There are recipes that I’ve found via internet, magazines or cookbooks that I feel compelled to share. And in the past there have been many times that I’ve read a recipe and can’t imagine what it’s suppose to look like or turn out to be. What I love about this little step-by-step blog I have is that I get to unfold those “hard-to-imagine” recipes in front of your eyes, showing you how easy it can be or how it’s supposed to turn out at the end, so it clicks and those who aren’t so comfortable in the kitchen can tackle it with success!


That’s exactly what happened to me when I first saw this recipe from Martha Stewart.  It called for rhubarb cut into sharp angles… I thought… Huh? Rhubarb is a stalk… how in the world would I cut it into sharp angles? I eventually figured it out, but I know that this can be a common problem when reading complex or multi-step recipes. So I’m happy to help! 🙂

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 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 warmth, no?

First, here’s the skinny on this upside-down cake… ya ready?

Rhubarb: Tart and delicious.

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

Crumble Topping: Adds a little crunch for texture.

I mean c’mon really?

Here we have… the ingredients.

Toss the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl.

Pour in the melted butter… I sure do love me some buttah!

Stir together until it forms clumps, and set aside.

Grab your rhubarb and give it a good scrub, then trim off the yucky ends and discard.

Hold your knife at a sharp angle and slice about a half of an inch thick working your way down the stalk… it doesn’t have to be precise… but definitely keep those little end bits too {they’re good for filling in the small empty spaces}.

Throw the sliced rhubarb in a bowl.

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

Grease a 9 inch pie pan with butter, from top to bottom and lay it on thick! Then dot with a half stick of butter cut into pieces…

Ps… This is in no way a low fat recipe. Sorry… can we still be friends?

Lay the sliced rhubarb {red skin down} 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… but 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!

Leftover in the rhubarb bowl is the some sugary rhubarb juice goodness.

Pour that over top and set the pan aside to work on the cake batter!

Whisk together the remaining flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt until combined.

Add a stick of butter {I know more butter} and sugar {and even more sugar} into a large mixing bowl. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.

Meanwhile quickly zest an orange and add it to the butter/sugar mixture…

…squeeze a tablespoon of fresh orange juice and add that in as well.

Add in a teaspoon of vanilla… Mix on low until combined.

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

Then alternately add a spoonful of the dry ingredients…

… And a spoonful of sour cream, until all ingredients are incorporated.

Yum and YUM.

Reserve the beater, leaving a little extra on it for a snack while the cake is baking… I’m tellin’ ya this sour cream batter is AMAZING… sweet, tangy with a subtle orange flavor!!

Pour the batter over top of the rhubarb and spread evenly.

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

This will eventually become the bottom… ya dig?

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 50-60, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and top sort of springs back when touched.

Remove and let cool for then minutes. I should also tell you that you may want to place it on a foil-lined sheet pan in case the juices bubble over.

Once it has cooled for the ten minutes; run a knife around the edge to 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 bingo-bango… the color popped!

This cake is desserty {is that a word?} and yet the leftovers are perfect for breakfast alongside a steaming cup of tea or coffee. The crumble bottom adds a surprising texture to this delicious spongy cake. Oh! And the rhubarb rocks!

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 at least 2 inches deep then dot with a half stick of butter that has been cut into pieces. Toss the rhubarb again, and place rhubarb {red skin side down} in a mosaic like patter, using the butter to hold it up.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 °. Whisk together the remaining cup of flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Beat remaining {one} stick of butter and cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. Beat in zest and juice. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl in between. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, until smooth. Spread the cake batter over the rhubarb, then sprinkle with the crumble topping evenly over batter.
  3. Place on a foil-lined sheet pan and 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 the cake, and invert onto your favorite platter or cake stand. Let cool completely.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 538mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 2gSugar: 52gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.