If you’ve managed to stop yourself from eating all of summer’s sweet strawberries fresh off the vine (or from the farmer’s market), then we have a treat for you. Turn these summery jewels into a delicious upside-down cake! Simple and understated, upside-down cakes are great for casual picnics because they travel well and pretty enough for any summer gathering. In this case, we used bright strawberries and vibrant rhubarb for this sweet and slightly tart cake. The caramelized fruit and tender cake are definite crowd pleasers. Top with pillowy whipped cream for a festive ruby-red and white pairing for Canada Day!
Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake Recipe
Serves: 8 to 10
Bake time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total time: 1 ½ hours
For the topping:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ Tbsp heavy cream
2 cups strawberries, trimmed and sliced*
1 cup rhubarb, chopped into ½-inch pieces
*Slice small strawberries in half. For larger berries, cut into 3 to 4 slices, about ¼-inch thick.
For the cake:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
mint for garnish, optional
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with butter and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. And the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the vanilla and heavy cream until smooth. If needed, return to low heat, whisking, until smooth. Pour the caramel into the prepared cake pan. Carefully arrange the strawberries, cut-side down, on top of the caramel. Pack the strawberries closely together as they may shrink after baking. Sprinkle in about a third of the rhubarb to fill in any gaps between the berries.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer), mix the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium-low, add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
5. Add half of the flour mixture and mix to combine on low. Stream in the buttermilk until incorporated. Add the remaining flour and mix until just combined. Stop the mixer and fold in the remaining rhubarb.
6. Tip the batter into the pan, on top of the strawberries. Smooth out the top of the cake and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the finished cake to rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a thin knife around the inside edge of the cake pan. Place a large cake plate on the top of the cake pan, and very carefully (using oven mitts) flip the cake plate and cake pan upside-down. Remove the cake pan and allow the cake to continue to cool.
7. Meanwhile, whip the cream and sugar together with a whisk (by hand or electric) until medium peaks. Add in the vanilla and whisk again until combined.
8. Serve the cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh sprig of mint, if desired.
Looking for more delicious strawberry treats? Try our 45 Best Strawberry Desserts to Celebrate Summer.