Rating: 3.57 stars
495 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 122
  • 4 star values: 136
  • 3 star values: 159
  • 2 star values: 57
  • 1 star values: 21

This cake has a crumb "topping" that actually ends up on the bottom. Each bite has a surprisingly crunchy texture.

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Ingredients

For the Topping
For the Cake

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until moist and crumbly.

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  • Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Dot with 4 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces). Toss rhubarb with 3/4 cup sugar; let stand for 2 minutes. Toss again, and spread in pan.

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Beat remaining stick butter and cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in zest and juice. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, until smooth. Spread evenly over rhubarb. Crumble topping evenly over batter.

  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and top springs back when touched, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Cook's Notes

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. The rhubarb will be too hot to handle safely right after baking. But if the cake sits much longer, it may stick.

Variations

On "Martha Bakes," Martha doubled the amount of crumb topping and used 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice instead of orange zest and juice in the cake.

Reviews (31)

495 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 122
  • 4 star values: 136
  • 3 star values: 159
  • 2 star values: 57
  • 1 star values: 21
Rating: 5 stars
05/13/2019
I made this cake recipe without watching the video. I did read the previous comments and decided to use a springform pan instead of my regular cake pan. I'm very glad I did because after mixing up the dough I could see that it would have overfilled the cake pan. I also noticed after watching the video that the amount of butter called for in the recipe was different than the video. She only used one stick of butter in the video. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 stick of butter + more for the pan. I just greased the pan and put a circle of parchment paper in. I also used 1/1/2 stick of butter in the cake. The cake was fabulous and everyone loved it. It has a texture like a pound cake. When I make it again, I will use only one stick and will dot the pan with the butter chunks as indicated in the video. This was terrible unclear in the written recipe. She also use 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the crumble. That was also unclear in the written recipe. Due to my grandson's egg allergy, I used Bob's Red Mills egg substitute. It worked fabulously.
Rating: 5 stars
05/29/2018
After reading the comments relating to overflow I started searching my cabinets for an appropriate vessel. I ended up using an oval Corning Ware French White casserole dish that had a 9 cup capacity. It is about 3 1/2 inches deep. Then I realized I was giving up surface area. So, I used 12 oz. of rhubarb instead of 16 and followed the rest of the recipe as written. I set the casserole on a parchment lined baking sheet and baked it for 1 hour and 5 minutes. It was perfect, no overflow.. Because I used a casserole dish vs a metal pan, I did let it set for almost 20 minutes before turning it onto the platter. It was fabulous.
Rating: 1 stars
05/12/2018
First off: Stir together BUTTER, flour, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until moist and crumbly. 2nd:BUTTER a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Dot with 4 tablespoons BUTTER (cut into pieces). 3rd:Beat remaining stick BUTTER and cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. I want to make this NOW, but I don't know how to use the 1 1/2 stick of butter...please help!
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Rating: 5 stars
04/17/2018
Just the perfect combo of tart and sweet for rhubarb lovers. Choose the reddest stalks for a lovely color. This is my new springtime favorite cake.
Rating: 4 stars
06/04/2017
VERY good, but definitely too much for a 9" round pan. I made it in an 8"x8" square pan because it was the only pan I had with 2" sides (and and 8x8 square is slightly larger than a 9" round). The batter was right even at the top of the pan before it went into the oven. The good news is that the thicker batter didn't rise and run over too much, but it did run over a bit. Next time I'll try a 9"x9" square or a 10" round so that there will be more room for this cake to rise. It also took an hour 15 to bake, but that may be been because of the pan size being too small. :-( But the flavor great. A definitely do-again.
Rating: 4 stars
05/15/2017
This eventually turned out amazing! I love the crunchy bottom and the rhubarb was just the perfect sweet-tart level, and the essence of orange in the cake was divine! But I had some challenges in the execution. The pan size is critical. I used a slightly shorter pan than called for and tried to compensate with an aluminum foil sleeve placed inside the pan that stood up about 4 inches total. While the cake rise was perfect with the sleeve, the rhubarb juice eventually overflowed (as others have noted). Thankfully, I caught it just before I had a mess, and was able to put a baking sheet under it for the rest of the cooking time. I baked it for an hour and 10 minutes (probably because of the cold baking sheet cooling it down) and it could have used 5 minutes more. It was just a tiny bit underdone under the rhubarb, but not so raw that it was inedible. And even after resting 10 minutes, there was still quite a bit of liquid in the pan, so I made sure to put a baking sheet under the cooling rack for it to drain onto when I tipped it out. The cake came out of the pan just fine, just a few small pieces of rhubarb stuck, so I just reattached them to the cake. Regarding the earlier comment about the melted butter in the crumb topping making it sort of sticky and liquid-y: initially my mixture also didn't have a crumbly texture, but since you do it first and let it sit, by the time I was going to top the cake with it, I took a fork to it again, and it broke up into perfect crumbs. And regarding other comments about using a spring form pan--unless you are absolutely certain that your pan is water-tight, do not attempt it! If it is the only pan you have and you are not sure, I would suggest lining the inside of the pan all the way to the top with aluminum foil. The rhubarb really has the potential to generate a lot of liquid!!
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Rating: Unrated
04/30/2017
Sounds great!
Rating: 4 stars
05/02/2016
Just made this cake today, totally awesome. Crunchy on the bottom and nice and tasty on top with a soft yummy cake middle. Followed the recipe as written, did not have enough rhubarb in my garden, it is just starting so I made up the missing half with well drained canned crushed pineapple in it's own juice. Perfect. We enjoyed the taste, one of my favorite pies to make is pineapple rhubarb so I went with what I know. Very tasty will make it again. Thanks Martha!
Rating: Unrated
07/18/2015
The recipe reads "melted butter" in the crumb topping ingredients. It should be "softened" butter. Having never made the recipe before, I thought I should follow it as written. The crumb topping turned liquid, thanks to the melted butter. Thanks for nothing, Martha.
Rating: Unrated
05/29/2014
Use a 9" springform pan! I would have never gotten my cake to invert out of the pan if I hadn't. Also, the larger capacity of a springform pan is better suited to this cake.
Rating: 5 stars
05/05/2014
Excellent recipe. Cake turned out beautifully. I plan to bake a few more before the rhubarb season ends. May try with a bit less sugar tossed with the rhubarb (?). The crumb "crust" on the bottom stayed crunchy, crisp and buttery. The fruit top was sweet and moist and the middle of the cake had a dense and moist texture. I used about 5 large rhubarb stalks, weighing in at 1 lb. after being trimmed and cut. It was exactly the right amount for the 9" pan (in case you're winging it without a scale)
Rating: Unrated
06/07/2013
This cake was a hit in our house! Like others, I replaced the orange juice with lemon juice and omitted the zest. I used more rhubard than I probably should have, so it needed to cook an extra ten minutes. Came out perfect! One other thing I tweaked was to add about a Tbs of cherry jello to the rhubard/sugar to get a nice pink color. My rhubard is mostly green and this did the trick. Perfect presentation. Yes, the cake is heavy. Don't be surprised. It has a hint of cheesecake flavor to me.
Rating: Unrated
06/01/2013
I love rhubarb and all kinds of dishes from them. I have baked this fantastic cake and I'm really happy - my choice was excellent! This is a very special seasonal and surely piquant cake. Thank you, Martha, very much, my "Rhubarb pies collection" already has one more wonderful recipe!!! :)
Rating: Unrated
04/29/2013
This is one of my all time favorite recipes, I make it every year, sometimes more than once during rhubarb season. I usually make it in a larger square pan as it makes a lot and I usually use more rhubarb and cut it in thick chunks, great with fresh whipped cream, yum!
Rating: Unrated
03/24/2013
I love this cake - it is moist, sweet, sour, crunchy and totally delicious. My family loves it too.
Rating: 2 stars
08/12/2012
Very disappointed with this recipe. The cake turned out heavy and dense - almost like a cheese cake. There was too much batter for the recommended size of the pan. Not what I was expecting.
Rating: Unrated
06/12/2012
great!! i did it according the recepy and bake it in ceramic dish and it is great. I especially like the way how the rhubarb is cut. I t was not sure to me where to put the topping but after seeing the viedo it was clear.
Rating: 5 stars
05/22/2012
Delicious! Had to make several substitutions. 1. left out zest 2. instead of orange juice_added 1TBSP lemon juice (Real Lemon brand) 3. instead of sour cream= 7/8 cup milk, 1TBSP lemon juice, 3TBSP butter used a 9x9x1.5 inch square brownie pan also I peeled my rhubarb, so my cake was light chartreuse not pink (next time I'll leave the skins on) 1 hour was perfect! I will make it again!
Rating: 1 stars
05/14/2012
This recipie did not work for me. the cake was way to heavy. not sure what went wrong. it was disappointing because it looked beautiful but did not deliver.
Rating: 5 stars
05/05/2012
I was determined to thoroughly explore the possibilities of rhubarb this season and making this cake was the best way to start. Actually, I'm not sure I'll top this, it was that good. The only substitution I made was replacing the orange zest and juice with meyer lemon since I have 2 trees in my yard covered in them. I will be making it this way forever, no exceptions. The cake part came out perfectly moist and smooth at the recommended hour cooking time. 2 thumbs up, hands down.
Rating: Unrated
05/08/2011
I made this for a Mother's Day Brunch and it was a MAJOR hit. It is sweet, salty, savory and fruity all at the same time. I had less rhubarb and reduced the amount of sugar by about half.
Rating: Unrated
04/24/2011
Delicious! The primary rhubarb fan has a birthday in rhubarb season and this was his birthday cake last year. Very good.
Rating: Unrated
08/02/2010
I tried this cake twice. The first time I just added a pinch of the salt in both cases; the second time I followed the recipe, A DISASTER!. A pinch is more than enough. Otherwise , easy and very tasty.. Evelyn Matheis
Rating: Unrated
08/01/2010
This is a fantastic recipe, especially if you are a rhubarb lover! My rhubarb was on the green side, so the red color did not "pop" like in the picture. Highly recommend this recipe!
Rating: Unrated
08/01/2010
This is a fantastic recipe, especially if you are a rhubarb lover! My rhubarb was on the green side, so the red color did not "pop" like in the picture. Highly recommend this recipe!
Rating: Unrated
05/06/2010
I love LouLou's very honest comment, and heartily agree - any recipe calling for rhubarb is better if it's made with something else! :-D Think how much tastier and prettier this would be if made with, say, sliced nectarines, or even sour cherries. . . mmmmm!
Rating: Unrated
05/05/2010
The taste was good, but sugars in recipe were overwhelming. Next time I would use Bisquick Velvet Crumb cake recipe with a sprinkling of sanding sugar. Or, the Bisquick shortcake recipe would be good on top of rhubarb with a garnish of Cool Whip or creme fraiche. Our stores do not have creme fraiche, so I make my own with one cup whipping cream and tbl. buttermilk. You can sweeten and add vanilla if you wish. Let sit on countertop overnight.
Rating: Unrated
05/03/2010
This was REALLY delicious, I didn't have sour cream so I used Greek Yogurt and a little buttermilk and it was very moist and amazing. I'll pick up some farmer's market rhubarb and freeze some so I can make it later in the summer.
Rating: Unrated
05/01/2010
Red food cloring drizzled over the rhubarb fixes the color if you don't have really "red" rhubarb. I did recipe exact except for about three times the orange zest and was very good. I didn't have a round, deep cake pan so I used a spring form. The juices leaked out into the oven with terriible resulting smoke; surprised the FD didn't show up. If you use a spring form cover with parchment, including the sides before locking the pan. It will create a tighter seal preventing a leak.
Rating: Unrated
04/30/2010
I made this cake and thought it was very good. I grow my own rhubarb so I know it is fresh and great tasting.
Rating: Unrated
04/30/2010
problems with this cake i made today....10 mins too long to wait to turn out cake...rhubarb had little taste, had no color like pretty photo and did not come out of pan in one piece....crunchy base better if less floury tasting...cake good...next time use less flour for crumb and use different fruit.,