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Homemade Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

This light and airy yellow cake is moist but not too sweet, and the caramelized rhubarb topping adds tangy flavor and visual appeal. We like it served with strawberry ice cream. —Joyce Rowe, Stratham, New Hampshire
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2-1/4 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Optional: Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


  • Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and butter. Spread into a greased 10-in cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet. Layer with rhubarb; sprinkle with sugar. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into creamed mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time. Gently spoon over rhubarb.
  • Bake until cake springs back when lightly touched, 40-50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream as desired.
Editor's Note
If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 240 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 59mg cholesterol, 254mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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  • Victoria
    May 14, 2017

    A lot of steps but definitely worth the extra work. If the top is too sweet, try using more rhubarb. I like 3 cups. If you add some frozen strawberries or raspberries in addition, defrost a bit and drain so you don't have too much liquid.

  • germanycook
    Apr 26, 2015

    Made this in a 10'' springform pan - lined with parchment paper which you NEED otherwise it'll leak! Awesome taste - the rhubarb was caramelized perfectly and cake was the perfect compliment.

  • mommen
    Jul 6, 2014

    One of my families favorite desserts! Whenever I take it to a gathering, I am always asked for the recipe.

  • mainefoodie11
    Jul 10, 2013

    I made this for Memorial Day weekend. My friends said it is definately a "keeper"

  • Mtorcyclemama
    Jun 22, 2013

    Excellent, caramelized rhubarb on top is wonderful:) outstanding with a cup of good quality coffee/ espresso

  • krystaljoy
    Mar 4, 2010

    No comment left

  • foag
    Jul 3, 2008

    Did not think the topping would be so carmalized/crunchy...I was not a fan but my family loved it. -good topping if you have a sweet tooth

  • thjadewolf
    Apr 17, 2008

    No comment left

  • goodmexicancook
    Apr 29, 2007

    No comment left

  • booji1212
    Mar 28, 2007

    No comment left