Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

7 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Spring 2004

Rosy-pink rhubarb makes a particularly pretty upside-down cake. We balanced the fruit's tang with a crunchy nut-and-brown-sugar topping.

Ingredients 10 servings

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Original recipe yields 10 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Topping
  • 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, or walnuts
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
  • Cake
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ⅓ cup pecans, or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare topping: Coat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (such as cast-iron) with cooking spray. Add corn syrup and butter; heat over low heat until butter has melted, swirling the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Remove from the heat; spread brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle nuts over the sugar and arrange rhubarb, rounded sides down, in a circular pattern on top. Set aside.
  2. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine flour, nuts, baking powder and salt in a food processor or blender; process until finely ground.
  3. Beat 2 egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add ⅓ cup brown sugar, beating until stiff and glossy. Set aside. (It is not necessary to wash beaters.) Beat whole eggs with the remaining ⅓ cup brown sugar in another large bowl on high speed until thickened and pale, 3 to 5 minutes. Blend in orange zest and vanilla.
  4. Whisk one-fourth of the beaten whites into the whole-egg mixture. Gently fold in half the flour mixture. Fold in the remaining beaten whites, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Spread the batter evenly over the rhubarb.
  5. Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife. Invert a serving platter over the cake. Using oven mitts, grasp platter and skillet together and carefully flip them over. Let the skillet sit for a few minutes to allow any caramel clinging to it to drip onto the cake. Remove the skillet. Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Equipment: 10-inch ovenproof skillet (This cake can also be baked in an 8-inch-square glass baking dish. Heat corn syrup and butter in a small pan and brush over the bottom of the baking dish. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes.)

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Per serving: 191 calories; 6 g fat(1 g sat); 2 g fiber; 33 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 9 mcg folate; 39 mg cholesterol; 25 g sugars; 119 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C; 66 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 128 mg sodium; 153 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: ⅓ starch, 2 other carbohydrate, ⅓ lean protein, ½ fat

Reviews 7

March 17, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Rich in rhubarb flavor My family of rhubarb lovers really enjoyed this cake. The pecans and orange were a great compliment to the rhubarb flavor. The cake is light and not too sweet. Pros: Very flavorful yet light Cons: Complicated steps and multiple bowls
May 03, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Yummy!! I am so surprised...this cake turned out great. I used almond meal (I had it on hand) in cake instead of grinding pecans in processor. The orange flavor was a nice touch. Next time I will omit the corn syrup and just use butter and brown sugar. I will definitely make this again.
May 24, 2011
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By: Margaret
Good cake! My husband really liked this cake. I liked making it in my cast iron skillet. A lot of steps if you aren't an experienced cook. It was tasty and pretty healthy as well. Pros: Tasty and healthy Cons: Lot's of steps involved
July 10, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Love this cake! I used brown sugar instead of corn syrup and cooked it in a cast iron skillet.
May 25, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I really like this cake. I have been making it every year since it appeared in Eating Well. The kind of pan you use could make a difference in how the cake bakes. I particularly like that this is a rhubarb recipe that doesn't call for a ton of sugar.
December 01, 2009
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By: ElenaW
We enjoyed this cake. The flavor is very good. The only problem with the recipe is that the center did not bake completely.
November 02, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
THis was the absolute worst cake I have ever made. It was dry and tasted just awful though I love rhubarb. I followed the directions exactly. I am an experienced baker and have never had a cake so miserable as this one. I definitley recommend you delete it from your files
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