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Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

This tangy sweet Rhubarb Upside Down Cake comes together in 20 minutes and is pure bliss with a scoop of strawberry ice cream.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake |

So it snowed again this week.

Let’s just go ahead and get all of our winter angst out right now. Errrrrrrgh. AHH!  Whyyyyyyyyyyy??!?! If I have to scrape my car off one more time… SO HELP ME!!

There, don’t we all feel a bit better now?

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake |

We’ve toughed out a L O N G hard winter, but we’re not the only ones. You know who else has had  a rough winter?


At least I have a heated house. And mittens. And fleece lined tights. But poor rhubarb has been bare naked out there in the elements, freezing it’s little pink tushy off.

Guys, if rhubarb can face winter’s last desperate fury, so can we.

And we’ll do it with this Rhubarb Upside Down Cake.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake |

Moist, lemony cake smothered in tangy brown sugared rhubarb, this cake could quite possibly be the definition of spring.

It stands as yet another shining example that rhubarb doesn’t need strawberries. It’s a perfectly bold, capable, strong vegetable (wait…fruit?) all on its own.

However, with that said, a slice of this rhubarb cake with a scoop of strawberry ice cream on top might be the best thing you’ve eaten all year.


Lucky for all of us, this cake is also a breeze to make. I’ll admit I find the flipping-the-cake-upside-down part mildly terrifying, but so far, I’ve never had a problem. My favorite way to flip is to simply secure the plate on top of the pan then use my hands to sandwich it together before turning over. Pull the pan away and you’ll be left with this glorious, sticky, pink rhubarb topping. Dreamy.


This cake gets its bright flavor from a few drops of lemon extract. If you don’t have lemon extract, or just don’t like it, feel free to substitute with lemon zest or vanilla extract.

Go out and grab yourself some rhubarb, even if you have to put a scarf on to do it. I promise it’ll make you feel like spring is here.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Prep Time 20 minsPrep Time
Cook Time 45 minsCook Time
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins Total Time
Yields 8-10


  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the 2 Tablespoons melted butter, ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and rhubarb together. Spread the mixture onto the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan.
  3. Sift flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Add the butter, milk, vanilla, and lemon extract. Beat on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat an additional 2 minutes. There may still be small lumps of butter, the size of a pea or smaller, in the batter.
  4. Pour the batter over the rhubarb. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. If the cake gets too brown, place a sheet of foil over top.
  5. Allow the cake to cool for about 5 minutes then loosen the sides by running a knife around the edges. Place your cake plate on top of the pan then use your hands to sandwich them together and flip the pan over onto the cake plate. Carefully lift the cake pan off the cake and allow the topping to run over the sides. Serve warm with ice cream.


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Recipe adapted from Keep Your Fork: The Best is Yet to Come 

{ 28 comments… add one }

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  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough April 17, 2014, 10:21 AM

    Totally crushing on this cake! I’m on a hunt for rhubarb around these parts and once I find it, oh by gosh by golly, this cake is going on the to-bake list.

  • bellalimento April 17, 2014, 11:46 AM

    Rhubarb is officially on the grocery list!

  • meredith April 17, 2014, 12:08 PM

    Just a favorite! Awesome!

  • Rose | The Clean Dish April 17, 2014, 12:09 PM

    This cake looks amazing! We haven’t had any more snow but the temperatures dropped to freezing again yesterday – yikes! Your cake gives me warm spring feelings, though – yum 🙂

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes April 17, 2014, 1:39 PM

    Love how quickly this comes together! Upside down cakes are so fun

  • @VeganFreeze April 17, 2014, 3:18 PM

    This is a winner and my husband loves you for it!

  • Liz April 17, 2014, 4:11 PM

    I need to check on the status of my rhubarb! I hope I have enough to try your cake!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 19, 2014, 10:48 AM

      Oooo so jealous you have your own plant! I want to start some this year, but I know we won’t be able to harvest until next. Until then I’ll just keep “borrowing” my mom’s. 🙂

  • Lauren @ HealthyDelish April 17, 2014, 5:34 PM

    Yum! My mouth is getting all puckery just looking at this. i’m just starting t see rhubarb pop up in the stores here… I need to make something with it soon!

  • Rebecca {Foodie with Family} April 17, 2014, 7:50 PM

    Oooooh MAN does that ever look and sound like spring perfection! I’d eat so much of that!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 19, 2014, 10:47 AM

      And I would gladly share. (Because otherwise I will consume the entire pan by myself).

  • Nutmeg Nanny April 18, 2014, 9:41 AM

    Growing up I LOVED eating fresh rhubarb. I especially love it thrown into baked good. I wish I had a slice right not!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 19, 2014, 10:47 AM

      Dang. I still can’t get into eating it raw, but I sure do love it all sugared up in desserts!

  • Taking On Magazines April 18, 2014, 10:24 AM

    I was thrilled when I saw the first rhubarb of the season in the stores recently! We didn’t get the snow you guys did but the temps did dip below freezing a couple of nights. It doesn’t matter though. rhubarb is here! Your cake looks awesome.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 19, 2014, 10:46 AM

      Thanks much! It always gives me hope when I see rhubarb in the stores. It can’t be 30 degrees forever right?

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife April 18, 2014, 10:42 AM

    I’m so glad that the snow has run away here! I don’t want anymore this year!! BUT I do however want some of this Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, now!!

  • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons April 18, 2014, 4:47 PM

    I say this every year, but this year I mean it – this will be the year I conquer rhubarb. I seriously have so little experience with it, it’s embarrassing. I think I’ve had a grand total of one bite of rhubarb in my life (and that was just last summer). But I obviously like sweet but tart things, so I feel like it should be right up my alley. This cake looks sooo good, Courtney!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 19, 2014, 10:46 AM

      I used to think I absolutely hated it, and truthfully, it’s still super weird to eat it raw. But it’s INCREDIBLE all sugared up in desserts. I really need to branch out of my rhubarb-needs-a-cup-of-sugar-to-be-good ways, but for now it works.

  • ItsJoelen April 18, 2014, 5:11 PM

    I need to play with rhubarb more often – this looks delicious!

  • Michelle April 19, 2014, 11:42 AM

    Not once in my life have I had rhubarb. But I think you just convinced me.

  • Jessica April 19, 2014, 11:44 PM

    I make rhubarb stuff every year and am always looking for new recipes. I’ll have to give this one a try!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood April 21, 2014, 4:56 PM

      I hope you do! It’s so good! It’s always nice to have a new recipe for the same ingredient. Especially when you’re over run with it! That’s always how I feel around zucchini season. 🙂

  • Pennie Hayes May 12, 2015, 6:02 AM

    This was terrific, all they way from Melbourne, Australia. We are about to approach our Winter so I think it will be on the Menu regularly….. Thank you!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood May 12, 2015, 10:32 AM

      That’s wonderful Pennie! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for coming back to let me know!

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