Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Rhubarb Upside Down Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce

Nothing is simpler than topping fruit with a cake batter and baking it. Once baked just turn it upside down on a serving plate and you have a delicious dessert. I like to make a warm vanilla sauce to drizzle over each piece...and why not add a scoop of ice cream!

Ingredients for cake batter:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Beat butter until creamy.
  2. Add eggs and sugar and beat well.
  3. In a separate bowl stir together dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl add vanilla to buttermilk.
  5. Alternately add milk and flour mixtures to butter mixture until well incorporated.

Ingredients for fruit mixture:
  • 2 cups rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Stir together the flour and sugar.
  2. Add Rhubarb and stir well.
  3. Pour melted butter over fruit mixture and stir.
  4. Place the fruit mixture in the bottom of a greased 9" round cake pan.
  5. Top with batter.
  6. Bake in 350ยบ oven for 30 minutes.
Warm Vanilla Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  1. Melt butter in microwave.
  2. Add milk and sugar, stir well and microwave for one minute. Stir and heat another minute until bubbling.
  3. Add vanilla and stir well. Serve warm over individual servings.


  1. There's nothing quite like harvesting the first fruits of the garden in spring - rhubarb, asparagus, sorrel, mint, chives, etc. So good and so fresh! Thanks for this recipe - I was just wondering if there should be some sugar in the cake?

  2. Oh boy that's alot of steps but it looks delicious. I don't know what's prettier in the photo, the cake, the cake stand or the embroidered tablecloth - beautiful!

  3. That looks so good...and vanilla sauce sounds like a wonderful match.

  4. It looks delicious! Very interesting that there isn't any sugar directly in the cake, itself.

  5. I love recipes using fresh garden produce! This makes me want to go plant some rhubarb, which has been on my mind for some time now!

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. I never tire of rhubarb desserts..I'm loving the vanilla sauce with it:)

  7. This looks so good, I really like the idea of using vanilla sauce. Always looking for new ways to use my rhubarb.

  8. Great recipe but is there REALLY no sugar in the cake batter??

  9. You keep me humble....who ever heard of cake without sugar? Now you're ready to bake. Enjoy Kathy

  10. Oh that warm vanilla sauce sounds so good! Beautiful Kathy!!

  11. I just found your blog and am so happy to have done so! I live in a very highly populated Mennonite area of South Carolina and used to live in Iowa near Kalona where there are many Amish families. We have had the pleasure of being invited into their homes for a meal during their fall festivals. I am following now and am thrilled to learn more about wonderful recipes from all of you. Many blessings, Roz (aka bella) I hope you stop by someday and check out my recipes too.

  12. Oh I forgot to say, I love rhubarb, have it growing crazily in my gardens and have some cherished family recipes for its use.....however, I simply have to make your vanilla sauce with this rhubarb cake! I am sure it is superb! Thanks again, Bye! Roz

  13. We have a favorite rhubarb cobbler that we make over and over when we are harvesting it. But this may be a new recipe to try out. The vanilla sauce sounds amazing!
    Thanks for sharing.

  14. Had to try your Rhubarb Upside Down Cake! it didn't turn out very good. I am wondering what could be wrong because it had very big holes and heavy or I should say dense. Should it be Baking Soda instead of Baking Powder in the recipe?

    1. over mixing will cause this to happen :)

  15. Helena,
    Sorry about the cake... sometimes all you can do is go over the instructions again and check to see if you missed anything. However, I will test the recipe to see how it comes out.

  16. I made the recipe last night. It is perfect and the cake is one of the best I've ever used for an upside-down cake. Thanks so much for posting it.

  17. I tried this recipe and loved it. I did have trouble getting the middle baked enough. When I turned it over it was still raw in the middle. Tip?

  18. Tamara.. ..try turning your oven down a bit so that you can bake it longer or else bake it in a slightly larger pan.

  19. I promised to try this cake and it turned out great. Made it a couple of times now.
    Tamara ...Not sure about the problem with it not baking through. You may just have to bake it longer. Try 40 minutes ... and maybe lower your oven rack.

  20. This cake was very easy to make, I made it with my 7 year old son. The only difference was that I needed to cook mine for about 43 minutes until it was finished. We also added a bit of nutmeg (my son's request) but will omit the vanilla sauce as we don't like evaporated milk. Can't wait to try it, just pulled it out of the oven!

  21. i do not like i made this cake for my father in law,how ever being a chef i could not help but try it and guess what i loved it!!! this is a fantasic recipe and will deffently make it again and again. thanks for sharing :)

  22. I tried this cake. We loved the flavour. It was a nice change from platz. But it was a bit heavy and didn't cook through in the middle. I just read the comment about over mixing - must keep that in mind next time. My husband LOVED the sweet sauce because it reminded him of a custard sauce his grannie used to make. The sauce separated with the milk on the bottom and butter floating on top. I'm thinking of using flour or cornstarch to bind it together.

    I'm also considering taking the idea and reinventing it with a white cake using egg whites and a custard sauce using the yolks.


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