Martha’s Rhubarb Upside Down Cake is a sweet and springy rhubarb cake where the strusel topping becomes the bottom. Served with whipped cream or ice cream.


Martha Stewart… maybe one day I’ll meet her? Maybe she will have me on her show? Does she still have a show? And if not what happened? But if she still does why can’t I find it?? Well Martha definitely knew what she was doing when she came up with the recipe for this Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. The only tweak I made was that I added a little vanilla and more orange zest into the cake batter. Vanilla always adds a little something special.

First, here’s the skinny on this upside-down cake:

Rhubarb: Tart and delicious.

Sour Cream Cake: Soft, spongy with a subtle tang.

Crumble Topping: Adds a delicious texture.

To Make Martha’s Rhubarb Upside Down Cake You Will Need:

  • unbleached all-purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a very sharp diagonal about 1/2 inch thick
  • granulated sugar
  • unbleached all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • kosher salt
  • unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature, plus more for buttering pan
  • granulated sugar
  • finely grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • real vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the Crumb Topping:

In a medium mixing bowl, measure and add 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl.

Pour in 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) melted butter.

Stir together until large clumps form, and set aside.

For The Rhubarb:

Take a pound of fresh rhubarb and give it a good scrub and pat dry, then trim off the rough or dried ends and discard.

Holding your knife at a sharp angle, make slices about a half an inch thick working your way down the stalk. It doesn’t have to be precise, but definitely keep those little end bits too because they’re good for filling in the small empty spaces.

Throw the sliced rhubarb in a large mixing bowl.

Toss them with the 3/4 cup of sugar and let them sit. The sugar will pull the juice out of the rhubarb.

Generously grease a 9-inch pie pan with butter, every nook and cranny! Cut a 1/2 stick of butter in to pieces and then drop it into the pan.

Lay the sliced rhubarb on its side making a mosaic like pattern, using the dots of butter to hold them in place. I think Martha just dumps her rhubarb in, and you could do that too if you wish, however I think this looks way prettier!

Keep going and use the smaller pieces to fill in the small gaps.

Stop when all of the rhubarb is used up… it’s so Purrrrty!

Don’t discard that rhubarb sugar!

Pour that rhubarb infused goodness over top and set the pan aside to work on the cake batter.

For The Cake Batter:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cups flour, 1-1/2 both teaspoons baking soda and kosher salt until combined.

Add 1 softened stick of butter (I know more butter) and 1 cup sugar into a large mixing bowl. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.

Meanwhile quickly grate 1 teaspoon orange zest and add it to the butter/sugar mixture.

Juice 1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice and add that in as well.

Add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined.

Next add in 2 eggs, one at a time until mixed thoroughly, scraping down the sides in between.

Then alternately add a spoonful of the dry ingredients…

Alternate adding spoonful of the cup of sour cream, until all ingredients are incorporated.

Yum and YUM.

Reserve the beater, leaving a little extra on it for a snacking on while the cake is baking. I’ll let you in on a secret; if the batter is amazing than the cake will taste amazing.

Pour the batter over top of the rhubarb and spread evenly with an offset spatula.

Sprinkle the crumb topping over top, breaking any extremely large clumps into smaller ones.

This crumb topping will eventually become the bottom. swoon.

Place on a rimmed metal baking sheet and slide onto the middle rack in your preheated 350° oven and bake for 50-60 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake top sort of springs back when touched.

The rhubarb will bubble and may spill over, luckily the sheet pan will catch it and not dirty the bottom of your stove. Remove and let cool for ten minutes.

Once it has cooled for the ten minutes; run a knife around the edge of the caketo loosen.

Invert on to your favorite platter or cake stand and let cool completely.

I wasn’t getting the pictures I wanted indoors, the lighting in my kitchen was weird that day and it wasn’t doing this cake any justice what-so-ever.

So I sliced me a sliver and took it outside and then… the color popped!

This cake is deliciously dessert-y and yet the leftovers are perfect for a late breakfast or brunch alongside a steaming cup of tea or coffee. The crumble bottom adds a surprising texture to this delicious spongy cake. And of course the rhubarb is everything.

It literally is heaven on a plate.

The end.

Martha's Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Yield: 8

Martha's Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

A sweet and springy rhubarb upside down cake is delicious! Especially when served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • a pinch of kosher salt


  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a very sharp diagonal about 1/2 inch thick
  • 3/4 cup sugar


  • 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature, plus more for buttering pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream



To Make the Crumble Topping:

  1. Start by stirring together melted butter, flour, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until moist and crumbly, then set aside.

For the Rhubarb:

  1. Toss prepared rhubarb with 3/4 cup sugar; let stand for 2 minutes.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan that is at least 2-inches deep then dot with a half stick of butter that has been cut into pieces.
  2. Toss the rhubarb again, and place rhubarb on its side in a mosaic like patter, using the butter to hold it up. Use the small pieces of rhubarb to fill in the gaps.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 °.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt.
  5. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat remaining 1 stick of butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.
  6. Add in the orange zest, juice with the vanilla extract .
  7. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl in between.
  8. Alternate addin in the flour mixture with the sour cream in 3 additions, alternating with mixing until smooth.
  9. Spread the cake batter over the rhubarb, then sprinkle with the crumble topping evenly over batter.
  10. Place on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and top springs back when touched.
  11. Allow the cake to cool 10 minutes before running a knife around edge of the cake, and inverting it onto your favorite platter or cake stand.
  12. Let cool completely before serving with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 538mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 2gSugar: 52gProtein: 5g
All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.