Rhubarb upside-down cake

4.7 of 88 votes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
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Here’s an easy recipe for rhubarb upside-down cake that’s as pretty on the eye as it is delicious and moist to eat. As a bonus, I’ll show you my technique for forming a pretty pattern on the top!

Slice of rhubarb upside-down cake on a plate

What I like about this recipe

EASY : This rhubarb upside-down cake is easier than it looks. There’s no need to peel the rhubarb stalks, and no need to let them drain, I use the rhubarb as is. The rest is a simple cake batter made from flour and ground almonds.

PRETTY: I’ll show you below how to make a pretty pattern with rhubarb when you turn the cake upside-down.

MOIST: I add rhubarb pieces directly into the batter to make this cake even moister, and also reuse leftover rhubarb.

If, like me, you’re a fan of rhubarb, try my famous geometric rhubarb tart or my traditional rhubarb and almond cream tart. For an easy dessert, try this recipe for vanilla rice pudding with rhubarb compote.

List of ingredients

ingredients for rhubarb upside-down cake
  • Rhubarb : I chose rhubarb stems in the brightest red possible to create a pretty pattern. You can also use frozen rhubarb.
  • Sugar : I prefer to use brown sugar in the batter and white sugar to sweeten the rhubarb and preserve its red color.
  • Ground almonds: I like to replace some of the flour with ground almonds to give the cake a nice taste and an even softer texture. If you don’t have ground almonds, replace it with flour.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour. You can replace it with gluten-free flour.
  • Milk : I use whole milk to add moisture to the cake batter.
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Baking powder
  • Vanilla : I add vanilla extract to balance the acidity of the rhubarb.
  • Lemon: I also like to add lemon zest to cake batter.
  • Strawberry jam: My secret for preserving the red color of rhubarb. You can replace it with another red fruit jam or jelly.

You’ll find the exact quantities in the recipe card.


  • 9” / 24 cm springform cake tin: This is more practical than a conventional tin for unmolding the cake upside-down.
  • Parchment paper: To help you cut out the rhubarb pattern and to place in the bottom of the cake to prevent the rhubarb from sticking to the tin.
  • Brush: For coating the rhubarb after baking and enhance its red color.
Top view of an upside-down rhubarb cake with a geometric pattern on top


1. Prepare the rhubarb

For rhubarb stalks, there’s no need to peel or drain them, just wash them thoroughly.

As you can see from the photo, I chose to arrange my rhubarb stalks to form a pretty geometric pattern.

To do this, I start by cutting out a circle of parchement paper of the size of my tin, which I then cut into quarters.

Then I use it as a template to cut out the rhubarb stalks in small pieces.

how to make a pattern for an upside-down rhubarb cake

I then place the quarters of parchment paper in the bottom of the tin, add a little butter and sugar and place the rhubarb pieces to form the pattern.

geometric rhubarb pattern

2. Prepare the cake batter

I start by beating the butter and sugar together for about 1 minute with a mixer. Then I add the eggs one at a time.

Then I mix in the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. I then add the milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest and mix well with a mixer until smooth.

To finish, I add the leftover rhubarb, cut into small pieces. I pour the cake batter over the rhubarb.

Rhubarb upside-down cake before baking

3. Baking and finishing

I bake in a preheated oven at 350 °F (180°C, fan oven) for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, I heat the jam gently in the microwave.

I let the cake stand for 5 minutes before turning it upside-down. To do this, I run a knife along the edges, open the latch and remove the border of the tin, place a large plate on top of the cake and flip it over at once.

Rhubarb upside-down cake after

I then carefully remove the parchment paper and replace the rhubarb pieces if they’ve shifted. Then I gently brush the rhubarb with jam.

Let the cake cool a little before serving.

More easy cake recipes

Slice of upside-down rhubarb cake on a plate

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store leftover cake?

If you have leftover cake, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The rhubarb on top will lose some of its bright color, but the cake will still be delicious.

Can I freeze the cake for later?

Yes, you can freeze the upside-down rhubarb cake for up to 3 months. Wrap the cake tightly in cling film and aluminum foil before freezing. To defrost, remove the cake from the freezer and let it stand at room temperature or near a heat source for a few hours before serving.

Can I use frozen rhubarb instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use frozen rhubarb in this recipe. Just be sure to defrost it completely and drain off any excess liquid before using it in the cake.

What to replace rhubarb with when it’s no longer in season?

You can replace the rhubarb with apples, pears or figs.

Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, it always makes me very happy!

Géraldine Leverd, author of the cooking blog La Cuisine de Géraldine, cooking.

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Rhubarb upside-down cake

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4.7 of 88 votes
Here’s an easy recipe for rhubarb upside-down cake that’s as pretty on the eye as it is delicious and moist to eat. As a bonus, I’ll show you my technique for forming a pretty pattern on the top!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Cake
Cuisine French
Servings 8
Calories 389 kcal


  • 1 9'' springform cake pan (24 cm)


For the rhubarb pattern

  • 20 oz rhubarb (600g)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam

For the cake batter

  • 1/2 cup butter (125 g or 4.5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (100 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 + 1/8 cup flour (150 g)
  • 1 cup ground almonds (100 g)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk (125 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon (zest only)


  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a stand mixer or electric mixer. Add in the eggs one at a time followed by the flour, almond powder, and baking powder, mixing until well combined.
  • Add the milk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest to the batter, stirring until everything is evenly incorporated.
  • Cut the rhubarb stalks in half lengthwise so they’ll fit in the pan. Butter the edges of the pan and place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom. Sprinkle some sugar over the parchment paper, add a few pieces of butter, then arrange the rhubarb stalks on the cake pan to create a nice pattern (see above how I created my pattern).
  • Cut the remaining rhubarb into small pieces and toss them with a spoonful of sugar until coated and add them to the cake batter.
  • Pour the batter over the rhubarb stalks.
  • Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 350 °F (180 °C, convection heat) for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, heat up some jam in the microwave or in a double boiler until it’s melted and smooth.
  • When the cake is done baking, let it rest for 5 min. While it’s still warm run a knife alongside the edges of the springform tin, remove the border, place a serving plate and turn the cake upside-down at once. Remove gently the parchment paper.
  • Brush the melted jam over the top of the rhubarb to enhance its red color. Let the cake cool a little before serving. Enjoy with a whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Calories: 389kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 8gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 221mgPotassium: 353mgFiber: 4gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 615IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 195mgIron: 2mg
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4.70 from 88 votes (88 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe, simple to follow and super easy to adapt! Even with a few substitutions for dietary requirements this came out beautiful and delicious; it rose nicely and browned perfectly on the sides. Would love to make this one again next time rhubarb is in season!

  2. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe yesterday and was surprised how easy it was! The geometric pattern that the rhubarb stalks created were my favorite detail. everyone enjoyed the fresh rhubarb from the farmers market in this homemade cake.

  3. Thank you for the recipe. Can you please mention the size of the tin in this recipe? Many thanks!