a-fruit right now. Grown in Holland, it’s a beautiful crimson addition to any winter table. We got this rhubarb to sample from Melissa’s Produce.


Second – Upside-down cake? Yes, when you flip over that cake and see this beautiful red rose pattern, you’ll be sold.

Third – This cake just tastes so good. We had a houseful of skeptical people when we made this cake, but after one bite everyone was sold. Firsts, seconds, thirds… within minutes there was no cake left.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Flip this cake over to reveal a wonderful surprise - a beautiful red rose pattern made from rhubarb.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, dessert, rhubarb, upside-down cake
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8


For the Caramel/Rhubarb Layer

  • 1 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided (one stick)
  • 2 large stalks fresh rhubarb, cut on the diagonal into 1/4 inch slices

For the Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (additional) butter, melted and cooled (one stick)
  • 1 cup (additional) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks


Caramel/Rhubarb Layer

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch cake pan. Prepare the first half of the caramel/rhubarb layer: In a medium saucepan, cook 1/2 cup of the brown sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until an amber caramel has formed. Add 4 tbsp of the butter and cook, stirring constantly until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately pour caramel mixture into the prepared cake pan, spreading to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Arrange the rhubarb in a circular pattern so that it covers the caramel and the bottom of the pan.

  2. Make more caramel sauce: Melt the second 1/2 cup of the brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until an amber caramel has formed. Add the remaining 4 tbsp of butter and cook, stirring constantly until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle the sauce over the arranged rhubarb (it does not have to be perfect). Set the prepared pan aside. It's OK if the caramel starts to harden.

For the Cake

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, and yolks. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and stir gently to form a smooth batter. Pour the batter over the rhubarb in an even layer in the cake pan, smoothing with a spatula as necessary.

  2. Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and let it slightly cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

  3. After 10 minutes, gently run a knife or spatula around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Gently invert the cake onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Here are two quick notes on putting this cake together. First, as you slice the rhubarb, peel away any extra stringy bits. It’s OK – You’re not missing anything.

Unbaked rhubarb upside-down cake. Start in the center, using increasingly lighter pieces as you fan out.

Second, when you make the rose pattern, start in the center first. Use the darkest pink for the center, and then use gradually paler slices as you fan out the circle. The palest pieces should be on the top as you’re laying them out. That way, when you flip the cake upside down, they’ll be on the bottom.

P.S. Want another delicious rhubarb recipe? Try our no-bake Rhubarb Cheesecake. Want another upside-down cake? Try our Ooey-Gooey Upside Down Jackfruit Cake.

Blogger disclosure: Melissa’s Produce gifted us with rhubarb to sample. We did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are our own.

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