Rhubarb Yogurt Cake in a New House

Rhubarb Yogurt Cake | A Sweet Spoonful

It has indeed been quieter around here than I’d anticipated or planned for but it’s taken us a bit longer to bounce back from moving than I’d imagined. I mentally kept telling myself we were just moving up the street — that it’d be no big deal and I could do small trips throughout the week. And I did this. And it kind of felt like no big deal at the time. But the small trips all started to realllllly add up after awhile. We did have a lot of help on the actual moving day, but by that time I was pretty much ready to lie down in the guest room and take a day-long nap, which of course wasn’t an option. In fact! It turns out our box spring didn’t fit up the staircase so Sam had to saw it in half in the basement while I kept myself nervously busy, and by the time we got it upstairs and all set up I think both of us were more than ready to collapse. We felt pretty proud that at least there was a bed in the midst of all those boxes. Suffice it to say, there has been more painting and unpacking than cooking around here lately. We’ve been eating a lot of quick takeout from the co-op, my famous-only-to-Sam chicken salad, and easy open-face quesadillas. But a few nights ago, I decided it was time to bake something proper. So here we are. I’ve missed you!Rhubarb Yogurt Cake | A Sweet Spoonful

I’d run across some really beautiful looking rhubarb at the store and picked it up not exactly knowing what I wanted to do with it. There was, of course, the Rhubarb Breakfast Cake I’d made on the blog a few years ago. But I’d seen Molly’s recent post and thought that might be the way to go, until I saw this pie and thought perhaps that was actually the right direction. My friend Natalie made a straight rhubarb pie with candied ginger in it for our bookclub, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

But when it came down to it, after organizing all of my cookbooks and, exhausted, sitting down to stare at them, my favorite little cake cookbook stood out and I wondered if there was a rhubarb recipe within its pages. Sure enough, we were in business with what author Pam Corbin called a Rhubarb Pudding Cake.

Rhubarb Yogurt Cake | A Sweet Spoonful

The River Cottage Cakes Book is a wonderfully British book featuring relatively humble cakes (you won’t see any towering three layer affairs) that always call to me. I baked the Honey Cake a few years back and before that I’d baked up the fragrant, addictive Cardamom Cake. Many of the cakes featured are the sort you want to have with a dollop of fresh whipped cream after dinner, but really you want to wake up to a slice with your morning coffee. I’ve found (and this cake is no exception) that they’re not too sweet or syrupy and generally really celebrate the star ingredients without masking them with cloying frostings or glazes.

20150507_BlogRhubarbCake-119
Because the book is British, it obviously uses grams exclusively so I’ve included both standard and metric measurements for you in the recipe below. And I often find there are a few ingredients that I’m just not familiar with in the book, so I’ll often make substitutions or adapt as needed. The recipe for this sturdy yet tender, buttery rhubarb-flecked cake is no exception: it calls for cornflower or custard powder (thus the original name) which I didn’t have in my pantry and I don’t think is all that common here in the States. I substituted rice flour instead, which worked out perfectly; after a quick Google search it seems you could also use cornstarch. The recipe calls for golden caster sugar which is a really fine brown sugar found in many British baking recipes; I used a superfine white sugar instead. Last, Corbin’s cake calls for self-raising flour which is essentially flour with a little added salt and baking powder, so I’ve gone ahead and tweaked the recipe below to reflect that. I’d generally use a whole grain flour here and I don’t really remember the last time I baked with 100% all purpose flour, but the kitchen isn’t fully unpacked and there was something really appealing about just opening up a cookbook and following directions. So that’s exactly what I did.

Rhubarb Yogurt Cake | A Sweet Spoonful

Making this cake is relatively simple and can be done while stepping over a few stray boxes. I actually found mixing it up almost as gratifying as eating a slice: as you beat in the eggs slowly, the batter becomes this wonderful glossy yellow and once you fold in the yogurt and vanilla it’s fragrant and creamy and just awaiting the addition of bright spring rhubarb. I have a hunch this could be a great base recipe for blueberries or cherries later this summer — a time I envision us eating outdoors in our small yard often, cooking more, fully settled in and fuss-free.

Rhubarb Yogurt Cake

Rhubarb Yogurt Cake

  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 40 mins
  • Inactive time: 10 mins

Adapted ever-so-slightly from: Cakes by Pam Corbin

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups (250g) thinly sliced rhubarb
1 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (200g) all purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling rhubarb
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (50g) white rice flour (or cornstarch)
9 tablespoons (about 125 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces, plus more to grease pan
1 cup (175g) superfine sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup (150ml) plain whole milk yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar, to sift on top (optional)
Whipped cream or clotted cream, to serve

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch bundt pan (or similar size round pan with a removable bottom). Alternatively, you could use an 9-inch square baking dish*.

Put the rhubarb into a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour; toss until the pieces are all covered. This coating will help to prevent rhubarb from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and white rice flour. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer (or stand mixer), beat the butter until light and slightly fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat well to combine. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding in 1 tablespoon flour mixture after each addition and beating well before adding the next egg. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the remaining flour and sliced rhubarb.

Turn the batter out into prepared pan, leveling the top with the back of a spoon and giving the pan a few taps on the counter to level the mix. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched. Leave in the pan for 10 minutes to cool before inverting onto a plate or serving dish. Dust with confectioners sugar if desired. Serve with whipped cream. Store leftover cake covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.

*If you go this route, I wouldn’t invert this cake at the end: just slice into squares and serve.

Comments

  1. sarah | little house pantry

    I made a rhubarb cake last week with one of Brandi's recipes that was amazing. I love rhubarb season. More house pictures! So exciting!

  2. lauren

    i love your blog. looks so professional! I love how it looks and your food pictures are great! I love this recipe! check out my blog too, I follow you!

  3. cate

    Where did you get your round cake tin? It's nicer than a regular bundt pan, which I don't like because of the uneven slices.
    The cake looks delicious and I love rhubarb.

    1. megang

      Hi, Cate- You know, I've had it since college. It's definitely not fancy though ... just has some pretty beveled edges on the inside. I've seen similar bundt pans out there. Do you have a Goodwill? That can be a great place to find pretty old bakeware. ~Megan

  4. Kristin

    I hope that your chicken salad doesn't stay "famous-only-to-Sam" forever. ;)

  5. Meghan

    Congrats on your move! I hope that the ratio of boxes that are packed compared to boxes that are unpacked is slowly but surely shifting so that you can get back to feeling at home. Would love to see pictures of the new place if you're willing to share.

  6. Laura

    Megan, I agree with Kristin. Cake is all very well and good, but the more savory minded among us are wondering where that chicken salad is! Your new house is lovely, and as someone who's been bitten by the nesting bug lately, I'm loving living vicariously through you. Enjoy.

  7. Laura

    Also--I assume one could swap out half the all-purpose with whole-grain flour in this recipe?

    1. megang

      Hi, Laura-
      Sure thing! I think spelt would be wonderful or even a whole wheat pastry flour. Love to hear what you try ~Megan

  8. Lisa Waldschmidt

    I am in CA moving my daughter Kate. And it was very satisfying amid the boxes and mayhem, after rummaging through the moving rubble to find what needed to make some strawberry shortcake after delivery pizza! Enjoy your new house!

  9. Gemma

    It does take a long time to bounce back from moving but, yay, cake - that's definitely a sign that you're on the right track! Hope you two are settling in well x

  10. Roisin

    Major rhubarb fans here in Ireland, roll on the weekend so I can try this!

  11. Stacy

    RHUBARB CAKE!! You know how I feel about this, right?! I made a tasty rhubarb cake over the weekend (http://food52.com/recipes/17410-rhubarb-almond-crumb-cake), but my baking-with-rhubarb is far from over for the season, or at least I hope. Congratulations on getting into your new house! I'm so excited for you two and know how thoughtfully and genuinely you will make that place your own, and so very special in doing so. xoxo

    1. megang

      Stacy: One day we will open a Humble Cakes Bakery by Megan and Stacy and live happily ever after :) Yes, I thought of you with this one! And I eyed this Food 52 recipe and think I'm going to need to get on it; it looks delicious. Thank you for the well wishes. Next time you guys are here we have a guestroom :) xox, mg

  12. Thomas Marzahl

    Hi Megan,
    occasional reader, first time commenter...

    I am going to try my hand at this cake either today or tomorrow! Rhubarb has fast become my favorite springtime fruit since it's about the only thing that is available here in Berlin that is local and good and fresh in that in between season before the late spring fruits kick in.

    Two questions: I have a bundt pan that is a bit bigger - probably 10 inch or so (and without a removable bottom but that's no biggie). Should I perhaps tweak the recipe a bit and up the flour and rhubarb and a few other ingredients? And I am wondering how potato flour would work in place of the rice flour... I have some quite old potato flour that has been gathering dust, so to speak.

    Grateful for any tips, and I love your Whole Grain Mornings cookbook. Your Oatmeal is truly to die for!

    1. megang

      Hi, Thomas-
      Great! O.k., so no big deal about removable bottom - just grease it well. I wouldn't add or alter the recipe if you're o.k. with it being a touch on the squatty side (as it has more surface area the cake is going to be shorter). What you will need to do is watch the bake time as it's going to bake up just a bit quicker than the recipe indicates now. I'd check it about 8 minutes before it's supposed to be done and go from there. This one is really easy to tell when it's done: golden brown, springy and dry to the touch. I have never used potato flour so I really don't know, but it is such a small amount I say go for it. If you're nervous, go ahead and swap in another flour of your choosing or cornstarch is said to be a good substitute. Hope you enjoy it! ~Megan

  13. Mia

    I made this last night finally. My only tweak was to add about 1-1/2 teaspoons of cardamom to it. I love the flavor of cardamom and it plays nicely with rhubarb too. Yum!!!! I need to slice it up and wrap the slices so I can put them in the refrigerator to take with me to a wine festival I am attending. I think I need to make this again. Since the cake has a nice tender crumb, I may try freezing a slice to see how it holds up. This will help me not eat it all too.

    1. megang

      Hi, Mia! Yay, so glad you enjoyed it. I think it'd freeze beautifully ... reminds me a little of a pound cake in texture / heft so I have a good feeling about freezing it. And yes, I had a little trouble not eating most of it alone, too :) Have a great rest of the week, Megan

  14. cate

    Thank you for the suggestion. I went to Goodwill today and found a bundt pan with a really nice pattern;good price too. Planning on making the cake tomorrow!

  15. automatyka_domowa

    I'm looking for some simple recipe for rhubarb cake and I think I'll make my cake with this recipe

  16. Elizabeth Batte

    This sounds wonderful for slow spring mornings. If I can snag some rhubarb at the farmers market this weekend, I'll definitely be making this cake!

  17. Jenny

    Am I the only one to notice that the recipe contains the absolute most perfect and appropriate typo?? A "medium mixing box?" =) We know where your mind has been, for sure! Congrats on the house and I can't wait to make the cake!

    1. megang

      Ha! Oh dear, Jenny. Yes ... boxes on the mind. Thank you for alerting me; I'll change now :)

  18. Belinda Rule

    FYI, cornflour is the British/Commonwealth word for cornstarch - they are literally the same thing. :)

  19. Kristin

    I recently made rhubarb syrup which has a great byproduct, rhubarb jam. Next year when more of our plants are mature I will be making this A LOT, but wonder about using up the jam in this cake. Do you think blobs of jam swirled in, instead of the pieces, would work? I will certainly be trying this with my next cut of stalks though! :)

    1. megang

      Hi, Kristin- Great question! You know, I found this cake to be really sturdy -- almost like a pound cake in nature, so I"m included to say yes that it would work. But I also fear it'd sink to the bottom and become a mess / burn. What about keeping it simple and adding a little almond extract and slathering on the jam at the end / to serve? Just a thought ... Hope that helps! ~Megan

  20. Thomas Marzahl

    It's taken me a while to post my experiences baking this lovely and simple cake. Despite your advice I did actually alter the recipe the first time I made it (in a 9 in square pan). I made it with 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour (here in Germany it's called 1050 wheat flour), I reduced the sugar to a 3/4 cup, upped the rhurbarb to 300 grams, added a touch more yogurt to allow for the whole wheat content, and used some cardamom per another reader's suggestion. And it was a big hit that turned out great.

    I've since made it two more times, and got steadily bolder... adding orange flower water to the rhubarb and reducing the sugar to 2/3 of a cup (that's as far as I will go down), and using a combo of potato flour and cornstarch.

    And this past weekend I made it with 1/2 ww pastry flour and half all-purpose, added ground cloves, cardamom, orange zest, a bit of orange juice, a generous 3/4 cup of yogurt, and upped the rhubarb to 350 grams.

    Even if you aren't feeling as experimental as I was I would definitely recommend closer to 350 grams of rhubarb... 250 grams just are not enough.

    And three people have already gotten the recipe... thanks a lot!

    1. megang

      Hi, Thomas! Wow, thank you so much for your detailed notes. This is fantastic and will help me experiment next time I make the cake -- I agree with you on the extra bit of rhubarb for sure. Looking forward to decreasing the sugar as you did ... so glad you enjoyed it! Have a great week, Megan

  21. Kristin

    That does help, thank you! If I ever feel brave enough to try with the blobs inside I will let you know how it turns out. :)

  22. Shrabster

    I’m late to the game, but I just made this today and it was amazing. I followed the recipe with the cornstarch substitution. Thanks for posting this!

    1. megang

      Awesome! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

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