Rhubarb Almond Cake
My rhubarb has popped up from its winter hibernation. I love the bright splash of color it adds to the garden this time of year. Growing rhubarb is not a difficult task so it’s great for beginning gardeners. It’s one of those low maintenance, high yield plants that makes you look like you know what you’re doing.
Last year it was more like an ornamental shrub in our raised beds, though. I didn’t use it in one single, solitary recipe for some reason! I’m determined to change that this year. And this recipe is a great place to start (Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is a good place to go next).
It caught my eye as I was flipping through this month’s issue of Bon Appetit. I talked to my mom later that day and she mentioned this beautiful rhubarb cake she had just made from Bon Appetit. That was all the encouragement I needed to add it to my list of recipes-to-try. Thanks to the simple ingredients and abundance of rhubarb, it moved to the top of the list.
The stalks of rhubarb striped across the top appeals to my neat & orderly little heart. Not only does it look good, it tastes good, too! I believe that’s what we call a win-win. The cake is nice and light, thanks to over 8 minutes of being beaten to within an inch of its life in a stand mixer.
I simplified the original BA recipe by substituting vanilla extract for the vanilla beans and almond flour for the blanched almonds. I buy almond flour at Costco and always keep a bag of it in the refrigerator. My husband is kind of obsessed with the stuff, sneaking it into any recipe he can get his hands on. I love the soft, sandy texture and nutty flavor it adds to baked goods.
Since I don’t own a tart pan, I used a glass baking dish lined with a parchment paper “sling.” It worked perfectly, allowing me to lift the entire cake out of the pan once it cooled. This makes for classier plating and easier cutting (you can transfer it to a platter or cutting board). My mom made a round version in a 9″ springform pan, with rhubarb stalks splayed from the center like bicycle spokes. Lots of options!
Call it cake and serve it for dessert. Call it coffee cake and serve it for breakfast. Call it spring and bake with rhubarb!
Rhubarb Almond Cake
adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
¾ c. plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 lb. rhubarb stalks, trimmed
1¼ c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. almond flour
1 t. baking powder
¾ t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
¼ c. plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 11×7″ tart pan, a 9″ springform pan, or an 11×7″ baking dish lined with parchment paper sling hanging over the long sides. Slice rhubarb in half lengthwise (quarter if very large). Set about 8 of the prettiest pieces aside for the top of the cake; chop the remaining rhubarb stalks into ½” pieces.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Place 1 cup butter and ¾ cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on hight until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally. Add the vanilla extract. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, followed by yogurt. Beat, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed, just to combine (batter will be thick). Fold in chopped rhubarb and scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth batter and arrange reserved rhubarb over top, pushing the stalks gently into the batter; sprinkle with remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar.
- Bake until cake is golden brown and rhubarb on top is soft and beginning to brown, 70–80 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool before removing from pan.
I have never owned a respectable tart pan, but it would be fun addition if you do a lot of baking and hosting. This 11×7 Inch Rectangular Tart Pan (Amazon) would work perfectly for this recipe. It’s also good for quiche or shortcakes. Or tarts.
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