Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

June 2013 034

I love this seasonal take on a traditional pineapple upside-down cake—specifically how the rhubarb and strawberries take center stage, rather than being buried in the cake batter only to be discovered mid-slice. The cake features a moist, olive oil cake base covered in a shiny coat of sugar and orange-juice infused fruit. Alas, it’s life span is short—1-2 days tops, but that’s not a problem now, is it?

Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake (from Eating Well Magazine, May/June 2013; makes 10 servings)

1 cup sliced fresh rhubarb
3/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed, divided
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
3 large eggs
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously coat a 9-inch round cake pan with olive oil.

Combine rhubarb, 1/4 cup orange juice and granulated sugar in a medium bowl and let stand, mixing occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add strawberries; stir to combine. Spread the fruit mixture in the prepared pan.

Whisk eggs, oil, brown sugar, orange zest, vanilla and the remaining 1/2 cup orange juice in a large bowl. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not overmix. Spoon the cake batter on top of the fruit mixture.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake layer comes out dry, 40 to 50 minutes.

Run a knife around the outside of the pan and shake it a bit to loosen the bottom. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and remove the pan. Let the cake cool to room temperature before serving, about 2 hours.

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