Sooo, this recipe is a no-brainer. If you live in the North you probably already have some lovely rhubarb growing in your yard (or your sharing neighbor does) and maybe you have a Rhubarb Crisp planned. That's a solid standby, but why not give this Rhubarb Cake a whirl?
It's a light, tart zingamapop of a dessert that no one will expect and you will be a hero, especially when you tell your diners that they are eating a dessert composed of a vegetable. Yes, rhubarb is a vegetable. Surprised? I was too. But, it looks a little like celery and it is definitely something you want to temper the flavor of via cooking, so yep, it's a vegetable. (Read more about rhubarb here).
It's rich in fiber and vitamin C so you may crown yourself the true King/Queen of desserts with benefits.
Don't worry about it being too healthy-tasting though, this cake is seriously delicious. The vanilla caramel sauce adds a satisfying layer of sweet and rich to the zesty flavor of the cake. No one will be disappointed and if your fellow diners are like me, they will cry for you to make it again. I beg my mom every year. She obliges about 75% of the time and I'll take it! It's just better when Mom makes it, amiright? Freeze some rhubarb in a freezer-proof bag and you can make it all year long. If you have extras, invite me over.
Rhubarb Cake with Vanilla Caramel Sauce
Makes 9 inch square cake with approx. 1 cup of sauce.
For the cake:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
For the streusel topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the caramel vanilla sauce:
4 ounces Annie B’s baking caramel (1/4 block)
1/2 cup evaporated milk or half & half
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating just until moistened.
- Fold in the rhubarb. Pour into a greased 9-inch square baking dish.
- Combine the streusel ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over batter.
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
- For sauce, melt caramel and milk in a saucepan over low heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Drizzle over cake squares, serve warm.
Tips: If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Let set for a 5 minutes and use in place of the buttermilk.
If you only have an 8 inch square dish, increase the baking time and check every 5-10 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.