Rhubarb Cake

whole-rhubarbRhubarb doesn't grow in the South, and I'm from Tennessee, so that's been my excuse for never having baked or craved a rhubarb-anything. I thought it was a good one, until I learned that my friend, Cathy Gessert, grew up eating her grandmother's famous pies, cakes and crisps because her mom would have the tart, reddish stalks sent down to their home in Birmingham, Alabama. That's true rhubarb love, and after hearing what I'd been missing all these years, I needed a bite. Lucky for me, I can get my hands on rhubarb without paying for postage! Ahh, California... We grow it at the ranch and Willow periodically sends it down with our FFTR deliveries. Call 415-291-7224 to check availability. And here's one fine cake everyone must try, adapted from a recipe by Cathy's grandmother, Marian Lam. It's moist, fluffy and ideal with a morning coffee. Enjoy.
RHUBARB CAKEwholecake 1 1/2 C. brown sugar 1/2 C. butter 2 eggs 1 C. buttermilk 1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla 2 C. AP flour 1 tsp.cinnamon 2 C. rhubarb, finely chopped (about 6 stalks) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan or bundt cake pan. Cream sugar and butter, then add eggs; beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients, alternately with buttermilk. Add rhubarb, stir gently and pour into prepared baking pan. For optional crumb topping, combine 1/4 C. white sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter before baking. Bake for 40-45 minutes and serve warm. Tip: For prolonged indulgence, eat cake with a shellfish fork.
cakeslice Recipe Note: I skipped the crumb topping and made some rhubarb preserves to spread over the cake by cooking down a few sliced stalks with a cup of sugar, the juice and zest of 2 lemons and a cinnamon stick over low heat for 20 minutes. sliced-rhubarb