Rhubarb, how do I love thee, let me count the ways…

Rhubarb crisp

Rhubarb compote

Rhubarb ginger jam

Strawberry rhubarb pie

Rhubarb fresh from the garden dipped in a bit of sugar…

and of course, this Rhubarb Cake recipe from my Grandpa.

This is a really simple cake recipe studded with pieces of fresh, tangy rhubarb.   Grandpa grew up in Iowa during the depression, and remembers his mother making this cake for him as a boy.  Apparently it’s an old pioneer recipe from much earlier days in America.  I remember eating big squares of this cake with coffee while visiting him at his farm.

This cake is not a fussy, fancy, complicated cake.  It’s rustic and sweet and delicious.  It’s a family cake.

The original recipe calls for a 9×13 cake pan, which is still my favorite way to have this cake.  But I’ve also tried it as muffins, as you can see from the picture.  The muffins were quite soft, so if you do decide to try muffins over a cake, be sure to let them cool completely first to firm up.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake

1/2 c. (110g) butter
1 1/4 c.  (275g) sugar
1 egg
1 c. (250ml) buttermilk (In a pinch, I use regular milk and a squeeze of lemon juice)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. (270g) flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 c. (250g) chopped rhubarb

In a mixing bowl cream butter and 1 c. sugar.
Add egg; beat well.  Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.

Add this to the creamed mixture, mixing until incorporated.  Add the buttermilk and stir to get a smooth batter.

Stir in rhubarb.

Spread in a greased 9×13 baking pan (or in lined muffin tins).
Combine the remaining sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over batter.
Bake at 350F (180c) for 35min. or until cake tests done by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake.

It’s rhubarb season!  What are your favorite ways to eat rhubarb? Let us know in the comments.

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