Golden Fig Fine Foods

Vanilla Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

  • 1 1/2 C sugar, divided
  • 4 Tb butter, plus 1 stick and 6 Tb cut into 1/2″ cubes and chilled
  • Zest of 1 lemon, divided
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tsp vanilla bean paste, divided (We love Nielsen Massey!)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 C whole milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Freshly whipped cream, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Melt 1 C sugar, 4 Tb butter, half of the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 tsp vanilla bean paste, and 1/4 tsp salt in 10″ cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. When the butter and sugar have melted together, add rhubarb and cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender and slightly caramelized, 6-8 min.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk remaining sugar and salt, flour, and baking powder. Add remaining butter and, using your fingers, blend into flour mixture to form coarse pea-sized pieces.
  4. Add milk, eggs, remaining vanilla bean paste and lemon zest and gently stir until a soft, sticky dough forms. If dough is a little dry, an extra splash of milk will help it come together.
  5. Place pieces of dough over the hot rhubarb mixture, trying to cover the entire surface. If a few spots are open, the dough will rise up and fill any holes.
  6. Bake until cake is golden and cooked through, about 20-25 min.
  7. Remove skillet from oven and let rest for 10 min. Place a large, flat serving platter on top of the skillet and invert quickly and carefully.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with softly whipped cream, if desired. (It is quite yummy plain!)


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