Rhubarb Skillet Cake

Rhubarb Skillet Cake

So many things about this cake makes me swoon. I wonder if it’s the combination of the simple flavors and the season that draws me in and wakes me up from all those rainy days this winter? It is certainly a cake that should be in everyone’s repertoire if you like to make simple cakes to have warm out of the oven after dinner or with a group of besties with some afternoon tea or even a little bubbly. 

I have been so swamped with mom life, work life and then the catching up on things life, my creative side of life had to be tucked away for a bit. For me a quick recharge can be a simple hike, a trip to the farmers market, a bit of gardening with my chickens clucking at me feet and of course a few hours in my kitchen making something that isn’t a necessity, making something whimsical, not fussy and a gaurantee there will be no leftovers. 


This year I’ve decided to add rhubarb to our garden and did a little research. Did you know most people assume that deep red rhubarb is the sweetest? That’s not necessarily true, there are green varieties of rhubarb that are sweeter than some of the red varieties. Also most varieties aren’t pure red inside and out. I will admit I like the appearance of the red in pastries and jams so I may just have to plant two instead. A few varieties that sounded interesting to me were the ‘Colorado Red’, which is red inside and out and is reported to be good for jams and jellies and the ‘McDonald’s Canadian Red’ which is also a deep red that works well for canning and pastries. For the green varieties I’m hoping to find the ‘German Wine,’ with its green stems and pink speckles and is one of the sweetest rhubarbs available. If you can’t grow your own rhubarb I would recommend looking for some at a farmers market, you stand a good chance of trying different varieties. 

The next few weeks forcast is looking beautiful here in Portland. I’m looking forward to simple gatherings with friends and simple cakes to go with. Happy Spring friends.



Rhubarb Skillet Cake

Adapted from The Lost Kitchen


8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 cup sour cream

Rhubarb Compote

3 cups chopped Rhubarb 

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons fresh lemon jiuce

2 teaspoons cornstarch 



In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until rhubarb becomes tender and sauce like, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a 10 inch oven proof skillet, preferably cast iron, with butter and flour, shaking out any excess flour.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, milk, sour cream and melted butter. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just incorporated. 

Pour about two thirds of the compote into greased skillet and spread evenly. Pour the cake batter over it, spread evenly, then dollop the remaining compote over the top. Use a butter knife to swirl together the batter and the compote.

Bake until a cake tester or knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. This is best served warm right out of the skillet, with whipped cream to dollop on top.