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Rhubarb–Pecan Upside-Down Cake

Rhubarb–Pecan Upside-Down Cake
16 votes, 3.70 avg. rating (74% score)
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Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Hands On Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

This rhubarb–pecan upside-down cake is a fresh take on a delicious, old-fashioned cake. The tangy caramelized rhubarb and buttery pecans go beautifully together.

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Photo/Art by Keller + Keller

For the topping:


  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3/4 pound rhubarb stalks, cut into 1-inch-long diagonals
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar


Preheat your oven to 350° and set a rack to the middle position. Butter a 9-inch cake pan; then cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and lay it in.

Now make the topping: Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave; then pour it into the prepared pan. Arrange the rhubarb and the 1/2 cup of pecan halves over the butter; then sprinkle all over with the 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Set aside.

For the cake:


  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole or reduced-fat milk


Next, make the cake batter: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pecans until finely chopped. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Process until the nuts are powdered into the dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of butter with the granulated sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar; then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the vanilla. Then add the milk in two batches, alternating with the dry ingredients, and scraping down the bowl as needed.

Pour the batter over the rhubarb mixture, and smooth with a spatula. Bake until the sides are beginning to pull away from the pan and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in the pan 15 minutes, run a knife around the edge to loosen, and invert the warm cake onto a serving plate. (If the cake cools too long, it will be hard to remove from the pan.) Serve warm or at room temperature.
Updated Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

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