This was a very belated birthday cake for my rhubarb-loving husband, Larry. Both of us have finally recovered after over four weeks of a bronchial virus that put us out of commission for that long.
I had torn out a recipe for a rhubarb-almond cake from the April issue of Bon Appetit, meaning to try it long before the bronchitis hit. Larry’s mid-May birthday passed without a cake, let alone much of a celebration. Better late than never, I finally made it the end of the month.
It took me by surprise that the baking time suggested by the BA folks – 70 to 80 minutes – was way off. Fortunately, my intuition thought the time was excessive, so I set my timer for 50 minutes – and it was done! Since my oven runs a little hot, I suggest a baking time of 50-55 minutes in my version below.
Larry, always an honest critic, loved the cake but thought it needed more rhubarb. Next time, I’ll add a couple more stalks. A recipe that calls for two sticks of butter for a pretty small cake feels like one of Ina’s – aka The Butter Queen – so I plan on trying only one stick next time.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed
- 1¼ cups white, unbleached flour
- ¾ cup unsalted roasted almonds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon white sparkling sugar
- Special Equipment:One 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice each rhubarb stalk into thirds. Set aside 6 of them, then cut the rest into ½-inch pieces.
- Using a food processor, combine the flour, almonds, baking powder and salt. Pulse until mixture feels sandy to the touch.
- Using either a standing or handheld mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. At the eggs, one at a time, and beat another 2 minutes.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, then gradually add the dry ingredients, next the yogurt. Beat until just blended, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides. Add the chopped rhubarb and mix again by hand.
- Scrape the batter into the tart pan, smooth with spatula. Place the 6 reserved long pieces of rhubarb on top of the tart in an attractive pattern. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
- Bake 50-55 minutes until cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.
- Cool cake before removing side of tart pan.
This looks fantastic Liz! i adore Rhubarb and I have about 20 pounds of it right in at the commerical space to turn into jam 🙂 This recipe looks like a keeper, I am pinning it for later. Gorgeous photo!
I definitely want to order some of your rhubarb jam – never found any before…
Yum, love rhubarb. Getting new AC tomorrow, can’t wait to bake again. I have some rhubarb I need to use, I will try this recipe. Would be great with a scoop of ice cream.
We definitely added some vanilla ice cream, Suzanne – hope you try it – stay cool!
Now that is my idea of a birthday cake. Looks very delicious. Now the trick is finding rhubarb in Los Angeles. There doesn’t seem to be much of a demand for it here. 🙁
Cathy, I have the same problem here in San Diego – and it is usually pretty expensive and/or huge, tough stalks.
Great cake, sounds delicious! I love the picture too! Hmm if only you could send rhubarb in the mail- I have tons growing here!
Rhubarb does better with some frost, or, at least, a bit more extreme temperatures than we have here in coastal San Diego – inland, it grows OK. Save me some, Jayne 😉
Glad you’re both feeling better, Liz. this looks great! I don’t know if I would cut back on the butter…
BTW, I used to get rhubarb at Pavillion’s in the L. A. area, although a little earlier in the season than this.
I think you are probably right re the butter amount – thanks for the rhubarb tip!
So the rhubarb doesn’t get stewed first with sugar! Fabulous! GREG
It worked, Greg. I’m going to buy the rectangular pan for a big dinner party.
Rhubarb and almond are a match made in heaven. Happy belated birthday to Larry!
Thanks, Lynda – might try it again with a bit more rhubarb…
looks delicious, don’t laugh to loud…I’ve never had rhubarb, this may be the perfect recipe to try it!
I’m guessing you might be a native California girl – it is a Midwestern fav – my husband grew up in Wisconsin. So I’m not laughing at all!
Liz, thanks for the inspiration. I didn’t do anything at all with rhubarb last summer, so I’m not going to skip it this time around!
Jean, I do hope you try this – I think I will buy a rectangular tart pan, but my old one worked fine here.
You’re smart to trust your cooking intuition – I remember learning at a food blogging conference once that magazine recipes aren’t as well tested as cookbook recipes, and are usually shorter on ingredients and instruction so as not to scare off the reader. Do you think that’s true? I’m also with you on the butter overload (although for me, Ina adds too much salt).
Yes, I couldn’t believe that this magazine, of all OCD food mags, messed the timing up!