I love Rhubarb, my college buddy. To this day, I’m not sure how she got the nickname Rhubarb… I don’t even know if she EATS rhubarb (do you, Rhube?), but I love her.
And while it was an interesting nickname, it wasn’t until some of our friends (who were international students) wondered just what the heck “rhubarb” was anyway, that I realized that not everyone grew up with the giant leafy plant in their yard in the summer. Huh. Who knew!
Needless to say, beyond the ubiquitous Starberry-Rhubarb Pie (which is to die for, IMHO), I’m a fan a rhubarb cake. Not to many people would know that – but it’s not hardly a deep dark secret.
Should it be? I got some seriously quizzical glances as I marched through the market proudly with my rhubarb stalks. Maybe they thought I was crazed for letting a toddler gnaw on the too-tart-for-words stalks, but heck, I figured that gnawing on that meant less gnawing on me. Right?
The cashier even asked me what I was buying. You’d think I’d found some freakishly rare veg or fruit from her face. When I told her it was rhubarb, she said “Oh, that’s what it looks like!”.
Well, kind of. Truly a rhubarb plant looks something like out of a mini-jungle book. The huge leafy greens hide the sometimes cherry-red or bright green stalks so much that I am amazed the stalks do actually turn red.
If you haven’t tried rhubarb and you fear the tartness in a pie, then try this cake. You will NOT taste any tartness at all – just the sweet fruit hint while munching on the cake… and topping this with Strawberries (which I keep typing as StarBerries tonight…. GEESH) with Grand Marnier will end any summer meal on a high note. Even the kiddoodle who at one point just preferred the raw, tartness fell in love with the cake. (She just got plain strawberry sauce, people, no worries.)
Give some rhubarb a go! Try out a stalk.
Just don’t eat it raw…. you’ll regret it. Really. You will.
Eat the cake instead. It’s a snap to make!
Gluten Free Rhubarb Cake with Strawberry-Grand Marnier Sauce
Find a printable copy of this recipe here.
Makes one 8″ by 10″ thick cake
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tablespoon lemon juice)
2 cups Gluten Free Flour mix (rice or sorghum based)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh diced rhubarb pieces
Strawberry-Grand Marnier Sauce
2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut into quarters
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (GF orange liquor)
1/3 cup sugar (or to taste)
Fresh Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Clean and chop rhubarb into 1/2″ thick pieces.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Mix again.
4. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum). Dump dry ingredients plus buttermilk. Mix thoroughly.
5. Fold in rhubarb. Mix well.
6. Pour in to a lightly oiled (or parchment lined) 8″ by 10″ pan. Bake for 50 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If using a 9″ by 13″ pan, you can possibly lessen the baking time by 5-7 minutes. Keep your eye on it!)
Make Strawberry-Grand Marnier Sauce
1. Wash and quarter strawberries.
2. Place strawberries, sugar and Grand Marinier in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat slightly and stir continuously. Simmer for 4 – 6 minutes or until the strawberries break down. Set aside to cool.
1. Cut cake into desired pieces. Cut each piece in half across the mid-section to create a layered cake.
2. Layer each serving plate with: cake, strawberries, whipped cream and repeat.
3. Top last dollop of whipped cream with a bit more sauce and a sliced strawberry.
Happy GF Summer Treats, everyone!
Mommy Lesson #512:
Doddling in the kitchen before lunch means your shoes are now teething toys.
Look out, world. She just might slobber on you too!