Rhubarb Cornmeal Upside Down Cake

Rhubarb Cornmeal Upside Down Cake

I love the versatility of this cake. Every fruit I have substituted for the rhubarb has worked! Cake flour is bleached so if you prefer to use unbleached flour, King Arthur has a cake flour blend available which is unbleached flour, blended with cornstarch and sifted many times to have a finer, more delicate texture than all-purpose flour.

Makes 1 (9-inch) cake

Serves 8

For the topping:

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1½ cups diced rhubarb, about 4 stalks of rhubarb

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and sugar; heat over medium, whisking occasionally until melted. Pour into the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan. Place the rhubarb on top of the sugar mixture. Set aside.

For the cake:

  • 1½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups cake flour
  • 1/3 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 350º F

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 7- 10 minutes. The mixture will still look grainy and white.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt; set aside.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each egg.

Turn the mixer off and add the dry ingredients all at once to the butter mixture and mix on low just until combined, about 30 seconds. Stir in the vanilla extract. Remove from the mixer and using a rubber spatula mix the batter together, going around the sides and the bottom of the bowl, to make sure everything is completely combined.

Dollop the cake batter on top of the rhubarb and spread with an offset spatula. Place in the oven and bake about 35- 45 minutes until golden and the cake springs back when touched.

Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake with a small knife. Place your serving platter on top of the cake and Invert the cake pan onto the serving platter. Gently pull the cake pan up and remove completely from the cake. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

Photograph by Christian Migliorini.