Jul 1, 2013

Vanilla Rhubarb Cake

So it’s the 1st of July. Nothing special about today but 10 days from today my little guy is gonna turn 2 years old…Whaat!!! Really?? :-) Yes, really. And I’m not gonna go blah blah on “Oh my goodness, how did that happen” and “where did the time fly” and all. I know very well how the time went by and I and my family and my lil’Appu has enjoyed every bit of it. Unless you count those sleepless nights and days of sickness and unnecessary fussiness and tantrums…but that’s how it is right ? :-)

I’m still thinking of what to do for his birthday and though I do manage to end things well, I suck at party planning. I’ll be brimming with ideas but can’t put things together until the last moment. So well, lets wait n watch what his birthday will shape out to be!

For today let’s just enjoy something sweet , a cake made with a very seasonal produce called Rhubarb. 
Have I told you yet that I love our Downtown Farmers Market. I know there are are bigger and better Farmer’s Markets out here in Minneapolis, but since I work downtown, that’s my favorite spot as I get to shop-at-work :-P

I had been eyeing Rhubarbs since last year as I’ve seen a hell lot of recipes with the same but never thought of trying it until a friend on facebook shared a recipe she made and asked me to try it out. And I was like…OKAY!! Always ready to try something new and if its Cake…yes please!! So the next farmer's market I trotted off only with Rhubarbs on my mind and I'm glad I found some really fresh, red and long ones.

I bought the Rhubarb home, chopped it and tasted a piece and I was like ‘Yuck’! What the heck is this? Even my dad tasted it and was sure this would turn out to be nothing but horrible. Only my Lil’Appu seemed to not mind its heavily tart almost nauseating raw flavor, when I gave him a tiny piece…kids have weird tastebuds!! But I still went ahead with the recipe. I chopped up the Rhubarb and macerated it in some sugar for sometime (hoping that will draw out the tartness) while I made the batter.

Now let me also share a foolishness I did while making the batter for this cake. Apparently in my friend’s recipe it stated to add all the ingredients (wet and dry) into a blender and blend well. And in my mind a blender meant my mixer grinder (or mixie), which is also called blender here. So though a bit doubtful I went ahead and did that. Initially the batter got stuck but then I added some extra milk to combine it together the batter came along just fine. So this turned out to be my first ever MIXER-GRINDER Cake....phew! :-P 

Later my friend said she had typed it wrong and it should have been to mix with an electric hand mixer, but as we both live in two different time zones she din’t get to read my queries and doubts until next day(for her) and I dint get time to see her reply until after I made the cake :-)

While the cake baked I made a quick Vanilla custard using store bought Custard powder+Milk+Sugar as I din’t have any icecream or whipped cream to serve with the cake. But inspite of my mixer-grinder batter, the cake turned out great. The custard also complemented the cake very well.

The cake was the perfect texture and sweetness and the Rhubarb was completely transformed into a sweety-tart raspberry like flavor. I mean, it was not the same rhubarb that I tasted before baking. It was delicious! My mom and dad went for second helpings of the cake with some custard (which is very rare) And to jazz up the cake a bit I had added sweetened coconut flakes on top which got beautifully toasted and added a whole lot of flavor.

Vanilla Rhubarb Cake

You’ll need
Rhubarb stalks, chopped - 250g (I used 2 cups)
Sugar – 2 tblsp
All-purpose flour - 1½ cups  (175 g)
Butter, at room temp - 1 ¼ cup (150g)
Sugar - ¾ cup (175 g)
Baking powder - 1½ tsp
Dessicated coconut - 3-4 tblsp (50g)  (I used sweetened coconut flakes)
Eggs - 2
Milk – ¼ cup + 3 tbsp
Vanilla sugar - 1 tsp ( I used 1 tsp Vanilla Extract)
Salt – a pinch

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9” cake pan and set aside.
2. Cut the Rhubarb stalks into small pieces and drizzle it with 2tblsp sugar and let it macerate for about 10-15mins.
2. Using an electric hand blender or kitchen aid mixer- beat the eggs, 4tblsp milk, Vanilla extract and 2 tblsp dessicated coconut (or coconut flakes) until just combined.
3. Add in the flour, sugar, baking powder, a pinch of salt and slowly add in the ¼ cup of milk and mix well until a smooth and semi thick batter is obtained.
4. Remove the juices from the macerated rhubarb. Sprinkle 1-2 tblsp flour over the rhubarb and coat it on all sides and add it to the batter and slowly fold it in making sure its evenly distributed and pour batter into cake pan. Sprinkle remaining 2 tblsp coconut flakes on top.
5. Bake for 35-40 mins until done or a toothpick inserted in the middle come out clean. 
Serve with Crème Fraiche or Ice-cream or Whipped cream or Vanilla Custard on the side.

Few changes I made:
1.The recipe only called for 3-4 tblsp milk, I added an extra ¼ cup milk to help my mixer grinder to rotate without getting stuck, but it made a really good batter and I’m sticking to this.
2. I replaced the vanilla sugar with vanilla extract.
3. I used sweetened coconut flakes instead of desiccated coconut and I added some in the cake batter and also on the top which resulted in a toasted crunchy coconutty topping, but this is optional.

So for those of you who’ve never tried Rhubarb but have always wondered what to do with these pretty red stalks Wow your friends and guests by trying out this cake.  Its foolproof and so damn simple and a perfect tea cake and a crowd pleaser and I've made this cake two times already....... OK, I should stop now! :-) 

Thank you Riya Raju for such a fabulous recipe! :-)



  1. loved the recipe, cake looks very yummy and warm wishes for your son in advance....todays post http://nayanas-kitchen-kreations.blogspot.in/2013/07/eggless-jam-swirled-muffins-for-baking.html

  2. that is gorgeous , Manju..firstly, i just stayed stuck on the clicks..nice presentations. perfect set..and neat. addition of Rhubarb - what an idea sirji !!! and with custard..even better ! y dont u drop by my "pick quicks" blog too when u get the time. some tips on "sane motherhood" in there..lets stay connected beyond the kitchen as well..

  3. the cakes looks absolutely gorgeous... i love that coconut on the top and served with custard, yum... rhubarbs are new for me, whatever said, it's a cake and looks yum... appu's going to be become 2, great... the best time is till they are 3, their yak-yaks are totally enjoyable, make them talk a lot from now on, you'l really enjoy it! :) good luck on the planning...

  4. Wishing your son a very happy bday.The cake looks stunning.love to try with rhubarb,as it is all a quick mix.

  5. I always used to wonder how rhubarb tasted as I have seen so many rhubarb based recipes on tv and online...ur picture with custard is making me feel like grabbing a bite...I should try it one day...btw good luck with party plans..and now the terrible 2 is going to begin...good luck with that too :P

  6. Manju , ur cake came out good ......... I had never tried Rhubards , but ur post gave me a feel good feeling to give a try ........... will try it out & let U know how it came ...........

  7. looks simply awesome! Wonderfully prepared.

  8. This just simply delicious, Manju:) Thanks for sharing the recipe

  9. oh I miss the good ol rhubarb! So difficult to find it here, I used to make crumbes and custard with it..and if I find a bunch will definitely try out your gorgeous looking cake! coconut, yum..rhubarb double yum!

  10. The cake looks gorgeous Manju.. Esp, the coco flakes on top.. And I am introduced to a new ingredient today.. Lovely combo of custard & the cake !!

  11. Stunning photos and a delicious recipe, too! Love this :) Happy birthday to your little guy!

  12. I've been waiting for the recipe since you posted the snap on fb. The cake looks awesome and the flaky texture is appealing. Did you use all of the Rhubard or just the red portion? I want to try this so bad, got to pay a visit to our farmer's market near by :).

    I am sure you gonna come up with a stunning cake for Appu's B'day. Good luck!!!

  13. Thank u Shibi...I am racking my brains here as to what cake to make. All the amount of google searches I do isn't helping...anyway, I'll make something :-P

    I used just the red portion in this cake as I have trying first time and also the stalks were too long. But later on I used the remaining half red n green portion as well and that also tasted great, no much difference.

  14. Mixer grinder cake woo ho...had u not told, I would have never ever thought it was made it that way...That cake looks delicious with the coconut on top...

    Good luck with the little champs bday coming up...I am sure u will definitely come up with a wonderful idea :)

  15. Seriously i love that coconut toppings and rhubarb in cake, that i never tried,after seeing yours, i want to make some cake as soon as possible;

  16. The cake looks awesome and the photographs are really eye catching....waiting for the next cake for Manav's B'rday.....

  17. About 2 years ago, my mom and i went strawberry picking but as luck would have it... strawberry season was over and they only had rhubarbs...lol. So, I cut up some fresh rhubarbs and brought those home. I had never made anything with them but i was flying back to chicago the next day and sadly, i never got around to playing with them... sighs :(

    Next time i get rhubarbs, i am making your cake :D

    And good luck with your son's party planning!

  18. Very pretty cake and presentation. I have never cooked with rhubarb since it is not easily available in India and whenever I see a recipe using one, I am so intrigued by its flavours.

  19. I am still surprised that I haven't eaten rhubarb when it's available so much. Maybe I'm juice intimidated. The cake looks delicious and with the coconut, yumm

  20. The pics are really gorgeous ! havent ever tried rhubarb. this cake recipe looks perfect for the first trial. Waiting eagerly for Appu's birthday bash news & pics ! Advanced birthday wishes to Appu !

  21. Look lovely! I adore rhubarb.

  22. This looks good, Manju! Great work.

  23. Hi Manju, It's been a long time. I just realized today that it's been a long time since I received an email notification that you posted a recipe. I was so upset when I came over and saw so many recipes that I missed. It was not intentional, my friend. I will re-sign up to get email notifications today.

    Hope you are keeping well and enjoying your new home. Love the cake... rhubarb... still meaning to cook with it someday soon. :)

  24. I love rhubarb and enjoy it especially in baked goods! Your cake an outstanding beauty, Manju!

  25. I love that the cake has the original shape of the rhubarb pieces and color. The cake looks gorgeous!

  26. Always wonder how Rubhab tastes... this cake is so lovely with all my favorite ingredients like custard and coconut yummers!!!


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