Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's (Sort Of) Spring Time So Let's Make A Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

brown sugar topping

When I was a kid, my mom made (let?) me watch some movie on TV that featured a bunch of children stuck on a planet where all it did was rain. It rained and stormed every minutes of every day except for one day of the year when it was all sunny and gorgeous and flowers bloomed. Of course the kids in the movie locked some unpopular kid in a closet so he missed the day of sun. Then they felt bad and gave him all the flowers they'd picked when they were out frolicking and stocking up on vitamin D. Which doesn't make up for squat, if you ask me.

My point is, this spring has been like that movie. And Saturday was our one day of glorious sunshiney warmth. I hope you all enjoyed it and didn't accidentally get locked in a closet but some jerky kids. Me, I got on my bike and went to the Main Farmers' Market. And came home with some rhubarb.

rhubarb and strawberries

Luckily I had some strawberries in the fridge that were about twelve seconds from becoming rotten, so I started poking around on the internet for recipes that I might be able to adapt to my purposes. I came across this one on the Foodland Ontario site. I love the Foodland Ontario site. Their recipes are usually easy to follow and always feature produce that is available to me, seeing as I am an Ontario lady. My only problem with this recipe is that it uses apples as the second fruit. This is mystifying because most apples are not in season at the same time as rhubarb. Though the recipe only calls for apple sauce, not fresh apples, so maybe someone thought of that. Anyway, I was happy to mess with the recipe to not only veganize it, but also to work in my strawberries.

Rhubarb Strawberry Cake

I was wary of the recipe for a few reasons while I was making it. Number one, the dough was kind of liquidy. Number two, it seemed like there was an awful lot of rhubarb in the mix. And number three, I had no idea how the layer of brown sugar would behave after it was sprinkled on the batter. Would it melt? Disappear? Turn into something inedibly crunchy?

Turns out I had no need to worry. The final product was sweet without being achingly sugary, moist without falling apart, and fruity without edging into the territory of rhubarb overload. Rhubarb gets all creamy when you bake it and that totally delights me. You'll probably like it, too. If the sun ever shines again, get yourself some rhubarb at the market and get baking.

Rhubarb Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Cake (adapted from Foodland Ontario)


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup light spelt flour
3/4 cup unrefined white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp hot water
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/3 cup melted margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped


2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease (or line with parchment) a regular sized loaf pan.

Mix topping ingredients together and set aside.

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl. Stir in white sugar.

Mix flax, water, soymilk, margarine, and vanilla. Stir well.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Don't over mix.

Fold in rhubarb and strawberries.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, top with brown sugar mixture.

Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Some Notes:

-I doubled this recipe when I made it and it worked like a charm. What's better than one cake? Two cakes!

-The topping will maybe melt into one brown layer and look a little weird. You can crack it with the back of a spoon to make it look more appetizing.

-Here is a picture of Oreo with a big leaf caught in his beard.

leaf beard

You're welcome.



VeganLisa said...

We read the book that film was based on when I was in elementary school - I'm still haunted by it. I'm so glad you got to enjoy the sunshine and in turn blessed us all with some strawberry rhubarb bliss.

Tracy said...

OMG! I can't believe someone else has seen that movie! I've been looking for that movie since I was little. What is the name of it? Does anyone know? I didn't know there was a book too! Now I'm excited. Oh and the recipe sound delicious too by the way. :)

the [sugar] apothecary said...

That dog is too cute. I don't know why but I have a strange aversion to rhubarb! I've never had a bad experience with it, but I just can't bring myself to bake with it. Hmm. This may be the inspiration I needed. The crackly top looks like a brown sugar brownie, mmmmm!

AliceBakesCakes said...

Cute dog! And the recipe sounds pretty good too.

Amanda said...

I bought some rhubarb at the farmer's market this past weekend,too. Love it.

I remember reading that short story and watching the movie in school. The short story, written by Ray Bradbury is called All Summer in a Day. I can't remember if the movie is titled the same.

tweal said...

"What's better than one cake? Two cakes!"

Agreed! This cake looks amazing; hopefully I find some rhubarb soon so I can try making it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Eileen said...

I saw that, & in school, no less. All the early 80s-clothed children running around in the huge vegetation, and Margot in the closet with the little beam of light coming in the crack!!

Sarah B @ Bake + Bike said...

YES this looks so great and summery! Brown sugar toppings are always a good idea.

Funny 'cause my friend just put a load of strawberry rhubarb in the oven...hope I get to try a bite.

How are the farmers' markets in Ottawa? I'm working on an organic farm this summer so am suddenly much more interested in small, local markets :)

zoom said...

Oreo! I love you!

mlcduck said...

Just found this site - pretty awesome, thanks for the posts. The movie does have the same name as the book, All Summer in a Day. HBO showed it about twenty times - awfully dangerous for a kid listening to the Cure and living in rainy Portland.