Monday, January 2, 2012

That Ruby Stalk

While I am not normally a huge vegetable fan, I make an exception for rhubarb. While it is botanically classified as a vegetable, it's considered to be a fruit in the US, as that is how it is most traditionally prepared. In my family, we definitely treat it like a fruit, including it in jams, pies and, my favorite, rhubarb cake. This is an old family recipe and so simple to put together, it makes a great last minute dessert for when you are craving something sweet.


Ingredient List
1/2 c. softened butter
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. self-rising flour
16 oz rhubarb, chopped about the same size as you would celery for chicken salad

For Topping
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Combined in small bowl

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch glass baking pan. Cream butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla - mix just until combined. Add flour and beat until incorporated, batter should be smooth. Fold in rhubarb, then pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar topping mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center removes cleanly.

While this recipe tastes best in the Spring when rhubarb is just emerging from the soil, one of the first signs that Winter is at an end, you can also use frozen rhubarb, which I have started keeping on hand for last minute cake cravings. If you do use frozen, be sure to thaw it before adding it to the batter. There may also be some mutant pieces in there, so I pick through and cut the ginormous slices into more manageable bites.

Speaking of cake testers, my mom bought me this artsy-fartsy (their words, not mine) one and gave it to me for Christmas. It is so much nicer than stabbing my cakes with splintery toothpicks. They also suggest that you can use it as a sun catching plant stake, I just might have to order a few more for that purpose.


  1. The cake looks delicious and very comforting- I love rhubarb and also treat it as a fruit rather than a vegetable

  2. I'd be curious to see it in savory recipes. There aren't many of those around.

  3. That cake tester is so artistic and creative! It also looks a lot longer than any toothpick I've seen. Thanks for making me very hungry! Happy New Year!

  4. I haven't had rhubarb since I was a kid, this looks great!

  5. Emily - Would like to contact you direct.

    Jim Brams, public relations for The Cook's Warehouse,