In this rhubarb upside-down cake recipe, tart fresh rhubarb is topped with a very sweet and simple homemade cake!
Baked until golden, this cake is fluffy and moist with an incredibly fresh topping that has the perfect amount of sweetness and tartness. This is bound to be an all-time favorite rhubarb dessert yet!
What is Upside Down Cake?
Upside-down cake refers to the method of making the cake. The fruit topping (in this case, the rhubarb), is added to the bottom of a cake pan.
Then the cake mix is poured over the top and then cooked. For the final step, the cake is flipped out of the pan so that the hot and sweet fruit filling is on the top!
This is an extra moist cake with lots of rhubarb flavor.
An Easy Upside Down Cake
- With just a little prep, it is so easy to bake this homemade cake.
- Made with pantry ingredients you likely have on hand this cake is so moist.
- Tart rhubarb is mixed with some sugar and butter so that it reaches the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
- Topped with a homemade cake that is moist and fluffy, it will be hard not to reach for seconds!
RHUBARB: If picking rhubarb, twist the stalks off and be sure to discard the leaves. If buying these pinkish stalks at grocery stores or a farmer’s market, they should be crisp (not limp) and should snap easily. If rhubarb isn’t in season, then use frozen rhubarb.
CAKE: The cake mix for this recipe is a simple cake from scratch.
A little butter (unsalted & room temperature), sugar, all purpose flour, milk, and eggs are just a few of the easy-to-find ingredients. Not much time on your hands? Replace the homemade cake with a boxed cake mix.
VARIATIONS: Add some sliced strawberries to the rhubarb for a sweeter fruit topping. Add some lemon or orange zest.
How to Make Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
This sweet and decadent cake just sings spring and is so easy to bake!
- Chop the rhubarb and toss with flour.
- Add butter and sugar to a pan and arrange rhubarb overtop.
- Prepare the cake batter (as per the recipe below) and spread over the rhubarb.
- Bake. Let cool slightly and flip upside down.
Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and serve warm or room temperature.
Storage and Leftovers
Rhubarb cake will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. Cover and keep in an air-tight container.
It also freezes very well. Let cool, wrap, and then store in the freezer and have ready for when guests are on their way over.
Got Rhubarb in the Garden?
Did your family love this Rhubarb Upside Down Cake? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
- 3 cups fresh rhubarb 2-3 medium stalks, chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice + zest from lemon
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅔ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Toss rhubarb & flour in a small bowl.
- Pour ¼ cup melted butter into a 9" round pan. Top with brown sugar. Arrange the rhubarb mixture on the brown sugar. Set aside.
- Combine sugar & melted butter. Stir in egg & lemon juice.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, lemon zest, & a pinch of salt.
- Add flour mixture alternately with the milk to the butter mixture. Stir just until combined.
- Spread the batter over the rhubarb mixture and bake 32-36 minutes or just until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan 15-20 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the cake and invert onto a platter. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I did not actually make this recipe, but provided it to my sister who grows rhubarb and has it coming out of her ears. She reported that the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake was delicious .. the only problem was that her rhubarb was a little stringy … which happens later in the year. I’m going to point her to the other recipes that use rhubarb .. they all look delish! Thank you Holly .. your recipes are my favorites!
So glad she loved it. Thank you for sharing my recipes with your sister Mo!
Can you use frozen rhubarb in this recipe?
Hi Stella! You definitely can, I would suggest thawing and draining the rhubarb first so your dish doesn’t turn out too watery.
Do you think I could also add some blackberries and raspberries?
That sounds delicious, Rebecca!
I only have an 8″ round or a 9″ square pan, what your be your recommendation of those two options to cook this cake, and how much would it affect the cooking time? I lean toward the 8″ round, but not sure if the fruit/batter amounts would make it spill over? Would appreciate your advice.
I’d recommend using the same size, even if it is a different shape, as the volume is correct for that type of pan, so would suggest the 9 inch pan. Enjoy the cake Lee!
I made this today for Father’s Day! It turned out so wonderful. A bit tart and a bit sweet! Everyone loved it. This is a keeper!
Too bad I can’t post a picture of mine!
So happy to hear everyone loved this cake, Karen! :)
Is it a full lemon juiced? I got 3 tablespoons, the ingredients say 1 lemon. Then the instructions say 1 tablespoon, thanks!
For this recipe, we use 1 tablespoon of the juiced lemon in step 3 and the zest from a whole lemon in step 4 Dani.
Looks delicious. Can I use frozen rhubarb?
Hi Bevy, we haven’t tried it but I would think it would work. I would suggest thawing and draining the rhubarb first so your dish doesn’t turn out watery.
This came out absolutely fantastic!! I only used rhubarb because I just love rhubarb, all else the same. This recipe is a keeper for life!!
Hi!…I love your recipes…..and this one has me yearning for rhubarb to grow!…..but while I am waiting I decided to try a different approach….I had a can of Blueberry Pie filling so decided to try it with this…I added a 1/4cup of water to the filling so it would not dry out….and it was perfect..now the flavour possibilities are enlarged…….my hubby really enjoyed it….Thanks again.
Yum! That sounds delicious Wendy.
I have made this recipe 4 times now. It’s delicious, but doesn’t seem to cook the batter completely in the centre in the allotted time. Should I try a larger baking tin? I’ve extended the time by 20 minutes, but wondering if there is another solution.
Ovens can vary slightly
Making this right now! Yummy!
Can this be made with just rhubarb for those who cannot eat strawberries? Just increase the amount of sugar?
I think that would work just fine!
Hi!….my hubby won’t eat cooked strawberries ….so I pair my rhubarb with cherries either fresh when they are season …frozen….or canned…..they taste great together..
Great idea Wendy! Thanks for sharing.
Amazing….yes drain rhubarb and follow directions. Making it again for second time
Can I use frozen rhubarb
I haven’t tried it but I would think it would work. I would suggest thawing and draining the rhubarb first so your dish doesn’t turn out watery.
Thanks for the recipe! I have not worked much with rhubarb. Does it have to be peeled first?
Only if the outside is really tough. I usually wash it and trim the ends. Once you’ve trimmed the ends, you can try “peeling” the edge like you would celery. If it’s tough it will come right off!
What a great web site for some amazing recipes – Love it
Thank you Cameron! :)
I love your website it’s so informative and also VERY INSPIRATIONAL. Thank you.