Rhubarb Upside Down Spice Cake

Makes 1 9-inch cake

1 ⅓ cups chopped rhubarb
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

2 eggs
½ cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 ¼ cup gf flour blend
½ cup almond flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and spray the bottom and sides of the pan with Pam or an equivalent.
  • Combine the rhubarb, 2 Tbsp sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl, until the rhubarb is completely coated.
  • Arrange the rhubarb pieces on the bottom of the cake pan in whatever design (or lack thereof) you wish! Set the pan aside.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, milk, and maple syrup until the mixture is completely smooth.
  • In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet a bit at a time, stirring until blended between each addition.
  • Once the batter is completely mixed and smooth, use a spatula or spoontula to scoop it into the cake pan over the rhubarb pieces. If you made a design with the rhubarb, make sure to scoop the batter evenly over the rhubarb so that you don’t have to push the batter around too much. The batter will also spread while it bakes, so don’t worry about getting the batter to cover every bit of the pan.
  • Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Because of the almond flour, the batter will bake up a bit browner than a normal, all grain flour cake.
  • Let the cake cool for 10 minutes or so, and then carefully invert over a cutting board or plate. If the cake doesn’t come easily out of the pan, then run a knife around the edges. Peel the parchment paper off the top of the cake, and serve.

I set out with a plan for this week, and that plan was to remake our buckwheat almond spice cake. I had liked a lot of the ideas behind that cake, but I remember the cake itself being a bit drier and denser than I wanted. I’m still pretty convinced that buckwheat + gluten free + spices = great idea, but after a lot of poking around online, I just wasn’t sure how I could make it work. One of the disadvantages of having this blog as only one of (entirely too many) things that we do is that I don’t feel like I have the time to test and remake recipes as much as I would like before they go up on the blog. I wasn’t ready to lose a bunch of day and ingredients just to flirt with buckwheat-induced failure. It also isn’t the right season for apricots, which had been another key component of that original cake.

So instead, we have a brand new recipe! This one is adapted from Rachael Ray’s recipe here. Like many recipes when you change them from glutenous to gluten free, this one needed the addition of some more liquid, as the gluten free flours seem to absorb the liquid more readily.  I really love experimenting with fruit in cakes and different kinds of upside-down cakes. Rhubarb is not a fruit, but it is in season now here in New England, and its tartness goes well with the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in the batter of the cake. A slice of this would be lovely with some fresh whipped cream and a cup of tea.

It’s been a bit warmer this weekend than it has been, but today has been rainy as well — a perfect day for a walk with the dog and then an afternoon of work on the house! We finally finished re-doing a tiny little nook (not even a full room) off the kitchen and are heady with success. Now, we’re moving on to another room; this one will be a full pantry when we’re finished with it, so we’re really excited about the changes to our cooking that this renovation will bring about! Primarily, it will just free up a lot of storage space in the kitchen, both for food and kitchen equipment. However, I think we’ll also use the planned-upon counter space in there for letting baked goods cool, letting yogurt yogify, and other set-it-and-forget-it cooking activities.

How about you, readers? If you have any sort of pantry space, what do you like about its layout and what would you change about it? What do you end up using that space for? Thanks in advance for your input!