I think we pretty safely established last year that I love rhubarb. Given that, it should be no surprise that I was completely on board when my friend Lauren suggested that we bake rhubarb upside-down cake before our recent Sunday evening date to see Bridesmaids.
That Saturday – the day of The Rapture That Was Not, we met at the farmer’s market to purchase the goods. We decided to go all out even though the world might not exist for us to bake the next day, heading directly to my favorite stand and purchasing that tart, wonderful fruit. We thought we were done, as we had the main ingredient for the cake.
And then…we came to the strawberries. You know my weakness for strawberries. The strawberries whispered to me, tempting me with their sweet summery scent, and Lauren mentioned that she’d never really had one of my pies. Before I knew it, I had berries in my bag and a little less money in my pocket. I love feeding people pie.
Thankfully, the world still existed on Sunday, so we gathered around noon and began to chop fruit (her) and make dough (me). We made a smaller version of last year’s victory pie (recipe via that link) – this time, with a gluten-free crust – and I still think it’s my favorite strawberry-rhubarb pie ever. If Lauren‘s longing gaze is any indication, she agrees.
But this isn’t about the pie.
Once the pie was in the oven, we tackled The Cake. We broke out the hand mixer to get the right consistency. We zested. We macerated the rhubarb. We heated butter and brown sugar for the perfect topping. We subbed a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend from Bob’s Red Mill for the flour in the cake. We were ready.
Then: a small error in judgment. We decided that my 9-inch regular cake pan would work fine, and we put my 10-inch springform pan back in the cabinet. At the time, this seemed to make sense – until we put the toppings in the pan, followed by the batter, and it looked…really full. Of course, we had no choice but to move forward at this point. The clock was ticking, we had a date for Bridesmaids, and obviously, we couldn’t waste all of the perfectly delicious cake elements. We forged ahead, placing a cookie sheet underneath the cake pan when the cake went into the oven.
That, dear friends, was a wise choice.
An even better decision, however, was when we pulled that whole mess out of the oven to test the cake, and realized that:
a) the overflow batter was basically done baking, and
b) we could eat that with pie filling on top.
That was just what we needed to tide us over until the rhubarb upside-down cake, in all its glory, was ready. Ten minutes before we needed to leave, we removed The Cake from the oven, danced around my kitchen, and took this photo for you to see its beauty.
- Lauren and I bake well together.
- You’d never guess that this cake was gluten-free; that flour substitution worked beautifully.
- It’s probably smarter to use the springform pan like the recipe suggests.
- This cake makes an excellent movie snack!