This eye-catching upside-down cake is easier to make than you might think. (And what a great way to get your veggies!) The hardest part is cutting the rhubarb into pieces and fitting them in the pan — which really isn't that hard at all.
When choosing the stalks of rhubarb at the store, I like to get the ones with the deepest red color because they're so pretty on top of the cake. But I have a little secret on how to make this cake just a bit more colorful that I'll share with you. Kind of like some "lipstick" and "mascara" for cake. Let's check how to make this almost-too-pretty-to-eat yummy.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cut the rhubarb into pieces that are one-third of the dimension of the square pan being used. If using wide stalks of rhubarb, cut them in half lengthwise.
To a medium- to large-size shallow casserole dish, add the sugar, water and Irish cream.
Add the rhubarb so that it's covered in the liquid, and set it aside.
Grease the bottom and all sides of a square baking pan with butter.
Cut a large piece of parchment paper to fit inside the pan, and lay it tightly in the pan so that it sticks to the butter. Leave some extra paper above the edges of the pan to act as handles to eventually lift the cake out of the pan. Then grease the bottom and sides of the parchment paper with butter.
Lay the rhubarb red side down as tightly as possible in a basket weave pattern, with four sticks of rhubarb in each direction. Try to not leave spaces between the rhubarb to minimize the amount of cake batter that will seep through to the bottom, which will really be the top. As you're fitting in the pieces of rhubarb, you may need to trim the edges slightly so they all fit tightly together.
Next, make the cake batter. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, eggs and Irish cream. Add the milk, vanilla extract, salt, flour and baking powder. Mix together until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Pour the cake batter over the rhubarb.
Using a spatula, smooth out and level the cake batter.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake (about 40 to 45 minutes). Let cool completely. Then, using the parchment paper handles, lift the cake out of the pan, carefully turn it over, and lay it rhubarb side up on a large, flat serving plate. Carefully peel the parchment paper off the top of the rhubarb. Don't worry if the rhubarb doesn't look colorful; it will turn a little darker after being exposed to air.
Then, spruce up the cake ("lipstick" and "mascara") by cutting a thin piece of cake off each side to give it clean edges. As an option, use the dull end of a small knife to cut out the cake from the very top that seeped through the sticks of rhubarb so the basket weave looks more defined. As an option (for the "lipstick"), dab a little bit of light pink food coloring on a paper towel, and very lightly brush it against the rhubarb so it has a pretty pinkish color to it. You may need to use your finger for a little help lightly spreading the pink onto the rhubarb.
The good news is that the pieces are already predetermined, and all you have to do is cut in between the basket weave patterns.
Just before serving, drizzle Irish cream on top of each serving, and top with whipped cream. Feel free to add extra whipped cream like I like to do. And then, Irish cream drizzled on top of the whipped cream to top it all off.
Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 40 minutes | Total time: 1 hour
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