strawberry rhubarb upside down cake

May 15th, 2012

As I was making Remedy Quarterly deliveries in the city last Friday, I was so close to the Union Square Greenmarket that I decided that it was a must—especially now that new fruits and veggies keep popping up. One step among the vendors and I knew I’d made the right decision. There’s something about going to the farmer’s market, no matter if it’s in little Kalamazoo, Michigan or the middle of New York City, that just gives me an instant feeling of belonging. There’s so much energy and life, yet it’s also incredibly calming. Each leaf, each fruit or vegetable is going to be made into something amazing—or it’s going to be immediately eaten, which is exactly what I did when I stumbled upon baskets of bright red strawberries. Oh how I love those little red berries! Luckily I saved enough to come home and whip up this strawberry rhubarb upside down cake for an evening cookout.

Last year I whipped up a berry upside down cake, which was incredible—but this time I wanted to try something a little different, just to mix things up. Instead of sour cream I used greek yogurt, which provides a similar tangy flavor and moistness, but with less fat. I also wanted to add a bolder lemon flavor to the cake batter to compliment the fruit, so I added a bit of lemon zest and used lemon extract instead of vanilla. It’s all pretty simple stuff, but it’s those little touches that really make the cake sing.

The finished cake is moist and flavorful, with just the right balance of fruit to cake. In fact, we all agreed that this could also be used as a coffee cake in the morning. It’s fresh and delicious and simple as can be— a perfect combination if you ask me.

Since making it, I’ve been toying with the idea of trying it again as a layer cake—what if you made two and stacked them on top of one another? I’m not sure if both cakes would have the fruit on them, perhaps only the bottom one would have the fruit on in and the top could be garnished with a light, creamy frosting and studded with fruit… oh the ideas I have. But until now, this is perfectly simple and oh-so tasty, so go ahead and try it out, you’re not going to be disappointed.

strawberry rhubarb upside-down cake

makes one 8-inch cake or 9-inch cake
strawberry-rhubarb topping

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup sliced rhubarb

Preheat oven to 350° F
Either use 8-inch round with 3-inch tall sides or a 9-inch round with 2-inch sides.

1. Place the butter in the cake pan and place in the oven.  When butter is melted, remove pan from the oven. Using two pot holders, tilt the pan around and around, coating the sides of the pan with butter.

2. Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar evenly over the melted butter in the cake pan. Arrange the strawberry slices in a layer, then add another layer of rhubarb over the butter and sugar.


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
zest of 1 lemon, about 1 Tablespoon

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed.  Cream until slightly pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl with a spatula, and add egg and lemon extract.  Beat for 1 minute.

4. Turn the mixer off, scrape the bowl, and add the dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed while adding the yogurt and lemon zest. Beat until the batter just comes together. Batter will be pretty thick. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula.

5. Spoon batter over the fruit and spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Let cake rest for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cake and inverting the cake onto a cake plate.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Comments: 10 Total

  1. Marissa | Pinch&Swirl

    May 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

    You’re exactly right about the feeling of camaraderie at farmer’s markets no matter where they are.
    Cake looks fantastic too!

  2. lesli

    May 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    can you tell me where you got your pretty cake plate? thanks!!
    cake looks delish!

  3. kelly

    May 16, 2012 at 12:14 am

    I got it from Crate and Barrel about 6 years ago, it doesn’t look like they carry it anymore though, sorry!

  4. Gretchen @

    May 16, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I think your idea for using a fruit-upside-down cake in a layer cake is fantastic! I’m going to have to try this out.

    • kelly

      May 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      testing nested reply

      • kelly

        May 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm

        third nested inward

    • kelly

      May 26, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      test test one 2 threee

  5. Pingback: Manic Monday « Kate Can Bake

    May 21, 2012 at 7:13 am
  6. Pingback: The Best Remedy: The Epicurean’s Questionnaire | The New Potato

    August 3, 2012 at 7:16 am
  7. Sara Wolf

    December 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    This cake is so good! I make it to have around whenever we have over night house guests and it always gets rave reviews. It’s so nice and moist. I’ve tried it with both sour cream (per the other upside down cake recipe) and yogurt, and they’re both great!

Leave a Reply