The Recipe: Is your rhubarb as pretty as can be this year? I can't get enough of it! Here's the rhubarb cake recipe I've been making for years and years, simple and rustic with "just enough" sugar and plenty of rhubarb. Enjoy!
The Conversation: Choosing the right pan for baking "half a cake" when a recipe is written for a 9x13 pan.
When rhubarb comes round, I’m like a new kitten with fresh catnip, I can’t keep my paws off it! Missouri rhubarb is especially beautiful this year and this is a favorite way to show it off. The recipe is a forever-favorite, simple and rustic and for taste, less sweet too. So many rhubarb cakes are teeth-aching sweet. This one lets rhubarb’s great “sour” come through!
CAKE MATH aka PAN EQUIVALENTS Except for special occasions, a 9x13 cake is just too big around here. A piece or two, that’s all we need. So many times, I bake "half a cake" - adapting a 9x13 recipe for half a recipe.
To bake half a 9x13 cake, what pan should you choose?
Choose an 8x8 pan or a round 10-inch baking pan. Both have roughly half the surface area (64 square inches) of a 9x13 (117 square inches).
The reverse works too. If your brownie recipe fits an 8x8 pan, double the recipe to fit a 9x13.
If you can, avoid a 9x9 pan, even though it “sounds” just an inch bigger. A 9x9 pan’s surface area is 81 square inches, that’s a full 20% bigger. That said, this Rhubarb Cake fits into a 9x9, the cake just isn’t as tall because it’s spread across 20% more surface area.
RHUBARB CAKE RECIPE
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes 1 9x13 cake, easily divided in half for an 8x8
- 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113g) salted butter, room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups (250g) brown sugar
- 1 large egg (1 egg works for a half cake too)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk (see ALANNA's TIPS)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 250g (see TIPS)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 cups rhubarb, cut in half-inch pieces (save a few pieces for the top, see TIPS)
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon (see TIPS)
- Few pieces rhubarb
Heat oven to 350F/175C. Spray a 9x13 pan (full recipe) or 8x8 or 10-inch round pan (half recipe).
CAKE With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and combine well. Add the buttermilk and combine well. Add the flour and baking soda, mix in just until combined.
With a spatula, turn in rhubarb. Transfer to baking pan.
TOPPING Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle across the top. Insert a few pieces of rhubarb across the top.
BAKE Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the cake begins to pull away from the pan’s edges and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
COOL Let cool until ready to serve. Keeps two to three days.
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