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slice of rhubarb and ginger upside down cake on a plate with the rest of the cake on a stand
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5 from 1 vote

Rhubarb & Ginger Upside Down Cake

This Rhubarb & Ginger Cake is a version of the popular upside down cake.  It is a lightly spiced cake which is easy to make.  It makes great use of seasonal forced rhubarb which marries well with warming ginger. Details
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: baking, upside down cake
Servings: 6
Calories: 330kcal
Author: Angela – Only Crumbs Remain


For the Rhubarb & Ginger Cake

  • 400 g (14oz) pack forced rhubarb off cuts used in the compote, optional (see note c below)
  • 1 ball stem ginger finely chopped
  • 115 g (4oz) butter unsalted & softened
  • 55 g (2oz) golden caster sugar
  • 60 g (2oz) caster sugar
  • small pinch of Salt
  • 3 tsp stem ginger syrup
  • 1 piece root ginger half thumb size, peeled & finely grated
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten (see notes a & b below)
  • 115 g (4oz) self-raising flour
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 - 2 tbsp milk

For the Rhubarb Compote (optional)

  • rhubarb off cuts
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 ball stem ginger finely chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp icing sugar

To serve (optional)

  • double cream


  • Preheat the oven to 180℃ / Fan 160℃ / 355℉ / Gas 4. Prepare the cake tin. Grease and fully line the cake tin with grease proof paper.
  • Prepare the rhubarb & arrange in the cake tin. Remove the ends of the rhubarb & discard. Wash and dry the rhubarb. Cut the rhubarb into pieces and arrange in the bottom of the prepared cake tin. We arranged ours as a wheel with 6 longer pieces stretching from the edge to the centre of the tin, and smaller pieces of rhubarb laid adjacent to the longer lengths to fill in the triangles. Some pieces may need to be cut on an angle to ensure the whole surface is covered as much as possible. Cut the left over rhubarb into pieces about 3cm long and place into a small pan ready to make the compote (optional). Set the pan aside.
  • Scatter the finely chopped stem ginger evenly over the arranged rhubarb.
  • Make the sponge batter. Place the soft butter and sugars into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until very pale and fluffy. Add the salt, stem ginger syrup and finely grated root ginger. Beat again to combine. Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, (see note b below). Sieve the flour and ground ginger into the mixture. Use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold this in gently. Mix in a little milk until you have a nice dropping consistency.
  • Fill the cake tin. Spoon the prepared batter over the arranged rhubarb and stem ginger. Spread the batter out gently to level, aiming not to disturb the fruit. Use the back of a spoon to make a slight indentation to the centre of the batter. This will help it bake level.
  • Bake. Place the cake tin in the centre of the oven and bake for about 50 minutes until a cake skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. You may need to rotate the cake tin after 40 minutes of baking. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack.
  • Turn out the cake. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Invert a cooling rack on top of the cake tin. In one movement, swiftly turn the cake tin and cooling rack upside down. Remove the cake tin and greaseproof paper. The arranged rhubarb will now be the top of the cake. Allow the cake to finish cooling.

Make the rhubarb compote (optional).

  • Place the off cut rhubarb into a small pan with the finely chopped stem ginger and 2 tablespoons of water. Set on the hob over a low heat. Allow the fruit to cook and break down, stirring frequently. Add half a tablespoon of icing sugar. Stir. Taste, adding a little more sugar a required. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.
  • Enjoy, served with the rhubarb compote and whipped double cream (if you like add a teaspoon of icing sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract to 150ml carton double cream before whipping to make a Chantilly cream if preferred.)


1 x deep 1cm diameter cake tin
  • electric whisk
Cook’s Tips
a) When making the cupcake batter, consider weighing the cracked eggs first to ensure the batter has equal weight of butter, sugar, flour/cocoa and eggs. Simply weigh the butter, sugar to the same weight as the eggs. Also ensure the combined weight of the flour and cocoa is the same as the eggs. Of course the value may be slightly different to the 115g listed in the ingredients above.
b) Consider warming your lightly beaten eggs over a bain marie especially if they feel particularly cold. Gently warm them until they feel lukewarm. This should help prevent the batter from curdling and produce a better sponge. 
c) Forced rhubarb is available between late December & into March.  It has a slender deep red stem and is less sharp in flavour that later season rhubarb.  Forced rhubarb is grown in darkened sheds in the 'rhubarb triangle' in Yorkshire, UK, and therefore has now been granted the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status by the European Commission.  Later season rhubarb could be used though the colour will be less desirable, and you may also need to add a little more sugar.
In an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days
Freeze for up to 3 months


Calories: 330kcal