Pie may be the quintessential rhubarb dessert, but this upside-down cake also is a delicious showcase for it. Whenever a recipe calls for brown sugar, I almost always use the dark brown, because it has more flavor. (Incidentally, Meijer’s own brand of dark brown sugar is significantly darker – and more flavorful– than any other I’ve ever found.) For this cake, however, I like to use light brown because it shows off rhubarb’s color better. 

For the rhubarb topping:

  • 4 – 6 stalks fresh rhubarb, or more, depending on the thickness of the stalks
  • butter and flour for preparing the skillet
  • ½ c. light brown sugar
  • ½ c. unsalted butter, softened

For the cake:

  • 2¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. plain yoghurt (whole milk preferred, but not necessary)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
It is important that all ingredients for the cake be at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour the sides of an 10-12-inch iron skillet or other heavy cake pan. You do not need to butter and flour the bottom.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the ½ c. butter and brown sugar until fluffy. (You do not have to clean the bowl before making the cake batter.)

Divide the brown sugar/butter mixture between the ramekins and spread it evenly over the bottoms. Line the bottoms of the ramekins with the rhubarb slices, fitting them together to cover as completely as possible. Set the ramekins aside and reserve any leftover rhubarb for another use.

Make the yoghurt pound cake and fill each ramekin with about ½ c. of the batter, spreading it evenly and leaving a half-inch rim at the top. Use extra batter to make cupcakes or a mini loaf cake.

Bake 55-65 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the insides of the ramekins to loosen the cake. Using hot pads, place the plate you will be using to serve the cake upside down over the top of the skillet and quickly (and carefully) flip it over. Lift the skillet off and replace any rhubarb pieces that might have remained inside or tumbled to the side.

 Serve warm or at room temperature. If the cake has cooled, it can be warmed on low in a microwave, if desired. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream or a small scoop of ice cream. A glass of cold milk is also good!

Note: This can also be made as individual upside down “baby” cakes. Use 8 individual cake pans or ramekins. They should be about 4 inches across and have at least a 1cup capacity. If the stalks are very wide, you may want to cut the pieces in half for these. Proceed as above, filling the ramekins ½ - 2/3 full. Place on a baking sheet, put them in the oven and bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 25-35 minutes. Baking time will be longer with ceramic ramekins than individual metal cake pans.

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