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Finished rhubarb upside down cake, in cake pan on a black background; overhead shot.
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5 from 13 votes

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Californian
Servings: 10
Author: Daniela Gerson


For the Rhubarb Topping

  • 6 stalks rhubarb about 1.5 pounds
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 orange zest & juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For the Cake

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup pistachios finely chopped (for easy prep, pulse pistachios in food processor)
  • 8 tbsp butter room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • zest & juice orange remaining
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Rhubarb Toppings

  • Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter and add the brown sugar, half the orange zest & juice, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, ginger and salt. Heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture begins to bubble around the edges. Pour sugar mixture into a 9-inch springform cake pan, swirling or brushing to coat the pan evenly.


  • Trim the rhubarb stalks to snugly fit into a pan and arrange on top of brown sugar to cover the base.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together the yogurt and remaining orange juice and zest in a small bowl.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the yogurt and beginning and ending with the flour.
  • Transfer the batter to the pan, on top of rhubarb stalks, and smooth the top. Bake in oven for 1 hr. and 15min. The top should be browned and the edges bubbly. A cake tester inserted in the center will be clean.
  • Cool the cake for 5 minutes then run a small sharp knife around edges. Place a plate on top of the cake pan and invert. Slowly lift the cake pan away.


  • When choosing rhubarb, looks for stalks with the deepest shades of red near the base and ones that are firm and crisp. 
  • If you don’t have a cake pan, an ovenproof skillet can work as well. 
  • Cake is best served warm with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Did you make this recipe? Please share and tag @DanielaGerson! I'd love to see how you're making colorful waves in the kitchen!