Rhubarb is a vegetable that looks like red celery and uncooked tastes somewhat green like a sour apple, but, when it is cooked and combined with sugar it takes on a delicious flavor that compliments many dishes and pairs especially well with strawberry. Both rhubarb and strawberries are in season around the same time from mid May to the beginning of June here in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. One lazy Sunday afternoon, with a bucket of fresh picked strawberries straight from a farm down the road, my husband and I decided to make a rhubarb cake with buttermilk and strawberries.
The resulting cake is light, delicious and easy to make, and when paired with vanilla ice cream it becomes even more sublime. The rhubarb and strawberries can be replaced with any fruit and would continue to yield an excellent dessert, we think plums would be especially delicious. Below is the recipe. If you make it, let us know how it turned out.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- 1 stalk of rhubarb
- Preheat oven to 400°F and put your rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with a mixer at medium-high speed for about 2 minutes until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
- Mix in the flour mixture at low speed in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
- Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Cut rhubarb stalk into small chunks, scatter those and the strawberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
- Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.
Recipe adapted from this raspberry buttermilk cake from Epicurious
Photos by Michelle Smith. Hire me for your next project.