I was looking for something a little different to do with the rhubarb bounty this year when I came across a fruited pudding cake recipe in the Favorite Recipes of America – Desserts cookbook from 1968. The original recipe calls for “any fruit, fresh or canned”, so I figured “Why not rhubarb?” As sweet as this is, I think you’d need to cut back on the sugar for a sweeter fruit. Even with the rhubarb I will probably cut back a bit next time around.
The boys are not huge rhubarb fans, but they loved this recipe. This is the sort of thing my grandmother would have made. I hope you and your family enjoy it, too.
Old Fashioned Rhubarb Pudding Cake Recipe
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup sifted flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2/3 cup boiling water
Cover the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch square pan with fruit. (I prefer a Pyrex baking dish. You could also use a deep dish glass pie plate.)
Mix 3/4 cup sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, extracts, milk and flour together (add a little more milk if it is too thick to pour); pour over fruit. Mix remaining sugar and cornstarch; sprinkle over mixture in pan. Pour boiling water over the top. ( I know this sounds strange, but trust me, it works to create a pudding around the rhubarb in the bottom of the pan.)
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Yield: 9 servings.
You can see that the sugar topping creates a glaze on the top of the cake, something like a creme brulee, as well as creating the pudding at the bottom. You can serve warm in a bowl with ice cream, or let it cool a bit, slice and invert on your plate to show off the pudding. (Top photo.)
I’ll be experimenting with other rhubarb recipes in the coming weeks, including ones without refined sugars, so keep an eye out for more rhubarb goodies.