Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Happy spring! I received a gift of rhubarb from a coworker last week, and I had been saving this rhubarb upside down cake recipe from Cooking Light, so I decided to modify the recipe to be gluten-free and dairy free. It turned out delicious!

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake



1 lb rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut to 4 inches
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt


7.25 ounces gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 tsp Pamela’s baking binder (this is an alternative to xanthan or guar gum, but you could use those instead too)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup mayo (we use the brand Just Mayo, which is egg free)
2 Tbsp Earth Balance, softened (or other non-dairy butter)
3 eggs
1/2 – 1 tsp lemon juice (or 1 tsp orange zest)
1 tsp or less vanilla extract
2/3 cup vegan sour cream (we used Tofutti)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9-inch cake pan by coating with canola oil or cooking spray. Combine rhubarb, 1/2 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl, toss or mix to coat and set aside.

Combine 1/4 cup Earth Balance, brown sugar, thyme, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cardamom, and 1/4 tsp salt in a small saucepan and cook over medium, stirring, until butter is melted. Pour mixture into prepared pan evenly.

Mix together flour, binder, baking powder, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cardamom, and 1/2 tsp salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 3/4 cup sugar, mayo, and 2 Tbsp Earth Balance. Using a paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until well incorporated and smooth (about 3-4 min). Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in lemon juice (or zest) and vanilla extract until just combined.

Add flour mixture and sour cream to the bowl of the mixer, alternating between, starting and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined after each addition.

Arrange rhubarb pieces in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. This may be more difficult than it first seems, but feel free to cut the rhubarb to a shorter size to make the pieces fit. If you have extra rhubarb, chop it into smaller pieces, mix with a bit more chopped thyme, and save as a topping for the cake.

Pour batter on top of rhubarb, smooth out, and then drop the pan gently a couple times on the counter to remove air bubbles. Bake for 55 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean (beware the bubbling over! Place a sheet pan on a lower rack to catch any spills while baking).

Cool pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the pan edge to loosen cake, then place a serving plate on top of the pan and flip over. Let stand until the cake releases from the pan.

Serve cake with non-dairy yogurt and any extra rhubarb coated in sugar.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

After many tries, 3 cookbooks and one personal idea gained from failed attempts, the pie came together. The main ingredients come from 1,000 Gluten Free Recipes. The filling is from The Joy of Cooking. The crust folding technique is from The Cooks Illustrated Cookbook. All three are available on Amazon or better yet, try your local bookstore!

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup flour mix (1.5 cups sorghum flour, 1.5 cups potato starch/cornstarch, 1 cup tapioca flour all whisked together)
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sweet rice (or white rice) flour
3 T sugar, divided
1 t xanthan gum
1 t guar gum
1/2 t salt
1/8 t baking soda
1/2 cup shortening or buttery sticks
1/2 cup milk (rice, soy, cow, nut) or water
1 t vinegar or lemon juice
1 egg white beaten with 1 T water for egg wash (optional to make vegan)

Crust Directions:

  • Hand whisk the sorghum blend, tapioca flour, sweet rice flour, 2 T of the sugar, xanthan gum, guar gum, salt, baking soda, and shortening in a food processor and process until crumbly. Place dry ingredients in food processor, kitchen aid, or leave in bowl (if combining by hand). Add the milk and vinegar and process until the dough forms a ball. If it doesn’t form a ball, use a butter knife to break up the dough into pieces and process again, scraping down sides if necessary. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead with your hands until smooth. Shape the dough into two 1-inch thick disks, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • With a rolling pin, roll to a circle between two pieces of plastic wrap, large enough to cover the bottom and edges of the pie pan. Move the rolling pin from the center of the dough to the outer edge, moving around the circle in a clockwise fashion to assure uniform thickness.
  • Remove the top plastic wrap and invert the crust onto hand and center it over a 9-inch nonstick pie pan. Remove plastic wrap. Press into place. Leave about 1/2 inch overhanging edge.
  • Add filling as directed below. Roll remaining disk of dough to cover pie and overhang by 1/2 inch, flip onto hand and center on the filled crust. Do not remove the top plastic wrap until the dough is centered.
  • Tuck the top crust over and underneath the bottom crust. Pinch together with fingers. The pinching should leave the crust upright (which can prevent spillage if the filling boils out of the crust). Repeat this process all the way around the pie. Make sure the pie is sealed to prevent mess.
  • Cut eye shaped holes (or some type of hole) in the pie crust. This prevents the crust from resealing and making a big mess.
  • Place the pan on second to lowest oven rack. Place a nonstick baking sheet on the lowest rack, below.
  • Bake pie for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Brush crust with one egg white and sprinkle remaining tablespoon of sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil if they have begun to brown.
  • Bake for another 30 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

Strawberry Rhubarb Ingredients and Instructions:

1 pounds rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut in 1 inch segments
Measure 2.5 cups and combine in a bowl with:
2.5 cups prepared strawberry quarters
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups sugar, depending on tartness of fruit
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca or cornstarch
(1-2 teaspoons grated orange zest)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the filling into the bottom crust and complete instructions above for to crust