Sunday, 26 May 2013

Rhubarb and Ginger Soured Cream Upside Down Cake

Its almost the end of May.

In theory we ought to be merrily dusting off the BBQ, enjoying the summery scent of freshly mown grass and blossom and dining alfresco (or at least down the local pub garden).

Instead, I've been putting the heating on, seeing snow return and reading magazine articles entitled 'Bikini Body in Two Weeks' while thinking 'Really? Pray, What is the point?...Pass me the cake'.

Indeed, the only sure fire sign it is Spring is the return of Kate Humble and co on the telly with SpringWatch.

Still, we can attempt to celebrate the season by baking. With juicy summer berries but a few weeks away (apparently), I'm making the most of the last of the season's homegrown rhubarb with the Soured Cream Rhubarb and Ginger Upside Down Cake.

Thing is with a lot of our seasonal fruit and vegetables, its all of nothing (see also: courgette). One week every single mealtime involves rhubarb, the next we've moved on to the asparagus. And there are only so many rhubarb crumbles on can joyfully tuck into without a sense of deja vu. I suppose the giant rhubarb leaves could make useful headgear for a rainy Wimbledon or Ascot. And the stalks could potentially double up as rounders bats....

Rhubarb and Ginger Upside Down Cake

For the topping:

450g rhubarb, washed and trimmed into 1 inch piece
50g butter
50g caster sugar

For the cake:

210g plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps ground ginger
pinch of salt
115g butter softened
180g caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
120ml soured cream
2 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped

1. Melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar and rhubarb and stir to combine. Gently stir on a low heat until the rhubarb is softened but still retains its shape (approximately a few minutes). Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 20cm diameter round cake tin. Sift the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt into a bowl and set aside
3. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs  until fully combined
4. Add half of the flour mixture followed by half the sour cream and beat until just combined. Repeat, until the all the flour and cream is added. Stir in the stem ginger
5. Spread the rhubarb pieces across the bottom of the tin and top with the cake batter, smoothing over evenly with the back of a metal spoon or a spatula
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely
7. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche

Baker's notes...

  • If you are still looking for rhubarb-piration, here's what I made last year. And earlier.
  • Perhaps not the prettiest of cakes this one, but it was mighty tasty (according to my ravenous work colleagues who devoured it in 6 minutes flat, a new record).
  • Rhubarb can be frozen of course- it's easier to cut the stalks into inch sized pieces first
  • What have you been baking with rhubarb this year?


  1. I love rhubarb - I just wish the garden rhubarb was the vibrant pink of the forced. I do love it's more robust flavour though.
    Rhubarb and ginger is a lovely combo - this cake looks a winner!

  2. Yum I agree, I love rhubarb too! This looks great and I love the combination with the ginger and the soured cream...delicious! :-)

  3. There have been so many inspirational rhubarb recipes out there this year that I've almost (but not quite) forgotten about the trusty crumble! And this is another one, looks divine, and rhubarb and ginger are a match made in heaven.
    The Pantry Door

  4. I love rhubarb must get some planted this year so I can make this delicious upside down cake. Had some rhubarb jam the other day and that was lovely too.

  5. Woha, snow in May, that's something. I can imagine that this cake was helpful :)

  6. Ooooo a rhubarb upside down cake! Yum!

  7. I planted some rhubarb a few weeks back (having waited - perhaps foolishly - until all risk of frost was past) and it seems that it is now so dormant, it is in fact dead. Hmm. Will have to try again next year! Your rhubarby cake looks very tasty...

  8. Rhubarb and ginger is such a perfect mix! Might have to make a similar cake soon!

  9. Rhubarb and cake - just two of my favourite things. This is lovely. I could almost believe that summer's on its way. I thought I saw a patch of blue sky today as I peered out from under my rhubarb leaf hat.


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