Farmers Market Find: Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Last Update: February 25, 2023

Here at Thrive Market, we’re all about supporting sustainable, local farming, and we encourage our members to shop at their local farmers market for seasonal produce—it’s the perfect complement to a pantry full of spices, oils, and cooking essentials from Thrive Market. This week, we’re exploring the bright, tangy flavor of rhubarb in this moist upside down cake with a crunchy caramel top.

Rhubarb Olive Oil Cake Recipe

Yield: 1 cake 
Active Time: 15 minutes 
Total Time: 1 hour 


For the caramel and rhubarb topping:
1/2 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons water 
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces 
4 to 6 stalks rhubarb 

For the cake:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon orange flower water (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line the bottom of a round springform cake pan with parchment paper.

Make the topping
Trim any bruised or leafy ends off the rhubarb and cut into pieces that will fit within the diameter of the cake pan.

Heat sugar and water in small saucepan over medium heat, scraping up any sugar from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Bring to a boil, swirling occasionally, until caramel turns a dark amber color. This will take several minutes. Quickly take off the heat, add butter, and stir. Put back on medium heat for a few seconds, stirring. Quickly pour caramel into the prepared cake pan, tilting to evenly coat the bottom. Caramel will harden. Arrange rhubarb slices in a decorative manner on top of caramel, to cover bottom.

Rhubarb cake

Make the batter
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cardamom, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, orange juice, zest and orange flower water. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Bake the cake
Pour batter over rhubarb and bake for around 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to fully cool in pan, remove springform edge, and flip to reveal rhubarb pattern. 

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Merce Muse

Thrive Market Food Editor

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