Friday, May 7, 2010

Rhubarb Cake

Original Recipe

2 cups rhubarb

2 1/4 cup sugar, divided

1/2 cup shortening [I used butter]

1 egg

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

11/2 tsp. cinnamon, divided

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.

Mix together the rhubarb and 1/2 cup sugar and set aside.

Cream together 1 1/2 cup sugar and the shortening. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.

Shift together the flour, baking soda, salt and 1 tsp. of the cinnamon. Add to the shortening mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Add vanilla and the rhubarb and mix thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and sprinkle on top of batter. Put in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until done.

* Sour milk can be made by bringing 1 cup milk up to room temperature and mixing in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Wait approximately 10 minutes, until the milk has thickened to use. If you are in a hurry, you can zap the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds to get it up to room temperature.

Did it Work?

Yes, it was tasty, and received several compliments. It was also incredibly easy to put together and can feed a large number of people easily. This is more of a snack cake than something fancy and would be right at home at a potluck or picnic. The only issue was that in my mind it was far too sweet. This is a rhubarb cake for those who don’t really like rhubarb, since the sugar covered up most of the sourness of the fruit. Unlike Sean,I like rhubarb, so I made some modifications. What I ended up with was cake that also garnered a lot of compliments, but was less toothache-inducing and let the rhubarb shine through.


1) Less sugar: 1/4 cup on the rhubarb, 1 cup in the batter, and 2 tablespoons mixed with the cinnamon to sprinkle on top. This means you have 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar total for the recipe.

2) Changed Flour Type: I replaced 1 cup all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. Since there was cinnamon in the batter, it did not effect the color, or as far as I can tell the texture. I am pretty sure you could get away with replacing all of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour.


Cake version 2.0, in the pan.

Slice o'cake. Excuse the blur, it was early, I was using an iPhone and most importantly....I wanted cake.


  1. Is whole wheat pastry flour less... crunchy, for lack of a better word, than regular whole wheat flour? I have some regular, and it seems to have a lot more bits in it than normal flour.

  2. Yes whole wheat pastry flour is definitely less crunchy. It acts more like regular all purpose flour than a standard whole wheat flour. SInce it is not as high in gluten and is more finely milled, so it does much better in baked goods like cookies and cake. Unlike with standard whole wheat, with the pastry flour the baked goods are less likely to come out tasting like they came from a vegan bakery.

    It's good stuff to experiment with to get a bit more fiber into your baked goods and you can get it pretty cheap in the bulk section at Fred Meyer.

  3. It is SO good, and I really appreciate that Sean & Kyna shared the cake and corrot bread at the service. I need to make some soon!

  4. I really like the set up here - the scanned, hand-written original, clear notes on modifications and why. This is great! Thank you!