Rhubarb Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
One of the joys of spring is finding fresh rhubarb at the market. These rosy-red stalks are mouth-puckering tart, but when cooked with sugar they become an explosion of sweet-tart flavor in your mouth.
This recipe combines a nutmeg flavored cornmeal cake with fresh rhubarb baked in a cast-iron pan. After baking the whole thing is flipped upside-down to show off the glistening pink rhubarb. Cut in slices and serve with sweetened whipped cream along with some Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce.
Recipe type: Upside-Down Cake | Rhubarb
Rhubarb Topping:
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 cups fresh rhubarb (about 1 pound) cleaned, dried, ends trimmed off, and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a 10 inch cast iron skillet. You can substitute any heavy 10 inch ovenproof skillet with an ovenproof handle, or a 9 inch or 10 inch round or square cake pan, or a 10 inch springform pan with the outside wrapped in heavy duty foil to prevent leakage.
  1. In the skillet, melt the butter over low heat. When the butter is completely melted, stir in the brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Increase the heat to medium to bring to a simmer, add the rhubarb and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and cook for 2 minutes or until the rhubarb is starting to get soft, but not mushy, and the rhubarb juices are released. Remove the skillet from the heat, spread the rhubarb evenly in the skillet, and set aside.
  2. Tip: if you are using a cake pan or springform pan in place of a skillet, then use a medium-sized heavy bottomed pan to melt the butter and brown sugar and cook the rhubarb as described above, and then pour the mixture into a lightly greased cake pan.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir the sour cream and vanilla together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 3 to 5 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the sour cream mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and sour cream mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended. The batter will be thick.
  6. Spread the batter over the rhubarb in the skillet. Tip: Because the batter is thick, first spoon small mounds of batter around the skillet edges, then spoon the remaining batter in the center, and then use the back of a spoon or small offset spatula to evenly spread the batter and smooth out the top.
  7. Bake: Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and run a small kitchen knife around the edges. Let sit for 5 minutes on a wire cooling rack.
  8. Upside-Down: Invert the cake onto a serving platter and let it sit for another 5 minutes to let the sugar topping drip down onto the cake, then remove the pan.
  9. Serving Suggestion: Serve either warm or cooled, either plain or with sweetened whipped cream along with some Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce.
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 10" Cast Iron Skillet, or One 9" Round, or One 10" Round, or One 10" Springform Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Covered, Room Temperature or Refrigerate

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Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cakes/rhubarb-cornmeal-upside-down-cake/