Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

    In the spirit of honesty, this cake actually ended up being a train wreck, but I didn’t have the moral fortitude to write about it and post it in the Disasters section.

    I know, it’s weird, because usually I’m all about moral fortitude on this blog.  I usually have no shame, and even relish the opportunity to tell you all about my cock-ups (at least the ones that pertain to baking).  For some reason I didn’t have the emotional strength, the courage in the face of adversity.  I don’t know who I was trying to impress.

    I popped the cake (and a loaf and muffins, too, because this recipe makes a monstrously wonderful amount of batter) into the oven and did whatever I do while I wait for excellent things to happen at 350º (including but not limited to: cleaning the cat feeder things, looking up new ganache recipes, calling my Dad and listening to his computer-related rants, letting Andy lick coconut oil off his special spoon, pretending to be busy in the kitchen while The Husband starts the laundry, etc.).  I peeked into the oven after 20 minutes or so and saw something really, really wrong- like the kind of wrong that happens when you FORGET TO ADD THE 2 CUPS OF SUGAR TO THE RECIPE (caps font yelling totally intentional).

    I took the cake and loaf out of the oven, poured the weird-looking, hot, partially-baked batter into a mixing bowl, stirred in the sugar, and poured the batter back into the goopy baking pans.  I then put them back in the oven like nothing happened, like I meant to par-bake the stupid things to begin with (because that’s what they teach at the French Pastry School- bake your cakes for 20 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients, then bake again).  Since the picture looked sort of decent I thought I might try to fake it to you- pretend that the cake and loaf were amazing.  I can’t fib, though.  They weren’t really good.  They had a funny texture and they were crusty on the outside, too.  I know for a fact that making this recipe correctly (like with all of the ingredients, at least the key ones) yields freaking amazing results- so please don’t not make this just because of my ineptitude.

    I hope you at least appreciate that I came clean with you.

    Adapted from my Strawberry Bread recipe…

    1 1/4 cups fresh strawberries, finely chopped

    3/4 cup fresh rhubarb, finely chopped

    3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    2 cups sugar (plus 1 tablespoon)

    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    4 eggs, lightly beaten

    1 1/4 cups vegetable oil


    6 cups confectioners’ sugar

    2 tablespoon milk or cream

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar (optional for sprinkling over top of cake)

    1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease two 8″ cake pans.
    2. Chop up strawberries and rhubarb into fine pieces (or pulse in a food processor a few times), sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar, and let sit in a medium bowl for at least 15 minutes.
    3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda together; set aside.
    4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs.  Pour into strawberry/rhubarb bowl, add oil, and stir to combine.
    5. Pour strawberry/rhubarb mixture into the flour bowl and stir until ingredients are just moistened.  Pour into cake pans and bake for 45 minutes (until a cake tester comes out mostly clean of crumbs).  Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans to finish cooling.
    6. FROSTING: in a medium bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, milk/cream, and vanilla until very well mixed.  Add more milk or sugar to get the consistency you prefer.  Spoon over the tops of the cooled cakes, sprinkle coarse sugar/ Turbinado sugar over top of icing, and allow to set before slicing.


    • Strawberry thoughts: try to get the best berries possible for this recipe… it’s like what they say about cooking with wine- don’t cook with a bottle that you wouldn’t love to drink on its own.  I haven’t used frozen berries for this recipe, but I actually think they might work (since they are kind of sloppy and soggy).  Just thaw them and chop them up into small bits just like you would with the fresh ones.  If your berries are dry, make sure to let them macerate longer (sit in a bowl with the sugar to get all juicy)…
    • Don’t love rhubarb?  Totally leave it out!  (And if you are in love with rhubarb, increase the amount and just decrease the strawberry amount.)
    • Add walnuts if you’d like- maybe toasted and sprinkled over the top of the icing before it sets?
    • Don’t want two cakes?  Just divide the recipe in half.  Or make lots and lots of muffins, or two loaves…
    • Enjoy!


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    April 30th, 2016 | More Sweets Please | 2 Comments | Tags: ,

2 Responses and Counting...

  • Christine 04.30.2016

    So I laughed til I snorted and the husband looked up from his solo-Scrabble app in a kinda annoyed way.

    But I have to ask, at what point *do* we add the dratted 2 cups of sugar? I don’t see it in the directions, just the tablespoon on the fruit.

    I love me some rhubarb.

  • Oh dear.
    I really am losing it, aren’t I??
    Thanks for pointing out my goof-up. Stir the sugar into step three, and you’ll be set.

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