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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rhubarb Cake


A simple snacking cake that uses a common garden vegetable: rhubarb. If you have friends with a garden, ask them if they have rhubarb so you don't have to buy it. Every gardener I know has more than they need. Remember that only the stalks are edible. The leaves contain too much oxalic acid (it's actually the chemical that gives rhubarb its distinctive tart flavor), making them poisonous to humans.

If you have an electric mixer, you can make this cake.

You can use a food processor to chop the rhubarb, or chop it with a knife.

Snacking Rhubarb Cake
(serves 12)

butter or non-sticking cooking spray for greasing pan
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen and thawed rhubarb, finely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ + ¼ cup white sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup natural applesauce (little added sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda (use 1 teaspoon at sea level)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish well with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, light brown sugar, and ½ cup white sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and applesauce until combined. The batter may break (mine did) but don't worry about it. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix gently until nearly completely incorporated. Add the rhubarb and stir until it is a uniform batter. Pour into the prepared dish. In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle uniformly over the top of the cake. Bake for 35 minutes.

When the cake comes out of the oven, run a knife along the edge to release the cake from the pan. Allow to cool completely before serving from the pan. The cake is very moist and sweet. I don't believe it needs any embellishment, but some sliced strawberries would be OK.

Tested at altitude from a recipe at http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/cake, a great source for all things rhubarb.

Photo credit: By RhubarbFarmer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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